Some P622,447 of Special Education Funds (SEF) in Cauayan city, Isabela were spent on items not beneficial to the education of public school students, defeating the purpose of the fund, state auditors said.
In a 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said at least P622,447 of the total special education tax of P25,594,403.61 was spent on the following expenditures which were not among the items allowed to be charged to the SEF.
These are: honoraria for the Local School Board, Assistant Schools Division Superintendent, and the Division Schools Superintendent; meals, venue, and room accommodation for Regional Management Committee meeting; office supplies of the Department of Education City Division, 10 boxes of toner for GSO use, office supplies for the Assessor’s Office; monthly communication allowance of the City Division Schools Superintendent and the Assistant City Division Schools Superintendent; and electricity consumption of the City DepEd Division.
These items were not among the expenditures allowed to be charged to the SEF, the auditors said.
The SEF, according to Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code, are allocated 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 as determined and approved by the Local School Board.
“Post-audit of accounts of the SEF transactions for CY 2015 disclosed that various expenditures were incurred other than those expressly provided by law,” the auditors said.
The COA urged the city mayor Bernard Faustino Dy to stop utilizing the SEF on expenditures other than those expressly provided by law.
The city government vowed to furnish a copy of the audit report to the Local School Board (LSB) for the latter to plan, prepare and utilize the school budget for SEF strictly within the priorities and limits set forth under the law.