Catholic schools in the Diocese of Dumaguete are surviving during the pandemic by using its dwindling financial savings.
“The schools, by God’s grace, have survived,” said Father Thadeu Enrique Balongag, superintendent of the Dumaguete Diocesan School.
“The savings have been used to sustain operations,” said the priest.
He said bulk of its “modest resources” has gone to the salary of teachers and employees in the past three months.
“All our employees continue to receive regular salaries with all the benefits despite the economic crunch that the country is going through now,” said Father Balongag.
The diocesan schools were also able to give in advance half of the employees’ 13th month pay and sacks of rice to help people during the lockdown.
Father Balongag said the 14 diocesan schools in Negros Oriental and Siquijor provinces have about 250 employees.
He said there were no “retrenched” employees as a result of the pandemic, but there were the “usual resignations” for those seeking greener pastures.
The priest said the diocesan schools are now depending on payables due last March that are yet to be collected.
“The only hitch experienced during the pandemic was the delay of payments,” said Father Balongag, head of the Diocesan Commission on Catholic Education.
The diocese, he said, is also anticipating a decline in enrollment in the coming school year.
He said the pandemic “has changed the rhythm of education in our schools.”
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