DepEd-ARMM distributes back wages to 1,168 teachers in ARMM
Cotabato City (04 June 2015) – One thousand one hundred sixty eight teachers from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are set to receive their back wages this month, a regional education official said today.
Dr. John Magno, ARMM’s Department of Education (DepEd) secretary, said the teachers, who he considers as ‘real heroes’ must be given their wages.
“Dapat ibigay sa kanila ang pinaghirapan nila (We should give what they’ve worked hard for),” Magno said.
He added that the delays in the release of wages of teachers in the region were due to an unsystematic process during past administrations. The process has been streamlined under the watch of ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman as part of its reforms.
Today, 283 elementary and secondary teachers from Maguindanao I and II schools divisions received their back wages amounting to a sum total of P60, 146, 568.27 at the Regional Educators Learning Center (RELC) Building, Bangsamoro People’s Complex in Cotabato City.
Among them is Amalia Gonong, an elementary teacher at the Datu Dumpaw Banog Elementary School in Ampatuan, Maguindanao, who finally received the wages she earned from June 2013 to April 2015, amounting to P128,000.
She said she was optimistic of getting her back wages with the kind of leadership and governance reforms of Gov. Hataman.
The money, she said, will be used to pay for her debts and the enrolment of her son, who is now on his final year in college.
“Malaking tulong talaga itong back wages namin. Makakapagbayad na ako ng utang ko at mapapag-aral ko na ang anak kong graduating college student (The back wages are really a big help to us. I will now be able to pay my debts and support the schooling of my son who is a graduating college student),” Gonong said.
Reynaldo Aguirre, a teacher at the Pupol Primary School in the town of Buluan, received more than P250,000, his salaries for two years of service. “Matustusan ko na na pangangailangan ng pamilya ko, at maipapagamot ko na ang paa ko (I will now be able to support the needs of my family, and have my foot treated).”
He added that he will also buy a piece of land from the money as his investment.
On April 2013, the DepEd-ARMM released a total of P146 million in back wages to more than 500 teachers, some of whom went as far back as 2007. Meanwhile, 1, 801 teachers received their back wages amounting to a sum total of P105 million on April 2014.
Magno said 537 teachers from the divisions of Lanao del Sur I and II, and Marawi City will receive their back wages amounting to a sum total of P204, 782, 647.04 on Friday and Saturday (05 and 06 June 2015) at the RELC in Cotabato City.
He added that the department will also conduct similar distribution of back wages to 348 teachers from the island provinces divisions of Basilan, Sulu I and II, Lamitan and Tawi-Tawi this month. (Bureau of Public Information)