BARMM education minister justifies ejection of interim teachers in the region

“Typical to every home, is the occurrence of problems or life setbacks, and MBHTE, being a home to a gigantic family, is not an exception. As its head of office, I am like a father to them, and as a father, I have to balance compassion and discipline and at the same, upholding the rule of law. In giving compassionate, we cannot afford to trample upon categorical provisions of law, CSC Memorandum Circulars and other applicable government auditing and accounting rules.” Member of the Parliament Mohagher Iqbal said in his privilege speech during the 2nd regular session of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament held at Shariff Kabunsuan Complex, Bangsamoro Peoples’ Compound, Cotabato City on June 23.
With the issuance of Memorandum Order Nos. 154 and 194-B, series of 2020– cease and desist order for provisional and temporary employees effective May 31, 2020 - of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education, a breakthrough with the education system in the BARMM would take place.
But the memorandum orders receive bashing in the social media thus prompted the minister to defend the move. He said that being like a father to my employees, I am the first one who got affected by these Memoranda, imagine at my age, spending countless sleepless nights, loss of appetite and weight loss, not to mention senior moments at times, due to this issue. This is also very hard on my part, I know how lamentable their situation is because some of them are either in senior years while others are struggling hard to make both ends meet, but we have to uphold the law, according to Minister Iqbal.

“May puso din po tayo”, but leading a government office is much difficult than becoming a rebel, because we have to ensure that government funds are not only used for its intended purpose but it must be used in accordance with a lot of laws. Mr. Speaker, Mr. Majority Floor Leader, a provisional or temporary appointment is good only for one school year, but our affected brothers and sisters stayed with the position as provisional teachers for almost 2 decades and a few for 30 to 34 years in service without reappointment or renewal. This is clearly against the law,” he continued.

However, Iqbal requested the Office of the Chief Minister and the Ministry of Finance and Budget and Management (MFBM) to allow the hiring of the provisional employees of MBHTE in Contract of Service (COS) basis even just up to the end of this School Year 2020-2021. He further asked the support of his colleagues in the parliament to support the request as he said that this is the only way that we can meet halfway: upholding the law and at the same time easing a little the sufferings of the provisional teacher. 

The memoranda were in accordance with laws and rules citing the concurrence of the Bangsamoro Attorney General’s Office relative to the issue of the termination order made by the MBHTE. He also pointed out that the memos were not timely issued during this pandemic for these were done ahead of the emergence of the COVID -19. This is adverse to the bashers in his account that the memos are issued during the health crisis we are facing.

The ministry has 25,554 employees which 22,538 828 are provisional.

Meanwhile, on his part, Professor Tahir Nalg, the Chief of Staff of Minister Iqbal in his BTA office, said that the termination of the provisional employees is somehow necessary to make the education office of the BARMM apolitical. This move will professionalize and improve the education system in the region.