Attend to teachers, Dutertes told
Teachers’ groups have separately asked President Rodrigo Duterte and his daughter, Vice President-elect and incoming Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Sara Duterte Carpio, to ensure that they get the benefits due them.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said on Thursday that with just a few more weeks left in his term, the President should immediately sign Senate Bill No. 2520, making the poll service honoraria tax-exempt, a move that would benefit over 600,000 of their members.
This, according to the group, would make up for Mr. Duterte’s repeated failure to make good on his promise to raise their salaries.
“If signed into law, electoral board members can get tax reimbursements of P1,800 to P2,400 from their total honoraria and allowances in the 2022 elections, which range from P9,000 to P12,000 per member depending on their designation,” ACT said in a statement.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue hiked the 5 percent tax to 20 percent in line with the provisions of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law.
“This (bill) would be a relief for teachers especially since the country is in a grave state …. This measure is long overdue, but we need it now more than ever, especially after our teachers served as well as they can and bore the brunt of the [Commission on Elections’] ineptitude,” said ACT secretary general Raymond Basilio.
On the other hand, Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) asked Carpio to fully implement the provisions of the Magna Carta for Teachers, particularly on overload or overtime pay.
In a statement on Wednesday, the group said they were not getting their honoraria for teaching overload or overtime pay as stipulated under the 56-year-old law. They added that the rule on special hardship allowance (SHA) was also being “implemented incorrectly.”
According to Republic Act No. 4670, teachers exposed to hardships like difficulty in commuting to their place of work are entitled to a compensation equivalent to at least 25 percent of their monthly salary.
But TDC chair Benjo Basas said this provision was being “implemented incorrectly” based on a “mere” Department of Budget and Management (DBM) circular which states that the maximum amount should not exceed 25 percent of a teacher’s monthly pay, “contrary to the mandate of [the] Magna Carta.”
In May last year, the DepEd and DBM issued a joint circular raising the SHA to 25 percent of teachers’ monthly pay for those assigned to “hardship posts” from the previous 15 to 25 percent.
Basas also reminded the DepEd of its mandate to ensure that teachers were provided with medical care as stipulated in Sections 22 and 23 of the Magna Carta.
“Crucial at this time of pandemic are the provisions for free and compulsory medical examination, treatment and hospitalization, and compensation for injuries. These important provisions are not implemented even in the time of pandemic when the teachers need it most,” he said.
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