DBM increases fees for govt workers attending seminars

BUDGET Secretary Florencio B. Abad has increased the maximum registration fee to be shouldered by the government for state employees participating in conventions, seminars and other conferences.

Under National Budget Circular 563, the maximum registration fee the government will shoulder was increased to P2,000 per day for each participant, from the previous amount of P1,200.

The registration fee to be shouldered by the government is for “conventions, seminars, conferences, symposia and such other activities conducted by non-governmental organizations or private institutions for a fee, as part of the human resource development program of the government.”

Under the circular, authorized participants are also entitled to travel expenses and allowances for out-of-town conventions.

However, membership fees of government officials and employees in private organizations shall continue to be shouldered by the concerned member and cannot be charged to government funds.

Only institutional membership fees, wherein the government agency itself is the member, may be charged to public funds.

The circular also clarified the types of conventions being covered: “For purposes of this circular, conventions, seminars and the like shall refer to those conducted basically for purposes of sharing, discussing or disseminating ideas or information on the developments in a particular field or fields of interest and/or for common appreciation and resolution of certain issues.”

“It includes, but is not limited to, those conducted by professional organizations or groups of common interest where government employees are members. It excludes those conducted for training purposes where participants are expected to gain or strengthen skills and technical or management expertise in their areas of endeavor,” the circular added.

Dave Cagahastian is BusinessMirror's reporter covering the Office of the President and the Department of Labor and Employment. He has recently finished a law degree from the University of the Philippines, and holds a business degree from the International Academy of Business and Economics. In the past two years in a row, he had won the Sinag Financial Literacy Journalism Award sponsored by Sun Life Financial Philippines, getting the third place in 2014 then ‎the first prize in 2015.

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