Sen. Bam Aquino called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to ensure that it will be a merry Christmas for thousands of public school teachers by expediting the release of their unpaid salaries and other benefits.
"Nais ko pong ipakiusap na madaliin sana ang paglabas ng suweldo, bonus at iba pang benepisyo na nakalaan para sa ating mga guro upang maging maligaya ang pagdiriwang nila ng Pasko, kasama ang kanilang mga mahal sa buhay," said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Committee on Education, in his letter to DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones dated December 2, 2016.
The senator made the move after receiving information that some teachers have yet to receive their salaries and bonuses.
"Batid ko na ang iba ay kulang pa ng requirements ngunit marami sa kanila ay kumpleto na ang mga dokumento at naghihintay na lang sa paglabas ng suweldo," said Sen. Bam, whose office has already helped some teachers obtain their salaries and bonuses.
"Lahat tayo ay naghahangad ng magandang Pasko para sa ating pamilya at mahal sa buhay. Wala nang gaganda pa kung maipagdiriwang natin ito nang walang anumang alalahanin sa ating isipan," he added.
As chairman of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress, Sen. Bam is pushing for the enactment of laws that will provide teachers with additional support and incentives.
According to Sen. Bam, these support and incentives will make teaching in public schools attractive for teachers.
The senator is currently working on a bill that will provide teachers relocation allowance, hazard pay and health care insurance.
Sen. Bam also filed Senate Bill No. 173 or the Free Education for Children of Public School Teachers Act.
If passed into law, free education in state universities nationwide will be given to children of public school teachers in all levels, whether they want to pursue baccalaureate degrees or short-term training course.
The measure will provide full subsidy program that covers 100 percent of the tuition fee and other miscellaneous expenses necessary upon the enrollment of the student in a state college or university.
Aside from additional benefits for teachers, Sen. Bam also wants to improve the working environment of public school teachers by addressing backlogs in classrooms, improving facilities, and giving all public schools access to the internet and online educational materials.
Source: Senate of the Philippines