Teachers welcome Angara’s call to prioritize teachers wage, benefits

A PROGRESSIVE teachers group welcome Senator Edgardo Angara’s call to prioritize teachers’ wages and benefits in pursuing relevant reforms in education.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers issued the statement following Angara’s pronouncement that “of all government employees, the teachers have lagged behind in salaries, incentives and training by judges, fiscals, firemen and employees of government financial institutions. Any major education reform should start with ensuring the welfare of educators.”

Angara has been a staunch advocate of education reforms.

The group said Angara’s proposal has a counterpart bill (HB 2142) filed at the Lower House by Rep. Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers Partylist.

Ms. France Castro, ACT secretary-general, expressed dismay that despite gaining the support of more than 180 Members of the House of Representatives, Tinio’s House Bill 2142, or the Public School Teachers’ Salary Upgrading Act, has been lying dormant with the House Committee on Appropriations—waiting for DBM’s comments—since September 20, 2010.

Teachers were also dismayed that PNoy prioritized the status of ‘poor’ economies in Europe first and not provide for the salary upgrading of teachers, which they have long been demanding, she said.

Castro lamented that the $1B pledge committed by the government to the IMF could have answered the budgetary requirements for increasing the salaries of public school teachers from Salary Grade 11 to 15—about P40 B for some 520,000 teachers already in DepEd’s payroll.

ACT called on all lawmakers who believe that teachers must receive adequate salaries and benefits to support initiatives to advance the rights and welfare of teachers.

“Discuss urgently the concerned bills for upgrading teachers’ salaries both in the Lower and Upper House.” Ms France Castro said.

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