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Teachers ask full payment of performance bonus

December 16, 2008 5:32am
MANILA, Philippines - Militant public school teachers demanded from Malacañang the full payment of their yearend performance bonus, which the government has granted to all state employees.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) made the call on the eve of the release of the P10,000 performance bonus for government employees.

"Due to the sheer number of its personnel and the limited budget at its disposal, the Department of Education has always had difficulty in coming up with sufficient savings to pay its personnel the P3,000 share in the performance bonus. As a result, teachers end up being shortchanged," said ACT chairman Antonio Tinio in an article on the ACT website.

He said that last year, some teachers in the big cities received the full amount, but others got the P3,000 share as late as February.

Others were not paid at all, he said.

"We hope that last year's experience won't be repeated this time around," said Tinio.

"This situation is most unfair, considering that public school teachers are among the most hard-working and dedicated civil servants. Without the sacrifices that they make day in and day out, the public school system would grind to a halt. For this reason, we call on Malacañang to guarantee that teachers receive the performance in full by releasing additional funds to cover whatever shortfall DepEd may have in terms of savings," he added.

Citing Administrative Order 250 signed by President Arroyo last Dec. 10, ACT said all employees of national government agencies and government-owned and –controlled corporations, whether hired on permanent, temporary, casual, or contractual basis, are entitled to the bonus.

The national government shall provide P7,000 while the remaining P3,000 shall be sourced from the savings of the respective government agencies.

"Failure to address this situation will strike yet another blow to the dignity of the teaching profession and result in further demoralization of the teaching force," Tinio said.

Tinio estimated that the DepEd needs some P1.5 billion in savings to provide all its personnel with the additional Php3,000.

"(Education secretary Jesli) Lapus should immediately order an agency-wide accounting of savings for the year, consolidate these savings, request additional funds from Malacañang in the event of a shortfall, and release the funds to DepEd personnel before the year ends," he said.

ACT also called for the payment of the year-end performance bonus to public school teachers hired by local governments, including those on so-called "job-order" contracts.

"Nationwide, there are now approximately 25,000 of these contractual teachers hired by local governments. They are among the most exploited in the teaching profession since they have no job security and often receive less pay and benefits than nationally hired teachers. Since they possess the same qualifications, perform the same tasks, and make the same, if not more, sacrifices as their counterparts hired by DepEd, they should also be entitled to the performance bonus. The principle of equal pay for equal work should be upheld," said Tinio. - GMANews.TV
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