Child development workers risk losing jobs over politics

POLITICAL differences have become one of the challenges faced by the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) department of the provincial government in serving the children in Misamis Oriental.

Provincial ECCD head Maryden Ocot said they worry that child development workers may lose their jobs if the village chief who appointed them lost in the recent Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Elections.

"Barangay appointees man gud ang mga child development workers and sa experience nato everytime naay change of administration wala gyud tay mahimo kung mapulihan siya kay dili siya bet sa bag-ong kapitan or tungod kay didto siya sa kontra partido,” Ocot said.

(Child development workers are barangay appointees and based on our experience, everytime there’s a change of administration, we cannot do anything if they are to be replaced by people the present captain prefers or because they are from the opposing party.)

"Naa gyud worries and kini siya tibuok Pilipinas ni. Good kung nidaog ang imong kapitan pero kung wala mao nang kabalaka nga basin mawala or mapulihan gyud sila,” he added.

(It’s the present worry all throughout the Philippines. It’s good if their captain won the election but if not, they could be replaced.)

However, Ocot said they will still try to reach out to the newly elected village leaders and convince them to keep the workers and allow them to continue serving the children in their respective localities, even if they are not of the same political group.

Ocot said they would also tap the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in this move so it will not be misinterpreted as political agenda of the administration of Governor Yevgeny Emano.

She said they will begin reaching out the federation officers of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) of each town once the Liga ng mga Barangay elections is over.

"Good for barangay captains nga atong maistorya (whom we can talk to) but we have not started it yet because we plan to tap the DILG aron makita nga ang tumong is dili politika kundili mahangyo nga mapadayon ang pagserbisyo sa mga (so that they can see that our objective is not related to politics but to ask for the services of the child development workers to continue) child development workers regardless of political affiliation," Ocot said.

"After the ABC elections, we will visit every ABC federation meetings sa tanan munisipyo (in all municipalities) regardless of political differences in the effort nga ma-continue nato ang (that we can continue the) advocacy to nurture every child of the province," she added.

Ocot said the province has already molded several teachers and equip them through training, seminars and workshops and yet they would be booted out because of politics.

The Provincial Government has allocated P3,000 per child development worker every year as honorarium, excluding their monthly stipend from the barangay and the town which also varies because perhaps of budgetary constraints.

"Ang uban gadawat og P400 lang depende kung galante ang kapitan unya depende pud kung ma on time ba (The others accept P400 if their captain is generous but it depends if its on time) that is why we are helping them kutob sa among matabang (with the best that we can)," Ocot said.

Ocot said once the magna carta for day care teachers is passed into law, the local government units will be obliged to allocate about P8,000 to P9,000 as monthly salary of the teachers.

At present, the province has about 716 child development centers and nearly 30,000 children were accommodated last year.

This year the ECCD is expecting to cater to about 34,000 enrollees.

"Naa pa gihapoy barangays nga wala pay centers because for us dili na necessary butangan kay duol-duol ra and naa pud uban nga more than one ang center because dagko nga mga barangay and daghan population sa mga bata (There are still barangays with no centers because for us it is unnecessary for them to have one since they are within reach and there are some barangays with more than one center because the place is big and the population of children are at large)," Ocot said.

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