Hontiveros bats for medical benefits for teachers as classes open amid pandemic
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros on Sunday said there should be funds for the medical benefits and internet connection allowance of teachers as classes open on Oct. 5 amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Una, dapat siguraduhing may nakalaang pondo para sa medical benefits sakaling magkasakit sila. Pangalawa, maglaan ng dagdag na allowance sa internet connectivity at printing ng education materials,” Hontiveros said in a statement for the first day of the academic year 2020-2021.
(First, they must ensure that there is adequate funds for medical benefits in case teachers get sick. Second, there should be an allowance for internet connectivity and for the printing of education materials.)
“At huli, imbes na pautang, bigyan sila ng sariling computer na gagamitin sa distance education. Dapat gobyerno ang gumastos nito dahil bahagi ito ng kanilang opisyal na obligasyon,” she added.
(Lastly, instead of giving them loans, give teachers their own computers for distance education. The government must spend on this as it is their obligation.)
Meanwhile, in a radio interview, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian underscored the role of parents in guiding their children during distance learning.
“Challenging ito sa ating mga magulang pero importante na maging bahagi sila sa prosesong ito, dahil family bonding na rin nila ito at madami rin silang matututunan,” Gatchalian, who heads the basic education committee in the Senate, said in an interview with dzRH when asked about his message for teachers and parents as the opening of classes starts on Monday.
(This is challenging for our parents but they are important in this process because this can also be a form of family bonding and they will also learn new things as well.)
Gatchalian, likewise, thanked teachers and the non-teaching staff for their sacrifices to continue with education despite the threat of the coronavirus disease.
In another statement, Senator Joel Villanueva lauded the readiness of the private sector, parents, and the local governments to allow classes to continue under the “new normal.”
“Nagkakaisa po tayo: Kailangang magpatuloy ang edukasyon. Sa tulong ng ating mga magulang, pribadong sektor at mga lokal na pamahalaan, naniniwala po tayong handa na ang ating education sector sa pangunguna ng Department of Education sa ‘new normal’ education,” Villanueva said.
(We are united: We need to continue with education. With the help of our parents, the private sector and local government units, we believe that we are prepared for our new normal education.)
The Department of Education initially set August 24 as the start of the academic year but it rescheduled the opening of classes to Oct. 5 on the request of lawmakers and various groups to allow for more time to prepare for the transition to blended learning.