Ask The ManComm: FAD

Mrs. Beth Alamer, Finance and Administrative Division Head.

The Finance and Administrative Division (FAD) is perhaps the most obscure of all the administrative offices.

The FAD Head, Mrs. Beth Alamer, 51 years old, attributes this to their lack of contact with the students.

But the FAD does a lot of important work and the FAD chief is vigilant in her duties. So much so that, many years ago, she had to miss out on her daughter’s fourth birthday for an urgent Management Committee (ManComm) meeting. Fortunately, her husband and two daughters understood that she had to focus on work then.

Additionally, she leaves the house every morning at 5:30 if she wants to arrive to work on time. She commutes all the way to Quezon City from Bacoor, Cavite.

Every day, she gets back home at 9PM, sleeps for three to four hours to wake up at 3AM to prepare for the day.

“It’s tiring. But I don’t want to live in the dorm. There’s no place like home,” Mrs. Alamer said.

She even retired from Pisay more than ten years ago.

“I transferred to a private firm owned by an alumna. She offered the job so I tried [it out],” Mrs. Alamer shared.

Why did she choose to come back?

“Well, I think I just love Pisay. I realized that I am more meant to work here. Mas nag-enjoy ako dito,” Mrs. Alamer said.

Read the interview transcript below to understand more of what FAD does:

What is FAD and what does it do?

The Finance and Administrative Division is the one handling the finances of the school. So under the finance [Division], I, as a chief, supervise the Accounting Office, the Budget and Cash, the Human Resource unit, the Property Unit and the Maintenance Unit. The janitorial and security services is also under my supervision.

We are the ones in charge of the processing of your stipend, your allowances. [W]e are the one directly in charge of the budget and the physical facilities, the resources of the school. [W]e are in charge of maintaining the facilities. We take charge of, like what I said, the finances. We are the ones responsible for all the financial reports, so we are the ones behind the budget proposals for the school. [We are in charge of] all matters regarding the financial and the administrative. Administrative matters are the general services, so that’s the maintainance of the facilities and that includes the janitorial and security services.

How many years have you been the chief of FAD?

Okay, as a chief, ano ba? Yeah, because I started here as a researcher actually since 1987… Under the Director’s Office. So I was hired as a researcher by the Director’s Office because she had a project then.

It’s a project funded by science and education institutes. It’s all about the gifted. That was the time they were developing the technology based curriculum. So I was part of that. [I] gathered the data. Then, there was a vacancy in her office again, so [I applied] as a clerk then as a secretary and planning officer and then as a management and audit analyst…

And then you rose up to FAD?

Yes. Then the administrative office as well.

How long have you been the FAD chief?

How long? I left kasi for a while. [It was] my new appointment because I left. I retired, then I left for 9 months and I went back, so I’m almost 10 years [in service as FAD chief] now this coming March. When I left I was already 17 years [in service as a PSHS employee]. Kasi I left 2006, and I came back 2007.

Have there been any problems in the past years regarding FAD? Were there security and maintenance problems, financial problems?

Security, well, ‘yung mga losses lang when it comes to security ‘yung mga ganun.

How do you handle cases where the a security guard or janitor is found to have stolen property?

If that’s the case, when we have caught janitors and security guards, we immediately fire the individual. Like, if there is a janitor involved, we inform the office of their agency and they immediately replace that. So they are the ones giving sanctions because we don’t have an employee-employer relationship, so we are only under a contract with the agencies. With regards to their people they are the ones [to fire them], but of course [it is done] with our request.

You told me that the security agency was replaced? When was that?

Yeah, because it’s an end of contract thing, so we conduct public bidding every time the contract of the agency ends. It was replaced this January 1.

Why was the agency changed?

They were the agency before they were replaced for 10 years, then they won the bidding again this year.

How does the bidding work?

So we have what you call an Agency Budget Contract. So with that, we publish, we go through a public bidding. There is a process actually. So we do that — the earliest is 28 days. First we have to publish it, then the various agencies bid. Then whoever is the most complying or submits the most complying bid in accordance with our specifications and [if their asking price] fits our budget, then they win.

As a FAD chief, what are some of the other problems you have encountered?

In my work? Well being in the FAD is a very challenging job because you need to deal with people. So you have to deal with the maintenance. with the maintenance, usually they are high school graduates so you have to understand sometimes [that] intellectually they are not so…

Then we have the accountancy duties so dealing with people is really challenging because you have to deal with teachers. They all come to us on financial matters and then we handle their 201 file or record so, all of it, we address. There are times when, for the human resources, sometimes you have to deal not only with official matters because sometimes they come to you about personal matters. Something like that so… Being in my position, you should have a big heart because you don’t only deal with official business but also personal problems. Sometimes they ask advice or even for financial needs, if they are short of finances. Aside from that, you have to deal with other units.

So do you love your job?

I think so; if you don’t love your job you cannot stay here for long for sure because handling money is so hard. People, human resources, maintenance, even the vehicles, the repairs of the vehicles, the facilities. You hear so many complaints and you can’t please everyone. Sometimes they cannot understand there are so many requests for repairs and they want everything done immediately. We have only [five or six] permanent maintenance people. The rest are job orders. Of course, you know that a carpentry job is not easy so sometimes they demand. Everyone demands immediate work done.

You’ve been here almost 30 years if you don’t count the time you retired. What have you observed in Pisay students. I know the FAD doesn’t get to interact with them as much, but what have you observed with the students? Have they changed since 1987? How are they now? How were they like before?

I think problems now.. We encountered lots of problems that we didn’t before nowadays.

Parang mas, ayoko naman sabihin na hindi kayo mabait. Mas complicated at mas experimental ba.

Dati po ba wala kayong ganoong karaming problems with the students?

Wala. And then I’m not pa kasi involved with the ManComm before so I’m not that exposed. Kasi all the problems in the school, we usually discuss. And the final decision is with the ManComm.

So for the past 10 years since 2007, is there a really a big difference between students from 2007 and 2017? In matters of problems, we are more complicated?

There are so many psychological problems. [Dati], wala masyado. Ngayon, medyo marami.

Why do you think so?

They said some are family related problems or some are maybe because of Grade 11. I don’t know. They may be thinking that supposedly they are already in college. Or maybe because there are more academic requirements. There are many sensitive children. More sensitive than before.

Do you have anything to say to Pisay students?

Well, you are lucky. Because you are being paid instead of you having to pay the school. So you should value what you have. Take care of the facilities because it’s so hard to propose for funding actually. Not all the public schools are being granted what we have, so the government is generous when it comes to Philippine Science High School in granting finances. So you have to take care of that.

You have to study harder because every time a student drops, it’s so sad because the government allotted lots of budget for you then you just drop because — for what reason. Diba, from the beginning we ask, you should not have pending application for migration because the government already allotted budget for you, then suddenly you go abroad. Sana mayroong mas nakakuha ng slot mo. Kawawa naman ‘yung bata na supposedly na mas deserving who doesn’t have a plan to go abroad. So ‘yun, sayang ‘yung opportunity kung binigay sa’yo and then you go abroad, sayang sa bata na na-deprive of that slot.

Were there many cases of that before?

Yes, sasabihin nila that they don’t have pending application abroad, and then suddenly after two years or three years, they are withdrawing.

Of course, they have to pay right?

Oh yes, but then if that slot will be vacated when you are already in the fourth year, we cannot fill it up. Sayang naman sa bata na supposedly nakakuha kung hindi niya kinuha ‘yung slot. Nakakalungkot din. Okay lang at maiintindihan mo if it’s health-related kasi hindi mo naman ginusto ‘yun. Pero kung any other reason, ayaw mo lang or you go abroad, sayang naman ‘yung slot ng batang deserving. We have so many deserving students din. ‘Yun lang.



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The Science Scholar

The Science Scholar

The official English publication of the Philippine Science High School–Main Campus. Views are representative of the entire paper.