Cagayan governor hit over 'teachers doing nothing' remarks

Christian Deiparine - Philstar.com
Cagayan governor hit over 'teachers doing nothing' remarks
Manuel Mamba is shown giving his inauguration speech in 2016 for his first term as governor of the province.
Facebook / Manuel Mamba

MANILA, Philippines — The governor of Cagayan has drawn flak over his remarks suggesting that teachers seem to "enjoy" doing nothing and yet still get paid with the COVID-19 pandemic cutting abrupt the previous school year and sending many to work from home.

Gov. Manuel Mamba had told DZRH in an interview that it was unfair to continue giving out salaries yet teachers are not "reciprocating" the work. 

"Sa tingin ko nage-enjoy sila. Nagsu-sweldo [pero] walang ginagawa," he said on Saturday, October 3. "Dapat 'wag na sila magreklamo dahil sa totoo I think na mayroon tayong law na 'pag ganitong work-from-home matatanggalan naman ng kaunti dahil ang dami nating nase-save."

(I think they're enjoying this because they get paid even without doing anything. They should no longer complain because I think there is a law that says during work-from-home there could be pay cuts as we save a lot.) 

"There's something na kailangan pag-aralan dito but anyway, umaasa rin kami na mas lalo pa paiigtingin ng teachers. Kailangan lang naman i-reciprocate nila na they go out of their way para makatulong sa mga estudyante sa mga bahay-bahay," Mamba added. 

(This has to be studied but we are hoping that teachers will improve. They only need to go out of their way to help students in their homes.) 

Such did not sit well with teachers, who spent the previous months adjusting to teaching through online with classes resuming this October.

"They do not get paid for writing the modules, not compensated for the higher cost of internet and electricity bills, they make do with their cramped spaces," the Council of Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities of the Philippines (COTESCUP) said in a statement.

Teachers are also the first to be let go when schools close, as well taking the task of being COVID-19 frontliners in distributing modules to communities, they added. 

"[Mamba], explaining his insensitive words to teachers, will hardly get the cooperation and respect of this massive sector, whom he described earlier as "enjoying" the situation of the pandemic because "they get paid while doing nothing," COTESCUP said. 

The group is composed of different faculty unions from universities such as Mapua, Siliman, Lyceum, FEU, CEU, La Salle and San Beda, to name a few. 

Mamba has since apologized for the furor, but tried to justify his remarks as challenging teachers to show "our people that we are still relevant despite the fact na walang face-to-face for so many months now."

"If you misunderstood me, I'm sorry," he said in an interview recording provided by Bombo Radyo Tugegarao. "Mataas po ang tingin ko sa edukasyon basically because I am a creation of education."

Classes have begun for some 24.75 million students this week, with the anticipated problems of poor internet service and availability of gadgets turning into a reality. 

The education department has issued guidelines giving out a P1,000 incentive for teachers during World Teachers' Day, as well as P500 for medical assistance. 

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