October 07, 2021 – The Department of Education (DepEd) emphasized the uninterrupted support to teachers as they presented their endeavors in providing teacher benefits and allowances during the House of Representative’s Budget Briefing on Tuesday.
“In our fight for access and quality of education, our teachers are our heroes, and we have endeavored to take care of their welfare,” Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.
Under the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget, teachers were entitled to regular benefits including clothing, transportation, teaching aid allowances, and other government bonuses. In August, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has also approved the release of the World Teachers’ Day Incentive Benefit (WTDIB), in the amount of Php 1,000 per public school teacher for 2021.
“All of the bonuses and incentives, lahat ay naibibigay and DepEd, through the directive of our Secretary, these bonuses ay advance na naibibigay,” Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla shared.
In terms of COVID-19 assistance, the Department has also prepared necessary benefits to protect the health, safety, and well-being of its teaching and non-teaching personnel, including the provision of hazard pay. DepEd has also ensured the provisions of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and sanitation supplies to teachers and personnel.
DepEd regularly conducts disinfection and decontamination of buildings, facilities, and DepEd vehicles, as well as checks employees’ health status. Modifications of workplace layout have also been made to comply with stringent physical distancing protocol. The restrictions on office-related mass gatherings are also strictly observed by maximizing the use of remote and online platforms.
“In relation to COVID-19 cases, we have coordination with the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) and we’re given these sickness benefits, the medical benefits, cash assistance, death and funeral benefits. Aside from our collaboration with PhilHealth, which includes packages like community isolation, COVID-19 testing package, and in-patient package,” OIC-Undersecretary for Human Resource and Organizational Development Wilfredo Cabral said.
The DepEd field offices likewise placed their own COVID-19-related initiatives for testing, isolation, and treatment, that directly caters to those infected personnel, charged either against their own available local funds or through a partnership with their respective LGU and/or other external partners.
DepEd is working closely with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Department of Budget (DBM) in the creation of additional teaching positions, namely Teacher IV, V, and VI, and Master Teacher V to ensure more career opportunities in public school following its approval from the Cabinet. The executive issuance is for transmittal to DBM, CSC and Office of the President while its joint circular is for finalization.
In addition, OIC-Usec. Cabral said that the Department would also be releasing guidelines on additional service credits to recognize the work of public school teachers last school year.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the Chairperson of the Committee in Basic Education and Culture in the Lower House and Pasig Representative Roman Romulo acknowledged DepEd for doing its best to provide support to its personnel.
“Congratulations, alam kong napakahirap po ng sitwasyon po ninyo… I’m sure you are doing the best that you can for the good of education and our students and our teaching and non-teaching personnel,” Rep. Romulo said.