Move to increase pay of public school teachers snowballs

THE move in the House of Representatives to increase the salary of public school teachers to address the brain drain in the field of education is gaining ground.

Another lawmaker filed a bill upgrading the minimum salary grade level of public school teachers in elementary and secondary levels from Salary Grade 11 to Salary Grade 15 to encourage highly qualified
teachers to stay in the country.

“We want to encourage all government teachers to stay in the country, give what’s due them, and not push them to seek better pay and working conditions overseas,” Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (ACT Teachers Party List)
said in filing House Bill 2142.

In pushing for the bill, Tinio cited Republic Act No. 4670 or the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, which sets the criteria for salaries of public school mentors to make these at par with those in
other occupations requiring equivalent qualifications, training and abilities.

Tinio said the current pay scheme for teachers is not competitive with most other positions in government.

“A duly licensed professional teacher occupying the entry-level position of Teacher 1 with a monthly salary of P15,645 earns substantially less than a high school graduate who enters the
Philippine Military Academy as a cadet, with monthly salary of P21,709,” Tinio noted.

“The family living wage in the National Capital Region is estimated at P957 per day or more than P21,054 per month, a sharp contrast with the P15, 649 monthly salary of a Teacher 1. As a result, teachers resort
to borrowing, making them heavily indebted to government financial institutions such as the GSIS, private lending institutions or loan sharks,” Tinio said.

Tinio said the effort of the government to upgrade the educational system cannot succeed unless the plight of public school teachers is alleviated.

“Facilities and equipment are as good as the people who manage and operate them. Teachers in dire conditions can never be expected to turn in good quality students and future leaders of our land,” Tinio

Other solons who earlier filed similar measures include Reps. Edgardo Angara (Lone District, Aurora) and Carmelo Lazatin (1st District, Pampanga).

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