TEACHERS of Rodriguez, Rizal can heave a sigh of relief as they may get their Christmas bonus though a little bit delayed after the Department of Education (DepEd) said it will replace the amount lost to robbers last month.

DepEd Region IV-A Director Paraluman Giron said they are currently making the appropriate arrangements to immediately replace the teachers' bonus amounting to P4.9 million forcibly taken by unidentified suspects last December 29.

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"We have generated funds to replace the P4.9 million productivity enhancement incentive of teachers from Rodriguez 1 and 2 of the Division of Rizal," Giron said. "We are doing our best to replace the amount from our available funds."

Earlier, Rizal Governor Casimiro "Junjun" Ynares III wrote to Education Secretary Jesli Lapus and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) seeking clarification on whether the amount will be replaced.

The amount lost was allotted as cash gifts for 800 teachers in the municipality.

Investigation conducted by the police showed that the pistol-wielding robbers intercepted DepEd employees -- Nancy Mendoza, liaison officer, and Aurea Concepcion, district supervisor of District 1 -- who have encashed the amount in Taytay, Rizal while they were on board a vehicle traversing Concepcion Dos in Marikina City.

Police have suspected an inside job in the heist though manhunt operations of the suspects are still being conducted.

Meanwhile, almost half of all 16 DepEd regions reported that their P7,000 bonus have been fully released to teachers. (AH/Sunnex)