Head Teachers expressed concern over the possibility of losing their position once the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Executive Order (EO) No. 174 or the “Establishing the Expanded Career Progression System for Public School Teachers” have been finalized.
The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), in a statement, said that teachers welcome the career progression system contained in EO No. 174 signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte in June 2022 which is almost similar to other proposals of several lawmakers.
However, TDC noted that some DepED employees – particularly the Head Teachers – are worried about the IRR which has not been released because the consultation conducted by the department is still ongoing.
The TDC said that the circulating draft of the IRR for the said EO has been the “cause of anxiety” for some DepEd employees whose “positions are threatened.”
In particular, the Head Teachers —who are currently designated for management tasks in their respective schools based on their training and qualifications — are worried their position will be dissolved.
Dino Busilig, a Head Teacher at Calatagan National High School in Batangas and the Lead Convenor for the National Head Teachers Association of the Philippines (NaHTAP), said that based on the “draft” of the EO 174 that has been circulating among their ranks.
“Batay sa EO 174 at sa umiikot na draft IRR ng DepEd, tila lulusawin ang posisyon ng Head Teachers (Based on the EO 174 and the circulating IRR of DepED it seems that the position of the Head Teachers will be dissolved),” Busilig said.
“Kabaligtaran po ito sa layunin ng career progression na maging madali ang promosyon sa mga posisyon ng mga guro (This is contrary to the goal of career progression which is to make the promotion for teachers easier),” he added.
Busilig noted that Head Teachers are worried that their “position might be dissolved and eventually retitled to classroom teaching positions” once the DepEd’s IRR for EO 174 has been finalized.
Dissolving the position of Head Teachers, Busilig said, will cause demoralization among their ranks.
“Nag-aral kami at sumunod sa mga resikistos at sa kuwalipikasyon upang maging Head Teachers at pinagtibay ito ng CSC (We studied and followed the requirements and qualifications to become Head Teachers and CSC [Civil Service Commission] approved it,” Busilig explained.
He pointed out the Head Teachers help the School Heads in the management of schools. “Paano na lamang kung biglang lulusawin ang aming posisyon? Malinaw na ito ay hindi patas (What if our position is suddenly dissolved? It is clear that this is not fair),” Busilig added.
Given this, NaHTAP reiterated its call on the DepEd to “maintain and improve” the position classification of Head Teachers under IRR of EO 174.
The group was among organizations that had a meeting with Vice president and DepEd Secretary Sara Duterte in August.
Meanwhile, the TDC said that if the Career Progression Bill is enacted, it will give more certainty to the reforms set forth by EO 174.
The TDC enumerated the teachers’ demands that should be considered on the EO 174’s IRR or better, the law that is being crafted by Congress.
The group is appealing to lawmakers to consider including in the Career progression Law the implementation of gradual progression through regular increments as provided for in Sec. 16 of the Magna Carta for Teachers.
TDC is also pushing for the provision of free post-graduate studies for teachers so they may qualify for the DepED’s promotion scheme and the removal of the limit on the number of Master Teachers and give the chance to all qualified to be promoted to said positions.
Likewise, TDC said that the “length of experience of teachers especially those assigned or have been assigned to last mile schools in the merit and promotion system in DepEd” should be prioritized.
Moreover, TDC said that the position and salary of those in the supervisory track, especially the Head Teachers, should be maintained and further increased.