/ 16 June 2021

THE ALLIANCE of Concerned Teachers called for the suspension of the licensure requirement for Senior High School teachers as more than 1,000 educators face unemployment because of their expiring licenses.

Assistant Minority leader and ACT Teacher Rep. France Castro, together with the Makabayan bloc, filed House Resolution No. 39 that seeks the suspension of the teaching license requirement for teachers under Republic Act 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013.

“This is in response to the issue whereby teachers’ job security is at risk: they are vulnerable to part-time adjustments, reduced teaching loads, and worse, termination due to the postponement of the Licensure Examination for Teachers. This situation is caused by the pandemic restrictions, and teachers have no other choice but to wait for the said examination to be administered,” Dr. Jonathan Geronimo, Secretary-General of ACT Private Schools, said.

Republic Act 10533 mandates that unless working part-time, graduates of science, mathematics, statistics, engineering, music and other degree courses with shortages in licensed teachers are qualified to teach in SHS, provided that they pass the board licensure examination within five years after the date of hiring.

However, because of the pandemic, the Professional Regulation Commission has postponed the administration of the examination numerous times causing delays and job uncertainties for teachers in probationary status.

“We have received reports from teachers hired under the provision in the private and public sector having adverse effect on their employment for their failure to comply due to the postponement of the Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers scheduled last March 2020, September 2020 and March 2021. There is still no certainty that the LEPT will push through on its scheduled September 26, 2021, due to the still ongoing Covid19 pandemic,” Castro said.

She pointed out that DepEd should provide statutory relief accorded by Republic Act 10469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act which seeks to move statutory deadlines and timelines.

Survey even showed that some permanent teachers were demoted because they were not able to comply with the teaching license requirement.

ACT-Private Schools, a nationwide organization of academic and non-academic personnel, endorsed the resolution to DepEd and sought a dialogue to tackle the issue.

“Considering that we are in the time of pandemic, these teachers cannot afford to look for another job and in effect, their families will suffer,” Castro said.

Geronimo said that mere extension of service for the affected teachers is not a viable solution to address their economic and welfare concerns.

“We are hopeful that DepEd will grant us the opportunity to hear out our demands, especially now that our situation calls for more considerate and compassionate policies,” he said.