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In proposed aid for teachers: Inclusion of non-teaching staff pushed

Ma. Fatima R. Secuya (The Freeman) - April 6, 2016 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Non-teaching personnel of public schools in Cebu City might also receive financial assistance, initially intended for public school teachers, from the city government.

This if the proposal of Cebu City Councilor Lea Japson to grant P10,000 financial aid to teachers every year will be approved and if the proposed amendments would be included.

The proposed ordinance aims to promote and improve the social and economic status of the public school teachers in the city, considering that they are among the most under paid profession in the country.

But apart from the teaching personnel, Cebu City Councilor Gerry Carillo proposed that non-teaching personnel should also be included.

Carillo suggested that the non-teaching staff, such as medical nurse and janitors of the city public schools, should also receive the financial aid since non-teaching staff should be considered as part of the teaching profession as they are also helping the teaching staff in implementing their mandate.

In a public hearing during the regular session yesterday, the Department of Education expressed their support on the said ordinance.

Danilo  Gudelosao, officer-in-charge School's Division Superintendent, said in his speech that this move would eventually improve teachers' motivation and dedication to their teaching profession.

Gudelosao stated that a newly-hired public school teacher today receives a basic pay of P19,007 every month. After all the mandatory deduction have been deducted, a new teacher receives a net pay of P16,159.72.

"Looking at this figure, teachers would have a sigh of relief hoping that this amount would be enough to make both ends meet. But in reality, this amount nowadays is not enough for a family of five especially for residents of highly urbanized city like Cebu City even if the other spouse is also working," said Gudelosao.

As reflected in the DepEd payroll for February 2015, he said of the 5,000 Cebu City public school teachers, 36 percent have a net take home pay between P3,000 to P5,000 every month due to accumulated loans for the basic needs of the family.

Also, a number of teachers accordingly does not have loans since it is below the net take home pay requirement of P3,000 every month.

"The situation has greatly affected the quality of instruction inside the classroom. Teachers, whose income cannot suffice the family needs, motivation to teach well tend to decline as their minds wander where to get money from for family's daily sustenance," he said.

He also cited a research finding published by UNESCO in 2014, stating the quality of education improves when teachers are given all the support needed, including income and other incentives.

No one from the city council opposed the proposal of the cash assistance to the teachers.

In 2012 and 2015, the city government also gave P10,000 financial assistance to public school teachers, but was not through an ordinance.

"Since the 2016 approved budget is operative issued by the Department of Budget and Management, the executive submitted a new annual 2016 budget to the city council so maybe we will review the annual budget with the executive if we can include this budget for this year," said Japson.

The proposed ordinance is still subject for final deliberation. (FREEMAN)

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