LIKE our nurses, many of the country’s teachers are overworked and underpaid, forcing them to work even as domestic helpers, caregivers or salesgirls in foreign lands, where they get higher pay.
Reports said that those unable to work abroad because of financial problems accept teaching jobs in far-flung communities, where majority of the people are poor farmers, fishers and laborers.
Still, people find it hard to understand why these professionals prefer to look for “greener pastures” not only in the United States and other Western countries but also in the oil-rich Middle East.
It is public knowledge that there are unscrupulous foreign employers, forcing some of our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), including teachers, to flee and seek the help of our embassies.
That’s why we doff our hat to neophyte Senator Francis Tolentino for proposing the crafting of a portability housing program for our public school teachers throughout the Philippines.
Under the scheme, when a teacher transfers to another place, the amount he/she paid during the first five years in the temporary shelter program will be carried over to his/her permanent housing facility.
Tolentino, chairman of the Senate committee on urban planning, housing and resettlement, aired the proposal during last Wednesday’s public hearing on various housing programs for teachers.
The soft-spoken but workaholic senator said the proposed program would benefit a public school teacher on temporary teaching assignment in a particular area where a housing project exists.
Jimmy Sarona, acting executive vice president of the Home Guaranty Corporation, said the proposal is worth looking into as teachers are not permanently assigned to a place.
But he said the proposed program ought to be studied further because of existing policies of the Home Development Mutual Fund (PAG-IBIG) and other housing agencies.
We agree, like the rest of the people, that government housing programs should benefit not only our school teachers but all other homeless Filipinos from Batanes in the North to Sulu in Mindanao.