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Immediately release Yolanda aid for teachers -Castro

9 December 2016 One Comment

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PRESS RELEASE
09 December 2016
Reference: ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro (09209698457)
ACT Teachers Party-List Representative France Castro, together with teacher-leaders from the Visayas and Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Deputy Sec. Gen. Mabelle Caboboy had a dialogue with the Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs Alberto Muyot and Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Service (DRRMS) Ronilda Co with regard to the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) assistance given to teachers devastated by Yolanda and other natural calamities in the past three years.
Visayan teacher-leaders presented their issues and concerns regarding the Yolanda assistance fund including a petition from their region. The processing of the documents by the divisions and PMS had been extremely slow, thus delaying the assistance and leaving teachers heavily indebted. Since typhoon Yolanda, promised aid has yet to fully reach intended beneficiaries.
Said aid is sourced from the President’s Social Fund (PSF) to reimburse housing repair and reconstruction expenses of government employees in the affected regions including thousands of public school teachers and employees. The PSF is managed by the Presidential Management Staff, an office under the Office of the President.
“We call for the immediate release of the second tranche for all individual teachers who had complied with the liquidation requirements. PMS’s standing policy of ‘complete all or none at all’, under which liquidation of the region is deemed incomplete until all its divisions have submitted their documents, in effect penalizes those teachers who had fully complied with the requirements,” Castro said. “It is unjust to put on hold the release of this assistance fund for disaster victims who are in dire need just because their Division office could not fully comply with the requirements. This policy of the PMS must be changed. Once a teacher submits all the basic requirements, he or she should be able to immediately get the whole amount.”
“Currently, the process had been overly bureaucratic. The Aquino government’s handling of this matter was void of the sense of urgency to rehabilitate our brothers and sisters in Visayas,” added Castro. “The tedious processing of approving the release of fund goes through various discordant agencies from the DepEd Division Offices, DepEd Central Office, PMS, and also Commission on Audit. Such complicated processes leave teachers hanging without the supposed relief assistance whose original purpose was to provide immediate assistance.”
As a result of the dialogue, Muyot promised to ask the PMS to take a liberal interpretation of their agreed policies for release in order to make it equitable. Castro and Muyot agreed to negotiate with the PMS to fully release the funds for all those who have submitted complete documents in time of the deadline, regardless if the others in the same batch were not able to comply. Co committed to call the attention of the Schools Division Superintendent of those divisions which have not yet submitted their liquidation of the first tranche or only have partial compliance.

The parties in the dialogue also agreed to lobby for a creation of a 3rd batch of beneficiaries to cover those who were excluded from previous batches but are actually qualified beneficiaries. DepEd will set the meeting with the PMS and representatives from ACT Philippines on December 19 to negotiate. ###

  • jelly Liba

    Yes! Yolanda Aid of Teachers’ is coming to town. Maraming salamat po sir Castro .Sana tutuyan na b4 Christmas Eve.