Coalition asks DepEd to create mutual aid for teachers
MANILA, Philippines – A national coalition of Filipino educators is calling on the Department of Education (DepEd) to create a "more comprehensive mutual benefits system for its personnel".
The Teacher's Dignity Coalition (TDC), in a resolution, claimed on Friday, December 23, many teachers suffer the financial burden caused by calamities and personal emergencies.
TDC is asking DepEd "to establish a National Mutual Aid and Benefit System from minimal contributions of its personnel for the purpose of giving readily available monetary assistance to some 700,000 teachers and employees."
The group is proposing a minimal contribution between P5 to P50 a month.
"Most of us pay P50 monthly contribution to (the) mutual aid system of some lending institutions, (whose) policies are controlled entirely by private entities leaving us (with little choice but) to just contribute to their funds," the resolution said.
This, the coalition claimed, is why teachers end up falling for loan sharks or begging for contributions, thus "compromising" their dignity.
Sad Christmas for Malabon teacher
The group's call comes after the death of a teacher from Malabon City, Elena Ortigas. Only 24, she died due to cardiac arrest on Thursday night, December 22.
On October 13, Ortigas gave birth to her first baby in a lying-in clinic in Malabon. She was then rushed to St Jude Hospital in Sampaloc, Manila due to continuous bleeding.
By November 24, the total hospital bill reached P500,000 so her husband decided to transfer her to Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center, leaving promisory notes for the unsettled bill.
"Elena’s colleagues raised funds through contributions and other means. The school principal also initiated a creative writing seminar-workshop for Malabon teachers on January to be facilitated by a renowned writer who agreed (that) the registration fee of the participants would go entirely (to) Elena’s family," TDC said in a statement.
Ortigas snapped out of a comma in early December but was unable to take all her medicines which cost as much as P16,000 daily.
"Her family and colleagues claim that she was a victim of medical malpractice. (She) was forced to normal delivery instead of caesarian and was brought to St Jude because one of the officials of the lying-in clinic is connected with the hospital," TDC said.
The coalition also lobbied for help from the education department but financial assistance was not readily available.
TDC said: "This case underscores the condition of our poor teachers. They serve the children and the country selflessly but the help they just so deserve is not readily available. Most of them are forced to beg for the cost of medicines and hospitalization." – Rappler.com
If you want to help Elena Ortigas' family, you can contact her husband BJ Ortigas (09214868326).