DepEd, partylist lawmaker argue over teachers’ overtime pay
MANILA, Philippines — The House deliberations on the proposed 2022 budget for the education sector got a little bit heated Tuesday after a lawmaker said the Department of Education (DepEd) is “fooling” teachers over their overtime pay amid the implementation of the distance learning system.
ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro raised concerns over the overtime pay that teachers should receive, pointing out that the issue was already brought up before the Civil Service Commission (CSC) three months ago.
“Matagal na itong hinahantay ng mga teachers. Give justice naman sa ating mga kaguruan (Teachers have waited for it for so long. Let’s give justice to our teachers),” Castro said.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said that DepEd already has appropriations for teaching overload which can also be used to pay for teachers’ overtime.
However, the DBM said they have yet to receive the guidelines for the overtime pay from the DepEd.
“Well, malinaw na niloloko ng DepEd ang teachers dahil three months na po ito na kami nag-dialouge with the CSC at hanggang ngayon, wala pa pala silang pag-uusap. Panloloko ito sa mga teachers,” Castro said.
(It is clear that DepEd is just fooling our teachers because it has been three months since our dialogue with the CSC and until now, they have not talked. They are fooling the teachers.)
Castro’s comment did not sit well with Education Secretary Leonor Briones who responded: “I will not condescend to that accusation na nanloloko ang DepEd (that DepEd is fooling the teachers).”
DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan likewise denied Castro’s claims that their agency is fooling teachers, saying that overtime pay is based on the teachers’ overload.
“While the Secretary did not want to even resort to that position, there is no such thing as nangloloko ang Department of Education (no such thing as DepEd is fooling anyone),” Malaluan said.
“Ito pong usapin ng overtime ng teachers ay hindi simpleng usapin na may karapatan ba na overtime dahil nakasaad po doon sa batas,” he added.
(The issue of overtime pay is not a simple issue of whether or not it is their right to have overtime pay because that is already stated in the law.)
Malaluan gave the assurance that DepEd will resolve the issue.
“Hindi po ganoon ka-simple ‘yung usapin na may budget ba for overtime pay. We have to establish the basis for that in as much as what is provided under the law,” Malaluan said.
(The issue is not that simple as to whether or not there is a budget for overtime pay. We have to establish the basis for that in as much as what is provided under the law.)
Castro apologized for her remarks. Nonetheless, she maintained that teachers have been waiting for a resolution on the issue.
“Kung mali po ako sa term ko, I apologize doon sa term. Nakita naman natin for three months, nakita naman natin na hindi ito nag-consult sa DBM,” Castro said.
(I apologize for the term I used. But we have seen over the last three months that they did not consult with the DBM.)
“Dahil ang mga teachers natin grabe ang itinaya para maitawid lang itong blended learning na hindi suportado gaano ng DepEd at ng pamahalaang Duterte,” she added.
(Because our teachers have given much to carry out this blended learning which is not somehow being supported by DepEd and the Duterte administration.)
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