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More than 50k workers in private schools need cash assistance —DepEd chief

More than 50,000 workers employed by private schools in the country are in need of financial assistance due to disrupted salaries, according to Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Thursday.

"'Sa basic education more than 50,000 ang affected niyan and we really need help pa for them dahil sila ang nawawalan ng suweldo," Briones said during a Senate hearing on COVID-19.

The chief of the Department of Education added that she already sought help from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to address this concern.

"Nilakad natin sa Bayanihan, sa SAP (Social Amelioration Program) pero ang SAP naman ay very short ang funding so lumapit tayo sa NEDA because NEDA has a funding for small enterprises," she said.

"Itong small schools are small in that way so we are hoping that it will be given attention," she added.

The workforce in private schools—servicing around four million students nationwide—is around 300,000, according to the DepEd.

Briones said not all of them experienced "no work, no pay" after COVID-19 disrupted the previous school year in mid-March.

"There are also private schools who already paid the teachers for 12 months. 'Yung mga permanent faculty nila talagang 12 months," she said.

She added that DepEd is closely coordinating with private school associations to streamline the list of possible beneficiaries for whatever assistance that the government can extend.

Last week, the Coordinating Council for Private Educational Associations of the Philippines bared that two million K-12 students are expected to transfer to public schools because of the economic impact of the pandemic to Filipino families.

It also called for government assistance as it claimed that private school teachers were not able to receive assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment's COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program and Department of Finance's Small Business Wage Subsidy. -MDM, GMA News