‘Mahiya naman kayo!’: Teachers slam DepEd for ‘unpaid’ overtime pay

Published September 24, 2021, 1:05 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

A union of teachers and education workers on Friday, Sept. 24 denounced the Department of Education (DepEd) for “not fulfilling its promise to pay” overtime work rendered by public school teachers from June to October last year.

Teachers sorting out printed modules to be distributed to students under distance learning. (Photo from ACT Facebook page)

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) National Capital Region (NCR) Union lambasted DepEd over alleged “unpaid overtime pay” and asked the agency to recall of a memorandum it issued on the Proportional Vacation Pay (PVP) of public school teachers.

ACT staged a short protest at the DepEd Central Office in Pasig City to demand the release of teachers’ overtime compensation.

They also reminded the department of the last 11 days before the deadline set on Oct. 5. As previously announced, teachers will stage a synchronized one-day absence in the days following the deadline to claim their overdue benefit.

Another case of ‘thank you’?

During the protest, the lamented that public school teachers have been rendering overtime work from June 1 to October 4, 2020 but have yet to receive their “much-deserved” overtime pay.

“Will it be another case of ‘thank you?’,” ACT NCR Union President Vladimer Quetua Queta asked.

“DepEd, mahiya naman kayo! (Shame on you, DepEd!),” he added, noting that teachers are always expected to fill in the gaps in the the education sector.

Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Philippine government closed down schools since March 2020.

In October, a new school year opened under distance/blended learning set-up based on the Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) of the DepEd.

As another new school year started on Sept. 13, Quetua said that teachers are once again bracing themselves to shoulder the costs of implementing DepEd’s BE-LCP.

In a dialogue with key officials from DepEd and Civil Service Commission (CSC) on June 24, 2021, Quetua reminded that teachers “suffered a huge challenge” in terms of their expenses and hardwork especially from June 1 to Oct. 5, 2020.

During this period, he explained that the school year had not officially opened yet but “teachers were asked to write self-learning modules (SLMs) at their own personal expense and without relevant training.”

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) holds countdown protest and reminds DepEd of set deadline for overtime pay release. (Photo from ACT)

Throughout the school year 2020-2021, Quetua said that teachers also attended countless webinars and prepared tons of paperwork, expenses of which mostly came out from the teachers’ own pockets.

“It’s either DepEd became forgetful of their promise to pay the teachers what they are due or they are not really sincere with what they have committed during our dialogue,” Quetua said.

Aside the “unpaid” OT pay, ACT also lamented the newly-issued DepEd Memorandum No. 056 s. 2021 which stipulated the computation of public-school teachers’ proportional vacation pay for SY 2020-2021.