Senator Christopher “Bong” Go welcomed updates from the Department of Labor and Employment on the status of the financial assistance application of displaced workers from the Federation of Associations of Private Schools Administrators (FAPSA) member-institutions which the Senator helped to facilitate last year amid the pandemic.

“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa DOLE sa kanilang agarang aksyon upang mabigyan kaagad ng assistance ang mga displaced workers mula sa private schools,” Go said.

“Malaking tulong po ito hindi lamang sa kanila kundi sa kanilang buong pamilya ngayong panahon ng pandemya,” he added.

As of February 19, a total of 113,501 workers in the private education sector from 2,785 establishments have applied for the financial assistance nationwide under DOLE’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP). Out of the 59,715 target beneficiaries of the program, 45,714 workers have already received their financial assistance via payment centers, which puts their utilization rate of the PhP300 million CAMP budget for educational institutions at 76%.

“Sumulat po sa akin si FAPSA President Eleazardo Kasilag at nabanggit niya sa akin na maraming mga teachers ang apektado dahil sa COVID-19 at, sabi ko, hindi ako nangako that time, sabi ko, gagawan namin ng paraan sa abot ng aming makakaya,” Go said.

“Marami pong nawalan ng trabaho. ‘Yung mga enrollees — mga estudyante mahigit sa kanila naglilipatan sa public school at ‘yung mga estudyante sa private school, balita ko ay more or less nasa 50% na lang dahil hirap tayo sa panahong ito,” he continued.

In November 18 last year, Go also provided assistance to private school personnel belonging to FAPSA whose livelihood have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, Go urged Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III to lend more support to the country’s private school teachers after the passage of the Bayanihan 2 Act.

“Nakiusap po ako sa ating national government. Sabi ko, ako ang patuloy ninyong tulay sa ating Pangulo at sa national government kaya sinikap naming mabibigyan ang 60,000 private school teachers ng konting tulong,” he reiterated.

“May mga pamilya din ang mga private school teachers natin, napakalaki ng kanilang ginagampanang tungkulin bilang guro sa bansang ito. Nagtuturo ang mga ‘yan. Ang problema, may mga pamilya ‘yan na binubuhay at wala silang sahod dahil ang iba sa kanila ay nawalan ng trabaho,” he added.

“Magtulungan tayong gawing mas magaan ang pinapasan ng mga Pilipinong naghihirap ngayon. Gawin natin ang lahat para mas madali silang makabangon,” Go reiterated.

In a statement released in November last year, Kasilag thanked concerned agencies for uplifting the morale of private school teachers who are affected by the pandemic by extending them assistance.

According to Kasilag, some private school teachers, particularly those from small and newly established schools, have not been able to receive their salaries since March last year.

Meanwhile, the Senator, also chair of the Senate Committee on Health, pledged that he and President Rodrigo Duterte would prioritize frontliners, including teachers, once a vaccine against COVID-19 is available. He encouraged everyone to have hope and continues to do their part in helping the country battle the pandemic.

“Uunahin namin ang mga frontliners, mga sundalo, mga pulis and, of course, kayo pong mga teachers [dahil] maituturing na rin na frontliners kayo […] sa ngayon,” he said.

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