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OF PCS FINANCIAL REPORT 2007-2008
- veronica cadag-ugates
On the left is the reported financial report of the Philippine Community School. Let us consider it one by one and see where the possible flaws exist:
Salaries and wages – we have no quarrel with that. The question is why does the school have a 13th month pay? As per the Manual of the Rules and Regulations governing schools abroad or MOPAR, schools abroad must follow the laws and regulations of their host country. There is NO 13th month pay in this country and as the clearly shown bankrupt status of the school which is at minus[-] $ 152.56 it can not afford a 13th month pay. Therefore if the salary and wages had no 13th month pay, it could have yielded + $ 5,750.00, can it not?
In the Budget Proposal of 2007-2008, one of the persons included in the staff is the part-time accountant/auditor at $ 250.00/mo or $ 2, 750.00/year. Yet there is an audit fee among the honorariums. Is this one and the same person being paid and given honorarium?
Proportion incentive leave pay- Who among us hard working nurses, and those working in oil companies and oil service companies who are the highest paid employees in Libya had received any incentive leave pay? Whatever that means!!! What we have are increments. Clearly this kind of benefit does not exist in Libya and if it were not granted, the school could have saved $ 20,550.00 for 2007-2008.
There are about 18 regular employees in the school, does this mean each if these individuals had received more than $ 1,000.00 for such a nebulous endeavor? That’s a lot of money awarded for nothing!!!
COLA- surely the nurses know that living allowances in Libya does not exceed 5-10%. In fact depending on the institution they are working in, sometimes there is no living allowance. Yet the school’s staff is enjoying COLA which is so variable it triggers the question of how the amounts allotted per person was deduced. For however it was done, the fact is if the COLA is only 10% per person, there should be a saving of about $ 10,000.00 from the stated $ 23,215.38.
CASH GIFTS – Christmas is for Christians, therefore these cash gifts should not come from the funds of the school in this country that do not celebrate Christmas. Since the BOT are very generous individuals, they should stretch there magnanimity further by delving in their own pockets and not give away money that belong to the bankrupt school’s coffers. But then it is easy to be magnanimous about money that is not yours. If this amount had not been taken from the school’s treasury, there would have been an additional savings of $ 3,000.00, don’t you think so?
Separation pay – Since I do not know who had left to deserve a separation pay of $ 5,775.00, or in this country what is called a gratuity, I cannot verify this. The only sure thing is that this person must have served more than 12 years since there is nobody receiving a salary of $ 1,000.00/month or more except the principal.
Honorarium/Audit Fee- This one is quite baffling though presumably the honorarium refers to the members of the BOT. Just how another audit fee got into it is the question? Again, I should emphasize that since the school is bankrupt, the members of the BOT should not have put this money in their pockets and save the school another $ 4,884.62.
FLIGHT Expenses – The school claimed flight expenses of $ 24,845.00 yet on the proposed budget of 2007-2008 which involved 16 staff members the expenditures amounted only to $ 15,500.00. How did it come to jump to $ 24, 845.00? Incidentally, the contract of the school staff covers every 2 years like the nurses.
Therefore, it follows that they should also be allowed air fare only every 2 years, so why are they going home every year? They could have alternated and provided the students some spring activities since they are paid anyway and it could have been a saving of another $ 10,000.00/ year. Further, this round trip fare should not be business class tickets even for the principal and Sr. Eva. If they want business class tickets the difference should come from there own pockets and not from the overburdened school’s funds.
Registration & other fees – What this signifies or where they have paid this amount is also a question. Since the school is operating under the auspices of the embassy, presumably it is not paying any form of registration in this country. Otherwise, the school will be required to pay taxes which clearly it is not doing. Does this mean that the school paid this registration to the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission towards the ambitious project of making it international in nature? The problem with that is the fact that the school is community-owned.
Therefore it should be the owners who must apply for it not the BOT or the school administration. But would the parents want to double the tuition fees in order to match the international standards that the BOT wants? For surely the tuition would increase since there would be additional personnel to cope with the additional 2 years of school, namely, Eleventh and Twelfth Grade. On top of that, there are requirements that the school has to meet in order to achieve such standards.
One of them is to qualify for an international exam and therefore additional subjects with emphasis in English, Mathematics and Science embracing all areas in these three main categories. In this connection, the school should have better than average English teachers. Granting therefore, that the parents are willing, the teachers and the principal have to be replaced since they do not even know what integrity nor privilege information meant. It would be a pity if the school becomes only international in name but not in nature. On the budget proposal 2007- 08, there was a mention of gratuity deposit of $ 11,050.00 which is already deducted from the school’s finances even if it has not yet been given to anybody.
Is this the separation pay mentioned in the expenditures? If not, the question is: In which bank and in whose name is this deposit kept? Meanwhile this gratuity should be part of the school’s assets for as long as it has not yet been granted.
One other thing that came to my knowledge from 4 different sources is that for every item sold in the canteen, the school gets LD 0.250/item. Considering that there are 360 students for the past year one third of these students can generate at the least the amount of LD 25.000 /day for the school multiplied by 5 days = LD 125.000 x 4 weeks = LD 500. 000 x 10 moths = LD 5,000.00 yet nothing is reflected of the school canteen’s income for the school. Where is this money? Not to mention the income from the past years.
Then we come to the fund raising every year. Last school year, I remembered a Valentines Disco which involved a ticket of LD 1.000 x 10 tickets =LD 10.000/ student. Granted that only 300 students sold their tickets, that is still LD 3,000.00 . Where is this money when except for tuition fees there is nothing reflected in the school’s takings? Had it similarly disappeared like the LD 42,000.00 of 1992?
Based on my method which is not perfect but can at least show where the BOT had abusively granted remuneration indiscriminately, the school could have saved the following amounts for the school year 2007-2008: 13th month pay- $ 5,750.00
Incentive leave pay $ 20,550.00
COLA $ 10,000.00
CASH GIFTS $ 3,000.00
HONORARIUM $ 4,884,62
Flight fare savings $ 10,000.00
???Registration fees $ ???????
???Gratuity $ ???????
Canteen income $ 5,000.00
Fund raising $ 3,000.00
TOTAL + $ 62,184.62
Many parents do not understand why there should be an audit of the school’s revenues. Hopefully this article will give you an inkling of the why. Had the school’s administration and Board of Trustees husbanded the school’s finances carefully, the school need not be bankrupt every year. There would not have been any need for tuition fee increases.
There would be no need for fund raising events that often irritate because it is not part of your budget. Yet you have to fork out as insisted on by your children who are afraid that the teacher will give them a demerit if they cannot sell the tickets.
Finally, to come up with negative/zero-zero balance every year for the 18 years that the school had been in existence should already create a question in one’s mind. At the least the fact that the principal is a poor manager is glaringly obvious. Of course, the administration of the school and its finances are the responsibility of the Board of Trustees. Therefore, what is clear is that the principal, as claimed, being the only legitimate incorporator left had apparently chosen as Board of Trustees, people who are very generous with the school’s money, to award her and her staff money that belongs to the community. Everything going round among themselves. TRUE or FALSE???
Apparently some simple-minded individuals asked why we question the way the school is being run. In fact I was accused by Mary Macamos of being interested in the money. Still I am willing to answer and the answer is not because of the money which is not mine and can never be mine but for the community. If the income of the school is properly managed, the amount generated per year can go a long way towards the projects of the school.
For example, with only the LD 42,000.00 in 1992, that amount could have bought a van-type school bus, several cooking ranges, several sewing machines, and furniture to furnish a proper home economics classroom. If some $ 40,000.00 - $ 60,000 were saved per year the tuition would not go up to about $ 1,000.00 for the secondary level. There would not be any need for fund raising events and no need for the Class B & C plans where parents are obliged to add $ 25.00 and $ 50.00, respectively.
More qualified teachers could have been hired so that teachers need not be burdened by the load they carry, and students would have gone home earlier. Proper books could have been ordered from the Philippines and not Xerox copies provided to students which they buy at about LD 30.000 each. More classrooms built.
A proper gym or physical activities hall could have already been built by now in the school’s premises. Properly furnished physics, chemistry and biology laboratories and surely a very good sound system can already be functional in the last 5 years, in fact even have a swimming pool.
Some also say that the schools in Dubai are expensive in comparison. That is true. But the schools in Dubai have local partners unlike the Philippine Community School of Tripoli which is wholly owned by the OFW community. Therefore its income should revert back for the school’s improvement.
Another funny thing that caught my attention is this: in the projected income and expenditures for 2007-2008 the amount expected was $230,420.00 all used up.
But the actual revenue is $259,686.64, a plus difference of $29,000.00 yet the expenditure is even higher reaching $ 259,839.10 and giving off a negative balance. Yet not one single parent questioned why this is so.
[Certainly I am not an accountant and therefore can be accused of talking about things I do not understand. Well, the people who signed as auditors in the PCS Financial Reports were not Certified Public Accountants either. Those who did understand what was there did not sign for it, like Sonny Martinez and Daryl Zacharias.
Considering that I have not seen the actual expenses which the school has kept from being independently audited for the past 18 years, I wonder how many surprises are there in store. Having stated all these, I challenge the PCS Administration and Board to undergo an independent audit, so we can see whether I am off the mark!!! -ed]