The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) successfully reached all of its physical targets, with some indicators recording notably high accomplishment rates.
This is the evaluation of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) after the monitoring and review of agency performance, particularly agency utilization of government funds vis-a-vis plans/targets for the period January to December of FY 2020.
“The accomplishments of CHED proved its flexibility and capacity to deliver beyond its commitments, which is much needed in this pandemic,” DBM Undersecretary Tina Rose Marie L. Canda stated in the letter to CHED.
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, CHED’s physical performance obtained the highest rating in the percentage of higher education institutions (HEIs) subjected to reform (171%). This rating was attributed to the introduction of alternative modes of learning, to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is followed by the percentage increase of higher education graduates able to demonstrate excellence in the 21st century global knowledge economy (160%). The increase in the percentage of graduates of 5-year courses in private HEIs contributed to the 160% accomplishment rate.
In terms of the percentage of permits issued within the prescribed period, the reason for the 109% accomplishment rate was the conduct of virtual monitoring of HEIs’ compliance to the policies, standards and guidelines prescribed by CHED. Processing of travel documents in preparation to actual visits was eliminated, thus, more HEIs were monitored and inspected.
For the output indicator number of scholarships and student grants awarded, the one-time grant to beneficiaries of the Tabang OFW Program and the new scholars under the Tulong Dunong Program helped in reaching 134% accomplishment rate.
Last September 2020, CHED and the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) launched the P1B Tabang OFW program to give a one-time educational assistance of P30,000 to dependents of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were were repatriated and could not go back to their overseas work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finally, the 115% accomplishment rate for the indicator number of faculty members provided with faculty development grants was attributed to both new and continuing local and foreign scholarships.
For financial performance, CHED had a total of P73.04 billion adjusted appropriation of which P72.83 billion was released. For UAQTE, the continuing appropriation was almost fully utilized as it recorded 97% utilization rates. The Commission, together with the UniFAST Secretariat, had been continuing its operations even during this time of the pandemic to process and provide the much-needed allowances of Filipino students.
With the extension of the use of the 2020 GAA to December 2021, CHED will also be able to utilize all allocated funds under the GAA.
“The bureau recognizes the CHED’s performance for the continuous implementation of its mandates and programs/activities/projects as reflected in the GAA, and for holding true to its commitment and responsibility in terms of delivering dynamic services to the public, as shown in its physical accomplishments,” Canda mentioned.
“While we have been operating using a skeletal workforce of only 30% at the central office and most are working from home, this did not affect the agency’s performance. Even though some of our regional offices are affected by COVID-19 surges, they were still able to implement all CHED programs,” said CHED Chairman Popoy De Vera.
De Vera mentioned that these achievements noted by the DBM are because of the diligence, patience and hardwork of the people of CHED and those in HEIs to accommodate every inquiry of students about the programs, despite that the past and current years have not been easy for everyone because of COVID-19.
“We thank the DBM for recognizing and commending our efforts especially during the pandemic. I am proud to say that there is zero incidence of corruption in CHED under my watch. We will continue to monitor and fast track the release of funds for our students in order to utilize the budget given to us and to assist our students during this pandemic,” De Vera said.
J. PROSPERO E. DE VERA III, DPA
Commission on Higher Education and UniFAST Board