A SENATE committee was warned by a resource speaker of alleged discrimination in the promotion of public school teachers, whose career progression is held up because they have pending administrative cases.
“May mga lumalapit na public school teachers, mga applicants and existing teachers, ano ‘yung policy ng DepEd when it comes to pending administrative cases? (We have been approached by public school teachers and applicants asking about the Department of Education’s policy on pending administrative cases),” according to Joseph Noel M. Estrada, managing director of the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations.
Mr. Estrada was speaking at an online hearing Thursday of the chamber’s Basic Education, Arts and Culture committee, which was reviewing the implementation of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, or Republic Act No. 4670.
“Hindi daw napa-process ‘yung appointment because of a pending admin case, we feel it is used as a way to discriminate against them,” Mr. Estrada added.
Fidel H. Fababier, secretary general of the Action and Solidarity for the Empowerment of Teachers, said at times the filing of administrative cases is done to undermine teachers’ applications for promotion.
“Halimbawa, may tatlong contenders, ang gagawin lang ng dalawang contenders na inferior ang qualification, magsasampa sila dun sa superior ang qualification (If there are three contenders for a promotion, sometimes the candidates with inferior qualifications will file a case against the one with the superior qualification),” Mr. Fababier said at the same hearing.
He added that such charges have also been used to delay payment of pensions and other retirement benefits, forcing teachers to settle in exchange for reduced benefits.
“Ginagawa ‘yang harassment tool ng mga legal officers ng DepEd, talagang pinatatagal ang admin case,” he said. “Dapat linisin ang DepEd legal office (The DepEd legal officers are using charges as a tool for harassment. The legal office needs to be cleaned up).”
Education Undersecretary Jesus Lorenzo R. Mateo said applicants are required to declare administrative cases in their personal data sheet, but such information is only weighed after a final ruling on the case is issued.
“Kapag decided na that’s the time na may implication sa application or promotion (It only becomes a factor for applications or promotions when decisions are released),” he said, noting that the education sector will be consulted when the guidelines are revisited.
Undersecretary Tonisito M.C. Umali said the department will take up the matter with its legal office. — Charmaine A. Tadalan