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DepEd hit over broken promise on overtime pay

/ 05:40 AM October 01, 2021

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday issued guidelines to clarify the granting of vacation service credits to teachers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic last school year.

But the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) complained that the guidelines did not address the 87 extra days that teachers were made to work without due service credits and overtime pay, a fact that the DepEd conceded and vowed to rectify in a meeting with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) on June 16.

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“The DepEd is trying to confuse the issue to evade their responsibility of giving teachers what is due them,” Raymond Basilio, ACT secretary general, said in a statement on Thursday.

Honor your word

The group on Wednesday asked the education department to fulfill its promise of coming up with the guidelines addressing the overtime compensation of teachers that amounts to at least P23,605 each and 87 days’ worth of service credits.

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Basilio said that the clarificatory guidelines is of no use to teachers who are clamoring service credit grants and a 25-percent overtime premium “to compensate [for] the extra 87 working days that they were made to work under the extended school year.”

ACT said a dialogue between the CSC and the DepEd was conducted on June 16 and the DepEd admitted that teachers rendered an extra 87 days of work. The DepEd even promised to “justly compensate teachers for this.”

Missing commitment

But the newly issued guidelines made no mention of that promise, Basilio said.

According to the guidelines—an amendment to DepEd Memorandum No. 065—“one hour of service rendered during weekends and holidays shall be equivalent to 1.5 hours for purposes of computing the service credit.”

The department indicated that the activities should be related to the implementation of distance learning delivery modalities, enrollment efforts and other activities in relation to Brigada Eskwela, Oplan Balik Eskwela and Oplan Kalusugan.

Teachers can claim the vacation service credits by submitting a memorandum or letter of authority provided by the schools division superintendent and/or the regional director, a duly signed and approved recommendation from the school head, individual daily log and accomplishment report, along with other attendance records.

“Vacation service credits shall not be granted for services rendered without previous authority,” the DepEd said.

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ACT earlier warned the DepEd that teachers are ready to go on leave en masse or synchronized one day of absence, should the DepEd fail to release the guidelines for overtime compensation of teachers within the group’s set deadline.

The DepEd said the agency consulted with the CSC and the Department of Budget and Management and looked into applicable laws and rules.

“Just as how we teach our students the value of integrity, we demand for DepEd to honor their own words,” Basilio said.

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TAGS: ACT, DepEd, Overtime Pay, Teachers
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