Solon demands P6,000 monthly pay for volunteer Kinder teachers

ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio filed today House Resolution 2502 entitled “Resolution Calling on President C. Aquino III to Immediately Increase the Monthly Honorarium of Volunteer Kindergarten Teachers from P3,000.00 to P6,000.00.”

Tinio says that the proposed doubled honorarium is a result of consultations with volunteer teachers, who have been clamoring for fair compensation since SY 2011-2012, when the Department of Education (DepEd) implemented the universal Kindergarten education program (UKEP).

“We urge President Aquino,” Tinio says, “to redirect the funds available at his disposal, including various discretionary funds which practically serve as his pork barrel, in favor of the front-liners of his education reform program.”

In previous statements, Tinio linked the depressed conditions of volunteer teachers, who are paid honoraria amounting to only one-fourth of the minimum wage, to the disaster that was the UKEP during SY 2011-2012.  “The Program is self-defeating because it floods the education system with overworked yet underpaid teachers.”

Being on honorarium basis, volunteer teachers in some divisions, including Rizal, Bulacan, Urdaneta City, and Palawan, endure long months without receiving the P3,000 pay (P1,500 in some cases).  Some complain of delays of up to seven months.

Tinio still believes that the hiring of qualified volunteer Kindergarten teachers as regular teachers under DepEd’s plantilla is the only way towards an effective UKEP.  However, “pending such regularization, a substantial increase in their monthly compensation is urgently needed to alleviate their economic hardship” (clause 11 of HR 2502).

We also urge the President to implement the proposed P6,000-per class monthly honorarium until next school year.  The implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 10157 or the Kindergarten Education Act (DepEd Order 32, series of 2012) states that the hiring of volunteer teachers is a transitory measure to be implemented until SY 2013-2014.

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