Department of Education
Greetings from ACT Teachers Party-List!
Since taking office in Congress as party-list representative for ACT Teachers in 2010, I have made the plight of the growing number of contractual and volunteer teachers in our public schools one of my priority concerns. According to recent data from the Department of Education, there are over 49,000 locally-paid contractual teachers and over 23,000 volunteer kindergarten teachers nationwide. They receive substandard pay, are denied benefits, and enjoy no security of tenure, even though the vast majority possess the same qualifications and perform the same work as nationally-paid teachers. The only solution to their plight is their regularization as teachers employed by DepEd.
In this regard, I first introduced Special Provision No. 8 (“Regularization of Contractual and Volunteer Teachers”) under the budget of the DepEd in the General Appropriations Act for the Fiscal Year 2012 (R.A. 10155). I have successfully introduced a similar provision in the General Appropriations Act for the Fiscal Year 2013 (R.A. 10352).
For your information and guidance, please note that Special Provision No. 9 (“Priority in the Hiring of Teachers”) of the DepEd budget in the 2013 GAA mandates all appointing officers of the Department of Education to prioritize the hiring of qualified contractual and volunteer teachers:
9. Priority in the Hiring of 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 DepEd or the local government units: PROVIDED, That the number of years of actual teaching experience shall be given sufficient weight in the hiring of these qualified contractual and volunteer teachers. [R.A. 10352, Official Gazette, p. 116]
Needless to say, this special provision has the full force and effect of law, and supersedes any DepEd order, memorandum, or policy not consistent with its letter and spirit.
As the DepEd embarks on the hiring teachers for at least 61,510 new teaching items for School Year 2013-2014, we hope that Special Provision No. 9 will make a difference in the lives of long-suffering contractual and volunteer teachers.
We hope that your office can provide us with updates on the implementation of Special Provision No. 9.
Para sa guro at bayan,
ANTONIO L. TINIO