Pasig principal in trouble over fee collection
MANILA, Philippines — A Pasig City school principal is in trouble as more than a hundred of her staff are calling for her removal, allegedly due to the wrongdoings she has committed over the last two years.
The Rizal High School Teachers Association (RHSTA) is calling for the removal of Virginia Membrebe as school principal for allegedly violating Republic Act No. 4670, or the “Magna Carta for Teachers.”
Membrebe is being accused by the group of putting them in a “sticky situation” when she made them “collecting agents” of the P150 fee charged to students for their National Achievement Test (NAT) review. RHSTA president Glenn Guardiano said that this was in direct violation of the Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers, which prohibited such action.
Asked what the fee was for, Guardiano told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that they had no idea where the proceeds of the fee went to. He added that it took them two years to speak up against Membrebe, who has been school principal for almost four years now, because they were “obedient and had hoped that one day the situation will change.”
But in October 2015, Guardiano claimed that P200 was again asked from the close to 9,000 students for a stage play. Guardiano said that the play did not push through because of their opposition to it and fees that have already been collected were returned.
Due to these two cases of what they deemed to be questionable collection of fees, the group filed in late November a grievance complaint against Membrebe at the Department of Education (DepEd) Pasig Division. RHS has around 330 teachers and Guardiano said that only more than half of the teachers signed the complaint because those qualified for promotion “feared a backlash” and others simply had a “debt of gratitude” to Membrebe.
Parent-Teachers Associations (PTA) normally speak up whenever issues such as these crop up in the school. In their situation, however, Guardiano claimed that their PTA “allowed for the fees to be collected.”
Guardiano expressed concern, especially in the collection for the NAT fee as this becomes a source of “discrimination,” since “students who weren’t able to pay up weren’t given test papers during the mock test.”
Marivic Leaño, DepEd Pasig assistant schools division superintendent officer in charge, said on Wednesday that the results of the three-member grievance committee hearing the complaint against Membrebe would release its findings within the month. If the complaint against her were proven true, Leaño said that Membrebe would be removed from her post and transferred to another school.
Should the committee side with Membrebe, Guardiano vowed to bring the charges up to the regional division, saying that Membrebe’s presence as school principal “isn’t healthy anymore” for the teachers. He, however, assured that this matter has not affected the students’ classes. SFM
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