In time for teachers’ accomplishment of the required annual medical clearance the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) again asserted that the expenses for such event should be provided by the government.
“We appeal to the good secretary to immediately issue an order to halt the on-going medical check-up and laboratory tests in DepEd field offices.” said Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson.
Basas said the DepEd or its local offices may be violating the law for not providing such tests for free. “It is clear that medical examination for teachers should be done annually and it is compulsory. However, the same provision of the law also says that it should also be free.
In fact, the law also mandates that the government should pay for teachers’ hospitalization and treatment if found necessary. Then why teachers should be burdened by this regulation?”
Based on TDC’s informal survey, teachers’ expenses for medical tests range from P200 to P1000 which is contrary to the letters and intent of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (RA 4670). Sec. 22 of said law says, “Compulsory medical examination shall be provided free of charge for all teachers before they take up teaching, and shall be repeated not less than once a year during the teacher’s professional life. Where medical examination show that medical treatment and/or hospitalization is necessary, same shall be provided free by the government entity paying the salary of the teachers.”
“We appeal to Sec. Briones to enjoin the entire DepEd system to observe the law and provide the medical examinations, which are on-going in some areas, for free.” Basas reiterated.
The group offered their help thru a dialogue to discuss the issue and come up with a solutions acceptable both for teachers and DepEd management.