MANILA, Philippines – Education Secretary Leonor Briones signed an order guaranteeing teachers will receive no less than P4,000 for their net take-home pay (NTHP) even if payments for their loans will be deducted from their salaries.
Briones signed Department of Education (DepEd) Order No. 55, series of 2017 on Thursday, October 26.
The signing comes days after the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition slammed another document – DepEd Order No. 38 – which gave the go signal for Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) loans to be deducted from teachers’ salaries without a cap, leading some to have a meager take-home pay below P4,000.
The new DepEd Order No. 55 will prioritize deductions from GSIS and Pag-IBIG Fund loans without affecting teachers’ mandated NTHP. This is to comply with Section 47 of the General Appropriations Act of 2017.
“Further, Section 47 provides that in no case shall the deductions reduce the employee’s monthly net take-home pay to an amount lower than P4,000,” the order reads.
“This is one of the department’s moves to protect the interest of our teachers and personnel. We are also examining emergency measures to assuage the situation of those who have been negatively affected by the recent loan deduction,” said Briones in a statement.
“With this, we continue to identify and implement measures that will enable our teachers and personnel to manage their finances and retire comfortably in the future,” she added.
The Cabinet official, however, noted that teachers nationwide now owe P123 billion worth of loans to the GSIS. Teachers also owe private lending institutions around P178 billion as of December 2016.
Briones then emphasized the crucial role of DepEd authorized approving officers.
She said they must “exercise due diligence” when approving loans of DepEd personnel, who must be “well-aware of their capacity to pay, and of the interests and penalties that they may incur in case of delayed payment.” – Rappler.com