With less than three months left before the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, Senator Win Gatchalian quizzed the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) on how it plans to spend the remaining P6.2 billion of its total appropriation.
Gatchalian emphasized that inefficient fiscal management leads to scenarios where funds are transferred to the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC);
TESDA assured the Senate panel that it has a “catch-up” plan and the remaining funds will be utilized accordingly;
- Gatchalian also urged TESDA to avoid any more fund transfers to the PITC.
To fully utilize its total appropriation, TESDA will have to spend P2.02 billion a month. Based on its performance last year, however, the agency was only able to disburse about P689 million a month. As of September 24 this year, TESDA’s Effective Utilization Rate (EUR) is only 57.95%
“It’s really poor planning, poor fiscal management because what happens is if you will try to spend it as quick as possible, we might end up spending it just for the sake of spending it and that’s what we are trying to avoid,” said Gatchalian during a Senate panel hearing on the proposed budget of TESDA.
Gatchalian also emphasized that inefficient fiscal management leads to scenarios where funds are transferred to the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC).
The Commission on Audit (COA) earlier cited a fund transfer by TESDA to PITC in 2019 which amounted to P2 billion. The authority to utilize the funds already lapsed pursuant to the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for FY 2019, which was amended by Republic Act No. 11464. RA 11464 extended the validity of the 2019 appropriations until the end of 2020. The funds were not returned to TESDA nor the National Treasury.
These funds were transferred to PITC for the procurement of toolkits for TESDA’s Special Training for Employment Program (STEP). Delivery of toolkits, however, started only this year and the distribution of toolkits continues to date. Gatchalian also flagged that this deprived scholars the opportunity to use their toolkits while their training was on-going.
“It defeats the purpose of TVET or tech-voc because these are skills-based training. They need the toolkits in order for them to practice, and without the toolkits how can they practice? I’m just surprised that the goal is to get the toolkits as fast as possible in order for these trainees to get jobs pero mukhang hindi ganun ang nangyari,” Gatchalian said.
TESDA assured the Senate panel that it has a “catch-up” plan and the remaining funds will be utilized accordingly. Gatchalian also urged TESDA to avoid any more fund transfers to the PITC.