Press Release
July 27, 2008

Loren seeks speedy release of teachers' hazard pay

Senator Loren Legarda yesterday urged the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to immediately release the public school teachers' benefits and their hardship allowances.

"Our teachers deserve the highest commendation for the consecration of their lives for the education of our youth, and the compensation due them should be readily made available," Legarda said.

Hardship pay allowances are special compensation package intended to promote and improve the social and economic status of public school teachers, especially those who have either difficulty in commuting to the place of work or exposed to hazards peculiar to the place of employment.

The 2008 General Appropriation Act has allotted P185.928 million for the hardship pay of teachers, but Legarda noted that the same amount has not yet been released despite its being allocated in the national budget.

Guidelines on the grant of special hardship allowances to qualified personnel of DepEd had also been issued to all DBM and DepEd Regional Offices, although the DBM had said that the reason for the delay might be due to difficulty in identifying those who are qualified to receive the special benefit since it is not granted across the board. To the DepEd belongs the task of identifying the targeted teachers exposed to hazards.

"There is a clear manifestation now that despite the enactment of the law and corresponding guidelines, administrative difficulties faced by budget and education departments hinder the provision of better compensation to public school teachers," Legarda noted.

"The DepEd should find a way to speed up the release of the special compensation package for our teachers exposed to hazards considering the economic difficulties we are facing now," Legarda pointed out.

Legarda reiterated that education is one of the sectors which should be given priority in budget to ensure that teaching will not be distracted. Legarda had filed Resolution No. 472 calling the Secretaries of the DBM and DepEd for the immediate release of the budget for the teachers.

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