June 5, 2021 – Some 1, 638 senior high school teachers, whose provisional appointments are set to expire by July this year, were granted priority status by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) in the 2021 Licensure Exam for Professional Teachers (LEPT), Education Secretary Leonor Briones announced on Thursday.

“We are thankful to the PRC for immediately accommodating our request to include provisional SHS teachers in the first batch of examinees in this year’s LEPT. This would ensure that we have sufficient manpower to allow us to provide unhampered delivery of education services, especially during this time of health crisis,” Briones said in a statement.

To recall, the PRC, due to large number of examinees, decided to conduct this year’s LEPT into four batches to comply with the established health and safety protocols.

The first batch is scheduled for September 26, prioritizing first-time takers. Some repeaters will be accommodated in some regions on a first-come-first-served basis. Meanwhile, the next three batches will be scheduled for next year — January 30, March 27, and June 26.

For his part, Education Undersecretary for Planning, Human Resource, and Organization Development Jesse Mateo assured SHS teachers, who were hired on probationary status in 2016, to continue teaching in school year 2020-2021.

Due to the unavoidable circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 LEPT was postponed,” Mateo said. “That’s why, as early as February this year, we have been coordinating with the PRC and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to ensure that the affected provisional teachers can continue teaching in the upcoming school year,” he added.

According to Section 8 of Republic Act No. 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, the Department can hire graduates of science, mathematics, statistics, engineering, music, and other degree courses without LEPT qualifications provided that they pass the examination within five years after their date of hiring.

Under CSC’s revised 2018 Omnibus Rules on Appointments and Other Human Resource Actions (ORAOHRA), provisional appointments are issued to personnel who meet all the requirements of the position except for the eligibility but only in the absence of a qualified eligible candidate who is available and willing to accept the appointment, as certified by the Schools Division Superintendent.

“Similar coordination effort with the CSC has been done. The Commission is carefully studying concerns raised to ensure unimpeded teaching services of DepED SHS provisional teachers,” Mateo said.

“The Department remains committed to exhaust all options to ensure continued service of our SHS provisional teachers,” he added.