DepEd eyes insurance for teachers, learners in public, private schools nationwide

Published March 19, 2019, 11:57 AM

by Francine Ciasico

By Merlina Hernando-Malipot 

The Department of Education (DepEd) is looking at the possibility of providing year-round insurance to learners and teachers in all public and private schools nationwide.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones (DepEd / MANILA BULLETIN)
Education Secretary Leonor Briones

Education Secretary Leonor Briones noted the death of five learners – one Grade 7 and four Grade 11 students – of Basay National High School in a vehicular mishap last March 1 in Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental, as well as the brutal killing of a Grade 9 learner of Maribago High School in Lapu-Lapu, Cebu.

“If we cannot protect them from the society where they fall as victims and if we cannot convince our vehicle operators to enforce circulars on the safety of children, then all the children in both public and private schools would have to be insured,” Briones said.

DepEd Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla explained that given the student population in all schools – around 23 million in public schools and over four million in private schools – around two to three billion pesos (Php 2-3 billion) would be needed for insurance in a year to cover about 27 million children who are in school.

Initially, Sevilla said that the DepEd is “looking at accident insurance” but remains “open to offers and better proposals.” In the coming months, DepEd will meet with experts and other members of the community to get better feedback on the proposed insurance which will not only cover learners but teachers as well.

Briones said that the funds for insurance ‏of learners and teachers will be included in the 2020 budget proposal of DepEd to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). Based on the outcome of the meeting with various stakeholders, she noted that the proposed insurance may cover not only school-related activities but also to aid learners and teachers who might be victims of “horrific crimes” as well as those who are involved in “accidents beyond our control.”

Briones continued to appeal for donation to the survivors of the so-called “Basay11.”

Based on latest report, DepEd said that four learners involved in the accident greatly need medical attention. The victims also need continued medication, physical rehabilitation, surgery or replacement of body parts, and psycho-social intervention, among many others – which all “entail exorbitant amount.”

As soon as news on the Basay11 broke out, Briones said that many members of the DepEd community – members of the existing organizations and cooperatives –immediately responded to the DepEd’s call for assistance through voluntary contributions. “So far, the fund campaign generated P1.5 million, all proceeds went to the hospital bills of the survivors,” DepEd said.

DepEd noted that that the projected cost of hospitalization and rehabilitation for the survivors “will likely reach the P10-million mark” thus, the agency continues to appeal for support and donations. Earlier, Briones visited the survivors personally at the Silliman University Medical Center and Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital.