The Department of Education is reviewing the financial assistance to those who lost their jobs in the education sector, which is estimated at 4,500 after some schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the Senate hearing on DepEd’s 2021 budget on Friday, its officials said they would issue a joint memorandum circular for the distribution of P900 million COVID-19 cash assistance contained in Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.
According to DepEd Undersecretary Jess Mateo, they have held several meetings with the Department of Labor and Employment and the Commission on Higher Education.
“DOLE will come up with a joint memorandum circular to be signed by the three heads of agencies… Tapos na po ‘yung JMC na yun it’s just being legal scrubbed by the DOLE legal team,” he told the senators.
Senator Joel Villanueva, chairman of Higher, Technical and Vocational Education, welcomed DepEd’s assurance.
According to the senator, under the Bayanihan 2 Act, P300 million has been set aside for aid funds for teachers and other education staff who have lost their jobs, especially those with closed private schools.
While P600 million is set aside for students.
DepEd, CHED to give cash aid to displaced workers, students
“We, in the Senate, struggled to insist on this provision in the law. We just wanted to make sure that the funds will be used to provide immediate help to teachers and students in need,” Villanueva said in a statement.
According to Mateo, teaching and non-teaching personnel affected by the pandemic can receive up to P5,000 in aid.
“In effect, ang ibibigay lang po natin, P5,000 dito because the P300 million is not sufficient,” the official said.
He also said that those in elementary schools would be given priority because it is said to have the highest number of 865 private schools closed due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Mateo said they still need to discuss with the Commission on Higher Education the division on the use of P600 million in aid for students in subsidies and allowances.
Last week, CHED chairperson Prospero De Vera III announced that it would be challenging to distribute such cash assistance to the education sector due to the extent of its coverage, including public and private elementary, secondary, and tertiary education institutions.