Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto has urged the government to provide assistance to over 300,000 private school teachers whose salaries were either cut or slashed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the Senate committee of the whole’s hearing Thursday (May 21) on the pandemic, Education Secretary Leonor Briones told senators that the income of about 263,000 teachers in private-run elementary and high schools are affected.
“These are the small private school teachers, kasi two months silang ‘no work, no pay’ kaya wala silang earnings,” she said.
Of the teachers working in basic education classes, Briones said 50,000 are at risk of losing their jobs. She suggested that the government treat smalls schools as distressed small and medium enterprises that are eligible for aid from the State.
With the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations reporting that about 77,000 private “higher education institutions” faculty subjected to the “no work, no pay” scheme, Recto estimates that around 330,000 teachers are financially affected by the pandemic.
“Mas madami pa sila sa mga UV drivers sa bansa. But their plight is not well publicized. And because of their professional status, they have fallen in the cracks of the government’s cash aid program,” he said.
Recto suggested that the impounded funds for schools be released so teachers can be paid. Another means is for distressed schools to be included in Small Business Wage Subsidies (SBWS) program of the government.