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P1.3M Special Education Fund kept idle in Albay

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The provincial government of Albay deposited some P1.366 million in Special Education Fund (SEF) under time deposit accounts, rendering them idle and depriving students of the benefits from the said fund, state auditors said.

In a 2014 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the provincial government led by its governor Joey Salceda deposited with the Land Bank of the Philippines some P1.366 million in SEF, a special fund created to finance the operation and maintenance of public schools, construction and repair of school buildings, purchase of books, and for educational research.

Its analysis on the SEF financial statements showed that the cash in bank in the local currency time deposits has a balance of P1.366 million as of December 31, 2014.

State auditors said the deposit of the SEF in the time deposit account was a violation of a COA circular which only allowed idle funds to be placed in time deposits for the general fund.

“SEF is intended for a special purpose which needs immediate implementation in order that its benefits are enjoyed by the intended beneficiaries (students/teachers),” the report said.

State auditors said the non-utilization of the SEF “translates into inadequate or delayed delivery of education services.”

The COA recommended that the SEF in time deposit accounts be returned to the current account, which should then be facilitated for use and implementation by the Local School Board.