The College President Dr. Rexton F. Chakas ordered the VP for Administration and Finance to convene the Finance Advisory Council (FAdC) of the College on April 23, 2020 to discuss the implications of the latest Department of Budget and Management (DBM) National Budget Circular (NBC), No. 580 dated April 22, 2020, re: Adoption of Economic Measures in the Government Due to the Emergency Health Situation. The salient part of the Circular which is provided in 4.1 stated that,
“To partially generate the required amounts to implement the national policy to address the COVID-19 situation, while observing the overall expenditure program for FY2020, government instrumentalities concerned are advised that thirty five percent (35%) of programmed appropriations under the FY 2020 GAA shall no longer be available for release effective April 1, 2020. Likewise, at least ten percent (10%) of the total released allotments to covered entities for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) and Capital Outlays (Co), shall no longer be available for obligation.”
In view of the guidelines, the members of the FAdC in attendance discussed the different items specified for discontinuance and the possible adverse effects of such restrictions in the College’s capacity to carry out its mandates throughout the remaining period of FY 2020. The VP for Administration and Finance expressed his concern that all budget cuts will obviously affect the success of attaining the physical targets pegged by the College unless the DBM will allow modifications to accommodate the necessary adjustments. The said DBM Circular provided among others, restrictions on foreign and local travels, the conduct of celebrations and all sports and athletic competitions. The rest of the members present were Ms. Leticia D. Napat-a, the Executive Director for Finance Services; Mr. Rexon T. Damayan, the Director for Accounting Services; Ms. Norma W. Akilith, the Director for Budget & Fiscal Planning; and, Mr. Dexter Lingbanan, the Director for Planning and Development.
Meanwhile, Dr. Chakas advised that given the scale of the economic implications of the pandemic, the College must adopt stringent austerity measures as a conscious counterpart in the national government’s desire to maintain balance between survival and relevance.
In relation still to the NBC No. 580, Dr. Chakas convened the Vice Presidents of the College on April 27 to rationalize spending in the different sectors of the College in view of the budget cuts and restrictions as a measure of the National Government to source out funds in response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
In the meeting, it was agreed that all foreign and local travels are to be restricted within the period the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act is in effect which is until June 25, unless extended. It was further agreed that all forms of sports and athletic competitions will be suspended until December 31, 2020. The VP for Research and Development, Dr. Annie Grail F. Ekid was cautioned regarding requests forwarded to the Office of the President on paper presentation abroad. Dr. Chakas reiterated that foreign and local travels are to be restricted until further notice. He stressed that the College has no control over the quarantine regulations of other provinces, the national government, and of foreign countries.
The VPs will be given the details of the budget cuts per expense item for consideration and for their sector to plan the re-prioritization and adjustments in their PPAs after the Finance Advisory Council shall have submitted their report to the Office of the College President.
On the sideline, the VP for Admin. & Finance reported to the President that the assessment of the damages to the Nursing Building caused by the fire that gutted an adjacent house on Saturday, April 25, is being done by the Office of the Engineering Services and the General Services Office. The estimate costs of the damages will be submitted on Monday, May 4.