The challenges in accountability and transparency in managing school finances are still experienced by most public schools. When the internal and external stakeholders have no clue of the school’s finances, or if the actual utilization of the school MOOE is not disclosed to staff or parents, pressure would build up which may result in conflicts, doubts or serious administrative complaints. All stakeholders wanted to be guaranteed that public funds are properly utilized for what it is intended for – the PUBLIC SERVICE.
It is for these reasons that public elementary and secondary schools are required to post information on the sources, intended use and actual utilization of school funds in the Transparency Board that must be publicly accessible and updated every three months as mandated by Republic Act 9485 (Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007).
USES OF SCHOOL MOOE
As highlighted in DepEd Order No. 13, s. 2016, the MOOE annually allocated to public elementary and secondary schools must be utilized to:
- Procure school supplies and other consumables for teachers and students deemed necessary in the conduct of classes;
- Pay for reproduction of teacher-made activity sheets or exercises downloaded from the Learning Resource Management and Development System (LRMDS);
- Fund minor repairs of facilities, building and grounds maintenance, and upkeep of school;
- Fund rental and minor repairs of tools and equipment deemed necessary for the conduct of teaching and learning activities;
- Pay for wages of full-time janitorial, transportation/mobility and security services;
- Pay for school utilities (electricity and water) and communication (telephone and Internet connectivity) expenses;
- Support expenses for school-based training and activities selected or designed to improve learning outcomes, such as but not limited to, Learning Action Cells (LAC) and Continuous Improvement (CI) sessions;
- Support special curricular programs (e.g. advocacy, assessment, capacity building, learning environment, learner development, and research);
- Fund activities as identified in the approved School Improvement Plan (SIP) for implementation in the current year and as specifically determined in the Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) of the school;
- Finance expenses pertaining to graduation rites, moving up or closing ceremonies and recognition activities; and
- Procure small capital expenditure items worth P15,000 and below, as provided in the new Government Accounting Manual issued by the Commission on Audit (COA) and subject to separate guidelines to be issued by DepEd.
MOOE TRANSPARENCY BOARD
Transparency Board which shall display the liquidation report of school funds should be posted in conspicuous places within the school premises. This report should be clear, easy-to-read, accessible and up to date. Specifically, the Transparency Board shall display the items found in the Cash Disbursement Register (CDR) of the school. Before its posting, the CDR should be validated by the School Principal, School Disbursing Officer, Division Accountant, and the Schools Division Superintendent.
Removing the mystery can help everyone see why the school does what it does. Being clear with all the stakeholders about what the goals are and the direction where the school is going to can inspire them and will surely open the opportunity for active participation and support. Transparency and accountability should be the culture in every school, and the most important person who could lead the school in attaining this culture is our transformational leader – the SCHOOL PRINCIPAL.