In line with the celebration of the National Teachers’ Day/World Teachers’ Day, and the culmination of the National Teachers’ Month, the Department of Education (DepEd) reported significant developments in teachers’ compensation and other benefits from 2016 to 2018 as part of its commitment to expand the scope of employee welfare – a priority in the 10-point agenda of Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones.
“By providing them with opportunities for personal and professional growth, continuously finding ways to expand the scope of their welfare and boost the management of their finances, and ensuring that their work conditions gradually improve by reviewing and simplifying systems and processes, we empower our teachers to grow into the kind of educators that they are meant to become and that our learners deserve,” Briones stated.
In December 2018, teachers are expected to receive a bonus amounting to P3,000 each, in time for the anniversary of the Department.
The chalk/cash allowance, the amount given to teachers for purchase of chalks, erasers, and other classroom supplies and materials, has steadily increased in the past two years – from P1,500 in 2016 to P2,500 in 2017, and P3,500 this year. DepEd is eyeing and working to further increase the said allowance before the end of 2018.
In 2018 alone, the Department has likewise allotted a total of P2,152,162,000 for special hardship allowance granted to teachers who are assigned in hardship posts (cannot be reached by regular means of transportation); handle multigrade classes; carry out mobile teaching functions; and serve as Alternative Learning System (ALS) coordinators.
Honoraria – the additional compensation for government personnel performing activities or discharging duties in addition to, over, and above their regular functions – are given to qualified teachers subject to availability of funds. This year, a total of P299,025,000 was allocated exclusively as compensation for teaching overload or for those whose teaching loads exceed six hours per day of actual classroom teaching.
In 2019, DepEd anticipates the approval of its proposed special bonus of P1,500 that each teacher is set to receive on October 5.
“A teacher’s worth cannot be overemphasized, nor such worth can be matched with any amount, but this additional bonus is just one of the many improvements the Department is working on as part of its commitment to expand the scope of employee welfare, and we thank the Senate of the Philippines for giving us its support to include this in our 2019 General Appropriations Act,” Secretary Briones remarked.
In support of teachers’ continuing professional development, and in view of the continuously increasing cost of living, the Department also raised its allocation for facilities, meals and snacks, and room accommodation for official activities organized and conducted by DepEd including trainings, seminar-workshops, and capability buildings programs.
From the P1,200 per participant per day allotment in the previous year, the allowable rate was increased to P1,500 for activities utilizing DepEd training venues, and to P2,000 for activities using other training venues, to ensure that participating teachers are securely and comfortably accommodated while enhancing their skills and competencies.
The Department further recognizes teachers who volunteer services above and beyond classroom teaching, including performance of poll duties. In grateful appreciation of their continuous heed to the patriotic call to serve in the elections, DepEd successfully pushed for the increase in their honoraria, allowances, service credits, and other benefits.
Pursuant to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Resolution No. 10297 promulgated on March 27, 2018, the chairperson of the Electoral Board is entitled to P6,000 honoraria, while its members shall receive P5,000. The DepEd Supervising Official (DESO) is given P4,000, while a support staff is allotted P2,000. Teachers who rendered their time and effort in the polls are also provided with an additional P1,000 transportation allowance.
Simplified systems, improved working conditions
On top of all these, DepEd is continuously reviewing policies on teachers’ workload through consultations with field representatives, teachers, school heads, and regional supervisors.
In compliance with CSC Resolution No. 080096, s. 2008, teachers are required to render six hours of actual classroom teaching per day within the school premises, while the remaining two hours may utilized for teaching-related tasks outside school premises.
DepEd assures that teachers who choose to render the remaining two hours outside school premises must not be subjected to salary deductions, and should not be required to submit means of verification (MOV) as proof of services completed during the remaining two hours of work outside school premises.
DepEd is continuously conducting a study on the type and magnitude of ancillary tasks undertaken by teachers. As an initial solution, DepEd intends to request the creation of non-teaching positions in schools to the Department of Budget and Management.
Finally, the Department is continuously negotiating with Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to further extend the deadline for DepEd member-borrowers with past due loans to update their accounts with automatic waiver of penalties and surcharges.
“Because we recognize their fundamental role in educating the Filipino learners and carrying out our reforms at the grassroots, we are relentless in our desire to capacitate and empower our teachers,” the Education chief concluded.
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