Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Representative France Castro on Friday welcomed the release of the 2019 budget for the P500 annual medical examination and treatment for public school teachers.
Castro said it is high time that the government implement this benefit provided in the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers.
But, she insisted that placing the benefit under Universal Health Care violates the Magna Carta since teachers contribute to the PhilHealth.
“We welcome the announcement of the Department of Education that they will release funds for the annual medical examination of public school teachers before the end of this school year,” Castro said, in a statement.
“This has been the clamor of our public school teachers who continue to shell out from their own pockets to comply with requirements of the Department of Education to be able to do their jobs,” Castro said.
On the other hand, Education Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla announced in news reports that they plan to release the fund for the annual medical examination for public school teachers before the end of the school year next month, which is the deadline for teachers to submit the results of their medical examinations.
“Every year during budget deliberations in Congress, we urge the Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Education to include in the General Appropriations Act the funds for the implementation of provisions of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers,” said Castro.
“Since the enactment of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers in 1966, the provision that mandates government to provide for the free annual medical examination of public school teachers has always been unfunded. In the deliberations for the 2019 budget, we were able to include budget for the annual medical examination and treatment worth P500 per teacher, only to be placed under conditional implementation by President Duterte,” Castro said.
“This clearly does not meet RA 4670’s mandate of free health care for public school teachers as PhilHealth is not free but in exchange of monthly contributions,” she said.
Section 22 of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers entitled ‘Medical Examination and Treatment’ provides that public school teachers should undergo free compulsory medical examination before employment and free medical check-up at least once a year. DepEd is also mandated by the same provision to provide free medical treatment and/or hospitalization.
“We hope that other provisions of the Magna Carta for Public School teachers also be funded appropriately like the hardship pay, overtime pay, study leave other similar provisions. These are small investments of the government that would benefit 900 thousand public school teachers who are at the forefront in providing social services for education in the country,” Castro ended. /Stacy Ang