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AUG 18, 2016

NR # 4296

Bill seeks grant of additional insurance benefits


to all public school teachers
In a bid to stop brain drain and improve the plight of teachers, a lawmaker has filed House
Bill 1087, seeking the grant of additional insurance benefits to the countrys public school teachers.
Masbate Rep. Scott Davies Lanete, author of the bill, said these benefits would be over and
above the benefits public school teachers are currently enjoying from the Government Service
Insurance System, particularly under Republic Act. 8291.
The bill, to be known as Public School Teachers Insurance Act of 216, grants
death benefits of P200,000, burial expenses of P50,000 to all teachers who are in active service.
It likewise provides that all teachers -- whether they already retired or still in the active
service-- would also be allowed to reimburse their actual medical expenses not exceeding P100,000.
Teachers are the primary instruments of knowledge, Lanete said. It is an established fact
that most of the countrys youth education greatly relies on public schools due to the heavy financial
burdens private schools impose.
Lanete noted that for about a decade hundreds, if not thousands of local public school teachers
have left the country in search of greener pastures abroad.
He traced the problem to insufficient salaries and meager benefits provided by the
government in contrast to the huge amounts offered in other countries.
This trend (has) stagnated, if not degraded, the countrys educational program. The problem
continues to worsen, and if the government continues to cover its eyes and ears, the countrys
illiteracy rate will rise, Lanete said.
However, the bill provides that no benefits shall be added to any teacher or their beneficiaries
when the injury, sickness or death was occasioned or caused by habitual drunkenness or intoxication,
willful intention to injure or kill oneself, notorious negligence, and unauthorized absence or
abandonment of office for at least one month prior to death or accident.
The GSIS shall conduct an actuarial study to determine the premiums to be paid
corresponding to the benefits to be received by the public educators within sixty days.
The GSIS shall also promulgate the rules and regulations necessary to implement the Act, in
coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education
(CHED).
As a solution to this predicament, it is essential that the State take a proactive step by
providing these public school teachers with additional employment benefits. Only through such
solution will the country level the playing field in terms of monetary benefits, and put a stop to the
brain drain phenomenon, Lanete said. (30) lvc