/ 11 June 2021

THE ALLIANCE of Concerned Teachers bared that teachers have not received the laptops and 100GB data allowance provided under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.

In May, the Department of Budget and Management said that it has released all funds under the Bayanihan 2 to respective agencies.

The law provides 68,500 laptops for teachers and monthly data allowance for distance learning.

ACT decried the slow disbursement of funds by Department of Education.

“Those provisions were meant to help us better perform our especially challenging duties for the current school year. Those were part of the state’s mandate to provide the operational needs of distance learning. Pero anong petsa na? Matatapos na lang ang taon nang hindi man lang napakinabangan ng mga guro at maski ng aming mga estudyante ang kakaunti at huling suporta ng gobyerno sa edukasyon,” Raymond Basilio, the group’s secretary general, said.

The group said that based on reports it gathered, not one region has received the laptops and said data allowance from the DepEd Central Office.

There were some DEPED divisions in the National Capital Region, Bicol Region (Region V), Western Visayas (Region VI), Central Visayas (Region VII), and Davao Region (Region XI) that received gadgets but these came either from the local government unit or from DepEd’s 2020 computerization program.

“DepEd is notorious for its poor fiscal performance, which have long forced teachers to shoulder the costs of education delivery. But this can’t go on. We simply can’t afford it any longer amid the severe crises besetting our country. We need a definitive answer from DepEd: when will these provisions be enjoyed by teachers and students?” Basilio asked.

He called on concerned government bodies to look into DepEd’s neglect of its duty.

Basilio added that DepEd must be held to account for failing to provide the support to teachers as quickly as possible, which goes against the objective of the Bayanihan law.

ACT said that Bayanihan 2 was the only Covid-response measure that provided support for education.