Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. delivers his message during the meeting of school watchmen last Tuesday.
Bontoc – To ensure the safety of school facilities and properties, the Provincial Local Government Unit here continues to provide security services to identified public schools.
According to Governor and Provincial Local School Board (PLSB) Chairman Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr., the provision of watchman to the different public schools as identified by the Department of Education (DepEd) is among the result that continue to showcase the strong partnership between the Provincial Local Government Unit of Mountain Province and DepEd.
During the meeting and orientation of school watchmen on August 6, 2019, Governor Lacwasan said that the local school board has been appropriating a yearly amount under the Special Education Fund (SEF) as aid to the operation and maintenance of public schools. He said that for this year, the amount of 2.5 million pesos was allotted for watchmen services while the biggest chunk from the SEF was allotted for the water and sanitation program of public schools in the amount of 9M pesos.
Aside from ensuring the safety of the schools, the governor said that the provision of watchmen services is one way of providing job and income to constituents of the province which is aligned to his administration’s Barangay Muna: Basic Literacy/ Education Support Services Program.
Under the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), each watchman will be receiving a monthly honorarium of Php 5,000 in exchange for night security services. The provincial government will screen applicants and release funds as honorarium in accordance to the existing government accounting and Commission on Audit rules and regulations. For its part, the DepEd thru the school head will provide necessary direction and help in the monitoring and validation relative to the services rendered and shall certify the services rendered to support the financial claim of a hired watchman.
According to Maria Nelda A. Lo, the focal person on education, support, services and program of the Provincial Governor’s Office and at the same time the secretariat of the PLSB, the guideline for the provision of night watchmen services in the different schools was based on Joint Circular No. 1, Series of 2017 of the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Interior and Local Government and DepEd which states that wages for watchmen are among the allowed program to be funded under the SEF.
Lo explained that the SEF is the 1% tax that is imposed by LGUs on the assessed value and levy of real properties which is collected by the local treasury office. She said that the SEF is managed by the local school board and will be appropriated to the operation and maintenance of public schools, to programs on Early Child and Care Development and to the Alternative Learning System as stipulated in the joint circular.