PASIG CITY, DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones reiterated the importance of the issuance of Joint Circular (JC) No. 1, s. 2017 on the Revised Guidelines on the Use of the Special Education Fund (SEF) in providing additional allowance to nationally hired teachers by local government units.
According to the Secretary, there are local government units, specifically in Metro Manila, that sources allowances both from their General Fund, which is perfectly legal, and from SEF, which is supposed to be used on school improvements. The problem lies on LGU’s which are unable to do the same due to lack of allocation in their General Fund.
Briones added that it would be unfair to teachers in far-off municipalities which could not afford to provide additional allowances.
The Special Education Fund comes from the one percent levy on the assessed value of real properties. DepEd has been receiving reports that several LGUs have already received an audit observation memorandum regarding the disallowance of use of SEF as local allowances for teachers.
Under the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 4, an entry-level public teacher should receive P19, 077 as basic pay within the first tranche which could amount up to Php24, 000 with bonuses, compared to teachers in small provincial private schools who get Php6, 000 on average.
Also, Head Teacher 1 can get as high as Php 24,141 basic monthly pay, Php 33,452 for Master Teacher 1, and Php 36,409 for School Principal 1.
Furthermore, the school maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) should be spent for school expenses provided that the materials and activities are necessary to conduct effective learning delivery.
Examples of the expenses covered by MOOE:
- Activities as identified in the approved School Improvement Plan (SIP)
- Expenses for school-based training and activities selected/designed to improve learning outcomes in the school, such as but not limited to, Learning Action Cells (LAC) and Continuous Improvement (CI)
- Expenses on special curricular programs (e.g. advocacy, assessment, capacity building, learning environment, learner development, and research) and co-curricular activities of special curricular program
- Expenses pertaining to graduation rites, moving up or closing ceremonies and recognition activities
- School supplies and other consumables for teachers and students deemed necessary in the conduct of classes
- Reproduction of teacher-made activity sheets or exercises downloaded from the Learning Resource Management and Development System (LRMS)
In terms of the proposed salary hike of public school teachers, Briones clarified[Deped] that due to its impact on the national economy, there should be a lot to consider when increasing the starting salary in any sector.
She pointed out during the Cabinet meeting that those getting Php 35,000 will be getting Php 70,000 which meant they need to source at least Php 350 billion more to fund the increase.