LABOR Secretary Silvestre Bello III is in favor of a proposal to cut the probation period needed for faculty members to get tenure to just one year instead of three, to reduce job losses during the K to 12 transition.

In a meeting with members of the Council of Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities of the Philippines (Cotescup), Bello called the probation period “an insensible requirement,” adding that several months should be enough preparation.

Rene Luis Tadle, UST professor and Cotescup lead convenor, called for a law lowering the three-year requirement for tenure to a year or even less.

This will avoid “contractualization” amid the K to 12 implementation, during which college enrollment is expected to drop temporarily because of the imposition of two additional years in high school.

Tadle noted that as early as 2014, higher education institutions such as UST were already resorting to fixed-term contracts.

Non-tenured teachers of certain subjects were removed, only to be replaced by new ones on a part-time basis and with lower salary rates, he claimed.

“I think a lot of higher educational institutions would inform the Department of Labor and Employment that they are removing their faculty members, but do not actually provide reasons for such,” Tadle said, adding that the government should grant financial assistance to teachers who will be displaced.

Teachers from other schools such as Miriam College expressed disappointment after their contracts were not renewed with the onset of K to 12.

“They told us they wanted to avoid the losses, retrenchment is supposed to be the last resort, but the administration made it the only option,” Luz Rebecca Anonuevo, who was retrenched by Miriam College, said.

Attendees included faculty members from St. Scholastica’s College, San Sebastian College, St. Louis University, Mapua Institute of Technology and San Beda College.

The Varsitarian previously reported that UST college professors, aside from transferring to senior high school, will also have the option of doing office work, taking research loads and going on sabbatical or study leaves.

This coming academic year, the University will only offer 18 undergraduate programs out of its original roster of more than 50 programs because of the K to 12 transition.

Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. has assured students and faculty members that there would be no tuition hikes and layoffs of tenured faculty in the coming school year, saying the University had enough reserve funds. M. A. C. Camacho


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