Press Release
July 18, 2015

DepEd urged to speed up teacher recruitment - Recto

Out of the 39,066 teachers to be hired this year, not one was hired in time for the opening of classes in June, prompting Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph G. Recto to urge the Department of Education (DepEd) to speed up its personnel hiring process.

The DepEd has been given P9.35 billion in the 2015 national budget to fund 39,066 teacher positions.

Under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for 2015, the appointments must be made before the start of the 2015-2106 school year.

But 12 days before classes opened last June 1, DepEd, in an official report to Congress, admitted that it had yet to swear into office one teacher from this year's quota of mentors to be hired.

In fact, as of last May, DepEd was still processing the appointment papers of about 1,800 teachers who will occupy positions created in 2014, Recto said.

In 2014, 29,394 new teacher positions were funded, but delays hound the filling of these as well, the senator said.

"It seems the same thing is repeating this year," Recto said, explaining the bureaucracy's biggest agency "is probably having a hard time dealing with gargantuan budgets."

"I think this agency is having a problem on how to absorb huge allocations. Parang sa laki ng pondo nila, na shock-and-awe sila. Budgetary expansion should have led to capacity improvement. Kulang sa tao para mag-handle ng dami ng proyekto," he explained.

He pegged at P92.3 billion DepEd's "shopping money for teachers, classrooms, textbooks, science equipment, vocational labs, etc."

"In classrooms alone, it must build 43,183 this year, when in the past it was only erecting a maximum of about 10,000 classrooms annually," Recto said.

If teachers have been hired, Recto said the DepEd must post their names and school division on its website.

"This provision was included precisely to itemize the utilization of a lump sum account, which the budget for the hiring of new teachers is," he said.

On the hiring of teachers, Recto said "DepEd must streamline the process, to advance the screening, for example, to identify a pool of recruits who have passed the evaluation, so when the funding comes, DepEd will only have to pick from the available talent pool."

"Kung meron nang maraming pangalan sa Registry of Qualified Applicants (RQA), eh di dapat mabilis na," Recto said.

The benefits, he said, of Congress promptly funding new teacher positions is cancelled when these are not filled fast.

"And the students are those who suffer from red tape when they show up in schools only to find out that their teacher has yet to be hired," Recto said.

An estimated 21.5 million students went back to classes in 38,759 public elementary schools and 7,748 public high schools last June 2.

The P9.35 billion earmarked for the hiring of the initial year salary of the teachers is one of the biggest items in DepEd's P340 billion outlay for the current year.

According to Recto, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) plays a key role in teacher-hiring.

"Formal recruitment can only proceed if the 'Notice of Organization, Staffing and Compensation Action' has been issued by the DBM," he said.

The Senate leader said the GAA also requires that the appointment be made before the start of the 2015-2106 school year.

DepEd Order #7, Series of 2015, which sets the Hiring Guidelines for Teacher I Applicants for School Year 2015-2016, calls for observance of the merit and fitness principle in civil service.

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