/ 9 October 2020

THE TEACHERS’ Dignity Coalition scored the Department of Education for its failure to implement a work-from-home scheme for its employees.

The TDC said that many teachers were required to report physically to their schools, some once a week while everyday for others.

The group said this arrangement is against the agency’s alternative work policy laid down under DepEd Order No. 11 s. 2020.

“While we recognize that there are circumstances that would necessitate physical reporting, the same shall not be done on a daily basis and shall not involve all the teachers, especially in a manner contrary to the existing rules. It is somewhat illogical to require the physical presence of classroom teachers when we are implementing distance learning,” TDC said.

“The tasks of a classroom teacher are identified in her weekly home learning plan and most of those tasks, if not all can be done remotely. Thus, we earnestly request the DepEd Central Office to take a look at this practice in the field and remind the officials to abide by the policies of the agency,” TDC Secretary General Emmalyn Policarpio said in a letter addressed to Education Secretary Leonor Briones.

The group said that violations of the work-from-home scheme were rampant in the Calabarzon region.

Richie Salubre, president of TDC Calabarzon Teachers’ Union, said that the group received several complaints from teachers in Cavite and Quezon that they were required to physically report every day.

“These schools are violating the letters and intent of the DepEd Order and even the Civil Service Commission and IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force] rules. The scheme they use defeats the purpose of the national government to limit the physical movement of the people and puts the national effort on Covid19 response in a mockery,” Salubre, a teacher in Dasmariñas City, said.

“Some parts of the country are still under different quarantine categories that limit the access to public transportation and physical movement of the people, measures adopted by the national government in its effort to prevent the further transmission of Covid19,” Salubre added.

Salubre said that if this concern is not addressed, the group will be forced to file a formal complaint before the Department of Education.

“These cases are not unique in Calabarzon, it also happens in other regions, even in Metro Manila. We have compiled all of those reported cases as early as June and they continue until to-day. Once and for all, the DepEd must prove that they can make policies and are able to implement the same,” Salubre said.