Senators vow to prioritize salary increase for teachers

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In the News here is the latest news and update about teachers salary increase, Senators vow to prioritize salary increase for teachers.

Senators vowed Friday to prioritize the salary increase and additional grants to public school teachers in recognition of the critical role they play in the lives of the children and in nation building as the country celebrated National Teacher’s Day.

Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said several bills are now pending in the Senate seeking an upgrade on the salary and benefits of teachers.

“I shall push for pay hikes and direct grants to teachers and prioritize the bills filed in the Senate. Our teachers deserve more than we have managed to give them such as salary increases in line with the Salary Standardization Law in 2015,” Zubiri said.

“The government has promised to institute another round of government pay hikes. We will initiate the push for pay hikes in the Senate,” he added.

Zubiri filed Senate Bill No. 104 pushing for P10,000 monthly additional pay, grant of bigger chalk allowance, P1,000 annual medical check-up allowance and giving the Magna Carta benefits of the teachers.

“If President Duterte would push through with his promise during the State of the Nation Address to double public school teachers salaries, we will help him find the sources of funds as that would entail additional P343.7 billio,” Zubiri said.

“The proposed 2020 Department of Education budget for salaries is P417,548,392,000,” he added.

Zubiri said the pay hikes and additional grants would make the Philippines the greener pasture of which the teachers had been dreaming.

“We expect that more teachers will choose to stay here in the country. They don’t have to leave the Philippines,” Zubiri said.

Zubiri said the DepEd experiences difficulty in hiring more teachers every year. Of 882,528 total permanent positions, the DepEd hired only 815,599 in 2017; 825,364 in 2018 and this year, of 950,969 total permanent positions.

“The public school system has been losing qualified teachers to other industries such as call centers and service industries,” Zubiri said.

Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, finance committee chair, said over the years, the salaries of policemen and soldiers have gone up, but the teachers pay have remained the same.

He said the adjustment in the salary grades of teachers is also justified considering the rising cost of living.

“Tuloy tuloy ang pag taas ng presyo ng bilihin, parami ng parami ang mga estudyante, pabigat ng pabigat ang trabaho ng ating mga guro, pero ang sweldo nila ay napako na ng ilang taon. Panahon na para taasan natin ang sahod nila,” Angara said.

He added apart from their personal expenses, many of the teachers have to spend a portion of their salaries for the purchase of teaching supplies because many times they do not get enough from their budgets to pay for these.

Angara filed Senate Bill 131 calling for an increase in the starting pay of public school teachers, from the present Salary Grade 11 (P20,754) to Salary Grade 19 (P45,269) based on the fourth tranche of the Salary Standardization Law.

He said a corresponding upgrade in the salaries of the rest of the teachers above the entry level would also be implemented.

Angara said the upgrade in salaries would be done over a period of five years so that the Department of Budget and Management will be able to make the necessary budgetary adjustments.

“Sometimes we forget just how important the role teachers play in our lives. We take for granted the hard work that they put in to craft our children into productive members of society,” Angara said.

“Without our teachers, parents would have to make great sacrifices to educate their children and many of them can’t afford to do this. That is why we should at the very least raise their salaries to a level that will recognize their value,” he added.

Senator Pia Cayetano, for her part, said raising the compensation of teachers was the best affirmation of government’s high regard for the country’s educators and their contributions to nation-building.

Cayetano has filed Senate Bill No. 70, or the ‘Additional Support and Compensation for Educators in Basic Education Act.’

The measure proposes a salary increase of P10,000 per month for public school teachers, locally-funded teachers, and non-teaching personnel of the Department of Education (DepEd).

The salary hike shall be granted over three years in three tranches, starting with a P4,000 monthly pay hike on the first year, an additional P3,000 per month on the second year, and a final increment of P3,000 per month on the third year.

Apart from the salary adjustment, the bill seeks to grant public school teachers the following benefits: Medical allowance, a yearly bonus based on the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (RA 4670), and additional compensation from local school board funds.

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto and Senators Francis Pangilinan and Ramon Bong Revilla Jr also filed separate bills seeking additional compensation for the teachers.

The Senate on Tuesday adopted a Senate Resolution No. 142 honoring and commending teachers and educators for their hard work and commitment in shaping the country’s future leaders.

October 5 was declared World Teachers’ Day by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in recognition of teachers’ role in the delivery of quality education.

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