Lawmaker blocks move to allow teachers’ transfer without consent

ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio slammed government’s plan to empower the Department of Education (DepEd) to transfer teachers between schools even without their consent.

The move is revealed by the insertion in Special Provision No. 8 under DepEd’s budget of contentious clauses stating that “appointments of teachers shall be made by school division, which shall be identified as their station…[T]eachers may be transferred within a station to address the imbalances resulting from excess or shortage of teachers by reason of decrease or increase of enrolment.”

Tinio proposed to the House Committee on Appropriations Tuesday the deletion of said portion as this violates “one of the most cherished provisions of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers.” Its Section 6 prohibits the transfer of a teacher from one station to another without consent and protects teachers from arbitrary and capricious transfers. Per current practice, a teacher’s station is the elementary or high school where he or she is appointed.

“By redefining ‘station’ to mean ‘division,’ the proviso nullifies the teacher’s right against being uprooted from his or her school and immediate community,” said Tinio. “Transfer of assignment is a major decision on the part of the teacher as it entails the displacement of the teacher and his or her family—especially in province-wide divisions and areas where schools are few and far between, common in far-flung areas.”

“Government should not cause this displacement without first securing the consent of the teacher concerned.”

In addition, Tinio argued that government must first give priority to address shortages and hire 61,510 techers, as President Aquino promised.

Tinio added that for a provision that will gravely affect the rights and welfare of teachers, it was inserted into the General Appropriations Bill without prior consultation with teachers and teachers’ organizations.

The progressive solon warned that government will face the unrest of teachers who will be surprised that they can be transferred in the blink of an eye.

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