Service Credits for Teachers in the Philippines: A Call for Change
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) in the Philippines has recently made a significant request to the Department of Education (DepEd). They are calling for the removal of the 15-day cap on service credits for teachers, arguing that this limit does not adequately compensate teachers for their extra work. This issue has sparked a heated debate about the fairness of the current system of service credits for teachers in the Philippines.
What are Service Credits?
Service credits are a privilege granted to teachers for days that they are required to work outside of their regular workdays. These credits can be used to offset their absences. According to DepEd Order No. 53, s. 2003, the number of vacation service credits granted to a teacher shall not exceed fifteen (15) workdays in one year. This policy has been in place since 2003 and is now being challenged by ACT.
The 15-Day Cap Controversy
ACT Chairperson, Vladimer Quetua, has stated that many teachers have reported that their service credits exceeding 15 days are not being recognized. This, they argue, is a waste of the teachers’ efforts and is essentially uncompensated work. The issue has become particularly relevant as DepEd plans a National Learning Camp, which will take place during the teachers’ vacation time. ACT argues that the time and effort volunteered by teachers for this program should be adequately compensated with service credits.
The Demand for Change
ACT has reiterated their demand for DepEd, CSC, and DBM to urgently scrap the 15-day service credit limit. They argue that many teachers have complained that their hard-earned credits are not honored because of the cap currently imposed. Quetua has described this as a form of scam, where teachers are told that their extra work will be compensated, but at the end of the year, it is not honored.
The Impact on Teachers
The current system has been criticized for neglecting the needs of teachers. Low salaries, poor and delayed benefits, and now the issue of service credits have all contributed to a sense of dissatisfaction among educators. ACT concludes that it’s about time teachers are properly remunerated for their services.
The issue of service credits for teachers in the Philippines is a complex one. It involves not only the welfare of teachers but also the broader issues of education policy and labor rights. As the debate continues, it is clear that a resolution that respects the rights and contributions of teachers is needed.
- What is the maximum service credits for teachers in the Philippines? According to DepEd Order No. 53, s. 2003, the number of vacation service credits granted to a teacher shall not exceed fifteen (15) workdays in one year.
- What is a service credit? Service credit is a privilege granted to teachers for days that they are required to work outside of their regular workdays, which they can use to offset their absences.
- When can a teacher be dismissed from service in the Philippines? A teacher can be dismissed from service for various reasons, including gross misconduct, inefficiency, and neglect of duty, among others.
- What are the leave benefits for teachers in the Philippines? Teachers in the Philippines are entitled to vacation and sick leave benefits. They can also avail of maternity, paternity, and solo parent leaves, among others.