COTABATO CITY – To finally put an end to the issue on the dismissal of provisional teachers in the region, Minister Mohagher Iqbal announced that the Regional Trial Court 12th Judicial Region Branch XIII in the city has ruled in favor of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE).
In a video message posted Monday night on MBHTE’s official Facebook page, Minister Iqbal said that on March 1, the court dismissed the petition for prohibition and mandamus filed by some of the provisional teachers against the education ministry.
According to Iqbal, the court declared that the cease and desist order issued by MBHTE “is legitimate and more importantly, there is no infringement of the constitutional rights of the petitioners. Appointments to government service are and have always been based on merit and fitness.”
It can be recalled that MBHTE released Memorandum Order No. 154 and No. 194-B with the subject Cease and Desist Order in May 31 last year, affecting about 828 provisional teachers.
The Civil Service Commission – BARMM and the Bangsamoro Attorney General’s Office both affirmed that the memoranda were consistent with Rule IV of the 2017 Omnibus Rules on Appointments and Other Human Resource Action (Revised 2018).
Under this rule, provisional or temporary appointment is good only for one year. The affected provisional teachers have stayed in their positions for almost or more than two decades.
[Related Story: BARMM adhered to CSC rules on provisional teachers – Sinarimbo] “Some say I am heartless for depriving these teachers their sources of livelihood. There is no truth to that,” Iqbal said.
“More than anyone else, I am the first one who was so affected in this issue. At one point I was in quandary as to what to follow – the rule of law or humanitarian considerations? But at the end of the day we should always choose the rule of law that is moral,” he added.
Nonetheless, Iqbal said that should the provisional teachers still be willing and capable to serve the Bangsamoro children, they are welcome to join the ranks of MBHTE’s para-teachers or those who were temporarily appointed under contract-of-service, with P15-thousand salary per month, in the absence of licensed teachers.
In July last year, MBHTE allotted humanitarian assistance amounting to Php190,980,000.00 intended for affected teachers who were willing to re-apply and work for one (1) year under a contract of service.
Part of the budget included P10-Million for free-LET review (which is currently on hold due to the pandemic), appeal to Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) to conduct special LET exam, P15k monthly salary, and some additional Php5,000.00 annual funds for administrative assessment activity. [Related Story: MBHTE-BARMM to provide ‘humanitarian assistance’ for laid off provisional teachers].
To date, 435 secondary and elementary provisional teachers across the region have already signed their contract as para-teachers after re-applying in the ministry. Of the number, 120 teachers are from Maguidanao I and II, 143 are from Lanao del Sur I and II including Marawi City, 31 from Basilan, 29 from Sulu, and 112 from Tawi-Tawi. (Bangsamoro Information Office/Photo from MBHTE)
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