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Friday, May 24, 2024

VP Sara seeks lawyers’ help to address teachers’ huge loans

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Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio said she is looking forward to a partnership with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) IBP to assist teachers with their problems with contracts and loan obligations.

The Vice President made the statement in a speech during the IBP’s 50th founding anniversary fellowship night in Davao City on Thursday.

“I’d like to thank our Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court for their advice to me as the Secretary of the Department of Education. I sought their advice on how to help our public school teachers with regard to their loan obligation,” Duterte-Carpio said.

“They gave me good advice, and I am looking forward to partnering with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to help our public school teachers with regard to their problems with their loans, and contract obligations,” the Vice President added.

A 2019 annual report by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) through a study by the Department of Education found that public school teachers owe a total debt of at least P319 billion to both public and private lenders, which is almost double the P163 billion debts in 2017.

Former GSIS President Rolando Ledesma Macasaet said that the government should put “an end to the ‘five-six’ scheme and other unscrupulous lenders who prey upon hapless teachers.”

Teacher Chelly (not her real name), of Upper Carmen Elementary School in Cagayan de Oro City, has to “loan” her ATM card to a private lending company so she could get a loan.

Teacher Chelly’s misery started when she got separated from her husband, a police officer.

According to her, her husband failed to provide for the family on multiple times because of his gambling. Now as a struggling mother of three children, Chelly would get a loan from another lending company for a new loan and would pay her previous loans from the proceeds of her new loan, leaving her with barely anything and just enough for the family to survive the next salary cycle.

The Vice President meanwhile said that her office will continue to coordinate with the GSIS until all accounts of teachers and non-teaching personnel are resolved.

Duterte-Carpio said that DepEd will need advice from lawyers on their contracts and obligations before a teacher signs any loan contract.

Duterte-Carpio said that it is very important that teachers understand what they are signing the contract for, and that a lawyer can explain to them what will happen if they default on their loan obligations.

“As the Integrated Bar of the Philippines celebrates its golden year, may this be a reminder and a motivation for us to keep going above and beyond the call of duty in upholding the law to serve the poor, disadvantaged, deprived, oppressed, and defenseless,” Duterte-Carpio said.

The salary for Entry Level Teacher 1, is P27,000 per month. Master Teacher IV with Salary Grade 21 gets P63,997.00 per month.

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