/ 14 September 2021

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian on Monday reiterated the need to uphold the safety and welfare of teachers, non-teaching staff and school officials as more than 24.6 million learners resumed home-based learning.

Gatchalian noted that even without physical classes, activities such as the printing and distribution of self-learning modules expose teachers, staff, and school officials to the risk of being infected by the new coronavirus disease.

While DepEd personnel who test positive with Covid19 are covered by benefits from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Gatchalian noted that they still need to spend money from their own pockets before receiving reimbursements from the state insurer.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa ating mga guro, mga kawani, at mga school officials dahil kung wala ang kanilang sipag, dedikasyon, at patuloy na sakripisyo, hindi natin maipagpapatuloy ang edukasyon sa gitna ng pandemya. Ngunit dahil patuloy ang banta ng Covid19, dapat nating tiyaking protektado sila at meron silang matatakbuhan kapag sila ay tinamaan ng sakit,” Gatchalian said.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture urged DepEd to work with PhilHealth to secure a “special lane” for teachers to ensure the speedy release of their financial aid.

Gatchalian also reiterated the need to vaccinate teachers and minors to ensure the safe reopening of schools.