/ 12 January 2022

THE DEPARTMENT of Education is determined to maintain its 96 percent budget utilization rate in 2021 despite the challenges of the Covid19 pandemic.

“For 2021, we are aiming to maintain 96 percent or even surpass 97 percent for BUR. And I would like to congratulate and thank everyone despite Covid, ‘yung iba pong department nag-stop, or talagang na-suspend but DepEd continues to operate despite 2020 is a Covid year and [in] 2020, we were able to actually implement 96 percent of our total funds,” DepEd Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla said during the agency’s general assembly.

Sevilla attributed the increase in BUR to the simplification of public financial management processes and decentralization of fund management, which promotes accountability, transparency, and competency as funds are being downloaded to the regional, division, and implementing schools.

The department’s BUR in 2015 was 88 percent. It rose to 96 percent in 2020.

“Maraming salamat sa mga accountants, budget officers, and of course to our admin and cash officers, tuloy-tuloy po ang ating sweldo, allowances, benefits. At yan po ay kahit ECQ, MECQ ay nakuha po natin. Lahat po tayo yung sweldo naprocess natin. In fact, yung iba na-advance pa nating na-process,” Sevilla said.

Congress extended the implementation period of the 2021 Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses and capital outlay budget until December 2022.

The General Appropriations Act this year also increased the MOOE capitalization threshold from P15,000 to P50,000, which will benefit schools as these can now procure higher quality gadgets or equipment needed for limited face-to-face classes.

Sevilla also reported the establishment of technical working groups, the institutionalization of the delivery unit Education Program Management Office, partnership with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the National Quincentennial Committee, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, recommendation of new employee uniform, submission of PBB 2020, enhancement of automatic payroll deduction system program, improvements on GSIS Financial Assistance Loan, and waiver of interest rates.

“These [achievements] will all happen only when you believe in DepEd. And we, together with the DepEd Secretary and Execom, we love DepEd,” she said.