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Monday, March 4, 2024

Teachers in ECQ areas to receive extra hazard pay

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Teachers assigned in areas covered by the government’s Enhanced Community Quarantine – some good news for you.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones promised Thursday that added-on hazard pay would be given to educators teaching in ECQ areas.

This hazard pay is separate from the other benefits the mentors receive, Briones said at a Palace briefing where she also reported on the pilot testing of limited face-to-face classes in the country in mid-November.

Briones said: “Teachers should be informed that there is extra hazard pay if they are in areas under enhanced community quarantine, and if they are teaching there, they are entitled to additional COVID-19 hazard pay.”

For teachers in ECQ areas, Briones said they may receive a P550 allowance daily.

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They may receive additional assistance — if they got infected with COVID-19 — on top of their “special hardship allowance” that is offered only to teachers, Briones added.

On Wednesday, the Department of Education announced that the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes is November 15, which will initially cover 100 public schools and 20 private schools, and will involve Kindergarten to Grade 3 pupils.

From the 638 nominated schools, only 59 public schools have been selected for the pilot test after they passed the granular risk assessment of the Department of Health.

At a Senate hearing earlier on, Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said the pilot test of face-to-face classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic was timed with the start of the second quarter of the school year, and would last until Dec. 22.

The in-person classes would then be assessed and the pilot study would end on Jan. 31, 2022.

The department would then evaluate, identify more schools for the expansion of the pilot run, inspect sites and conduct dry runs and present their expansion plans to President Rodrigo Duterte in February 2022.

If the proposal is approved, the expanded pilot run of face-to-face classes would begin on March 7, 2022.

With the Philippines one of the last countries to keep schools closed during the pandemic, the President approved limited face-to-face classes in September in areas with a low risk of COVID-19 infection.

DepEd said it would provide “a rolling assessment” every Monday to increase the number of participating schools to 120.

In a statement, the DepEd and the Department of Health said they would work with local government units, school officials, community stakeholders and participating teachers and students in ensuring the safe operation of the pilot test of face-to-face classes.

“Our responsibility for DepEd is to secure areas, the local government units who have given their consent and are prepared to cooperate, the permission of parents, and also the readiness of our own facilities in DepEd for limited face-to-face learning. On the other hand, the Department of Health will assess the health side readiness of the school,” Secretary Briones said.

The departments said the pilot would focus on four areas: 1) safe operations, 2) teaching and learning, 3) including the most marginalized, and 4) wellbeing and protection.

Under Safe Operations, a maximum of 120 schools (95 elementary schools, five senior high schools, and 20 private schools) will be chosen for the pilot.

These schools must be located at minimal risk areas and passed the School Safety Assessment Tool. LGUs must also express their support with a resolution or letter allowing the conduct of the pilot run in the community.

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