A teachers’ group asked the Department of Education (DepEd) to release aid for school teachers who got infected or died of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a statement released Wednesday, Oct. 27, the Action and Solidarity for the Empowerment of Teachers (ASSERT) said that about 1,446 public school teachers have tested or died of COVID-19 without receiving the promised benefits.
“The initial list is part of the long unreported and uncompensated number of DepEd field personnel that the secretary asked the group to submit to her office after the latter had reported the alarming cases of the viral infection hitting the public education sector the last 19 months,” ASSERT said.
“We also raise our lingering concerns over our government’s long criminal neglect, if not total abandonment, of its more than 900,000 public school teachers and education support personnel who daily bear the brunt of the new education norma,” it added.
The group specified 364,824 public education frontliners in Luzon who “have long been exposed to various forms of hardship and hazards in disaster areas ravaged by typhoons, massive floodings, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, epidemic, armed conflicts, [and] other natural and man-made calamities.”
These education personnel continued to be denied of their benefits “through clever manipulations and simple bureaucratic inaction.”
“Let it be made clear that we are not asking for more in terms of budgetary allocations. We are only asking for the immediate release and prompt payment of what has long been due to us by operation of law, our Magna Carta, and our yearly General Appropriation Act (GAA),” ASSERT stressed.