/ 24 December 2021

A TEACHERS’ group called on the government to immediately release the benefits of education workers as thousands of them were among those hit by typhoon Odette.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers pressed President Rodrigo Duterte to swiftly order the grant of Service Recognition Incentive worth P10,000 to all government workers and the release of performance-based bonus for 2020 to DepEd employees, especially those in Visayas and Mindanao who suffered the brunt of the typhoon.

“The slow and dismal government response to the victims of typhoon Odette brings more gloom to the lives of our people at this otherwise joyous time. Aid is urgently needed and the least President Duterte can do for teachers and education support personnel is to direct the release of benefits that already have fund sources,” Raymond Basilio, the group’s secretary general, said.

Duterte has yet to issue an administrative order for the grant of SRI, a year-end benefit granted to all government employees since 2019, sourced from the savings of each agency.

Meanwhile, the release of the PBB for 2020 is still unsure.

“Everyday that the government fails to respond to the needs of our people, they suffer from lack of shelter, food and drinking water. It is downright unacceptable that this government is not mobilizing enough to swiftly get aid through to those who need them the most,” Basilio said.

He deplored the President’s statement that there are no more resources to fund calamity aid.

“Practically a third of the country is placed under the state of calamity. The situation calls for a more innovative and steadfast leadership to rise above this challenge than a cheap heroic streak of purported self-sacrifice,” Basilio said.

ACT has launched its Tulong-Guro relief drive to gather donations for the victims of typhoon Odette.