Gatchalian seeks quick release of aid to displaced teachers, school workers
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian sought on Sunday the immediate and smooth distribution of cash aid to displaced teaching and non-teaching personnel following the passage of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.
In a statement, Gatchalian said that the recently passed law allocates P300 million for the distribution of a one-time cash assistance to displaced teaching and non-teaching personnel in private and public elementary, secondary, and tertiary schools.
The provision covers part-time faculty and non-permanent teaching personnel as well as part-time faculty in state universities and colleges (SUCs) who have lost their jobs and have not received their salaries, the senator said.
Gatchalian, chair of the Senate education committee, said the Department of Education (DepEd) recently reported that 748 out of 14,435 private schools nationwide would not be operating for the upcoming school year. He noted that the closure of these schools would affect 3,233 teachers and 40,345 learners.
Only over two million learners have enrolled in private schools this year — or 47.63 percent of the 4,304,676 learners who enrolled in private institutions in the previous school year.
Gatchalian proposed that DepEd establish a database for the smooth distribution of aid.
To do this, he said DepEd would need to proactively seek out displaced teachers, personnel, and students and coordinate with school associations.
Teachers and non-teaching staff should be spared from the glitches of implementing the Social Amelioration Program, he added.
He noted that teachers and non-teaching staff had long waited to receive financial support during the pandemic.
“Now that Bayanihan 2 has become a law, we should ensure that aid will immediately given to our teacher and other workers who last their jobs,” he said in Filipino. “The teachers and employees who had lost their jobs waited for so long. So we need to ensure that there would be no delay in distributing financial aid to them.”
Further, Gatchalian said a database of displaced teachers and non-teaching staff would help DepEd target candidates for its teaching and non-teaching positions, including para-teachers and tutors for distance learning.
Citing the National Expenditure Program for 2021, he pointed out that 43,780 of the 976,520 authorized DepEd positions would still have to be filled.
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