DepEd asks for understanding on payment of service recognition incentive

Published January 11, 2021, 6:51 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Department of Education (DepEd) assured that the Service Recognition Incentive (SRI) remains a “reality for all” of its employees as concerned units continue to find ways to comply with the requirements needed before it is released.

“For all DepEd family members inquiring about SRI that there are a lot of conditionalities that DepEd has to comply with before the processing, release and payment of the same is made to its employees,” DepEd Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla said.

Sevilla issued this statement following queries from teachers and other employees of the agency on the SRI. She also reiterated some factors affecting the release of the SRI “for a better understanding of what we have been doing and to ensure that we are not stopping from finding ways to make this SRI be a reality for all of us.”

In December, President Duterte signed Administrative Order No. 37 for the payment of SRI to government employees for the year 2020. Government employees are expected to receive an amount not exceeding P10,000 as SRI which shall be given not earlier than Dec. 21, 2020.

However, Sevilla said that even if DepEd wanted to immediately process and release the SRI, there are procedures that the agency has to comply with.

For instance, she explained that the amount of savings in Personal Services (PS) and other Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) budget items need to be pooled and submitted to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for modification.

“Since funds will be coming from schools, divisions, regions and central offices, it will require time to consolidate and submit to DBM,” she added.

Sevilla said that there is a need for the modification of MOOE to PS so it can become a source for SRI, then it has to be evaluated and approved by DBM.

She added that the amount of SRI should also be “uniform” or same in rate for all DepEd employees.

“SRI can still happen, and it can be paid to all employees but we need to do the right process and determine the total available pooled amount so we can also compute how much is the possible uniform rate we can give to employees,” Sevilla said.

Currently, Sevilla said that the administrative and finance units from all levels of the DepEd are “doing their best” to pass all conditionalities and process them as soon as possible so the employees will be able to receive their SRI payment.

Sevilla explained that the AO 37 on SRI was officially released on Dec. 21 while the DBM Budget Circular on SRI was released on Dec. 22.

Since then, she said that DepEd has been undertaking various steps to speed up the process.

“It meant sleepless nights, continuous meetings and consistent coordination with all DepEd implementing units and DBM partners who are all very helpful and accommodating to our Department’s needs,” she explained.

As concerned units of DepEd continue to fulfill the requirements for the processing and payment of SRI, Sevilla asked the employees for “understanding and patience” and thanked them for their commitment to public service and quality education for all students.