LAST Wednesday (Feb. 14), the Naga City School Board met for the first time and adopted its budget for 2007 pursuant to Resolution No. 2007-002. Its highlights include the following:
- TOTAL. The 2007 budget totals P39 million, built on a P33 million collection certified by the City Treasurer and a P6 million operating surplus registered in 2006. It is 36% higher than last year’s spending program.
- PERSONAL SERVICES. Personal services remain the biggest expense item at 41% of the total. This year, it increased by 48% over the 2006 level to support a 10% salary hike that will be effected in the second half of 2007, and the hiring of five new additional teachers. In all, it will fund a total of 93 teaching and 12 non-teaching staff.
- For the first time, provision for cost-of-living allowance (COLA) of public school teachers and non-teaching staff was provided for the entire year; in previous budgets, it used to be two quarters, with the rest covered by a supplemental budget depending on fund availability. Also, a Performance Incentive grant equivalent to another quarter was provided for under the Personal Services item.
- INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS. Allocation for instructional materials increased by 135% to support the acquisition of textbook titles that the School Board will adopt after the ongoing review. It will also fund the acquisition of other materials previously identified by the Division of City Schools but were not procured last year.
- INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY. Allocation for information technology increased by 90% to support two new initiatives on top of the regular acquisition and repair of PC hardware for public schools: (a) the Wireless Naga Initiative, which seeks to realize Naga’s aspiration to become a “digital city” through the public schools; and (b) Computer Aided Instruction for Secondary Schools, which seeks to provide equipment for an instruction room dedicated for computer-aided lessons in each public high school.
- SPECIAL PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS. Allocation for this expense item increased by 181% to support expanded Divisionwide Testing (which will be conducted quarterly plus a citywide achievement test, and will include cash incentives for outstanding schools); increased funding for Alternative Learning System (up by 80%), institutionalization of the Nutri-Dunong feeding program; and titling of public school properties.
Other details of the new School Board budget can be accessed here.
By the way, the full text of Mayor Robredo's 2007 State of the City Report is already available at the city website.