The Department of Education (DepEd) clarified that the work done by teachers in excess of class days does not necessarily translate to “overtime.”
“Overtime pay cannot be claimed on the days in excess of the 220 school days,” said DepEd Undersecretary and Chief of Staff Nepomuceno Malaluan during a virtual press briefing on Oct. 1.
Malaluan said this as a response to the demands made by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines.
ACT said that teachers should be granted service credit for each day of work in excess of the mandated maximum 220 school days and additional pay of 25 percent on the daily rate of teachers for each day of “overtime work” as provided by the Labor Code of the Philippines.
However, Malaluan said that DepEd is “unable to agree” with ACT that the designated maximum class days means that any workday done by teachers in excess of such class days translates to overtime work by teachers.
“The number of class days had been identified from the perspective of students, in terms of the needed class days for them to attain the required curriculum competencies intended for their grade levels,” Malaluan explained.
Malaluan added that for the period of June to September 2020, before classes started and after the completion of summer vacation on May 31, 2020, “teachers indeed rendered services including enrollment, trainings, preparation of instructional materials and planning the organization of classes.”
However, for these services rendered, Malaluan said that teachers received their regular monthly salaries for this period in the aggregate amount of about P120 billion for all teachers nationwide.
“Thus, they were regularly compensated for the regular eight-hour workday required of teachers like other government employees,” he added.
Malaluan also clarified that when it comes to counting Saturdays as school days, the “issuance on school calendar expressly stated that teachers will not be required to report for work and and engage in teaching activities on Saturdays and Sundays.”
He also noted that the “increase in the number of school days during the school year shall not be considered as a basis for additional pay for teachers who are paid salaries for the entire 12 months of a school year.”
In a letter dated April 12, ACT Philippines, through Secretary General Raymond Basilio, wrote to the Civil Service Commission (CSC). A similar letter was also sent to Secretary Leonor Briones on April 13.
In ACT’s letter to DepEd and CSC, it contends that with the lengthened school year for SY 2020 to 2021 from June 1, 2020 to July 10, 2021, “teachers were required to work beyond the maximum 220 days” based on Republic Act 7797 as amended by RA 11480, counting all working days of the month and the Saturdays of the school calendar as set out in DepEd Order No. 7 series of 2020, as amended, authorized to be used for the conduct of distance learning activities.
To discuss the matter, a meeting was organized by CSC on June 24.