The Department of Education (DepEd) is once again facing the brunt of employees’ criticism since they have yet to receive their Performance-Based Bonus for Fiscal Year 2019.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) on Monday, May 3, criticized DepEd over the agency’s “deteriorating performance” when it comes to processing and releasing the PBB of teachers and non-teaching personnel in public schools.
“Teachers and staff cannot wait forever. DepEd must explain why the state of the PBB has always been like this, especially since the current administration took office,” said ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio in Filipino.
Basilio added that the DepEd leadership should take responsibility for the problems in the process because the “teachers and staff are the one who are suffering.”
The PBB 2019, ACT said, is supposed to “incentivize eligible performance with 65 percent of the employees’ monthly salary.” This, the group added, is equivalent to P13,490 for the Teacher 1 position, up to P16,400 for Teacher 3.
“Teachers have been looking forward to PBB 2019 for a long time, in fact they have already took loans because until now, the government has not provided any internet allowance, the implementation of communication expenses reimbursement has been sloppy, and President Duterte still has not promised to increase his salary,” Basilio said.
Citing DepEd’s Labor Day PBB update on its official Facebook page, Basilio said, that the agency “still has not given a definite date when its employees can expect to receive the sorely delayed PBB for the year 2019.”
“The process it has laid down is seen to take up to 1 to 3 months, or more, before the delayed benefit can be released to the employees,” Basilio said.
Basilio stressed that teachers and other employees have been waiting for the 2019 for almost a year and a half already. “DepEd teachers and staff have been expecting the PBB and this greatly affects them, especially those who are in dire need because of the additional expenses brought by distance learning,” he added.
ACT also pointed out that the DepEd’s performance in the processing and release of PBB “continue to worsen every year.” This, the group said, is “deeply alarming as it already impacts negatively on teachers’ welfare.”
The group said that the PBB was initiated by the Aquino administration in 2013 to purportedly give incentives to outstanding performance of government employees and officials, based on their year-end performance evaluations.
With the finalization of necessary guidelines and setting up of mechanisms, ACT said that the PBB 2013 for DepEd was released on January 2015. “The release of the benefit among DepEd employees slightly improved in the next two years – PBB 2014 was released on September to October 2015, while PBB 2015 was released on December 2016,” the group explained.
However, ACT alleged that the succeeding years under the Duterte administration “saw the worsening delays in the release of the benefit” with the PBB 2016 for DepEd employees released in March 2018; the PBB 2017 in February 2019, and the PBB 2018 was received in April 2020.
“The much-awaited PBB 2019 has yet to be released,” ACT said. “Records show that the delays are due mainly to DepEd’s failure to meet the standards and comply with documentary requirements,” the group added.
Given this, Basilio also called on the Duterte administration to “end the sufferings of public school teachers who have long endured grave neglect and inhumane treatment from the government” by releasing benefits that they deserve.