In commemoration of National Teacher’s Month, Vice President and Education Secretary, Sara Duterte, made a significant announcement on Tuesday, September 5. She pledged that teachers would enjoy an uninterrupted 30-day break from volunteer work during the School Year 2023-2024.
This announcement came during her address at the Bohol Wisdom School Gymnasium in Tagbilaran City, marking the commencement of National Teacher’s Month. Sara Duterte emphasized that the End of School Year ceremonies had already been incorporated into the official school calendar.
She stated, “We made sure that in this year’s school calendar, teachers will have 30 straight days of rest during the break without any DepEd activity that requires volunteer work.”
She further explained, “All activities requiring voluntary participation will be scheduled after this 30-day break.”
The Department of Education (DepEd), where she holds a concurrent role as the head, will release a memorandum to school principals and regional directors regarding this extended break.
Sara Duterte also made a commitment to address the financial burdens faced by teachers by streamlining administrative tasks and tackling loan-related issues. Collaborating with key government agencies, she expressed her hope to ease the burden on teachers and allow them to concentrate on their students’ education.
“The Department of Education’s MATATAG Agenda is not merely a slogan. It outlines our strategy for implementing reforms within the department, which includes safeguarding your rights and promoting your well-being,” she assured the teachers.
Acknowledging that many teachers are grappling with financial concerns, Duterte stressed that DepEd is working closely with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the Civil Service Commission, and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to address loan issues and administrative responsibilities.
“We are actively addressing your concerns regarding accrued interests or arrears on your loans,” she disclosed.
She also underscored the importance of enabling teachers to focus solely on their students’ education without the burden of administrative duties.
“Before long, you will be relieved of administrative responsibilities that hinder your ability to enhance our students’ learning,” she promised, revealing that DBM had already approved additional positions for 3,500 administrative officers and 1,500 project development officers.
“There is more to come. With the vetted guidelines from both DBM and the Civil Service Commission, we are seeking a higher allocation for teaching overload pay,” Duterte added.
In her speech, Vice President Duterte emphasized DepEd’s initiatives for in-service teachers and continuous professional development programs, stating, “We have always placed great emphasis on ongoing learning, not just for our students but also for our educators.”
“As we move towards a more resilient basic education sector, training on blended learning and tools for integrating technology in the classroom will ensure our educators are equipped with the resources they need to succeed,” she concluded.
While acknowledging that there is no way to quantify the value of teachers’ contributions to the nation, Duterte assured that the Marcos administration is “committed to recognizing and compensating our teachers for their invaluable contributions.”