DepEd strengthens HRMOs case management for COVID-19 affected employees

November 10, 2020 – To ensure that Human Resource Management Officers are ready to provide support to COVID-19 affected employees, the Department of Education (DepEd) conducted a webinar on How to Provide Support to COVID-19 Affected DepEd Employees last October 26.

“The purpose of this is to ensure our employees, our peers, [and] our colleagues are equipped with knowledge and understanding of the latest benefits and assistance in COVID-19 from our partner agencies Employee Compensation Commission (ECC) and PhilHealth so that we can put it into action,” Undersecretary for Human Resource and Organizational Development Jesus LR Mateo said in his opening message.

ECC and PhilHealth were at the webinar as resource speakers and to present the support and benefits they have for the employees. ECC introduced the Employees’ Compensation Program (EC Program), which is designed to ‘provide employees and their families with income benefits, medical, and other health benefits in the event of work-connected sickness, injury or death.’

ECC also noted that COVID-19 is compensable under the EC Program as long as the disease has been acquired during work. For the prescriptive period, ECC said that ‘no claim for the compensation shall be given eventually unless said claim is filed with the respective insurance systems (SSS for the private sector and GSIS for public sector employees) within three years from the time of sickness, injury, or death.’

Philhealth, on the other hand, discussed their offered benefits packages for inpatient care of probable and confirmed COVID-19 developing severe illness. These packages were case-based benefits categorized by Philhealth into four packages amount:

a.     Mild Pneumonia (hospitalized, private room) the patient will receive Php 43,997 assistance;

b.     Moderate Pneumonia (hospitalized, private room), package amount is Php 143,267;

c.     Severe Pneumonia (hospitalized, private room, ICU) the package amount is Php 333,519; and for

d.     Critical Pneumonia (hospitalized, private room, ICU) the package amount is Php 786,384.

The health corporation also noted that the amount of the benefit depends on the severity of the illness.

Under the Philhealth Testing Package, the COVID-19 swab test is compensable, and the amount of compensation also varies on the materials and machine used. The government-owned health insurer also said that employees need to identify if the testing laboratory is accredited by PhilHealth and the Department of Health.

DepEd envisioned that  HR Officers are fully informed and capacitated to assist employees from the processing of their respective claims, coordinating with the offices of concerned agencies, adapting to referral mechanisms, and participating in certain programs.

“Being an HR officer/personnel at our respective offices at various governance levels, it is important that we provide timely information to all our colleagues [and] our peers para sa gano’n hindi sila mag-worry,” Usec. Mateo said.

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DepEd: Strategic designs and stricter policies, key for schools to withstand stronger typhoons, calamities 

LEGAZPI CITY, ALBAY, November 12, 2020 – In light of recent situations in the regions, the Department of Education will be enforcing stricter policies to assist our schools and communities during calamities. Also, the DepEd shall strengthen strategic school designs to ensure that facilities can withstand stronger typhoons and earthquakes.

During field visits in adversely affected provinces of Bicol region, Undersecretary for Field Operations Revsee Escobedo underscored the importance of redesigning school buildings to protect our teachers, learners, and personnel from destructive calamities.

“We have to prepare our schools for stronger typhoons due to climate change. Dati rati, 5 to 10 years bago may malakas ulit na bagyo. Ngayon, halos kada taon, may malakas na bagyo,” Usec. Escobedo stated in a consultative meeting with school heads of Albay on Thursday.

In a Rapid Assessment of Damages Report (RADAR) of DepEd Region V, 41% or 1,587 schools in Bicol suffered infrastructure damages due to Super Typhoon Rolly as of November 10, 2020. The partial estimated cost of damages is reportedly PhP 6.6 billion.

Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua said that DepEd engineers are already drawing up proposals for new school designs but noted that the reconstruction or rehabilitation efforts will vary depending on the current status of school buildings and available funds.

“We have to go back again to the drawing board kasi palakas nang palakas ang mga bagyo. Ang target namin, within the next 15-20 years, nakatayo pa rin ang mga school buildings at hindi nasisira,” Usec. Pascua emphasized.

Usec. Pascua cited roofing, ceiling, and window patterns, as well as engineering as major considerations in the redesigning of DepEd facilities.  

Additionally, the Undersecretary stressed that aside from the redesigning, local DepEd engineers and school heads should work together in ensuring that only appropriate materials will be used by winning contractors to achieve storm- and earthquake-proof school buildings.

“Dapat kasama ang mga engineers at makita nila [construction of facilities] para malaman kung tama ba yung bakal o bago ikabit yung ceiling ay maayos lahat. Kaya dapat ay bantayan para masiguradong nasa standard lahat. Kailangan natin magparami ng mga engineers,” Pascua said.

On November 30, local DepEd engineers are set to submit post-disaster needs assessment for inclusion in the program of works next year.

Since Tuesday, the team of Usec. Escobedo and Usec. Pascua has been personally inspecting typhoon-hit schools in Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, and Albay. They are also set to visit Catanduanes and Camarines Norte in the following days. 

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DepEd to team up with PSC for National Academy of Sports

October 27, 2020 – To develop more promising students in sports, the Department of Education (DepEd) will team up with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) on the implementation and establishment of the National Academy of Sports (NAS) this year.

“Ang DepEd at ang PSC, sa katunayan, ay magkatuwang sa mga initial preparations para sa pagbubuo nitong National Academy of Sports,” said Undersecretary for Field Operations, Palarong Pambansa Secretariat and DEACO Atty. Revsee Escobedo during the Handang Isip, Handa Bukas Press Briefing on Friday.

Usec. Escobedo shared that DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones would be the Chairperson while PSC Chair Mr. William ‘Butch’ Ramirez would be the Vice-Chairman of the institution.

“Ang layunin ng pagtatatag ng National Academy of Sports ay to implement a quality and enhanced secondary education program, integrated with a special curriculum on sports,” Undersecretary Escobedo added.

The NAS was founded on June 9 by the virtue of signing the Republic Act No. 11470 or the National Sports Academy Act to provide an avenue for secondary students who wants to pursue professional sports.

Forming a new strand in the education sector, the NAS System aims to design a special curriculum for athletic scholars, provide holistic quality education to the learners who are excelling in sports, and integrate all sports academy to one governance and management system.

NAS System also intends to develop, strengthen, and integrate future campuses into the system and provide world-class sports facilities to produce globally-competitive players.

“Hinahangad ng batas na ito ay magkaroon tayo ng world-class facilities kung saan dito magsasanay ang ating mga potential na mga manlalaro para sa Asian Games at Olympics,” noted Escobedo.

For the succeeding steps, the organization would create NAS Road Map, focus more on the curriculum development, construct the NAS Main Campus, and draft its operational manuals to improve the system more.

“Next year, ang pinagtutuonan natin ng pansin ay ‘yong main campus muna. Ito ay nasa New Clark City at ito ‘yong gagamitin munang main campus at ‘yong naitayong track oval doon at saka ‘yong swimming pool na ginamit during SEA Games ay ipapagamit muna ng BCDA [Bases Conversion and Development Authority] sa National Academy of Sports para maging training facility,” he said.

NAS will have an allotted P 1.86 billion in the 2021 proposed budget, where P 264 million will be for personnel services and maintenance and other operating expenses, and P 1.60 billion will be for capital outlay.

Secretary Briones was delighted for the addition of the NAS in the education sector, which could give learners more avenue to to pursue their specialization.

“Sa ngayon, medyo kumpleto na ang ating [programs], mayroon na tayong mga science high schools, mayroon na ding hight schools for the arts, ngayon mayroon na tayong high school for sports,” said Secretary Briones.

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