/ 24 August 2022

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian on Tuesday said that the recent sexual abuse suffered by four elementary school teachers in Ocampo town, Camarines Sur was a despicable act of violence that has no place in basic education institutions.

Last week, a lone armed robber entered the school where the teachers were preparing for the opening of classes. The man robbed the teachers and molested them at an isolated place inside the school.

“Walang puwang ang anumang uri ng karahasan sa ating mga guro at sa loob ng ating mga paaralan. Tungkulin nating tiyakin na ang mga paaralan ay ligtas para sa lahat ng mga guro at mga mag-aaral,” Gatchalian said.

The senator said Senate Bill 155 or the 21st Century School Boards Act will address such issues as it seeks to expand the use of the Special Education Fund to cover the salaries or wages of security and utility personnel assigned to public elementary and secondary schools.

SEF is sourced from the additional one percent tax on real property and is allotted by the Local Government Code to the local school boards for the operation and maintenance of public schools and construction and repair of school buildings.

“Kung mapapalawig natin ang maaaring paggamitan ng Special Education Fund, mapapaigting natin ang kakayahan ng mga lokal na pamahalaan na tiyakin ang seguridad sa ating mga paaralan. Kabilang na rito ang pagtugon sa pangangailangan ng mga mag-aaral at mga guro, lalo na sa usapin ng dekalidad na edukasyon” Gatchalian said.

The senator’s proposed SEF use expansion also covers salaries of SEF-paid teachers and non-teaching personnel assigned to public elementary and secondary schools, salaries of pre-school teachers and capital outlay for pre-schools, operation and maintenance of ALS programs, teachers’ and non-teaching personnel’s honoraria and allowances for additional services rendered outside of regular schools hours, among others.