"There is not any fund conversion at the Department of Education," said DepEd Spokesman and Undersecretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs Alberto Muyot. The declaration came in the heels of reports that fund conversion is not limited to the Armed Forces of the Philippines but to other government agencies such as DepEd.
In 2009, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) changed the release of personal services (PS) budget by transferring funds to the department based on the actual quantity of personnel unlike in the past when the budget given is based on the amount of plantilla positions.
Individual services funds released by DBM are addressed by the monthly lapsing of Notice of Cash Allocation (NCA). "Pag naglapse at di nagamit sa loob ng isang buwan, babalik kaagad ang pondo sa DBM," said Muyot.
At any time there are excess or unused PS funds, it can only be utilized for personal services such as teachers' pay modifications and payment of year -end bonuses of employees, all governed by accounting rules. "The P10,000 Christmas bonus given to teachers annually are drawn from this because it is not part of the regular allocation from the General Appropriations Act," added Muyot. Excess PS funds cannot be transformed or used as Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) or Capital Outlay (CO) funds in compliance with Commission on Audit (COA) rules.
DepEd also cleared its position around the issue which the the department instantly adds the number of teachers it is authorized to employ in a year, without subtracting people who retired, were separated from, or died in service throughout the same period.
If a teacher is separated from service, we have to immediately replace them or else no one will teach and we will never be able to address teacher shortage. Remember that we have at least a million new entrants to the public school system each school year thus the continuing need for teacher positions," Muyot discussed.
As a matter of policy, DepEd abides from the rules of COA on fund management and disbursements. It added that the current leadership can never tolerate fraudulent transactions and it is willing to work with the House of Representatives or any other party that wants to discover how DepEd budget is spent.