La Trinidad – The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Benguet gave due recognition to teachers in all levels in Benguet by passing the “Teachers Day Ordinance” in their regular meeting last March 16, 2015 here. This provincial ordinance officially declares the last Friday of September as Teachers Day.
This declared day is right along the timeline when teachers are recognized nationally and globally. It will be recalled that Proclamation No. 242 under President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III declared September 5 to October 5 as National Teachers Month while the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated October 5 as World Teachers Day.
The Benguet Teachers Day aims to provide a venue for the active participation in the teachers month celebration and to conduct activities which will make them feel the importance of their role in nurturing the students to become responsible citizens in the province. It also aims to give recognition and awards to qualified teachers for their length of service, exemplary achievements and outstanding performance, among others.
According to Atty. Johnny Waguis, the principal author of the ordinance, he was inspired by the recognition given to others groups such as the senior citizens, veterans, PWDs and particularly the small-scale miners. “Being the Chairman on Education, I also thought of giving teachers their own day to be recognized.” continued Board Member Waguis.
Aside from Waguis, the other co-authors of the provincial ordinance were the other members of the Committee on Education, namely, Board Members Jim Botiwey, Esteban Piok, Jack Dulnuan, Florence Tingbaoen and Atty. Leonardo Lawana.
“The original proposed day was the last Saturday of September but in the public consultations, it was the teachers themselves who proposed Friday.” said Waguis. “The celebration is not limited to one-day (as the Philippines is celebrating it in one month). It may include activities that the teachers found fit for the occasion such as teachers forum, seminars and games.” concluded Waguis.
The ordinance declares the suspension of classes in levels on this day and appropriation of funding from the provincial government of Benguet in the amount of P300,000 to implement its provisions. A Teachers Day Committee shall also be created to be designated by the Provincial Governor upon recommendation of the Provincial School Board to prepare programs, inform the public about the activities, and to recommend nominees for awards and recognitions.