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Imee wants one gov't-accredited child development worker per daycare center

Senator Imee Marcos on Tuesday suggested for each daycare center in the country to have at least one child development worker who is accredited and being paid by the national government.

Marcos, who chairs the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, raised the proposal during a hearing on Senate Bills No. 343, 1086, 525, 1205 and 1730, seeking to provide the child development workers with security of tenure, proper salary and benefits, and humane working conditions.

Despite the budget constraints, the lawmaker said these child development workers may be given Salary Grade 6 which is “better than what they are getting now.”

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Program Management Bureau director Maricel Deloria said such a proposal would cost P1.6 billion per month or P21.3 billion annually.

“Malaki-laki siya, pero at least it’s a start. Kahit paunti-unti lang dahil hindi naman puwedeng 0, sobrang lupit naman nito. Ang tagal-tagal na nito eh. Tignan natin,” she said.

(It’s big, but at least it's a start because it can't be 0, that would be too cruel. This has been pending for a long time. Let's see what we can do about this.)

Marcos then tasked a technical working group to craft a three and five-year plan regarding the proposal, and to further brainstorm on the matter.

“We are fully aware that the most valuable years of learning are between the ages of 0 to 7 years old. And yet, we are not providing any support, any training, any assistance to our development workers who are in charge of our children at the end of the day,” she said.

Federation of Day Care Workers national president Pearl Reyes said there are daycare workers who receive below P1,000 per month.

“27 years na in the making na inilo-lobby ang Magna Carta for Child Development Workers. Sabi nung mga nauna sa’kin ay 10th Congress pa po ito inilapit. Ngayon ay nasa 19th Congress na… We believe na maaaring marinig na ngayon ang sigaw at grievances ng ating mga daycare workers,” she said.

(This Magna Carta for Child Development Workers is being lobbied for 27 years now. Those who preceded me said that it was already pending before the 10th Congress. It’s now the 19th Congress... We believe that the appeals and grievances of our daycare workers should be heard now.)  —KBK, GMA Integrated News