January 11, 2022 – Committed to provide further support to field offices and schools nationwide, the Department of Education (DepEd) is determined to maintain its 96% budget utilization rate (BUR) for 2021 despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For 2021, we are aiming to maintain 96% or even surpass 97% 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% of our total funds,” DepEd Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla said during the Department’s General Assembly 2021.

Recording an 8% increase in BUR from 88% in 2015 to 96% in 2020, Usec. Sevilla attributed the achievement 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.

“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,” she added.

In addition, Lower house and Senate have extended the implementation period of the 2021 Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) and capital outlay budget until December 2022.

The GAA 2022 also increased the MOOE capitalization threshold from P15,000 to P50,000 which will redefine the use of school-MOOE, and benefit the schools as these can now procure higher quality gadgets or equipment needed for the limited face-to-face classes

Usec. Sevilla also noted the following gains in her year-end report: establishment of technical working groups, the institutionalization of the delivery unit Education Program Management Office (EPMO), partnership with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC), the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), 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.

The OUF plans to increase the provident fund loan limit from P100,000 to P200,000, decentralize approval of loans to SDO level, and establish a new PF that will allow personal contribution and give more benefits to employees.

“These [achievements] will all happen only when you believe in DepEd. And we, together with the DEPED SECRETARY AND EXECOM, we love DepEd,” Usec. Sevilla ended.