Still no bonus for state teachers

Manila, Philippines --- Public school teachers yesterday expressed dismay anew over the delayed bonus, which is attributed to the failure of the Department of Education (DepEd) to submit the requirements needed by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to release the incentive pay.

"It seems very unfair that teachers and lowly employees suffer the consequences of these delays which we have nothing to do with."

This was stressed by the teachers who lamented the delay in the release of their Performance-Based Bonus (PBB).

The Teachers' Dignity Coalition (TDC), a 30,000-strong group, said that the teaching and non-teaching personnel should not be made to suffer over the failure of DepEd.

The TDC had earlier sought a dialogue with the DepEd to get updates on the PBB. "It is clear that this is not the fault of the teachers and employees, yet they suffer," TDC Chairman Benjo Basas said.

Met by Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo, TDC found out that "only around 90 percent of the DepEd system has submitted the documents and only 50 percent of such were validated by the DepEd." "They [DepEd] said that they are still waiting for 10 percent field submission before it could comply with the documentary requirements to begin processing of the PBB for teachers," Basas said.

The meeting was attended by some 20 leaders of TDC from Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Manila, Taguig-Pateros, San Juan, Makati, and Quezon City. Basas said that while teachers are appealing for the release of their bonus as soon as possible, "we would not want to leave the teachers who belong in that 10 percent."

They asked the DepEd to issue a strong reminder to field officials of the regions/divisions with delayed submissions, including Region 7-Central Visayas, among others.

With these delays, TDC also expressed its opposition to the implementation of the PBB which the teachers consider "defective." Basas said that the six-month delay in the release of this particular bonus is a manifestation that there are flaws in the scheme and it has to be reviewed and amended.

Mateo assured the group that DepEd will call the attention of respective schools division superintendents who have yet to submit the remaining requirements.

The PBB is an incentive granted by the government to public school teachers and other employees under President Aquino's Executive Order No. 80, signed in July last year. It is a merit-based incentive system that would give the employees of the government a cash bonus ranging from P5,000 to P35,000 depending on their and their agency's performance.

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