/ 1 August 2023

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian on Monday raised concerns over the employment status of child development workers in the Philippines, revealing that only 11 percent or 8,739 of the 78,893 CDWs nationwide hold permanent positions. (according to data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development)

“In the quest to professionalize and improve the early childhood care and development or ECCD system, we also need to incentivize our workers and teachers by giving them tenure,” the chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education said.

During a recent Senate hearing on proposed measures to strengthen early childhood care and development, Gatchalian cited data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development that majority of the country’s CDWs are under contractual employment at 30 percent, followed by 22 percent in casual positions, and 20 percent employed under a memorandum of agreement.

The DSWD data further showed that 9 percent are volunteers and 7 percent are job orders.

Under the Basic Education and Early Childhood Education Alignment Act or Senate Bill 2029, which seeks to amend the Early Years Act of 2013 or Republic Act 1041, Gatchalian proposed mandating greater responsibilities on local government units on the implementation of ECCD programs.

These include the creation of plantilla positions for Child Development Teachers and CDWs and the promotion and encouragement of their professional development.

“Since we are devolving this responsibility to our local government units and they will be the ones absorbing the tenure of child development workers, we will grant them the flexibility to choose whom they wish to hire for plantilla positions,” the senator added.

The Basic Education and Early Childhood Education Alignment Act also proposes that LGUs shall provide the facilities and resources for the implementation of ECCD programs.

Gatchalian’s measure seeks to ensure alignment between the K to 12 basic education curriculum and the ECCD curriculum.