FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/18/2020
Contact: Prof. Rene Tadle
Lead Convenor, CoTeSCUP
The Council of Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities of the Philippines (CoTeSCUP) welcomed and applauded the strengthening of the education sector through the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2), as the new law made alternative learning and teaching needs more accessible to students and teachers alike, and protected the job security of workers in schools receiving assistance from government.
The organization had been vocal about their concerns including mass employee layoffs, wage cuts, and additional costs for distance learning needs for learners and educators, as learning and teaching go online.
“We are happy that our legislators responded positively to our plea”, Rene Tadle CoTeSCUP lead convenor said.
The Republic Act 11494 or Bayanihan 2 granted loan assistance, subsidies, discounts and grants for schools, universities, colleges, and technical vocational institutions as they aid themselves through DepEd, CHED and TESDA, with necessary materials for distance learning, like computers, laptops, and other information and communication technology equipment.
However, said benefits will only be available to private schools if they ensure that no employee retrenchment will occur for nine (9) months following the receipt of grant. The provision was lobbied by CoTeSCUP and supported actively by Senator Risa Hontiveros and Senator Joel Villanueva.
Meanwhile the youth group Partido Manggagawa-Kabataan called on CoTeSCUP to ally with students to monitor the implementation of the provision. “We call on the Commission on Higher Education (ChED) to ensure this no-layoff provision is strictly enforced. For this, the ChED should enlist CoTeSCUP for monitoring and oversight,” stated Jonel Salvador, PM-Kabataan spokesperson.
The coalition played a pivotal role not only in pushing, but in demanding the provision, as they emphasized the importance of job security especially as workers shoulder pandemic woes.
Prior to the signing of the new law, representatives of CoTeSCUP actively expressed these concerns and participated in government department dialogues, enjoining policymakers to focus on responding to the needs of private school teachers in the context of the current education climate.
“In the educational field in time of pandemic, teachers and non-academic personnel are frontliners and government must respond to their needs”, told Tadle.
Around Php8.9 billion was allotted for the education sector to alleviate the challenges of online teaching and learning modalities may bring about.
CoTeSCUP is a coalition among the Faculty Association of MAPUA Institute of Technology, Silliman University Faculty Association, Lyceum Faculty Association, Far Eastern University Faculty Association, Inc., Centro Escolar University Faculty and Allied Workers Union, St. Paul University-Manila Faculty Union, Union of Faculty and Employees of Saint Louis University, College Faculty Independent Union, University of San Carlos, Mapua Institute of Technology Labor Union; San Beda College Alabang Employees Association, Faculty Association of DLSU Dasmarinas Inc., De La Salle University Employee Association Union, De La Salle Zobel Staff Organization, and De La Salle Araneta Faculty Society.