A few years ago, all expenses in the school were purchased and paid for by the Division offices. Across the country, the division offices pay for the electricity and water bills of every single school. Canvassing, purchasing and delivery of supplies are not at one time assigned to school administrators.
Except for the Independent Financial Units such as the Bukidnon National High School which is the lone institution in the Division of Malaybalay that had its own financial section, all of the schools both in elementary or secondary depend on the division office for its school and office supplies.
The budget is now downloaded to school heads and each of them is required to open his own checking account due to the new program initiated by DepEd wherein the fiscal responsibilities of the schools are transferred to the school administrators. It is now the responsibility of the principal to pay the school’s own utility bills, purchase the supplies needed by the school and make minor repairs of the school buildings.
Just recently, with the implementation of the rationalization plan, some schools were allotted Administrative Assistant III (senior bookkeepers) and Administrative Aide VI (disbursing officers) items. These employees will become the cornerstone of the financial unit of the schools. These employees will help decrease the workload of the school administrators.
It is unfortunate however that the Commission on Audit findings includes the cash advances not liquidated by the principals, some of which are past due for a couple of years already. This program which was introduced to deliver services directly to the school without the hassle of red tape helped a lot in the development of education in our country.
However, we could not blame principals who are not able to liquidate some of the cash advances on time. These administrators never went to school to gain financial acumen. We just hope that in due time they would learn from their mistakes and someday become very good financial officers as well as exemplary school administrators.