Senator Win Gatchalian is proposing the allocation of P1.9 billion for the hiring of non-teaching personnel, which will help decongest teachers’ workload and improve the quality of their teaching.
“We recommended an allocation of P1.9 billion, I know it’s a substantial amount to hire 5,000 administrative officers and 3,000 project development officers to help our teachers unload their administrative responsibilities. This is one of the low-hanging fruits in terms of improving efficiency in our classrooms,” said Gatchalian, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.
Gatchalian specifically seeks augmentation under the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Personnel Services for the creation of 5,000 positions for Administrative Officer II and 3,000 for Project Development Officer I. Citing the Legislative Budget Research and Monitoring Office (LBRMO), Gatchalian pointed out that the proposed 2024 national budget has no allocation for the hiring of non-teaching personnel.
The lawmaker cited how the congestion of teachers’ workload has affected the quality of teaching in public schools. The Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) pointed out in 2019 that actual teaching is sidelined by other administrative and student support roles of teachers, which include their participation in programs like mass immunizations, deworming, and elections, among others.
In 2022, Gatchalian urged the DepEd to study the recommendation of the PIDS to conduct evidence-based studies on teacher workload, which will rationalize the job functions of public school teachers, allow them to balance their workload, and allocate more of their time to improve learner outcomes. This is one of Gatchalian’s recommendations when he presented the findings of an oversight review on the implementation of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (Republic Act No. 4670).
Gatchalian also plans to file amendments to the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers and make it more responsive to teachers’ present challenges and needs.