/ 2 December 2020

A TEACHERS’ group welcomed the recent order of the Department of Education to reimburse the telephone and internet expenses of its employees during the conduct of distance learning.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers  called the move a “concrete product of the education workers’ persistence.”

“For months, DepEd has refused to grant our call for internet allowance, citing the lack of legal basis for such. This development only shows that perseverance in collective action for very valid demands pays off. Kung hindi ito iginiit ng mga guro, malamang TY (thank you) na naman ito, gaya ng mga dati nang gastos ng mga guro sa pagtuturo,” Raymond Basilio, the group’s secretary general, said.

However, the group noted that the P300 reimbursement allowed per month is puny compared to their demand of P1,500 monthly internet allowance.

Basilio asked DepEd to come up with clearer mechanisms wherein requests for reimbursements may be elevated to higher DepEd offices if school, division and regional funds are not enough to pay the teachers and employees.

“This measure would grant each DepEd employee a maximum of P2,700 total reimbursement, or roughly P2.7 billion for all employees. We all know that the school maintenance and other operating expenses have long been depleted as practically all expenses for distance learning have been charged on this fund. DepEd should allow the use of hefty division, region and central office MOOE funds for the reimbursement of teachers and employees from the ground,” Basilio said.

He added that teachers will continue to seek sufficient internet allowance.