January 13, 2022 – With the efforts of Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones and the Office of the Undersecretary for Finance (OUF), the Department of Education (DepEd) has been able to pool enough funds for the release of the full Php 10,000 one-time Service Recognition Incentive (SRI) for 2021, which can be expected by all DepEd regular, contractual, and casual employees at the soonest possible time.
Upon the issuance of Administrative Order No. 45, s. 2021, DepEd immediately facilitated the initial pooling of estimated 2021 Personnel Services savings to cover the requirements for the release of the Php 10,000 2021 SRI in the sum of Php 9,547,660,000.
Based on the AO, the SRI will be funded out of available released FY 2021 PS allotments of the agency, and that any deficiency may be charged against the unobligated FY 2021 allotment for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE), subject to the rules on modification in allotments as prescribed under Section 72 of the General Provisions of the FY 2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA), as well as other pertinent budgeting, accounting, and auditing rules and regulations.
However, the modification of the balances of the MOOE was not an option as the FY 2021 MOOE validity has been extended until FY 2022 and is needed to implement the BE-LCP and the possible expansion of the pilot face-to-face classes.
DepEd enjoined its Operating Units to submit their estimated 2021 PS savings and was able to identify and generate more or less Php 7-Billion, enough to be able to pay a uniform rate of P7,000 to its 954,766 teaching and non-teaching employees qualified to receive the SRI, which is higher compared to the 2020 SRI at Php 6,190 per employee.
DepEd was able to pay the Php 7,000 per employee during the 2021 Christmas season due to 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.
During the last week of 2021, DepEd Central Office together with its Operating Units again pooled the remaining 2021 PS savings with the end in view of generating the amount necessary for the payment of the remaining Php 3,000 SRI per employee, amounting to Php 2,861,520,000.
On December 31, 2021, DepEd was able to download the savings to the respective Regional Offices Proper, and to the various Schools Division Offices to cover the requirements of the SDO Proper and IU and Non-IU public schools thru the issuance of Sub-Allotment Release Orders (Sub-AROs). The DepEd CO is coordinating with the DBM CO for the issuance of the cash requirements corresponding to the savings downloaded.
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 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 Php3,000 SRI per employee.