State teachers await incentive

12/22/2010 - IT’S two days before Christmas Eve, but public school teachers in Cebu have yet to receive their Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) or Christmas bonus.

Anabelle dela Cerna, Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) vice chair for the Visayas, said public school teachers in Cebu and other parts of Central Visayas have not yet received their PEI as of yesterday, even though it was expected to be given to the teachers by Dec. 15.

Meanwhile, barangay tanods will not receive P1,500 per month from the Capitol, contrary to earlier reports, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said yesterday.

Tanod in Cebu Province will get the incentive only once a year, in December.

On the public school teachers’ bonus, dela Cerna said DBM has cited several reasons for the delay in the release of the Christmas bonus, including the lack of signatures and the fact that banks that are not ready to release the money.

TDC national chairperson Benjo Basas said that in the past, teachers received their bonus after Christmas or even after the New Year celebration. “This traditional PEI is also traditionally delayed,” Basas said. Raul Constantino, TDC media liaison officer, said President Benigno Aquino III signed Administrative Order 3 last Nov. 3 that directed the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to provide funds for the PEI of all government employees, including public school teachers.

Constantino said DBM issued Budget Circular 2010-3 last Nov. 30, which provides that teachers and other government employees will receive bonuses of up to P10,000 each.

Of the total amount, P7,000 will come from DBM and the other P3,000 would be taken
from the savings of department or government office concerned.

At the Capitol, Governor Garcia said the amount she announced during the assembly of the Association of Barangay Councils at the Cebu International Convention Center will serve as financial assistance for barangay tanods.

Barangay health workers (BHW) and barangay animal health aides will get the same from the Capitol.
This year, Garcia is extending the assistance for the first time to barangay tanods.

“It is like a financial assistance; I don’t want them to have a sense of entitlement,” she said.

Garcia also said she will not increase the assistance to day care workers and BHWs from P50,000 to P100,000. She said the funds will be for the day care centers and health centers, not the workers. She wanted earlier reports corrected so as not to give concerned workers false hopes.


Bonus’ names

The Christmas bonus for government employees is not a regular benefit but a presidential prerogative.

In 2005, then President Arroyo gave a Christmas bonus of P5,000 to all government workers and increased the incentive to P6,000 in 2006. The amount was increased to P10,000 in 2007 and maintained until 2009.

Public school teachers have their own terms for the Christmas bonus. During President Fidel Ramos’s term, it was “Amelioration” after then first lady Amelita; “Eraption” after President Joseph “Erap” Estrada; “Glorification” after then president Gloria Arroyo. This time, it’s the “P-Noy” bonus, after President Aquino. (Sun Star)

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