The prevalent discourse about the National Budget Circular (NBC) 461 7th Cycle revolves around its implementation, but more importantly, the inevitability of factual information is warranted. We are confronted with persistent questions like, “Why was the implementation of the faculty promotion deferred?” or “Is it worth the wait?”
An ad hoc committee was created following the provisions of CHED-DBM joint circular issued on August 30, 2019. The committee, chaired by CHED-CAR Regional Director Dr. Ma. Geraldine F. Casipit was expected to validate the results of the NBC 7th Cycle print-outs bearing the faculty reclassification based on computed points that correspond to specific positions ranging from Instructor to Professor.
Guided by these principles, CHED-CAR spearheaded the validation process that commenced on September 26, 2019 and ended on October 28, 2019. The first phase was organizing and levelling-off in which the initial deliberation on the reclassification and a documentary review were undertaken. Specifically, computations were counterchecked while the research studies of candidates for quantum leap were scrutinized. The initial phase provided the ad hoc committee with essential findings and observations that were collated and necessary interventions were implemented. During the second phase, SUC representatives in CAR were invited to undertake document review and sampling, and corrections of entries in Form I were also integrated. In addition, at least two faculty with the highest quantum leap per SUC were interviewed by the committee. During this phase, the SUC representatives finalized Form I entries that served as basis for writing the report. Following this was the third phase where the ad hoc committee Chairperson met with CHED Commissioner Hon. Lilian A. De Las Llagas for the levelling-off, particularly on the inclusion of new forms in the process of validation. Then the SUC representatives encoded the detailed results of zonal evaluation required in Form A. This was succeeded by fourth phase – the finalization of the report. Within this process, CHED support staff verified entries in Form A against faculty folders, the ad hoc committee Form I and the NBC final printout. Also, SUCs prepared and packaged the final report while the ad hoc committee verified the final entries. The final phase included the final deliberation of outputs before its endorsement to the Office of the CHED Commissioner. The ad hoc committee’s output was also due for endorsement to the governing boards of the various SUCs in CAR.
The validation process also paved the way for the formulation of recommendations for the next cycle. The most salient of which are: (a) the inclusion of new templates for validation and for better preparation and scheduling; (b) the conduct of purposive interactions with faculty members with no movements or with those who have not or less exhibited points in the professional development area; (c) the inclusion of the Zonal Center Director to the adhoc committe; and (d) the development of excel-based systems among State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) to populate Form A and Form 1 and which shall ensure a more efficient means of encoding and computing.
The complicated process of validating the results of the NBC 461 7th cycle sends out a simple yet clear message – faculty promotion must always be based on the tenets of integrity, objectivity, and honesty. It further emphasizes the notion that anyone’s sense of accomplishment is better felt and savored when it is grounded on the principle of fair play. In fact, the ad hoc committee’s report also foregrounded the Cordilleran values of binnadang or helping one another and inayan, a cultural and social concept that connotes avoiding something that is not generally acceptable. Indeed, these principles are worth embracing as we strive to attain our personal and professional goals but are bounded by legal frameworks.