SENATOR Sonny Angara has urged the government to help over 3,000 teachers and non-teaching personnel displaced by the Kto12 program to have “easy access” to financial and job assistance program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE).
Angara made the appeal after the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) revealed during its budget deliberation in the Senate that only 59 of the 3,286 displaced teachers and non-teaching personnel have so far took advantage of DoLE’s financial and employment assistance.
“Not only did these higher education personnel lose their jobs, some also lost their security of tenure as well as the benefits extended to their dependents,” said Angara.
“We must work very hard to find a way to improve our education system and at the same time, ensure that we extend ample support for our noble workers,” he said.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III during Thursday’s DoLE budget hearing, which was also presided by Angara, agreed that the requirements should not be that stringent, and that they will “streamline” the process to avail of the financial support.
Under DoLE’s Adjustment Measures Program, displaced workers may receive financial aid ranging from P7,000 to P25,000 while they are looking for alternative employment.
The amounts will be based on the prevailing median salary of the higher education institution personnel per nature of appointment per region, or his or her previous monthly salary, whichever is lower.
The duration of the financial support, which will be released every end of the month, will be for three months for non-permanent and six months for permanent higher education personnel.
However, CHEd K-12 transition program director Karol Mark Yee said the teachers “found it too difficult” to access the financial assistance given the many requirements set by DoLE, including a minimum of 10 job applications for the past month as proof that they are actively seeking jobs.
“The K-12’s very design is to improve the state of education in the Philippines. I am certain with more scrutiny and efficiency, there is a way we can weather the transition without sacrificing one of the most crucial elements of education: the teachers,” said Angara.
The government has allocated P500 million for DoLE’s Adjustment Measures Program under this year’s budget.
At present, the actual displacement for academic year 2016-2017 is at 3,286 teaching and non-teaching personnel, which is much lower than the initial projection of 9,000. To mitigate the impact, 925 were hired by the Department of Education to teach senior high school.