TAGUM CITY—A teachers’ group on Friday has urged the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Department of Education (DepEd) to release the public school teachers’ performance-based bonuses before the yuletide break.
Benjie Valbuena, national chairperson of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, said that the bonuses should have been released during the months of September and October as stated in a DepEd order.
“All eligible beneficiaries, including the amount they will receive, of the Performance-based Bonus (PBB) must have been finalized by the end of August and that its release shall commence within the months of September to October,” said Valbuena.
Valbuena criticized the two agencies for “inefficiency”.
“The year is to end and DepEd is yet to complete its records and reports. Matters such as problems of having two schools with the same name in the same division are not yet resolved by the Department which shows only their inefficiency in their recording and reporting mechanisms,” Valbuena said.
In Davao del Norte, public school teachers aired the same demand.
“Honestly, I am expecting that our bonuses will be released ahead of our scheduled Christmas break. I am hoping that they won’t delay the release because we have timely complied the requirements,” said Leomar Liboon, a public school teacher at La Libertad National High School.
Another public school teacher, Jay Cabal, also told DavaoToday, that the bonus that he will receive “is a great help for his family to ease their financial burden because his family will spend the Christmas break in Davao Oriental.”
“It’s our hard-earned money so it means a lot. I hope in due time I will be able to receive my bonus,” Cabal said.
According to DepEd, it has already started to release the teachers’ bonuses in some public schools particularly in the National Capital Region and Region IV – A.
“The delay is caused by the PBB Inter-Agency Task Force requiring teachers to submit their statement of assets and liabilities (SALN) in 2012 and 2013. These documents are with their school administrators already since teachers are required to have this every April of the year,” the ACT said.
The group claimed that as of Friday there were 13,994 teachers who would not be able to receive their bonuses this year because they have failed to submit their SALN.
Valbuena insisted that “if these documents are misplaced, it is no longer the problem of the teachers. Also, why would the IATF require teachers’ SALN’s when we all know that our teachers are mostly poor brought about by their meager monthly pay.”
“The rest of the 14 regions are yet to be fixed by the DBM. As estimated, more than 10,000 teachers will not be able to receive their last year’s bonus because of their missing SALNs,” said Valbuena.
Valbuena said “the delay and possible exclusion of more than 10,000 teachers from the list of beneficiaries is an added burden to our already restive and miserable situation.”
“We challenge DepEd Sec. Armin Luistro and DBM Sec. Butch Abad to show some respect to our teachers and in the spirit of the coming Christmas holiday, to fast track the release of PBB for all teachers without any further preconditions,” said Valbuena. (davaotoday.com)