P750K educ funds misspent in Apalit, Pampanga
State auditors scored the municipal government of Apalit in Pampanga for spending P749,550.56 of its special education funds (SEF) for items not related to education, depriving the constituents of the benefits from the fund.
In a 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the municipal government allotted P5.1 million SEF in 2015.
The COA said at least P749,550.56 expenditures were improperly charged to the SEF – Regular school maintenance expenses/agency expenditures (including electricity, internet and office supplies); Traveling/training expenses for teachers/school heads, among others; Salaries and allowances of teachers whose services rendered are unrelated to extension of classes/ Non-teaching personnel; Costs for meetings and other events culminating pure DepEd activities (Teacher’s Day, School Fairs, etc.).
These expenditures go against the Local Government Code, which states that the SEF should be spent for the operation and maintenance of public schools, construction and repair of school buildings, facilities and equipment, educational research, purchase of books and periodicals and sports development.
These items should have been charged to the regular budget of the Department of Education (DepEd), auditors said.
“Thus, the above disbursements are regular operational expenses of the DepEd which it could have borne from its own allocation from the General Appropriations Act, hence, are considered improper charges to the SEF,” the auditors said.
The auditors said the deficiencies in the use of the SEF defeated the purpose of the fund.
“The aforesaid deficiencies created doubts on the propriety of the disbursements against the SEF and the intent of the Fund may not have been fully attained,” the auditors said.
The COA urged the municipal mayor Oscar Tetangco Jr. to maximize the utilization of SEF to attain its objectives.
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