THE COMPENSATION of school employees to be affected by the K to 12 scheme should be the same as their current salaries, the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) has clarified.

CHEd Commissioner Cynthia Rose Bautista explained that the earlier announced monthly compensation of P30,000 and P15,000 for displaced teaching personnel and non-teaching personnel, respectively, were only estimates.

“We only came up with P15,000 because that is the average [salary] of the administrative staff, and P30,000 for the faculty,” Bautista said in a meeting with representatives from various universities and concerned government departments last Oct. 29. “Kung ano ang salary mo [before your displacement] ‘yun ang makukuha mo.”

Last June, CHEd, together with the Department of Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the Department of Labor and Employment, proposed a P29-billion stabilization fund that will compensate teaching and non-teaching employees who will lose their jobs during the transition period of the K to 12 scheme in 2016.

House Committee on Higher and Technical Education (CHTE) Chairman and Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo said CHEd’s proposed Tertiary Education Sector Transition Fund would only cover salaries of axed employees for two years—the period in which they are expected to find new jobs.

“The bottom line is, kung ano ang kinikita mo, ‘yun ang ibibigay nila sa‘yo monthly, for two years, under the stabilization fund,” said Romulo in the meeting spearheaded by the CHTE.

CHEd, however, has yet to submit a final plan for the transition fund, which the House committee expects by mid-December.

Republic Act 10533, or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, will add two more years in the secondary level. The Philippines, Angola, and Djibouti are the only three countries in the world implementing a 10-year basic educational system.

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“We have to admit that when the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Integration comes in 2015, ‘yung competency na sinasabi nila will be based on the basic education [of our children]. At one point, we have to think about their future,” Romulo said in a forum arranged by the UST High School Parents’ Association Inc. (USTHS PAI).

However, Revenendo Vargas, board member of the USTHS PAI and founding chairman of the Parents Advocacy for Children’s Education, thinks otherwise.

“In order to comply with the ASEAN integration, we are going to sacrifice quality education. We are giving [the children] a half-cooked program,” Vargas said in an interview. “Ang proposal namin, simulan niyo nang kinder, matatapos ang mga bata ng 2026, quality education pa rin.”

In a previous Varsitarian report, Vargas said parents were not consulted on the K to 12 program both in UST and at the national level.

Around 150 parents of UST high school students attended the forum last Oct. 25 organized by parents to raise concerns over the K to 12 program. Dayanara T. Cudal

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