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Philippines : Upgrade of minimum salary grade level of public school teachers pushed.

Another new member of the House of Representatives is seeking to upgrade the minimum salary level of public school teachers in the country, from Salary Grade 11 to Salary Grade 15. in recognition of their contribution to nation building. Rep. Joy Myra Tambunting (2nd District, Paraaque City) filed House Bill No. 643, seeking to raise the present minimum salary grade level of public school teachers from Salary Grade 11 to Salary Grade 15.

The increase will provide them better means in which to 1) provide for their families at the same time motivate them to do better and 2) encourage highly qualified teachers to stay in the country rather than work abroad, Tambunting said. Tambunting said that with the present high cost of living, salary competitiveness is needed to help these unsung heroes and attract the best and brightest graduates from top colleges and universities to pursue the noble profession of teaching.

She said that the "Magna Carta for Public School Teachers" provides that the salaries of public school teachers shall compare favorably with those paid in other occupations requiring equivalent or similar qualifications, training and abilities and be such as to ensure teachers a reasonable standard of life for themselves and their families.

But the reality of the current situation does not meet the requirements of the said law, Tambunting said. She further said that the existing salary for an entry-level position of Teacher I is only P18,549 which is not enough to address their basic needs and expenses. She said a high school graduate who enters the Philippine Military Academy receives P21,709 per month while call center agent have a higher take home pay than that of the teachers.

According to the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, the family living wage in the National Capital Region is estimated at P957 per day or P21,054 per month, Tambunting said. She said that most of the poor teachers resort to borrowings in government financial institutions and other private lending individuals to cope with the familys monthly expenses and financial requirements.

Some even go as far as entering into 5-6 (loan term where there is a 20 percent interest rate) from loan sharks, Tambunting said. The proposed The Public School Teachers Salary Upgrading Act likewise provides that salary grade levels of those occupying higher positions shall be adjusted accordingly.

The Act shall cover all public school teachers in the elementary and secondary level, whether nationally or locally funded, including those in technical and vocational schools and state universities and colleges.

It directs the government to appropriate such amount as necessary to carry out the objectives of the Act. The bill provides that the initial funding required for the implementation of the Act shall be sourced from the savings of the Executive Branch of the government and other possible sources as may be determined by the Office of the President.

The amount necessary for the implementation of the Act shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act. The bill mandates the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to promulgate the necessary rules and regulations for the proper implementation of the Act.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Jul 12, 2019
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