Teachers’ Bonus Delayed

Manila, Philippines --- Public school teachers and employees of the Department of Education (DepEd) are appealing to President Benigno S. Aquino III and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to release their long delayed Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) for fiscal year 2012.

"The teachers are waiting for the performance bonus since December 2012, yet six months after, we heard nothing from the DBM and from the President himself," Teachers' Dignity Coalition (TDC) National Chairman Benjo Basas said.

TDC made the appeal amid President Aquino's public announcement last Thursday that the almost 20, 000 workforce of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will be given an incentive worth P10,000 as their anniversary bonus. "If that [PBB] is for the fiscal year 2012, we should have received it by January or by April, if they use school year as basis," Basas said.

Basas added that late in December last year, TDC staged a protest at the gates of the DBM to denounce the deliberate cutting down of their traditional P10,000 Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) by half. "During the dialogue that followed, DBM officials told us to talk to the officials in DepEd because the respective agencies are tasked to craft the specific guidelines," he said.

Basas said that aside from the P5,000 PEI for all government officials and employees, the PBB is one of the two incentives under Executive Order No. 80, which was signed by President Aquino in July 2012.

He said that EO80 will turn one-year-old next month, yet the promised incentives under the order remain dim.

"The PBB varies from P5,000 to a maximum of P35,000 depending on the performance rating of individual employees and the agency or office they belong," Basas said. "Previously, teachers and government employees receive a one-time PEI amounting to P10,000 every December," he added.

In March this year, the DepEd released the guidelines on the granting of PBB which took effect starting February 28, 2013. The guidelines were formulated and finalized by a task force composed of DepEd officials and field officers containing policies and clarifications on the implementation of PBB.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro said DepEd "will evaluate and grant the PBB to all bureaus or delivery units and employees who have worked diligently and have performed well according to their contribution to the achievement of the Department's overall performance targets, which in turn, will determine the amount of PBB to be received."

Luistro said that those who qualify from the Central Office (CO), Regional Offices (ROs), Division Offices (DOs) and attached agencies, "shall be further evaluated based on the said guidelines and on their individual performance."

For teaching and non-teaching personnel of schools, Luistro said that "there will be no individual ranking at the school level." Thus, the performance category of the school "shall determine the level of PBB that each employee will receive."

The 35,000 bonus - the highest incentive level of PBB - shall be given to DepEd employees who are recipients of awards such as the Literacy Awards and national awards from the Civil Service Commission and Metrobank Foundation in FY 2012. However, DepEd said that employees who received a "Below Satisfactory" rating or who are guilty of administrative and/or criminal charges "shall automatically be disqualified from receiving the PBB."

Luistro stressed that the PBB will act as an incentive in addition to the across-the-board bonus of the PEI and will not replace any formerly-given incentive. "It aims to promote excellence and accountability among government employees thus, providing their best public service," he said.

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