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Solon applauds DepEd’s initiative to help teachers against “loan sharks”

The initiative by the Department of Education (DepEd) to give teachers legal and financial guidance is a step in the right direction to prevent them from accruing debt, according to the chairman of the House Committee on Labor and Employment on Thursday.

Fidel Nograles, a representative from Rizal, claimed that the department’s decision to work with lawyer organizations and other organizations to offer teachers free consultations on loan contracts they may sign would give them the financial knowledge and legal resources they need to avoid the debt trap.

“DepEd’s plan, which is being spearheaded by Vice President Sara Duterte, is a great step to protect our teachers from loan sharks and other predatory lending practices,” Nograles said. “Magandang hakbang ang planong ito ng DepEd sa pangunguna ni Vice President Sara Duterte upang maprotektahan ang ating mga guro laban sa mga loan shark at

He underlined the necessity of taking action to prevent predatory lenders from taking advantage of the instructors’ vulnerability.

In times of need, many teachers would sign abusive loan agreements to provide for their families or they would take out more loans to cover their mounting debt, he said. “Dahil sa kagipitan, marami sa ating mga guro ang pumipirma ng mga kontratang ikapapahamak nila para may pangtustos sa kanilang pamumuhay,” he said.

Nograles announced that he would be lending his support to the DepEd initiative by engaging his coworkers at the Lakbay Hustisya legal aid charity and encouraging them to assist instructors.

“The banta of the loan sharks in our country is masagal nang hinaharap ng mga guro at panahon nang kumilos tayo laban rito. Umaasa ako mais marami pang mga attorneys ang mag-aalay ng kanilang tulong sa kanila (Teachers have long been threatened by loan sharks, and it is past time we took action to stop this. I’m hopeful that additional attorneys will offer to help our teachers “said he.

The DepEd also published a letter in December prohibiting private lenders and loan vultures that are not affiliated with the organization from collecting payments at the specified payout locations for the one-time service recognition bonus for public school teachers and non-teaching staff.

He mentioned that the department has always struggled with teacher debt.

DepEd reports that the total amount of teachers’ unpaid loans and interest to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) in 2019 was at least PHP157.4 billion.

Duterte, who is concurrently in charge of education, stated in an address at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines’ (IBP) 50th establishment anniversary that she believes their guidance might help educators in legal situations.

She remarked, “I asked their opinion on how to assist our public school teachers with regard to their loan commitments. They offered me sound counsel, and I am looking forward to working with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to assist our public school teachers with their financial issues, including their loans and employment agreements.

Along with offering legal support, Duterte pledged that the DepEd would step up its efforts to allay teachers’ worries.

The Magna Carta for Public School Teachers is being reviewed and updated with the help of lawmakers, free health screenings are being offered thanks to a collaboration with the Department of Health, and the GSIS is helping to address teachers’ concerns about insurance and benefits.

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