Press Release
October 4, 2020

De Lima recognizes teachers' resilience, commitment on Teacher's Day

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has paid tribute to all teachers for their resilience and commitment to provide students with quality education and advance their welfare amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In her message on World Teacher's Day (Oct. 5), De Lima said addressing the concerns and giving the needed assistance to lessen teachers' burden is the least that she and other public servants can do to genuinely honor and recognize their sacrifices.

"We can never thank you enough. This is why I reiterate my support in urging DepEd to fill its vacancies in teaching positions to fully implement the blended learning modality this school year," she said.

"I likewise support DepEd's plan of hiring para-teachers to assist our teachers and the distance learners with their lessons," added De Lima, a former educator herself.

Held every Oct. 5, the United Nations' (UN) World Teacher's Day commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers.

In her Dispatch from Crame No. 928, De Lima expressed support to her Senate colleagues' call urging the Department of Education (DepEd) to fill its 55,000-plus vacancies - over 34,000 of which are teaching positions - in order to fully implement the blended learning modality for the coming school year.

In the same Dispatch, De Lima welcomed DepEd's plan to hire para-teachers, saying that "by acknowledging that not all parents are capable of teaching their children, DepEd saw this need for para-teachers to materialize and the opportunity to introduce local, community-based solutions to the problem of distance learning."

Despite the health risks and hurdles, De Lima said the nation once again witness the resilience and commitment of Filipino teachers who never waver to fulfill their duties.

"Mula sa mga tumatawid pa ng ilog at naglalakad ng kilo-kilometro para magturo, sa mga di-magkandaugaga sa paghahanap ng signal ng internet para sa online classes, sa mga nag-aabono para tugunan ang kakulangan sa kagamitan, sa mga nagbabahay-bahay para makapagbigay ng module, sa inyong lahat na isinasantabi ang takot at pangamba, maraming, maraming salamat po, mga mahal naming guro," she added.

De Lima, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, also vowed to push for measures which seek to increase teachers' salary and provide additional allowances and hazard pay, especially during these perilous times.

"Together, we can overcome any challenge for our teachers and students, and hope for a better future for all of us. Have a safe and meaningful Teacher's Day!" said she.

Beginning 1986, the same year that she became a lawyer, until 1994, De Lima worked as a professor in San Beda Law for several subjects including Introduction to Law, Statutory Construction, Persons and Family Relations, Transportation Law and Private Corporation Law (now Business Organization).

Later in 2006 when she became an election law practitioner, De Lima resumed her teaching career and taught Election Law, albeit briefly, as she had to give up teaching anew to focus on public service in 2008 when she was appointed Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

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