Nat’l day of action held over ‘unpaid’ overtime pay of teachers

Published November 26, 2021, 8:32 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

To press the government to pay the “overtime” they rendered in School Year (SY) 2020-2021, teachers nationwide held a national day of action on Friday, Nov. 26.

Photo from Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines Facebook page

Teachers’ unions under the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines held a protest action to urge the government to settle the overdue compensation for their overtime in the last school year.

In Pasig City, over 200 teachers from ACT-National Capital Region (NCR) Union staged a picket protest at the DepEd Central Office. They hung a giant demand letter for their overtime pay.

In Cebu, teachers also held a picket at the regional office of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) in Lahug, Cebu City.

Other chapters of ACT nationwide also participated through selfie protests, school hopping, division office trooping — among others.

ACT said that on Oct. 26, almost three weeks after the Oct. 5 deadline set by ACT for the payment of teachers’ overtime, DepEd and other concerned agencies finally sat with them to discuss the said compensation again.

“DepEd maintained its denial that teachers rendered overtime, while ACT presented its position with corresponding bases,” ACT said.

Both were advised to submit a position paper to the CSC and DBM, which was fulfilled by ACT on Nov. 10.

ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio cited Section 14 of the 1966 Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, which provides for the granting of additional compensation of at least 25 percent of teachers’ regular remuneration for “co-curricula and out of school activities and any other activities outside of what is defined as normal duties of any teacher.”

He explained that CSC-DBM Joint Circular no. 1, s. 2015 considers those “rendered beyond the normal 8 work hours on scheduled workdays or 40 hours a week, and those rendered on rest days or scheduled days off, holidays, and special non-working days…” as overtime services.

ACT said that public school teachers worked for a total of 297 days — which included Saturdays — starting Oct. 5, 2020 until the very last day of classes for SY 2020-2021 on July 10.

The group stressed that these assertions were supported in its position paper through citations of DepEd’s own orders directing them to render services from June 1, 2020 to July 10, 2021 as well as scores of other official government directives which serve as legal bases to their claims.

“It’s a shame that DepEd is at the forefront of the government’s refusal to properly recognize and remunerate teachers’ services, despite knowing full well that it was their hard work and perseverance enabled the delivery of education amid the pandemic and utter state abandonment and ineptitude,” Basilio said.

“Paying teachers what is due them was the least they can do,” he added.