DepEd Mandaue seeks City’s help in hiring 50 admin staff

DepEd Mandaue seeks City’s help in hiring 50 admin staff
Photo by Honey I. Cotejo

THE Department of Education Schools Division Office (DepEd-SDO) in Mandaue City has asked for the hiring by the Mandaue City Government of at least 50 job order (JO) or contract of service (COS) employees to perform certain administrative tasks on behalf of the teaching personnel.

This complies with the newly released DepEd order directing the immediate removal of administrative tasks among public school teachers, allowing them to focus on providing quality education to their students.

During a local school board meeting held on February 27, 2024, Edgar Espina, administrative officer of DepEd-SDO Mandaue, presented a request from the division to have at least two to three administrative officers (AOs) per school.

These officers would be responsible for general administrative support, including program management tasks, such as launching school-based feeding programs, school disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM), and other related programs.

Espina admitted that Mandaue City has been struggling with a shortage of AOsm but to address the problem, the existing AOs have been divided into clusters, with one AO handling administrative tasks for at least three public schools. This has resulted in an overwhelming workload for the existing AOs.

Mandaue City has approximately 45 public schools, including elementary and high schools with about 100 non-teaching personnel.

Bianito Dagatan, division superintendent, clarified that the teachers would still handle their curriculum-related tasks, such as subject coordinatorships, which involve the development of the curriculum and student assessments.

Dagatan said they prioritize deploying AOs in larger public schools, while the AOs would have arrangements for dividing tasks for smaller schools at the time.

In a separate interview, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes said they would need to assess the tasks that need to be distributed to determine whether to hire JOs or CoS for the job.

Cortes emphasized that the assessment would also determine the exact number of city-based AOs needed to balance the city's school administrative tasks.

He said choosing workers for these jobs require thorough deliberation as some tasks require technical knowledge.

According to the Commission on Audit, a contract of service employment refers to the hiring of an individual, private firm, non-governmental agency, or international organization to perform a specific job or work that requires special or technical skills that are not available in the hiring agency. The work should be completed within a specific period of not more than one year.

The person being hired is responsible for performing the job or work under their supervision, with little or no supervision by the hiring agency. This includes hiring consultants and personnel for special projects funded internally or externally.

Job orders, on the other hand, refer to the hiring of a worker for a piece of work or a short-term intermittent job that does not exceed six months. The payment is made on either a daily or hourly basis. It should be understood that the work requires special or technical skills that are not available in the agency, and the worker is responsible for completing the job under their supervision, with minimal supervision by the hiring agency.

A contract of service or job order that does not involve special or technical skills, where the work is clerical or administrative, or where the work is already performed by regular agency personnel may only be entered into when the agency must do so and it is not feasible to hire personnel under a casual or contractual appointment.

It should be noted that in contracts of service and job orders, there is no employer-employee relationship between the hiring agency and the persons hired. It should be clearly stated in their contracts that services rendered are not considered government service and therefore they are not entitled to any benefits given to regular government workers.

Mandaue City Treasurer Regal Oliva and a local school board member demanded that the DepEd-SDO propose an organizational structure to study and understand the rationale behind the request to hire more city-based school administrative officers.

No more admin tasks for teachers

On January 26, Education Secretary and Vice President Sara Duterte signed a policy called DepEd Order 002, s. 2024, titled “Immediate Removal of Administrative Tasks of Public School Teachers.”

The policy aims to remove the administrative responsibilities of public school teachers and bring them back to the classrooms.

During her second Basic Education Report (BER) on January 25, Duterte emphasized the importance of this policy and announced the enlistment of 5,000 administrative staff in 2023 and an additional 5,000 in 2024 to ensure its success.

Schools will also receive extra funds for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses to facilitate the hiring of essential administrative support personnel.

According to an August 2023 SunStar report, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has approved the establishment of 5,000 non-teaching roles within DepEd schools nationwide. These roles aim to provide sufficient manpower and assistance to educators in delivering high-quality instruction to learners.

Out of the 5,000 positions, 3,500 will be dedicated to Administrative Officer (AO) II roles, which are strategically designed to ease teachers of administrative responsibilities that support overall operations.

The remaining 1,500 positions will be Project Development Officer (PDO) I roles. These individuals will work alongside AO II and other non-teaching staff to facilitate the execution of various programs, projects, and activities initiated by schools or mandated by the DepEd Central Office.

AO II and PDO I positions will receive a basic salary of P27,000. (HIC)


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