/ 25 September 2020

A GROUP of private schools has asked the government to clarify if all private school teachers would receive subsidies and allowances under the Bayanihan Act 2.

The Federation of Associations of Private Schools Administrators said that the Department of Education issued a memorandum on the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act that grants P300 million in subsidies and allowances to displaced teaching and non-teaching personnel in public and private educational institutions affected by the pandemic but it was not clear who would receive assistance.

“Confused ang mga [private school] administrators, we do not know who are the displaced teachers and if they say, only those that were retrenched or laid off, that is unfair to the sordid condition generally experienced by most of us,” FAPSA president Elezardo Kasilag said.

Kasilag noted that hundreds of private school teachers have been without jobs since March.

“The government has provided several assistance from DOLE Covid19 Adjustment Measures Program, the DSWD Social Amelioration Program, SSS Small Business Wage Subsidy, among others. However, most of our school personnel were not able to avail of these,” he said.

“FAPSA knows that most private schools have started operating last month—owing to poor enrollment– teachers are given minimal or half of their usual salary in fact, even lower than the minimum wage,” Kasilag added.

He said that there were some private schools that opened just to provide work for teachers and cater to the few enrollees who decided to continue studying in private schools.

The federation also asked if public school teachers will also be included in the subsidies and allowances.

“They receive pay regularly and even allowances, bonuses have been advanced to them. The public school teachers are the envy of our teachers in the private schools. Their table is always abundant while it is only the relief goods enjoyed by our teachers,” Kasilag said.

The FAPSA also wants to know how the cash assistance will be distributed.

“We know the P300 million is not enough. P300 million /P8,000 goes only to 37, 500 school personnel but Deped stats say there are 263,000 personnel in the private schools. That is in basic education alone but the allocation includes the tertiary education personnel,” Kasilag shared.

He said that FAPSA can help in the distribution of the cash assistance.