A group of teachers on Tuesday, Feb. 16, held a dance protest in front of the Department of Education (DepEd) – National Capital Region (NCR) office in Quezon City.
To the tune of “Achy Breaky Heart,” several teachers under the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines – NCR Union danced in front of the DepEd NCR in Quezon City to demonstrate the agency’s “broken promises” and unjust policies.
Amid rocketing prices of goods in Metro Manila and with the health and education crisis still unresolved, ACT-NCR urged the agency to “fulfill its duties and provide adequate measures to ensure teachers’ welfare.”
ACT NCR Union also demanded for a dialogue to raise their complaints on the payment of long overdue Performance-based Bonus (PBB) 2019, Service Recognition Incentive (SRI) 2020 benefits and the “troublesome” P300 monthly communication allowance reimbursement.
The teachers also opposed the additional teaching load which, according to them, will “force them to report additional working hours at school despite measly salaries.”
During the protest action, ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio pointed out that the teachers have been carrying on their shoulders the burden of distance learning. “Our teachers also witness how their students suffer under distance learning and at times, they are forced to use their own resources just to fill in the gaps,” he said in Filipino.
For ACT NCR Union Vladimer Quetua, the government’s “tight-lipped response” in addressing teachers’ concerns is an “insult to our teachers who have long felt neglected by the state.”
ACT said that teachers have yet to receive the P1,562 salary adjustment for this year – which adds to the “long list of lies and broken promises made by the government to teachers.”
The group also condemned the memorandum sent out by the DepEd NCR regional office dated 13 January 2021 which allows the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) to conduct an “orientation” for parents, teachers, and school principals to warn them against the “extent of infiltration and recruitment” in school grounds.
“This is a clear attack on academic freedom!” Quetua said.