THE Department of Education (DepEd) has completed the needed funding to fulfill the remaining P3,000 of the P10,000 service recognition incentive (SRI) for all regular, contractual and casual employees.
The funds costing P2.86 billion were downloaded to the respective regional offices (ROs) and schools division offices (SDOs) last Dec. 31, 2021.
The initial P7,000 for all 954,766 teaching and non-teaching personnel was distributed during the Christmas season with the full support of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in facilitating the release of the covering cash allocations necessary for the actual payment of the initial amount of SRI that can be granted at a uniform rate.
It noted that the 2021 SRI was higher compared to the 2021 SRI at P6,190 per employee.
DepEd said in a statement that the deficiency was supposed to be charged from the unobligated budget from Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 as prescribed by the General Appropriation Act (GAA), but the extension of budget availability until December 2022 did not permit this to happen.
“The modification of the balances of the MOOE (Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses) was not an option as the FY 2021 MOOE validity has been extended until FY 2022 and is needed to implement the BE-LCP (Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan) and the possible expansion of the pilot face-to-face classes,” it added.
However, DepEd was able to pool resources from the remaining Personnel Services (PS) savings to generate the remaining balance.
“Despite the limited workforce at the Budget Division of the Central Office, further complicated by the rising Covid-19 cases, DepEd was able to still release the Sub-AROs (Allotment Release Orders) to all ROs and SDOs, request the cash cover to DBM, and monitor the status of the actual payment by the field offices of the remaining P3,000 SRI per employee,” it said.
The Education department assured that it is in coordination with the DBM for the issuance of the cash requirements corresponding to the savings downloaded to the respective offices.