TEACHERS’ MAGNA CARTA

Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! - MAR­I­LYN A. DAAG --oOo-The au­thor is Teacher III at Pam­panga High School

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.

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