Press Release
August 9, 2015

Recto wants DOLE's proposed P500 M aid to K-12 displaced teachers raised

Sen. Ralph Recto is calling for an increase in the P500 million assistance fund to K to 12 displaced college teachers and workers which the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is proposing in the 2016 national budget.

"This should be augmented because if there will be 50,000 employees affected, it translates into about P840 in monthly aid per individual," Recto said.

Included in DOLE's proposed P6.5 billion "obligation budget" for 2016 is P500 million for the implementation of "Augmentation Measures for Displaced Workers Under the K-12 Program."

Recto believes that funds earmarked for "non-urgent and postponable activities" in other sections of the P3 trillion spending bill could be "rechanneled" to augment the DOLE aid package to K-to-12 affected personnel.

This, as Recto called on the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to "list in one package" all programs that will aid college faculty and workers who will be temporarily out of work when high schools stop churning out college-bound graduates next year.

Under the K to 12 plan, Grade 10 finishers are kept in high school for two more years of senior high school beginning 2016.

"By consolidating all programs, we will be able to know and correct the deficiencies," Recto said.

Recto noted that in the Department of Education's (DepEd's) 2016 budget, P12.2 billion is proposed for a "voucher program" in which senior high school students will be enrolled in accredited private schools, including colleges with a high school department.

This is on top of the proposed P9 billion funding, also under DepEd, for the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) program in which government "buys seats" in all grade levels of private schools "so they can accommodate the spillover in public school enrolment."

Recto said there is also a P1.4 billion proposed allocation in the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) budget "for scholarships to faculty members and administrators of higher education institutions (HEIs).

The CHED is also authorized to tap up to P 2.3 billion from the Higher Education Development Fund (HEDF) to assist HEIs transition to the K to 12 program. HEDF is an off-budget item funded, in part, by casino earnings of the government.

"Itong lima na ito P25.4 billion na kaagad. Ang tanong siguro ay linawin kung paano ito makakatulong doon sa mga guro at kawani ng mga private colleges na maapektuhan," Recto said.

He said "assistance to individuals should be unbundled from the assistance to be given to institutions. I think there should be sharper and clearer budget language which assigns what will be given to HEI workers."

The idea, he said, is to find out if the "DOLE-DEPED-TESDA-CHED Joint Guidelines on the Implementation of Republic Act 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 are fully funded," Recto said.

Signed in May 2014, the guidelines spell out assistance to be extended to higher education institutions and their "affected academic, academic support and non-academic personnel."

Assistance could come in the form of employment in public schools through "green lanes" dedicated to them, assignment to senior high school class if the college offers it, moratorium on the payment of SSS and PagIBIG loans, training, livelihood packages, and other forms of bridge financing.

DepEd has projected that up to 1.21 million students who will graduate from high school in 2016 will stay in school for two more years.

This moratorium in high school graduation "means that the conveyor belt which deposits graduates to colleges won't be working for two years."

A government think-tank, the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, forecast that up to 33,000 college instructors may be temporarily idled until the pioneering Grade 12 class graduates in 2018.

A coalition of education workers, however, pegged the number at 86,000 college teachers plus 15,000 non-academic personnel.

A DepED briefing paper to Congress pegs a lower number of 13,634 teachers, or 12 percent of all college teachers, and 11,456 non-teaching staff, or 20 percent of total.

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