DepEd starts paying service recognition incentive

Published January 19, 2021, 6:14 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The release of downloaded funds for the service recognition incentive (SRI) of the agency’s eligible employees is expected to start this week, an official of the Department of Education (DepEd) said.

“The report has been approved by the Secretary and release of downloaded funds for SRI to regions shall start [the] week of January 18,” said DepEd Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla in a Facebook post.

“All regional finance officers shall be instructed to download [the] same funds to the School division offices (SDOs) so this can be distributed to all eligible employees in its jurisdiction,” she added.

Based on the discussions in the recent DepEd Management Committee (ManCom) meeting, Sevilla said that Education Secretary Leonor Briones “has reiterated the need and urgency to recognize the ‘services of our teaching and non-teaching positions’ by providing the maximum SRI that DepEd funding can provide.”

Sevilla added that the leadership of DepEd also recognizes that the “services that our workforce has done to deliver the blended learning approach is notable/remarkable and should indeed be given recognition.”

During the meeting, Sevilla presented to Briones and ManCom members the criteria and conditions of the Administrative Order to grant SRI and gave the total pooled savings from personnel services or the detailed share of regions and Central office to the pool as well as the “modified or realigned” Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) funds that the Department of Budget and Management approved thru release of Special Allotment Release Order.

“We are just waiting for the share [of] PS savings of one more region last Friday,” Sevilla said. The total pooled savings that DepEd can generate, she explained, shall be “equally or uniformly” shared by all eligible regular employees estimated to a uniform rate of P5,000 to P6,000 SRI each. However, the final rate shall be determined after getting the “final total eligible employees” for the entire DepEd.

Sevilla said that there has been a “continuing negotiation with oversight agencies” to allow DepEd to reach the allowable maximum rate of P10,000 SRI per employee. 

For instance, she noted that the DepEd asked the DBM to allow each region or division to be treated as an “agency” so it can pay the difference of “initial SRI” versus maximum P10,000 can be allowed if the Regional Office or School Division Office has enough savings to cover it. 

“We also sought assistance to extend grant of SRI beyond 2020 timeline and fund source and to also find other funds available outside DepEd,” she added.