The Department of Education (DepEd) assured its qualified personnel that they can expect the release of the remaining P3,000 of the P10,000 one-time Service Recognition Incentive (SRI) for 2021 at the “soonest possible time.”
In a statement, DepEd said that with the efforts of Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones and the Office of the Undersecretary for Finance (OUF), it was able to “pool enough funds” for the release of the full P10,000 one-time SRI for 2021.
This, DepEd said, can be expected by all DepEd regular, contractual, and casual employees as soon as possible.
DepEd said that upon the issuance of Administrative Order No. 45, s. 2021, it immediately facilitated the initial pooling of estimated 2021 Personnel Services savings to cover the requirements for the release of the P10,000 2021 SRI in the sum of P9,547,660,000.
“Based on the AO, the SRI will be funded out of available released FY 2021 PS allotments of the agency,” DepEd said.
It added that any deficiency can be charged against the unobligated FY 2021 allotment for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE).
This, DepEd said, should be 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, DepEd explained that 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 Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) and the possible expansion of the pilot face-to-face classes.
DepEd said that it enjoined its Operating Units to submit their estimated 2021 PS savings.
Following this, DepEd was able to identify and generate more or less P7 billion that was enough to pay a uniform rate of P7,000 to its 954,766 teaching, and non-teaching employees qualified to receive the SRI.
This, DepEd said, was “higher” compared to the 2020 SRI at P6,190 per employee.
During the 2021 Christmas season, DepEd said that it was able to pay the P7,000 per employee.
DepEd thanked the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for 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 P3,000 SRI per employee amounting to P2,861,520,000.
DepEd said that on Dec. 31, it 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,” the agency said.
DepEd noted that despite the limited workforce at the Budget Division of the Central Office that was complicated further by the rising coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, it was still able to release the Sub-AROs to all ROs and SDOs.
Despite the public health situation, the agency also requested the cash cover to DBM and monitor the status of the actual payment by the field offices of the remaining P3,000 SRI per employee.