[Press Release] DEPED, Gov’t asked to prioritize teachers’ welfare -TDC

Benjo Basas, National Chairperson, Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC). Photo by Arnel Tuazon

As the schools reopen on Monday, teachers once again ask the government to at least give priority to their welfare concerns as it would be very crucial to ensure the delivery of education service that redounds to quality output for the country’s citizen.

Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson reiterated, “In a few days, classes will resume and while the DepEd is preparing for everything from classrooms, books, facilities, school security and coordination with other agencies, it seems to forget the single most important factor in the learning process – the teachers. The DepEd should address the welfare concerns of our teachers as well, by advocating for an immediate increase in our salaries, by taking the steps to fix the mess in GSIS or creating an independent insurance system for its employees and by ordering the implementation of the 53-year old Magna Carta for Teachers and provide us with the benefits mandated by law like overtime pay, paid study leave, hardship allowance and medical benefits, among others.”

The group listed their three main concerns that need legislative or executive action, they call it the Three Main Agenda and are as follows:

  1. Immediately grant the increase in the salaries of public school teachers as promised by President Duterte himself;
  2. Cancel the anomalous and unjust policies of the GSIS or setting-up a separate insurance system for public school teachers and DepEd employees; and
  3. Allocate funds to fully implement the welfare provisions of the 53-year old Magna Carta for Public School Teachers

“We need enactment of laws or at least legislative oversight in order to pursue these agenda, and the support of the Education Secretary is crucial,” Basas added.

As for the things that are within the power of the DepEd Secretary, the TDC listed their Seven Demands, same as what they have fought for last year. Some of which have supposedly reached conclusion after a series of protest lead by TDC that culminated into a 12-day picket in front of DepEd Central Office in October 2018. The Seven Demands, which according to the TDC are practical, doable and within the power and authority of the Secretary are as follows:

  1. Immediately suspend the implementation of RPMS (results-based performance management system) and call for the widest consultation possible;
  2. Put a halt on the implementation of DepEd Order No. 42 or the use of Daily Lesson Log (DLL) and Detailed Lesson Plan (DLP) and revert to simplified lesson preparations;
  3. Stop rampant class observations and leave the teachers in their usual teaching tasks;
  4. Prohibit Saturday classes and required meetings during weekends;
  5. Fully implement the six-hour workday nationwide with uniformity based on existing rules;
  6. Hire non-teaching personnel that will accomplish clerical tasks; and
  7. Provide health benefits and privilege leave for teachers within the school year

Basas said that school opening is a rare occasion where “the teachers get so much attention, thus we take advantage of the time and raise our concerns.” They said that they are more than willing to sit with the Secretary to discuss their concerns and arrive in a possible agreement.

Reference: Benjo Basas, National Chairperson: 0927-3356375/ 0923-0819750

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