Worst-case scenario: K to 12 may displace 78K workers

Jee Y. Geronimo
Worst-case scenario: K to 12 may displace 78K workers
The Commission on Higher Education will ask Congress for a P29-billion transition fund to help mitigate the impact of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 on the tertiary education sector

MANILA, Philippines – Based on a worst-case scenario, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said a total of 78,318 teaching and non-teaching staff may be displaced as the government fully implements the K to 12 program starting 2016.

CHED Commissioner Cynthia Bautista said, however, that the figure is based on “liberal assumptions” that will affect 55,480 teaching staff and 22,838 non-teaching staff.

“This is the worst scenario which is not likely to happen,” she told Rappler in a phone interview on Wednesday, February 18.

The figures are actually lower than earlier estimates. GMA News Online earlier reported 86,001 faculty members are at risk of displacement, citing CHED data. 

The commission is finalizing a draft bill that will seek a P29-billion transition fund ($655 million) to mitigate the impact of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 on the tertiary education sector.

The first batch of students under the K to 12 program will enter senior high school’s grade 11 in 2016, and grade 12 in 2017. (READ: What senior high school tracks fit your locality?)

Because of this, HEIs expect a drop in enrollment in 2016 and 2017, all the way to school year 2021-2022 when things are expected to normalize.

“When we talk about displacement, the most likely to be displaced are the General Education (GE) teachers,” Bautista told the House committee on higher and technical education during its hearing on Wednesday. (READ: College professors fear massive retrenchment due to K to 12)

POTENTIAL DISPLACEMENTS: TEACHING STAFF (LIBERAL ASSUMPTIONS)**
GE Load State Universities and Colleges Local Universities and Colleges Private Non-Sectarian Private Sectarian Total
Permanent:
Teaches GE only (90%)
3,585 134 2,437 1,058 7,214
Permanent:
Teaches some GE (10%
1,256 39 1,080 515 2,890
Probationary/Temporary 
(60%)
2,166 119 5,372 1,828 9,485
Contractual
(80%)
9,564 2,377 16,486 7,464 35,891
TOTAL 16,571 2,669 25,375 10,865 55,480

These figures do not take into account the new plantilla items for State Universities and Colleges that would cover a significant percentage of SUC probationary/temporary and contractual personnel. (Data from CHED)

Bautista said it is not possible for 100% of all GE teachers to be displaced because of 3 reasons:

  1. GE courses are not only confined to the first two years [of college]. Some are offered during 3rd year and 4th year.
  2. Some of the higher education institutions (HEIs) that will offer senior high school plan to employ their permanent faculty.
  3. State universities and colleges (SUCs) in particular are now planning what their faculty will be doing in the K to 12 transition.
POTENTIAL DISPLACEMENTS: NON-TEACHING STAFF (LIBERAL ASSUMPTIONS)**
GE Load State Universities and Colleges Local Universities and Colleges Private Non-Sectarian Private Sectarian Total
Permanent
(30%)
4,423 207 6,076 2,477 13,183
Probationary/Temporary 
(80%, except SUCs 50%)
258 8 1,530 618 2,414
Contractual
(100%, except SUCs 50%)
1,980 417 1,961 664 5,022
Casual
(100%, except SUCs 50%)
1,351 253 379 236 2,219
TOTAL 8,012 885 9,946 3,995 22,838

(Data from CHED)

Teaching and non-teaching staff of HEIs should not panic, Bautista said, because these are just preliminary estimates that will change further as the commission retrieves more data in the coming months. CHED expects a more accurate figure by April. 

Strategies

Of the proposed P29-billion transition fund, P14 billion ($316.21 million) will be used to compensate retrenched and displaced teaching and non-teaching personnel.

With the fund, permanent teaching staff who may be displaced can get an amount equivalent to their salaries up to a maximum of P30,000 ($677.58) per month for 24 months, while they’re still unemployed.

Non-teaching staff can also get an equivalent of their salaries up to a maximum of P15,000 ($338.79) with the same conditions.

“This cost that we are discussing is separate from those under the Labor Code of the Philippines, because those…shall be paid by employers themselves,” said Benjo Benavidez, director of the labor department’s Bureau of Labor Relations.

Aside from compensation, government agencies came up with different strategies to mitigate the “adverse consequence” of K to 12 on the potentially displaced.

For instance, the Department of Education (DepEd) will prioritize the displaced teaching and non-teaching staff during their hiring for senior high school.

Bautista said DepEd will have 25,000 to 35,000 teaching openings every year for two years. She added that DepEd will “strive to ensure that [the] salary in the public sector will be as close as possible to what the displaced teacher is getting.”

The government is mulling other strategies, including:

  1. Implementation of the expanded voucher system that will partly support the sustainability of HEIs to enable the minimization of displacement
  2. Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) support for livelihood training, negotiations with SSS and other government agencies
  3. Support for strategic planning of regional clusters of HEIs involving those that have made the necessary adjustments to K to 12
  4. Discussions with HEIs on continued support for the education and health benefits of dependents
  5. Tax shields/credits for HEIs; tax exemptions for the benefits to be received by retrenched personnel
  6. Waiving some policies regarding short program offerings in the transition

CHED hopes the transition fund will be legislated before 2016. Otherwise, Bautista said they will propose the inclusion of the fund in their budget for the next 5 years starting 2016. – Rappler.com

*1 US$ = P44.28

**Prorated figures based on data retrieval from 75% of HEIs.

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Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.