The DepEd noted that while many local governments use SEF to give more benefits to teachers, such practice is “illegitimate.”
The DepEd said in a statement it acknowledges the role of local government units as “allies of DepEd in special programs and projects and is not against LGU’s giving additional compensation to public school teachers because it is their prerogative.”
“But these additional fi nancial compensations should be from legitimate sources such as the General Fund,” Education Sec. Leonor Briones said, noting cases wherein some LGU’s use the SEF for benefits for teachers because of lack of allocations in their general fund. This, she noted, has been a “common practice.”
She stressed that “the law is very clear as to what it should be spent for, such as school improvements, textbooks, educational programs and the like.”
“Section 4 of the revised Joint Circular enumerates the expenditure items that are chargeable against the SEF, such as payment of allowances of locally- hired teachers in public schools identifi ed by DepEd to have teacher shortages,” she said.
The statement said that “although payment of allowances of nationally- hired teachers is not included, LGUs are not prohibited from granting such. These additional allowances may be sourced from the LGUs’ regular budget or General Fund, subject to existing budgeting rules and regulations.”
The DepEd, the Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Interior and Local Government recently issued Joint Circular (JC) No. 1, series of 2017, on the Revised Guidelines on the Use of the Special Education Fund (SEF). This was to update the guidelines and policies on the use and purpose of the SEF as provided under Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code (LGC) of 1991.
Briones said that as of today, public school teachers are well-compensated and that those with Teacher 1 rank receive a monthly compensation of up to P24,000, including benefits.