P91K education funds in Maria Aurora town spent on cable, internet
State auditors scored the municipal government of Maria Aurora in Aurora for using up P91,018.4 of its Special Education Funds (SEF) for items not related to education.
In a 2016 report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said at least P91,018.4 SEF was spent on the following expenditures – communication expenses, internet expenses, electricity, water expenses, and cable expenses.
Auditors said these items were not among the allowable expenditures to be charged to the SEF.
The electricity, internet and supplies expenses are regular expenses which should have been charged to the maintenance and other operating expense allocation of each school, the auditors said.
The COA urged municipal mayor Amado Geneta to compel the Municipal Local School Board to prioritize the SEF programs, projects and activities allowed to be charged to the fund.
The municipal government said the expenditures were incurred in support to the District Office because no funds from the Department of Education were received. But they vowed to comply with the audit recommendation.
According to Republic Act 5447 or the law that created the SEF, the SEF sourced from the one percent tax on real property should be spent on – organization and operation of extension classes; construction and repair of elementary school buildings; payment and adjustment of salaries of public school teachers; preparation, printing and/or purchase of textbooks, teachers’ guides, forms and pamphlets; purchase and/or improvement, repair and refurbishing of machinery, laboratory, technical and for schools offering vocational courses; purchase of teaching materials for elementary and secondary classes; among others.
Meanwhile, Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code states that the SEF should be spent on – operation and maintenance of public schools, construction and repair of school buildings, facilities and equipment, educational research, purchase of books and periodicals, and sports development as determined and approved by the Local School Board.
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