Public school teachers can heave a sigh of relief as the Civil Service Commission (CSC) ruled that the two hours of service, in addition to the six hours of actual classroom teaching, may be rendered even outside school premises.
In a dialogue with the Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC), then CSC Chairwoman Karina Constantino-David presented a copy of CSC Resolution No. 080096 which was in reply to a letter by Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus requesting for a reexamination of the CSCâ€™s guidelines with regard to the teachersâ€™ working hours.
The issue came after several public school teachers complained to Lapus that they are being required by their superiors to be within school premises for eight hours, and are given a corresponding salary deduction due to undertime when they fall below the requirement.
In the resolution, the CSC clarified that “public school teachers are not exempt from the eight hours of work provided for in Republic Act 1880, and what is limited to six hours as provided for in Republic Act 4670 is only the work hours devoted to actual classroom teaching.”
It further stated that, to complete the prescribed eight-hour work schedule, the remaining two work hours may be spent by the teachers within or outside school premises, in accordance with DepEd guidelines.
“We understand that the nature of work of public school teachers is different from that of the rest of government employees,” David said. “Aside from that, our teachers are already distressed by heavy teaching load, lack of classrooms and faculty rooms, and other problems that may lead to exhaustion and low morale.”
She said some teachers tend to render more than eight working hours because they are also expected to prepare lesson plans and school exercises, provide mentoring to students, and participate in school and community-based activities in addition to actual classroom teaching.
“The resolution attempts to rule in favor of the teachers while remaining within the bounds of existing rules and legislation. This is necessary to allow our public school teachers to perform with utmost commitment, effectiveness, and competency as we recognize their role as vital contributors in our nationâ€™s development,” David said.