TEACHERS’ MAGNA CARTA
Teachers and civil society groups vowed to engage Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones and the Duterte administration on their fivedecade advocacy for the implementation of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (RA 4670), a law enacted in June 1966.
This Magna Carta is considered a bible of Filipino teachers and lists several provisions that ensure the rights, welfare and dignity of the country’s public school teachers. However, some of those provisions have not been implemented since the 1960s, and many still are selectively and partly enforced.
Certain provisions, like the salary scale in which the law provides the teachers’ salary progression from lowest grade to highest grade within a maximum period of ten years, overtime pay for those who teach beyond six hours, free medical examination and hospitalization, paid study leave for those who served for seven years, and special hardship allowances, among others.
On its part, the Education Network-Philippines (E-Net) a national alliance of education sector advocates lamented the outcome of the 50-year old law.
The groups have jointly initiated a massive information and education campaign for the Magna Carta through a series of forums that started on June 18, 2016, exactly 50 years after the law has signed by the then president Ferdinand Marcos. The initiative aims to strengthen and mobilize support for its implementation by engaging the respective government agencies, especially DepEd.
Teachers are confident that Secretary Leonor Briones will be on their side on this matter, being an expert on fiscal policies and an advocate of social justice.
Teachers are also hoping that the new administration will really effect genuine change, and can start by correcting the errors of the past administrations, respect and protect teachers’ rights by fully and correctly implementing the provisions of the Magna Carta.