In a move to motivate public school teachers to strive for excellence in their field and improve the quality of education, Senator Sonny Angara filed a bill increasing the salaries of public school teachers.
In his bill, Angara proposed that the present Salary Grade (SG) 11 of entry-level teachers be increased to SG 19. In the final tranche of Salary Standardization Law which is being implemented this year, SG 11 is equivalent to P20,754. If Angara’s bill will be approved, it will go up to P45,269 monthly.
In his explanatory note, Angara said that teachers are among the most underpaid workers, given their workload and role in the society.
“Public school teachers receive basic salary that does not equate to their contribution,” he said.
He further noted that the best and the brightest graduates from top colleges and universities have shied away from employing in public schools due to this low salary levels.
To avoid “salary distortion”, the bill seeks to adjust correspondingly the salaries of teachers holding higher salary grades such as the Master Teachers. “It will be across-the-board,” Angara said.
But the “upgrading in salary levels for all the corresponding teacher plantilla positions” will be done over a period of at least five years to allow the Department of Budget and Management to make the necessary budgetary adjustments, Angara explained in his bill.
While members of the uniformed services of the AFP and the DND have had their base pay increased already, with some ranks seeing their pay doubled, teachers have yet to receive theirs, despite repeated assurances from the Chief Executive.
“Merong kasi ‘parity rule’ na matagal nang sinusunod sa pasweldo sa gobyerno. Na ang Teacher 1, Private, Police Officer 1, Fire Officer 1, Jail Officer 1, pareho ang sweldo. If you raise one, you raise all. In this bill, we are just trying to restore this equity, “ he said.
Angara said a pay hike will demonstrate to the teachers the nation’s gratitude for their selfless work in educating our children.
“It will greatly help in motivating our teachers to strive for excellence in their field and thus, improve the quality of our education ,” he added.
Angara his bill “will at the very least set the ball rolling in discussing the elements of the promised pay hike for DepEd teachers.”
“This sets the stage and the framework for this unfinished business and unredeemed promise. Kung may counter-proposal ang executive, of course, we will listen. Ang importante, masimulan na ang diskusyon, “ he said.