Senate bill lowering retirement age for teachers, DepEd employees refiled

Teachers, who are members of the electoral council during the elections, undergo training on the operation of vote counting machines in this photo from March 11, 2022. – ETOILE PHILIPPINE/RUSSELL PALMA

A SENATOR has reintroduced a bill to lower the retirement age for public school teachers and other regular Department of Education (DepEd) employees to 60 from 65.

If enacted, this bill will benefit hundreds and thousands of retired DepEd staff, teachers and non-teachers alike, who would like to spend their prime working outside of their normal of the government,Senator Francis Joseph “Chiz” G. Escudero, who chairs the Senate Committee on Higher, Technical and Vocational Education, said in a statement Sunday.

Senate Bill 58, or the new DepEd Retirement Age Act, will also provide more opportunities for young teachers and non-teaching staff to land jobs at DepEd.

Under the proposed measure, DepEd employees with less than 15 years of service at age 60 will be allowed to continue working at the agency until they turn 65.

The current system at DepEd needs updating of skills and career advancement of their staff so that the services rendered to the department are restructured and modernized but perpetual,said Mr. Escudero.

“It is better that we give government employees more time to spend with their families,he said. There is more to life than work.

Meanwhile, Deputy House Minority Leader and ACT Teachers France List Party Representative L. Castro criticized Speaker Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for vetoing the tax-exempt bill on fees, allowances and other financial benefits granted to election workers.

“The veto of this measure is a slap in the face to all teachers across the country who dutifully served in the last election despite long hours and higher risks of contracting COVID-19,” Castro said in a statement Sunday.

“With the added risks and longer hours of electoral service they have had to endure, removing the 20% tax on their fees and allowances is only fair.”

She said imposing taxes on election volunteers’ fees and allowances goes against the intent of Republic Act 10756, or the Election Service Reform Act, to offset hardship. persons performing electoral service.

They should therefore benefit from the full compensation and not bear any additional charges,” Ms Castro said.

Ms Castro said their party list will continue to fight for fair compensation for election service workers by calling for the veto to be overturned.

“We are studying all options to counter this highly unfair decision by the President. We urge all teachers and election service volunteers to contact their district representatives and senators so that both houses of Congress can override this unfair veto,” she said.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines, a grassroots organization of teachers and other education workers, also denounced the veto, calling it a callous and shamelessPresident’s proposal.

“We should not worry about the 1.5 billion peso tax that will be refunded to approximately 700,000 people who worked during the elections, as it is a thank you for their service and added to the funds for their families during this crisis,” said ACT Philippines President Vladimer. Quetua said in a separate statement.

“The biggest loss for the country is the property tax of 203 billion pesos that the Marcos family has still not paid.” Alyssa Nicole O. Tan and Matthew Carl L. Montecillo

Norman D. Briggs