DepEd will award one-time cash aid of P5,000 to teachers on August 22

The Ministry of Education (DepEd) will provide a one-time cash allowance of 5,000 pula to all teachers when classes open on August 22.
DepEd spokesman Michael Poa told a news conference the stipend was aimed at helping teachers get back to school.

CRYING OVER A DRY RUN. A boy cries as his teacher fixes his face mask during an empty run at Lakan Dula Elementary School in Tondo, Manila on Friday, three days before the official opening of the 2022-2023 school year on Monday. Norman Cruz

“All teachers will understand this. I think it will be uploaded to school divisions. I will confirm, but everyone will get their cash allowance of 5,000 pesos by August 22,” Poa said.

Along with the stipend, Poa said schools nationwide will receive maintenance fees and other additional operating expenses (MOOE) worth a total of 3.7 billion pesos to prepare for incoming face-to-face classes.

“It is to ensure that they have the complete tools), in particular for the minimum standards of hygiene and safety to be respected such as alcohol.
It’s not specifically asking them to buy face masks. It’s not for that. It’s really for the MOOE. We give them the opportunity to buy whatever they need,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Vice President (OVP) said it would expand the distribution of PagbaBago bags containing school supplies and hygiene kits to more areas.

“That’s our plan. As long as we have resources that we can distribute, especially in areas that really need school supplies and hygiene kits, we will expand the operation,” said ÖVP spokesperson Reynold Munsayac. , speaking in Filipino.

The DepEd said Friday that with three days to go until classes start, only 19% of students are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Poa said the low figure is largely due to the voluntary nature of the government’s vaccination program against COVID-19.

“Of course we would like to have 100% vaccination rate, but the truth is that the government vaccination program is not mandatory,” he said.

On the other hand, the vaccination rate among teaching and non-teaching staff is 92 percent, Poa said.

The DepEd said earlier that it would carry out mobile vaccination in schools to increase vaccination rates among children.

Poa, however, said such an effort would always be coupled with guidance to encourage children to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I can’t give you an exact timeline, but we are coordinating this effort with the Department of Health,” he said.

Poa also said the DepEd will issue a departmental order on a COVID-19 infection containment strategy in light of the resumption of face-to-face classes.

“This will meet the requirements for isolation or quarantine in the event that someone tests positive for COVID-19 in the classroom,” he said.

At least 27 million learners are enrolled for the 2022 to 2023 school year.

Vice President Sara Duterte, who is concurrently education secretary, said DepEd is ready for classes to open Aug. 299.

Facing the Senate Committee on Basic Education chaired by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian. Duterte conceded that the problems facing the education department since last year remained.

“But we won’t stop looking for solutions to problems for the next six years,” she said.

“With all your help in the Senate, I believe we would be able to improve the quality of basic education in our country over the next six years,” she added.

As part of the transition to in-person classes, blended learning will still be implemented and the department sees it as a permanent mode of instruction for basic education, she said.

However, Duterte said she expects five days of full implementation of in-person classes for all public and private schools by November 2.

Senator Pia Cayetano told Duterte that the Senate had allocated 2.6 billion pesos to cover the expenses of implementing face-to-face classes.

She said they have also earmarked an additional 100 million pesos for public school health facilities.

At the same meeting, Senator Robin Padilla urged the DepEd and the Ministry of Health to ensure the health of children not only against COVID-19 but also against dengue fever and other rainy day illnesses.

“As our young learners begin to go to school, our concern is not just for their education but also for their safety,” Padilla said during the Senate committee hearing on basic education.

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