Education Secretary Leonor Briones
MANILA, Philippines — Education Secretary Leonor Briones has called out teacher organizations blaming the Department of Education (DepEd) for billions of unpaid loans of public school teachers.
Addressing concerns that teachers will have nothing left of their bonuses because these will end up as payment for existing loans, Briones said it all boils down to how the teachers manage their debts.
“Why are they blaming DepEd?… But who benefitted? Who borrowed?” the secretary said in a recent press conference.
Briones denied allegations that the agency has earned from the loans that teachers get from private lending institutions, noting that the service fee charged goes directly to the DepEd Provident Fund.
“It goes back to the teachers… DepEd does not benefit a single centavo from all these activities,” she added.
DepEd earlier expressed alarm over the ballooning amount of teacher loans, which has reached P178 billion from private lending institutions and P123 billion from the Government Service Insurance System as of last year.
Briones drew flak after she issued a department order allowing the deduction of existing obligations despite the P4,000 net take home pay threshold set by law.