DepEd eyes giving insurance to all teachers, students in private and public schools

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education is considering the possibility of providing insurance to all teachers and learners nationwide.

DepEd eyes giving insurance to all teachers, students in private and public schools
DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones. Photo courtesy of Philippine Information Agency

Education Secretary Leonor Briones expressed her willingness to protect teachers and learners from both public and private schools from financial loss when mishaps or accidents happen.

Briones cited the tragic events that have recently happened to students. These include the unfortunate vehicular accident that happened last March 1 in Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental. It resulted to the deaths of five learners – one Grade 7 and four Grade 11 students – from Basay National High School. Another horrific incident is the murder of the Grade 9 student of Maribago High School in Lapu-Lapu, Cebu.

Briones felt the need to make an action not only to protect students from accidents but to help protect their families from the financial burdens it may cost.

She said, “If we cannot protect them from the society where they fall as victims and if we cannot convince our vehicle operators to enforce circulars on the safety of children, then all the children in both public and private schools would have to be insured.”

Briones said that they are looking at insurance policies that will provide coverage not only for school-related activities but provide assistance to teachers and students when they become “victims of horrific crimes” or involved in “accidents beyond our control.”

The education secretary shared the survivors of the vehicular accident in Basay needed an “exorbitant amount” to pay for hospital bills, surgery and other medical needs. Briones said they were fortunate that donations poured in from the various DepEd organizations and cooperatives.

DepEd Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla admitted that the plan needs a huge budget. With a nationwide student population of around 23 million in public schools and over 4 million in private schools, a budget of around P2-3 billion would be needed yearly to cover the cost of insurance.

When asked what type of insurance policy DepEd is eyeing, Sevilla said they are “looking at accident insurance” but remains “open to offers and better proposals.”

Briones said that they will be including the proposed budget for insurance of students and teachers in their 2020 budget proposal to be submitted to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

In the coming months, DepEd will conduct consultations with experts and stakeholders on their proposal.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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