COTABATO, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 18, 2010) – State teachers in the southern Philippine province of Sulu have accused some education officials of corruption and urged government authorities to investigate allegations of grafts.
Two teachers alleged that officials were demanding between 60,000 to 100,000 pesos in exchange for appointment papers that would give an applicant a permanent teaching job in various schools in Sulu, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region.
They claimed that many had been victimized by the scam and that a few were given jobs, but did not receive their salaries for month now. Many of those who applied for the jobs did not pass the required government licensure examinations for teachers.
“It was terrible. We are struggling to work hard, but some people are taking advantage of us,” one teacher said. “Some people are collecting money in exchange of teaching jobs – sixty thousand pesos and up to one hundred pesos are being demanded by them.”
They urged the President Benigno Aquino and the Department of Education in the Muslim autonomous region and the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the scam. “We are willing to come out in the open so we can put a stop into these nefarious activities. We are appealing to President Aquino to order an investigation into our complaints,” another teacher said.
The same problem is also happening in Lanao del Sur province which is part of the Muslim autonomous region.
Lawyer Baratucal Caudang, Education Secretary, said his office would investigate the allegations and urged those who were victimized to come out and file charges. “We will not tolerate this kind of activities and we are urging those who are complaining to present their evidence. They should have the courage to come out and identify those who are engaged in these activities,” he said.
Caudang said he will not tolerate graft and corruption. “We have to serve as model. We will not tolerate this malpractice,” he added.
It was not the first time teachers complained about graft and corruption in the Department of Education in the Muslim autonomous region.
Graft and corruption was so widespread in the past that even salaries for teachers had been stolen and insurance premiums of state workers were not remitted to the central government. But despite these problems, no one had been charged or jailed for violations of the anti-graft law and other wrongdoings in the Muslim autonomous region. (Mindanao Examiner)