/ 14 October 2020

ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro on Tuesday asked the Department of Education to provide support to teachers who contracted the coronavirus disease.

Castro lamented that the DepEd lacks guidelines that would protect teachers from getting the virus.

“We also now ask the DepEd: What kind of support can teachers expect if they do get sick of Covid19?” she asked.

The lawmaker called on the DepEd to implement the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers by providing free healthcare services for teachers who can also be considered as frontliners.

“Now more than ever, the Department of Education must ensure that teachers’ rights under the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers and other pertinent laws on occupational health are realized, as classes resume and dozens of teachers report to have been exposed to or have contacted the Covid19 virus,” she said.

Castro lamented that teachers, students and all Filipinos will remain vulnerable to the deadly virus for as long as precautionary measures in schools are not enough and if the government will not provide free mass testing.

“It is high time that the Department of Education ensure public school teachers free compulsory medical examination before employment, free medical check-up at least once a year and free medical treatment and/or hospitalization,” she said.

In the proposed 2021 national budget, funding for the P500 medical check-up allowance for teachers was scrapped and benefits under the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers remain unfunded.

Castro also called on DepEd to reveal how many of its personnel have tested positive for Covid19.

“The health of teachers, non-teaching personnel and students and quality of education must not be sacrificed for education continuity. Without adequate steps in concretely addressing the problems in education, the Duterte administration continues to abandon the education system, leaving teachers, the local government units and the parents to find ways to be able to deliver education despite government neglect,” she said.