By Samuel Medenilla
Over 500 teachers now face possible sanctions from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) due to loan-related complaints from large lending institutions.
The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) said its legal department has already referred these 533 pending cases, which it received from 2014 to 2017, to the Board of Professional Teachers (BPT) for action.
Most of these cases were filed by the following seven large lending institutions: Tarlac Public School Teachers; Progressive Rural Bank; Hovono Lending Corp.; Peso Lite; Sterling Bank; Bernadette Lending; and Bridge Auxiliary.
Atty. Jose Bernabe Pauig, hearing officer in the PRC Legal and Investigation Division, said that based on the affidavit or petition submitted by the parties involved, the BPT may either dismiss the said cases or opt to sanction its respondents, which in this case are the teachers.
“The Board may impose a mere reprimand to the teachers in the form of a mere warning. It may also opt to suspend the (professional) licence of the teacher for a certain period or revoke it,” Pauig told the Manila Bulletin.
Pauig explained that professionals with revoked licenses would have to wait for at least two years before they could apply for the reinstatement of their professional license.
He, however, stressed PRC has no mandate to “pressure” the teachers to pay their loans from their creditors.
Instead, he said PRC and the BPT will only act on the loan-related cases or in relation to its possible violation on the code of ethics for teachers.
Pauig made the clarification in response to the allegation of Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) that PRC has favored Private Lending Institutions (PLI) in the conciliation and mediation meeting it held the previous week.
Last Friday, eleven teachers from Central Luzon were accompanied by ACT Party list Rep. Antonio Tinio at PRC’s main office in Manila for their conciliation and mediation meeting with Bernadette Lending.
During the meeting, Pauig said PRC merely facilitated the talks between the two parties. The dialogue ended with the respondents opting to terminate the conciliation and mediation process and elevating their case to the BPT.
“Until the Board of Professional Teachers decides on their case, there will be no sanctions against them,” Pauig said.
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