Press Release
October 14, 2016

Only 59 of 3,286 workers affected by K to 12 received govt subsidy

Senator Sonny Angara has urged the government to make the financial and employment assistance more accessible to give due relief to the more than 3,000 higher education workers affected by the implementation of the K to 12 program.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) revealed during its budget deliberation in the Senate that only 59 of the 3,286 displaced teachers and non-teaching personnel have so far availed of the financial and employment assistance by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Under DOLE's Adjustment Measures Program, displaced workers may receive financial aid ranging from P7,000 to 25,000 while they are looking for alternative employment. The amounts will be based on the prevailing median salary of the higher education institution personnel per nature of appointment per region, or his or her previous monthly salary, whichever is lower.

The duration of the financial support, which will be released every end of the month, will be for three months for non-permanent and six months for permanent higher education personnel.

However, CHED K-12 transition program director Karol Mark Yee said the teachers found it too difficult to access the financial assistance given the many requirements set by DOLE including a minimum of 10 job applications for the past month as proof that they are actively seeking jobs.

Yee also cited low awareness of the DOLE's program for displaced higher education workers.

"The K-12's very design is to improve the state of education in the Philippines. I am certain with more scrutiny and efficiency, there is a way we can weather the transition without sacrificing one of the most crucial elements of education: the teachers," said Angara, a known advocate of educational reform and author of a bill seeking higher salaries for teachers.

The senator urged the education authorities to ease the requirements and improve the information drive on such programs.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, during Thursday's DOLE budget hearing also presided by Angara, concurred that the requirements should not be that stringent, and that they will streamline the process to avail of the financial support.

The government has allocated P500 million for DOLE's Adjustment Measures Program under this year's budget.

At present, the actual displacement for AY 2016-2017 is at 3,286 teaching and non-teaching personnel, which is much lower than the initial projection of 9,000.

To mitigate the impact, 925 were hired by the Department of Education to teach senior high school.

CHED will also open up its applications for scholarships for graduate studies to accommodate the displaced faculty. CHED has already awarded scholarship to more than 4,000 college teachers before the opening of AY 2016-2017 to minimize the displacement of teachers.

Meanwhile, aside from financial aid, DOLE's employment facilitation services includes profiling of displaced higher education personnel, matching, and job referrals.

Job referrals and placements can be also provided by the Public Employment Service Office, private employment agencies, registered contractors and sub-contractors, industry partners, and training institutions accredited by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

"Not only did these higher education personnel lose their jobs, some also lost their security of tenure as well as the benefits extended to their dependents. We must work very hard to find a way to improve our education system and at the same time, ensure that we extend ample support for our noble workers," Angara said.

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