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P164K eduk funds in Las Nieves, Agusan Del Norte misspent

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State auditors scored the municipal government of Las Nieves in Agusan Del Norte for using P164,678.34 of its special education funds (SEF) on items not related to education in 2015.

In its annual audit report that ended in 2015, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the following expenditures worth P164,678.34 were charged to the SEF – Attendance to 12th National Science Quiz in Pasig City; Attendance to student government training on rules a function of a leader and a Science fair; and Catering for division school conference; GSP encampment; and seminar writing and research.

Auditors said these items were not among the priority programs allowed to be charged to the SEF.

The unauthorized expenditures in the SEF deprived the fund which could have benefitted the public school students.

“The failure to provide the basic facilities of the school and to utilization the SEF funds to non-priority program/project/activity deprived the majority of the students of the benefits should the fund was used in accordance with provisions of Sections 100 of RA 7160,” auditors said.

The COA urged the municipal mayor Avelina Rosales to have the Municipal School Board ensure that the SEF would be allocated and disbursed to the priority projects.

According to Section 272 of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code, the SEF proceeds should be allocated for the 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 by the Local School Board.

According to a joint circular, the SEF should be spent on operation and maintenance of public schools, construction and repair of school buildings and facilities, educational research, acquisition or procurement of books, instructional materials, periodicals, and equipment, expenses of school sports activities, among others.