03 August 2007

The DepEd union must be kidding

I AM typing this squint-eyed, no thanks to conjunctivitis that felled me and practically all my kids, but I felt I had to. All of them are well now, and I expect to be back in shape in no time; the problem with age is that one's eyesight begins to falter, and recovery from the seasonal illnesses takes a tad longer.

But I digress. I have always treated the DepEd National employees Union, the source of this Inquirer story, with distrust. This is the same union that wanted the late Raul Roco out when the Arroyo administration was still young, allegedly because of some shenanigans.

But I think it was more about the fat commissions they used to get from money lenders -- euphemism for loan sharks -- in exchange for facilitating the automatic deduction of loan amortizations from the hapless teachers' salaries. Roco did away with the scheme, refused to partake of what central office people used to divide among themselves, including the union officials, in the process earning their eternal enmity.

That is why when that union cozies up with their boss, one must take their pronouncements with a grain of salt. Because what they are saying can in fact be farthest from the truth. Let me offer the following examples:

Exhibit "A": "Secretary Lapus has clearly avoided using the DepEd for the political gain of the Arroyo [administration], especially during the May 2007 synchronized elections,” they said.

I don't know about the rest, but one of the most celebrated cases during the last elections happened right in our backyard. In a previous post, I wrote the following:

DepEd-Naga's acting superintendent Ruby Abundabar was unceremoniously replaced in the middle of the ongoing electoral campaign -- the first in six mayoral tiffs that he figured in.

Senator Mar Roxas, Robredo's Liberal partymate, and Solita Monsod, his fellow trustee at Synergeia Foundation, managed to finally track down Education Secretary Jesli Lapus for an explanation. They both got the same answer: "My hands are tied. Those are my marching orders."
Exbihit "B": "They said Lapus’ “professional management” of the DepEd had led to improvements in the guidelines for the hiring of qualified teachers to fill more than 7,000 vacant teaching positions."

This one is of more recent vintage, and easier to remember because right after GMA's SONA sbout 10 days ago, I wrote two entries. The first one takes Lapus to task for reversing efforts by his immediate predecessors to improve the quality of the hiring process.
The new policy of the Lapus administration in regard to teacher hiring is a virtual accommodation to politicians, particularly members of the House of Representatives where he came from.

Today, all an applicant needs to do is meet the 50% minimum rating (Sec. 2.3), sending him to the so-called Registry of Qualified Applicants (RQA). Once in the RQA, the rating becomes irrelevant: one who got 90% is just as good as another who squeaked in by getting the minimum 50%.

The decision to hire now rests on the school head, who will recommend to the division superintendent whom to take in, guided primarily by the Localization Law. This is where subjectivity comes in.
I will urge you to read back that piece in full, as well as its follow-up. And you will see why those benefiting from the new policies -- including that company union -- are happy, delirious even, but we actually have no reason to share their joy because, pardon my language, we are the ones being royally screwed.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

of course, the dep-ed union is an establishment union. the state of philippine education also mirrors what they represent. self interest and nothing else.

oh, common! sec lapus has insulated dep-ed from politics. we were not born yesterday! sec.lapus will be supported by the union because he will play ball with them.insulate dep-ed from politics! that is the last thing on his mind.

Kevin Ray said...

Check out http://marroxas2010.blogspot.com

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

Kevin Ray: That's an irrelevant spam, and a hard sell too. Dunno if that will help Mar Roxas.:)

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