September 25, 2011
ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio is calling for the regularization of nearly 20,000 volunteer kindergarten teachers employed by the Department of Education.
“Regularization of their employment status is the only way to address their exploitative working conditions, including the recurring problem of delayed payments,” said Tinio. He noted that there are currently 19,063 volunteer kindergarten teachers employed by DepEd on a contractual basis.
The party-list representative was reacting to reports that volunteer kindergarten teachers throughout the country have not yet received their pay since the start of the school year this June. Some have not yet been paid for their service during the summer. “We also received the same complaints from the DepEd’s kindergarten teachers last school year. This will be a recurring problem for as long as they are not regular employment and aren’t part of the DepEd’s regular payroll. They will experience a delay of from three to six months in payment of their honoraria. That’s the harsh reality for contractuals serving in the DepEd’s ‘Kindergarten Volunteer Program,’” he added.
Tinio pointed out that DepEd’s volunteer kindergarten teachers are paid a mere Php 3,000 to Php 6,000 per month, are not entitled to social security benefits such as GSIS and Philhealth, and enjoy no security of tenure.
Tinio submitted an amendment to the 2012 General Appropriations Bill that would require the Department of Education to prioritize the hiring of qualified contractual or volunteer teachers, whether employed by the DepEd or by local government units. He also proposed an additional allocation of Php 8.5 billion to the DepEd budget for the hiring of 38,593 new teachers. This is on top of the funding for 13,000 new teaching items proposed by Malacañang.
“Our proposed budget amendments will allow for the regularization of volunteer teachers while substantially addressing the gross shortage of teachers in our public schools,” said Tinio.
Tinio urged the DepEd and his colleagues in Congress to support his proposed amendments. “The Aquino administration must repudiate its de facto reliance on the large-scale contractualization of teachers for its Universal Kindergarten program.”
Below is the text of Tinio’s proposed amendment to the DepEd budget:
Regularization of qualified contractual and volunteer teachers. In the hiring of new teachers, whether to fill unfilled or newly created positions, priority shall be given to qualified contractual and volunteer teachers, whether employed by the Department of Education or the local government units.
ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (0920-922-0817)