Emphasizing that displaced teachers and non-teaching staff have waited long enough to receive their aid, Senator Win Gatchalian is calling on the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to accelerate the distribution of financial aid allotted for teachers and non-teaching personnel under the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act (Republic Act 11494) or Bayanihan 2.
“Bakit inabot ng ganitong katagal ang ayuda para sa mga guro?” asked the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, who pointed out that the education sector should have been prioritized because it is one of the most battered by the COVID-19.
“Ang ayudang nakalaan sa ilalim ng Bayanihan 2 ay matagal nang hinihintay ng mga guro at mga non-teaching personnel na nawalan ng trabaho. Ngayong tuloy tuloy pa rin ang tanggalan sa maraming upisina at mayroon nang bagong variant ang COVID-19, marapat lamang na maipaabot na sa kanila ang ayudang matagal nang ipinangakong magpapaluwag sa kanilang mga pasanin,” he added.
The Bayanihan 2, which was signed on September 2020, allotted P300 million for the provision of a one-time cash assistance to displaced teaching and non-teaching personnel in private and public elementary, secondary, and tertiary education institutions. Part-time faculty in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) who have lost their jobs or who have not received their wages are also entitled to receive these subsidies.
In the basic sector education alone, some 4,488 teachers are affected by the suspension of operations in 865 private schools, the Department of Education (DepEd) reported last September. The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) also reported last May that some 50,000 part-time lecturers of private colleges and universities working on a “no work, no pay basis” need financial aid.
While Gatchalian admits that the funds are not enough to ease the burden of displaced teachers and non-teaching staff, he urged DOLE to iron out the final guidelines with CHED and DepEd to avoid the same woes as the distribution of aid under the Social Amelioration Program.
Last December, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11519, which extends the validity of funds under Bayanihan 2.