THE Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) has called on the elected legislators and even the presumptive president Bongbong Marcos Jr. to pay attention to the issues surrounding the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
The group’s Chairperson Benjo Basas said that they will also discuss the matter with the presumptive Vice President Sara Duterte who agreed to take the post as DepEd Chief if the latter would grant their request for a meeting.
“Initially we will ask Congress to amend the GSIS Law and make the representation of classroom teachers integral to the GSIS Board,” Basas said.
“The DepEd’s rank-and-file teachers and employees comprise more than half of GSIS membership, yet we were not entitled even for one seat on its board,” Basas explained.
Basas however said that according to GSIS Law, DepEd may be represented alternately by either the head of the Philippine Public School Teachers Association (PPSTA) or the Philippine Association of Schools Superintendents (PASS), both of the organizations are usually headed by DepEd officials since the enactment of the law.
Apart from more Board representatives the TDC also bats for the abolition of unfair GSIS policies and further expansion of benefits like the affordable housing program and lowering of retirement age of teachers and government employees, among others.
The TDC believes that the approval of both the executive and legislative branches would be needed for these reforms and if not acted upon, they prefer to have their own insurance system as in the military and uniformed personnel.
“Better yet, we may altogether create a separate insurance system for teachers and staff of the entire public education system- including the education agencies and the government-run schools,” Basas ended.
The issues with GSIS are among the top concerns of public school teachers and are included in TDC’s 13-Point Teachers’ Dignity Agenda they submitted to candidates in the last elections. By ARLENE RIVERA