Instituting The Provincial Child Development Workers Code And Providing Funds Therefore

LGU:  Province of Ilocos Sur
Date Posted:  November 25, 2021

While the cry for higher wages and equal opportunities for our teachers are prevalent and loud, what might be the hush to stop these cries is still absent. Contrastingly, in the province of Ilocos Sur, Board Member Mikaela Mendoza pushed to ease the conditions of the Child Development Workers (CDWs), the new designation of our daycare center teachers. Before its passage, CDWs held coterminous positions and were replaced once a new Barangay Chairperson succeeds, and their wages are given on a donation basis. Such were the conditions of our CDWs Mendoza fought to uplift.

Originally, Mendoza aimed for her ordinance to have the working hours of our CDWs be credited as academic units should they pursue to study and be a licensed teacher later on. However, upon consultation with DepEd, the agency reiterated that DepEd and DSWD's curriculum is different, and what the legislator is working on cannot be pursued. Not seeing this as a losing battle, Mendoza shifted her focus on the many underlying problems of the workers, that is, not being paid well and being replaced after the Barangay Chairperson's term has ended. She then convened all the daycare center teachers from the 34 cities and municipalities of the Province for a four-day house-in series of seminars and workshops. The board member proudly shared how she managed to invite representatives from the national to train the teachers even going to their physical office to invite them. Truly, efficient public servants will go to great lengths to better serve their constituents.

Another milestone of the convention was that the last day of the workshop was allotted for the crafting of the ordinance; the primary stakeholders were part of the conversation and made sure that their needs are being reflected in the ordinance. During the time these amendments were being made, Mendoza also invited some members of the Provincial Board to oversee the process, and one member, who is also a lawyer, helped cross-check the legality of the teachers' concerns. Our board member left no room for mistakes and with the swift passage in the sanggunian, she fulfilled her promise to the teachers.

However, behind these triumphs is the primary frustration of legislators: that no matter how beneficial their ordinances are, it still rests within the executive arm to implement them. While the policy still considered the varying budget per municipality by not requiring a specific amount for salary, Mendoza admitted that some municipalities with a relatively low budget do not have the funds to support the ordinance. 

Towards the end, Mendoza reiterated how crucial it is to give voice to the minority. In this case, our Child Development Workers, who nourish and teach the early development stages of children. These workers help hone the foundation of the wellbeing of these children, they help hone the future leaders of the country.