GSIS, PAGIBIG asked to waive penalties on loans of teachers

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

Public school teachers whose take home pays have been reduced to almost nothing because of the high penalties they pay to the lending institutions, like Government Service Insurance System and the PAGIBIG, have found a savior in Kabayan partylist Cong. Ron P. Salo.

 

Salo asked both institutions to waive the penalties and charges on teachers’ loans so that their take-home pays would not be severely eroded.

 

Salo made a privilege speech Monday in Congress to denounce the diminution of teachers’ take-home pay because of such deductions even with the issuance by the Department of Education a department order (No. 55), recalling a previous order (No. 38 issued July this year that did not put a cap on such deductions). DO 55 prioritizes deductions for GSIS and PAGIBIG “without affecting teachers' mandated net take home pay," Salo also said.

 

With accrued penalties of their loans from GSIS and an imposed deduction cap, teachers will have to pay their loans and penalties in a longer period. DepEd Order No. 55 implements the minimum take home pay of P4,000, consistent with Section 47 of the General Appropriations Act of 2017.

 

Salo noted that the current gross salary of our public-school teachers is around P 19,000 but they take home far less than the gross amount due to unfortunate and unforeseen financial troubles.

 

"Our teachers are saddled by extensive deductions for contributions and obligations as they are forced to fall victim and borrow money from lenders that entrap them in a vicious cycle of indebtedness," Salo said.

 

Citing DepEd data, Salo added that the current total debt of public school teachers from legitimate private lending institutions have ballooned to unprecedented levels amounting to P178-billion, aside from the already existing P123-billion worth of loans owned to GSIS. This amounts to P301-billion worth of loans, equivalent to 55percent of the 2018 DepEd proposed budget of P549-billion. 

 

He said it came to his attention that around 23,000 teacher-retirees this year failed to receive their pensions due to unpaid debts," Salo stressed.

 

In pushing for his proposed resolution addressed to the GSIS, he urged the GSIS to "implement debt forgiveness or condonation for newly-retired and retiring public school teachers from 2017 to 2022, including teachers who are deceased before their scheduled retirement, so that these teachers and their families will benefit from the value of the retiring teachers’ maturing GSIS policy.”

 

 

He also asked the DepEd, Department of Finance and government financial institutions to conduct nationwide financial literacy programs and enabling training to empower public school teachers to manage their personal finances better and get them out of the path to financial ruin.

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