OVER 10, 000 employees of the Department of Education (DepEd), particularly non-teaching staff, may lose their jobs once the agency’s “rationalization plan” will be implemented, according to the militant teachers’ group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT).
ACT national president Benjie Valbuena said DepEd’s rationalization plan will result to the massive layoff of thousands non-teaching staff, except from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), nationwide.
A handful of TDC members picketed Monday in front of the DepEd central office in Pasig City to denounce the planned massive lay off of non-teaching personnel.
Last week, the education department, as pursuant to the implementation of rationalization plan as mandated by Executive Order 366, issued DepEd Order No. 53 to the affected employees which state that a new system of staffing will be implemented to its central office units, regional offices, school division offices, excluding DepEd-ARMM.
Under the new system, employees whose items will be affected by the rationalization plan may choose between remaining in government service and availing of the retirement or separation incentives.
“Executive Order 366 ordered all departments under the executive branch of the government to conduct strategic review of its operations and organization. This order resulted for massive displacement among other government agencies already. For the education department, it will strike down employees in the central office down to the regional and division offices,” Valbuena stressed.
He said the rationalization plan will immediately displace all DepEd’s contractual, casual and even those who are under the job order scheme by December 31, while the regular employees will choose to have between early retirement/separation or stay in the government service and have their permanent status converted into co-terminus with the incumbent status.
“This is a blatant attack on the security of tenure of the rank and file employees. There is no truth to the claim of the government that these employees or their positions are not needed because the education sector is evidently under staffed right now. The education sector even needs more,” he added.
The group also dared Department of Education National Employees’ Union (DepEd-NEU) president lawyer Domingo Alidon to come out in the open and show that he sincerely protect the welfare of the employees.
Sought for comment, Alidon said the DepEd national employees’ union is supporting the rationalization plan but denied that there will be a massive layoff of employees.
“The rationalization in the government bureaucracy is good. It’s not true that there will be a massive layoff of personnel,” Alidon said.
“All affected employees have options on their own choices . . . at most they could be a co-terminus to their requirements, meaning, they will report and work as employee until they retire so nobody will be layoff,” he added. NEIL A. ALCOBER