ARMM schools get operating expenses in 2017

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - (Bureau of Public Information)

COTABATO CITY – Public elementary and secondary schools across the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will be entitled to Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) in 2017, Education Secretary John Magno said.

He said the House of Representatives has recently approved the P40.537 billion budget of the ARMM for 2017, including the more than P12 billion earmarked for DEPED-ARMM.

In a recent news conference, Magno and Marjuni Maddi, DEPED-ARMM Assistant Secretary for Academics, said all public elementary and secondary schools are soon to receive their monthly MOOE to sustain expenses for utilities such as electric and water bills, procurement of school supplies, salaries for janitors and security personnel, and other expenditures.

In the past, Magno noted that only central schools and national high schools were granted MOOE resulting in problems for many schools specifically on how to support their financial needs. This has led to irregular collection of fees by school heads from teachers and students.

Magno cited that a school head in Sulu was suspended due to irregular collection of fees. He underscored that the administrative move was a “reflection of the instituted reforms in the Education department in the ARMM.”

Out of the more than P12 billion budget of DEPEDARMM next year, roughly 96% will be allocated for personnel services and the remaining 4% will be for the MOOE of schools.

The MOOE could be used in the procurement of school supplies needed in classroom teaching, school training activities, utilities and communications expenses, graduation rites expenses, and minor school repairs.

The region’s Education department covers nine schools divisions namely, Maguindanao I and II, Marawi City, Lanao Sur I and II, Lamitan City, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-tawi.

As of the latest data, there are 2,150 public elementary schools, and 304 secondary schools in the ARMM. “The (2017) budget is enough to suffice the needs of our schools,” Magno said.

The amount of MOOE allocated for each school is based on total school enrollment, number of teachers, number of classrooms, and number of graduating students.

The Education secretary noted that schools are mandated by law to have a transparency board on MOOE that requires the posting of all school expenditures using allocated funds in accordance with RA 9485, or the Anti-red Tape Act of 2007.

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