MSU assures payment of teachers’ overload pays, berates social media-channeled complaints

By Ali G. Macabalang

MSU system President Dr. Habib W. Macaayong.

COTABATO CITY

The Mindanao State University (MSU) system leadership has to pay monetary claims of Marawi City-main campus faculty members’ overload services rendered especially in the advent of Coronavirus pandemic, as it berated the use of social media channels by complaining subordinates.

“Rest assured that my office will be working with the budget office and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in looking for ways to have your overload pay funded,” Dr. Habib W. Macaayong, MSU system president, said in a reply statement to an open letter posted on March 6 by a group of faculty members culled from a certain Queenie Bangon.

Dr. Macaayong also belied an allegation in the open letter that he had issued an order purportedly to “hold payment” of remunerations for faculty and staff in the MSU-Marawi campus.

“As of the moment, I have not issued any memorandum or any conclusive directive to withhold 50% of the overload pay of our faculty members – the circulating posts on social media (are) premature, if not outright false. The truth is the university, as of this quarter, lacks the necessary funds to fully pay for the overload of our faculty members,” he said.

Macaayong added: “I was advised that if the university will pay now, only 50% will be accommodated. However, my administration is working round the clock in making sure that a full and complete payment is made. In any event where a faculty receives only half of the overload pay, the university will release the rest once funds are available.”

His statement did not comment about a claim in the open letter about the MSU autonomous campuses in Iligan City, General Santos City and Maguindanao have already paid fully the SRIs (Service Recognition Incentives) before the end of 2020, while the mother unit or Marawi City campus did not do so up to date.  

Verifications showed the three satellite campuses had indeed paid the SRIs of their faculty and staff last year.

Dr. Macaayong urged his all subordinates in the academic and administrative services to directly address to him any complaint or concern, saying that “posting in social media without first formally or informally exhausting the avenues available in the university is unnecessary and creates damage towards the university as a whole.”

“As a tread of an academic institution, I welcome – with open arms – criticisms. I believe that through this, positive and productive discourse can be formed. However, posts in our social media from fictitious accounts are not healthy and may only worsen the problems they intend to solve,” Macaayong said adding that his legal office was “studying these posts for a possible legal recourse.”

He said he has tasked the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, deans and chairpersons “to arrange a dialogue with their respective faculty members to clear out any misunderstanding or receive concerns that my office can address directly.”

But the anonymous letter sender, claiming to be representing fellow disgruntled faculty members, alleged that the university leadership treats subordinate-complainant as “villain” in over acts to “voice out” concerns.

Facebook user Fatima Aliah Baunto shared the sentiment of the letter sender, saying: Let’s admit the fact that takot po magreklamo ang subordinates kaya naghahanap po sila ng ibang channel.”

Baunto has gained several public supports for braving perceived intimidations in exposing through the social media irregularities in the delay for almost two years in the implementation of P150-million irrigation project affecting five villages in Ditsaan-Ramain, Lanao del Sur.

Her detailed complaint, with the help of the Philippine Muslim Today news, gained the attention of Lanao del Sur Gov, Bombit Adiong, who assured to pursue the stunted irrigation project and tap the military engineering services. AGM

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