PASIG CITY, August 9, 2018 – Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones expressed optimism that the unfilled teaching and teaching-related positions will be “drastically reduced” within the year as the agency continues to encourage and hire more qualified applicants to fill the vacancies.

On June 14, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reported a total of 125,065 unfilled positions. The number decreased to 119,412 as of July 30.

Ang numbers natin as of July; We still have how many weeks to be able to fill these up. . . When we got an exemption from the Civil Service Commission’s (CSC) procedure, we are fortunate that the Civil Service exempted us, I am very sure that this very famous 119,412 unfilled positions will be drastically reduced this year,” Briones noted during DepEd’s press conference on August 8.

The Education chief pertained to the CSC’s Omnibus Rules on Appointment and Other Human Resource Actions (ORAOHRA) requiring the publication and posting of vacant positions in three conspicuous places for at least 10 calendar days for national agencies, and prohibiting the publication of vacant positions earlier than 60 days before the anticipated vacancy in cases of retirement, resignation, or transfer.

Ang ibig sabihin nito, kapag mayroong vacancy, hindi basta-basta mafi-fill up ‘yan ng ating Kagawaran, up to the school level, hangga’t hindi pa napu-publish. Pero just recently, in June of this year, we were able to secure an exemption from CSC na pwede kaming mag-publish 60 days prior to vacancy. That will allow us to fill up and advertise those positions. Kaya ine-explain namin ito kasi mayroong bearing sa chain of promotion,” Undersecretary for Planning Service and Field Operations Jesus Mateo said.

Mateo clarified that the 119,412 total unfilled positions already include the 75,242 items created in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, wherein 33,094 (which include Teacher I, Teacher II, and Master Teacher items) have been filled as of July 30; the 19,049 items created between FY 2010 and FY 2017; and the 4,403 natural vacancies (due to retirement, resignation, transfers and other forms of separation). Non-teaching and teaching-related items include 19,996 items for schools and Schools Division Offices (5,596 school heads, 5,005 finance service personnel for schools, 4,172 guidance counselors, 2,664 administrative support staff, 314 school health and nutrition personnel, 153 administrative personnel for SHS, and 2,0912 other technical positions); 354 items for Regional Offices; and 368 items for the Central Office.

To help ensure the hiring of qualified and competent applicants, improved qualification standards are set. Aspiring principals are required to pass the Principals’ Test; applicants for Administrative Assistant II and III (bookkeeper and senior bookkeeper) are now required to have bachelor’s degree in Business Administration major in Accounting from the previous qualification standard of completing two years in college; and would-be guidance counselors need to obtain master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling on top of their license – which DepEd seeks to compensate adequately by requesting additional funds from DBM to increase the salary of guidance counselors from P21,000 to P31,000 and make the profession more attractive to students who take up guidance counselling or psychology.

“This is still a good announcement, for media to announce to the public that there are these vacancies as long as they qualify. You can search the Civil Service Commission or DepEd website, nakalagay naman po dyan yung qualifications. Nangangailangan po kami hindi lang ng teachers, nangangailangan din kami ng maraming administrative staff tulad ng accountant na tutulong sa atin, sa magiging pagtaas ng MOOE [Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses], para ingatan ang pondong ibibigay natin sa kanila,” Mateo concluded.