By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Education Secretary Leonor Briones announced “significant developments” and “good news” on teachers’ compensation and benefits in line with the efforts of the Department of Education (DepEd) to improve the welfare of teachers in public schools nationwide.
Speaking before thousands of teachers during the 2019 World Teachers’ Day (WTD) celebration at the Limketkai Atrium, Cagayan de Oro City over the weekend, Briones started off by announcing the “good news.”
With the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) completing its study on benchmarking of salaries of government personnel, Briones said that “we anticipate that the promised new round of salary increase for all employees of government will be announced by the Office of the President or its authorized representative soon.
Briones announced the release of P1,000-incentive benefit for all teachers and teaching-related personnel positions to be given not earlier than October 5 of this year as well as the provision of a P3,500 cash allowance.
Aside from these, Briones also took note of the “recognition” of all teaching-related personnel such as guidance counselors, nurses, and engineers for their merit, exemplary performance, and achievements; the merit-based promotion for entry-level teaching positions; the advanced teaching and information technologies and innovations such as 21st century classrooms and AI computers; the transformation of National Educators’ Academy of the Philippines (NEAP); and the Last Mile Schools Program.
Tribute to Teachers
Pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 242 declaring the period from September 5 to October 5 of every year as the National Teachers’ Month (NTM), and Republic Act. No. 10743 declaring the 5th of October every year as National Teachers’ Day (NTF) and World Teachers’ Day (WTD) as designated by United Nations Education and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO), DepEd and the city government of CDO paid tribute to thousands of teachers.
Anchored on the theme “Gurong Pilipino: Handa sa Makabagong Pagbabago,” the event aimed to recognize the unparalleled contributions of educators not only nationally, but also globally. “It also aims to revitalize the image and respect for teaching as a vocation by increasing public awareness on the value of teachers in the Philippine society,” Briones said.
“Sinasabi nila na masama ang dynasty pero ang teacher dynasty ang pinaka-magnificent, pinakamahusay at pinakamalaking kontribusyon sa ating bayan (They say the dynasty is bad but the teacher dynasty is the most magnificent, best, and has the biggest contribution in our country),” Briones noted.
Aside from performances enjoyed by the teachers, other activities included raffle draws, health and wellness booths, medical and outreach packages. Almost 100 participating partners also gave tokens of gratitude to teachers during the month-long celebration.
Aside from Briones, also in attendance were DepEd’s Executive Committee, Regional Directors, Bureau and Service Directors, Assistant Regional Directors, Schools Division Superintendents, school heads, host city Mayor Oscar Moreno, Misamis Oriental Representative Rufus Rodriguez, PHLPost Master General CEO Joel Otarra, Metrobank Foundation (MBFI) President Aniceto Sobrepeña, and other private partners.
The celebration was made possible through the External Partnerships Service-Special Events Unit (EPS-SEU) under the leadership of the Undersecretary for Legislative Affairs, External Partnerships and Project Management Service Tonisito M.C. Umali, Esq., in cooperation with the National Teachers’ Day Coordinating Council (NTDCC), the National Teachers’ Month Coordinating Council (NTMCC), education stakeholders, and partners.
As DepEd continues to work on improving the welfare of teachers, Briones also challenged the teachers to teach their learners and themselves to adapt to change. “There are many exciting things waiting for you, many innovations, many new ways of looking at things, many sources of knowledge, please take advantage of what these innovations can give us,” she ended.