Teachers’ alliance questions “no savings” declaration of DepEd-11

Jan. 28, 2019

Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) in Davao Region calls for the insertion of separate budget for the Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) cash incentive to the General Appropriations Act in a press conference on Friday, January 25, 2019, in a press conference at a cafe in Davao City. (L-R) ACT-Davao City Chapter President Reynaldo Pardillo; ACT-Davao Region Vice President Wilfredo Lacatan; and ACT-Davao Region President Elenito Escalante. (Mara S. Genotiva/davaotoday.com)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Teachers group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) has made a call for the inclusion of the Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) cash incentive to the 2019 national budget, after Department of Education in Region 11(DepEd-11) declared the status of “no savings” last year.

In a press conference on Friday, ACT-Davao City President Reynaldo Pardillo bared that they are expecting about P19 Million pesos to be given to more than 30,000 teachers in the region.

“We are struggling with regards to our CNA (incentives). Imagine, other departments under the local government unit and other agencies have already received at least P5,000 or P7,000. But the DepEd (region 11) has declared no savings. If we go through (the data), at least P19 million, if I’m not mistaken, worth of budget to be shared by more than 30,000 teachers. But sad to say, the DepEd-11 declared they don’t have any savings,” Pardillo said.

DepEd-11 Spokesperson Jenelito Atillo refused to give comment about the issue, in a phone interview with Davao Today on Monday.

“Honestly, I can’t give any comment because that is a matter being … that is a matter that I still need to refer the Regional Director,” Atillo said.

Atillo added that DepEd-11 Director Alberto Escobarte is currently in Manila.

Pardillo said teachers are now dismayed, stating that: “This (CNA incentives) could make the teachers happy. We wonder why other departments were able to receive incentives but the underpaid and overworked teachers were not able to receive anything, not even P100.”

The group said they will make a call on the national government to include the CNA incentives of teachers to the 2019 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

ACT party-list Representative France Castro told Davao Today that they have been calling for the insertion of a separate budget for the CNA incentives in the national budget.

However, Castro said CNA incentives would still come from an agency’s savings from its annual Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) budget.

“Matagal na na panawagan at request ng ACT na sana malagay ito as separate item doon sa GAA pero unfortanately hindi ito nailagay (ACT has been making calls to put this as a separate item in the GAA but unfortunately this was not included),” Castro added.

But the lawmaker said they are still yet to see a certification that DepEd-11has declared no savings for them to look for other alternatives.

“Kung nag-declare at meron talagang papeles na zero talaga ang savings ng MOOE sa DepEd Region 11, dapat mabigyan muna nila kami ng papel, mabigyan nila kami ng certification ng DepEd-11 para magawan namin ng ibang alternatibo, pwede naman nating kunin sa iba pang savings ang CNA (If there are documents showing they have zero savings in MOOE in DepEd-11, they should have given us supporting papers and a certification so that we can make some alternatives, we can derive the CNA from other savings)” said Castro.

Pardillo also told reporters that they are still waiting for Director Escobarte’s response regarding their request.

“We are still trying to talk with the Director regarding this problem. Hopefully iyang tubagon. Unta matagaan mi niya og justification, ngano ingon ani. Ngano zero savings naman karon na kumpara sa mga niaging panahon naa man millions (Hopefully, he will answer us. We hope he could give us justifications why the office has zero savings as compared to previous years when the DepEd here has millions),” Pardillo added.

He said the CNA incentives, once granted, would greatly help teachers who are currently struggling with the skyrocketing prices of commodities brought by inflation.

According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the amount of CNA bonuses depends on the office’s savings and only government workers who are members of the 1,207 accredited unions in the country are qualified to receive the cash incentives that should not exceed P25,000.

ACT Union and DepEd-11 signed a Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) last August 5, 2016, making the former as the sole representative of Davao teachers in negotiating with the DepEd. (davaotoday.com)

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