"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bonuses, Savings and the Disbursement Acceleration Program

More than a year ago, a member of the Philippines Senate, Francis Escudero, described how various government agencies were able to produce "savings":
"He cited as example the budget that Congress had approved in the past for 15,000 new teachers every year but the Department of Education would only hire about 7,000 new teachers. 
The budget for the remaining 8,000 positions, he said, was then considered savings and re-aligned for bonuses of the department’s employees. (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 17 January 2013)
These are "savings". And if the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which has been recently ruled as unconstitutional by the Philippines Supreme Court, has been funded by "savings", this then explains in part where the money comes from. Critics of those who criticize DAP reiterate that "unconstitutional" does not necessarily mean "immoral", especially when this program has been operated in "good faith". The fact, however, of where some of the funding for DAP came from could raise serious ethical questions.  The Alliance of Concerned Teachers recently posted the following on Facebook:
Some Important Facts on DAP and its Impact in Education especially Teachers: 
In the public education for instance, funds for teachers’ benefits and allocation for substitute teachers were taken away as part of his DAP. This in turn resulted to the further decrease of the already meager benefits given to us. The P10, 000 yearly Performance Enhancement Incentive (PEI) that we used to receive were systematically reduced by half because of the illegal centralization of savings by mid-term. These “savings” constitute a large portion of funds for DAP.
Also, since the allocation for substitute teachers were also taken away, public schools can no longer hire substitute teachers whenever a teacher gets sick or is in maternity/paternity leave, putting his/her teaching load as an additional work for the teachers without additional pay. It is an established fact already that the public education needs more allocation from the government to address the meager salary and benefits of the teaching and non-teaching personnel and to address the shortages in personnel, classrooms and facilities.”
If the above information is accurate, DAP actually abuses public school teachers. Given Senator Escudero's explanation of how agencies create "savings", the above is likely to be true. There is no "good faith" in DAP especially when the well being of Philippine basic education is concerned.
A photo posted on Twitter by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) showing teachers protesting the government's new Results-based Performance Management System (RPMS) and Learners’ Information System (LIS), which adds to how teachers are presently assessed on which rewards and incentives would be based.




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