Rough cuts | What can DOLE say of this?

THIS IS one question we would like to direct to the regional office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Can an employer withhold issuance of exit clearance to an employee hired under contract should he or she request for it towards the terminal period of his/her contract of employment?

We are raising this question in the hope that the DOLE can shed light on this particular issue. Yes, we have this niece of a very close friend of ours who is employed by a school somewhere south of Davao City on a 3-year contract term. The contract is to end this coming March 31, 2018. This lady contractual employee is a teacher handling Information Technology (IT) discipline in that particular school.

While teaching she managed to further her study and eventually got an NC II certificate from the Technical Education Schools Development Authority (TESDA) even as she also passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET -Secondary).

She applied for a teaching position in the public school and after sometime was able to get a teacher’s item. Her application though could only be processed if she is able to submit an exit clearance from her current employer school. And the Department of Education Davao City Division wanted the exit clearance submitted within the month of February as any delay could lead the processing of her application paper to being overtaken by the election ban (should there be election for barangay and SK officials) this coming May, 2018.

This contractual teacher immediately requested in writing her employer for the issuance of such a clearance with a commitment that she will continue teaching until the close of school which is also the end period of her contract.

Despite her plea she was told that she could not be given the exit clearance unless her contract ends. So she opted for what she thinks is the best option — resign and pay P25,000 for breaching her contract of employment. But again she was told that her exit clearance can only be issued by the school after 30 days from the effectivity of her resignation and payment of the P25 thousand breach of contract fee.

Meanwhile, the deadline of the submission period — the month of February — for the said document is already nearing its end.

She was also told by the DepEd that any further delay in the submission of the exit clearance could compromise her chances of getting the item since there is no report yet of any plan to defer the barangay and SK elections.

The young teacher is now in a quandary searching for help in having her school employer issue the needed clearance even as she reiterated her commitment to continue teaching her subject in that school even if she does not get paid for the remaining period of her contract.

What makes the management of the school so callous? Is it because the school is identified with a powerful political family in that southern part of the city?

And to think that nowadays, applicants for teaching position in public schools have to bend their knees to congressional offices in order to get endorsements for consideration!

-oOo-

     This is rather late already. But still we are extending our congratulations to our good friend, former fellow worker in social development endeavors and fellow broadcaster Alex Roldan (of the defunct dxRH, a Manila Broadcasting Company station in Davao City).

From formerly the Provincial Director of the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) in Davao del Norte years back Alex was appointed Regional DILG Director middle of last year. We did not know about his upward movement until we incidentally met in a local convenient store in Catalunan Grande.

Director Alex used to be a Senior Project Officer of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), the country’s largest corporate-backed Foundation. We were then sitting in the Mindanao Regional Board as representative of the Aboitiz-owned Davao Light and Power Co. We were witness to his seriousness in his assigned work and his having delivered the required results of all tasks given him.

When he got a scholarship in New Zealand we knew some bigger opportunities would be waiting for him. And true indeed, it did not take long after his return. He was taken by the DILG with Davao del Norte as his assignment. Now he is Regional Director, undoubtedly for the same reason of his success at PBSP.

Congratulations Bay Alex. Hope we can find time to have coffee and talk of issues related to our previous and current work.

Posted in Opinion