Group seeks gov’t aid for typhoon-hit education workers

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 07 2020 05:08 PM

Group seeks gov’t aid for typhoon-hit education workers 1
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers staged a protest outside the Department of Education’s headquarters in Pasig on December 7, 2020, calling on the agency to provide aid to education workers from areas recently battered by typhoons. Photo courtesy of Alliance of Concerned Teachers

MANILA – The country’s largest teachers union on Monday staged a protest as it urged the Department of Education to provide aid to education workers affected by recent typhoons.

People from the education sector “have not received sufficient help from the government,” about a month since typhoons battered large parts of Luzon and “aggravated the problems in distance learning,” said Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Secretary General Raymond Basilio.

Basilio said DepEd teachers and employees in typhoon-stricken areas lamented that the department only offered them access to loans from the agency’s provident fund and private lending institutions.

“The DepEd well knows that our employees have long been deep in debt, the laptops and printers that were damaged by the typhoons were acquired through loans,” said Basilio, whose group conducted relief operations in the affected areas.

“More loans would only aggravate instead of alleviate their economic sufferings, what they need is financial aid of no less than P10,000 to at least help them replace lost properties and repair their homes,” he added.

The group submitted a letter to the DepEd, which includes recommendations to address the needs of education stakeholders in typhoon-hit areas.

Basilio also said the DepEd failed to immediately replace damaged learning materials.

There was no immediate reaction from the DepEd on ACT’s statements.

In a Senate hearing last Nov. 27, the DepEd reported that Super Typhoon Rolly left P12.9 billion in damage to school buildings and learning materials.

The DepEd earlier said it would provide assistance to teachers and personnel affected by the typhoons, and fund the replacement of damaged learning materials.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said adjustments will be made in the school calendar of students whose distance-learning activities were disrupted by the recent storms.

The first quarter of this school year is scheduled to end on Dec. 12.