‘Ghost teachers’ in ARMM continue to draw salaries, bonuses


LAMITAN CITY, Philippines—The name of Laly Sumampil Muntasir, a teacher at the Mabini Elementary School here, continues to appear on the payroll of the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao — nearly a year after she died.

Even more surprising, according to Edren Lindio, DepEd district planning officer here, is that her salaries and bonuses were still being withdrawn from the Land Bank of the Philippines branch in Isabela City.

The latest withdrawals by still unidentified persons were of her salary for December amounting to P15,741.18 and Christmas bonus of P10,000, Lindio said.

Lindio told the Inquirer that Muntasir’s death had been properly relayed to the DepEd ARMM’s payroll and service unit.

Lilia Tormento, also a Mabini Elementary School teacher who retired in July 2011, said she had personally notified the DepEd’s  ARMM office of her retirement to speed up delivery of her benefits.

To her dismay, Tormento said, she has discovered that her name is still on the DepEd ARMM’s payroll. In fact, another person withdrew her November 2011 salary.

As for her December salary, she personally withdrew it from LBP.

“I executed an affidavit that I was able to receive my salary for the month of December despite being retired from teaching,” Tormento said, adding that she submitted a formal complaint with the DepEd district office in Lamitan City.

Lindio said he could not understand why non-active teachers continue to get their salaries.

He said the payroll they submit to the regional office was being updated whenever a school teacher retires or dies.

“We put remarks on our payroll list submitted to the regional office and advised them  to stop issuing checks for salaries,” Lindio said.

But he said that despite repeated notices, “we keep on receiving the same old payroll report, nothing changed or updated, names of retired and dead teachers are still listed on their masterlist.”

What was even more disturbing, he said, was that some people were withdrawing the salaries.

Lindio said they had asked Land Bank officials to furnish them copy of the payroll document so they could determine who signed and withdrew salaries for non-active teachers.

Mujiv Hataman, ARMM governor-in-charge, said Muntasir and Tormento’s cases were just among the “countless cases of ghost teachers and anomalous transactions” at the DepEd ARMM.

“This is just one district in Basilan. There are still big provinces like Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao,” Hataman said, implying the situation could be worse.

He said the newly appointed DepEd ARMM caretaker has admitted that corruption and anomalies were among the biggest problems at the ARMM education department.

Hataman said that aside from salaries for dead or retired teachers, they have found also out that DepEd ARMM has not been remitting premiums or teachers’ loan amortizations to the Government Service Insurance System. The unremitted amount, he said, now totaled P1.9 billion.

Nash Maulana, director of the ARMM’s Bureau of Public Information, said withholding taxes were automatically remitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Hataman pointed to another glaring anomaly in the ARMM’ DepEd payroll system: A number of teachers have no traceable addresses and precise school assignments are not indicated after their names.

“I have directed them to produce to me in a month’s time documents on the number of schools with the number of performing teachers,” he said. “So far, I encountered more than a hundred ghost teachers.”

Former ARMM Education Secretary Baratucal Caudang would not take responsibility for the anomalies.

“Nothing irregular or anomalous under my term, I have instituted reforms and transparency and I have nothing to worry on this,” he said.

Caudang said he could not be blamed for the mistakes of his predecessors, an allusion to the regional education secretaries under the Pangandaman, Misuari and Ampatuan regional administrations.

The initial step his administration has undertaken is to require all teachers to apply for new automated teller machine (ATM) cards, Hataman said, adding this would solve the problem of ghost employees.

“We have to put an end to these irregularities,” he said, adding that a valid bank account is one way of ensuring the existence of an employee.

Hataman said he expected all employees to have ATM cards by February.

In the meantime, teachers, who have not been issued ATM cards yet, should draw their salaries from the Office of the Regional Governor in Cotabato City.

The lack of ATMs in remote areas of the region is not a compelling reason to make exemptions, according to Hataman.

He said he was not convinced that teachers in far-flung areas don’t go into town at least once a month.

(With reports from Charlie Señase and Edwin Fernandez, Inquirer Mindanao)

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  • southernsons

    corruption culture at it’s best.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RJP5SYNYEL4UILMS23KBRVRL7M Bongtor

    ARMM should be dissolved.  It is just wasting government resources.

  • Maldi2

    Yes, this where our daang matuwid leads to! har har har har

    • Gerry

      So whats your point? the fact that we are now being made aware of this after so many years that it has been happening, its a good sign and in the right direction to correcting such irregularities.  

      Or do you prefer to be blissfully unaware of  the corruptions and think everything is all fine?

      • Maldi2

        The way I read your thought is that you were born only yesterday!  Common dude,   Wake-up!  This corruption issues could be there during the time of your grandpa!  Nakabaon na ito sa mga ugat at dugo ng mga pinoy!  Subukan mo lang magmaneho ng iengot engot sa kalsada at pag pagpyestahan ka ng mga kumag at corrupt na MMDA, Pulis, at mga Yellow Boys na traffic enforcers!

      • Gerry

        So corruption is as natural to you as day and night, and your basically saying “whats the use?”, and let us not bother trying to correct it or making a fuss about it.

        You sir have a corrupted mentality, an immoral or unlawful act how many times done or how many people do it or if every one has been doing it, WILL NEVER be right, moral and lawful.

         Even if  Lapu-Lapu has been doing corruption, then and until now it will always be a corruption and never will be right or acceptable.

      • Maldi2

        My dear!  You’re becoming like Simeon, booba!  Di mo gets agad ang tinutumbok!  We need to explain more and more!  Neways, very simple, malapit ng mag two years si Simeon at andyan pa din ang corruption na yan – palabas lang kapatid ang fight against corruption.  Masyadong busy si Simeon sa pagahahabol ng mga kalaban nya sa politika!

      • Gerry

        You are so naive to think that decades of corruption can be fixed in 1 or 2 years?  Our government is beset my so many corrupt official at all levels from the likes of a President like GMA to the Counselor in  your Barangay, it is doubtful that this can be cleaned  in Pnoy’s time,  probably in 2 or more presidency  where accountability will a priority can this maybe achieved.

        Making corrupt of officials accountable specially the highest office, can make a different and hopefully give a clear message that we as a nation will not let our officials get a way of robbing us blind.

        Prosecuting the corrupt and cleaning out their supporters or those who permit corruption to flourish is what this government is doing and we should support it.



  • http://twitter.com/Perdition2012 Rey Gan

    This is the least we notice in Deped. We only see the lack of classroom, school buildings, and teachers, but we seldom look into the inner workings of this department where some syndicate has been milking money for a long, long time. 

    That’s why the erstwhile Deped Secretary Raul Roco was unanimously petitioned by those Deped employees because he noticed and denied their corrupt ways.  It really takes courage to stand up against deeply entrenched corruption in Deped or in any other Dept..

  • WeAry_Bat

    So when will Team Ghostbusters start checking if every government official is still alive.  They should have Ghost Recon agents to augment their operations.  The immediate savings would more than adequately pay for the mission.

  • http://twitter.com/kintoy K Enriquez

    tanggalin na lang sa Pilipinas ang ARMM na yan

  • dani77777

    DepEd, one of the most corrupt department in the govrenment needs some cleansing too. My grandparents and parents are all teachers who belong to the rank and file personnel and I have witnessed how the higher ups had victimized their own for their selfish ends. Grabe pati ang nepotism dito. Hereditary ang mga positions.

  • AllaMo


  • jigsdoh

    If Pinoy is dead serious about corruption, why does he not lay a hand in ARMM? Is he babying the the ARMM Region so as not to jeopardize the peace talk?

  • jopal

    laking mindanao din ako matagal na itong nakawan sa deped  malalim na ito binata pa ako  meron ng orruption sa deped  grabe na noong mga tao ng 1978 hanggang ngayon  kung ma-iituwid ito ni gov hataman saludo ako sa kanya  pati na rin si pinoy  sila lang ang taong kailangngan kumilos dito para ma solve itong nakawan sa deped bilyon bilyon ang nawawala sa kaban ng govyerno natin mas masahol pa ito sa AFP ………sana  mahuli ang mga magnanakaw…………………ewan ko lang kung magagawa ito ng mga taong sapat kumilos para dito

  • kismaytami

    ARMM = Autonomous Region of Murderers and Magnanakaws

  • LGN80

    Well, even GSIS and SSS have some of this anomalies.  No surprise here.  Hope this can be cleaned up and the responsible persons be held accountable…

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