Senate bill seeks to boost pool of good math, science teachers

Senator Edgardo Angara. INQUIRER file photo

Senator Edgardo Angara. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines – Where have all our scientists and engineers gone?

A bill filed in the Senate seeks to address this problem by boosting the teaching of science, math, and engineering in the country by providing scholarships and incentives to teachers.

Senator Edgardo Angara filed Senate Bill no. 3279, “An Act Strengthening the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in Secondary Schools by Science, Mathematics and Engineering Graduates, Providing for Scholarships and Incentives Therefor and for Other Purposes” that proposes scholarships and an upgrade of science teachers’ salaries.

The bill cites that the “Philippines only has 157 scientists and engineers per million population.”

The bill is expected to improve the country’s science and technology manpower in pursuit of economic development and increase in the capabilities of research, development, and innovation.

“Through this piece of legislation, we can ensure that the government prioritizes research and development, invention and innovation–with the end goal of increasing the competitiveness of our workforce. This is a much-needed step towards our nation’s growth,” Angara said in a statement released Monday.

According to the bill, those who graduate under the scholarship program will be granted a starting salary grade equivalent to Special Science Teacher I in the Philippine Science High School system.

They will also be required to “teach full-time in the subject(s) Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, or Physics; or Information Technology or Agricultural, Aquaculture or Fisheries Technology, both in the university and technical-vocational tracks in the secondary education curriculum, for a minimum of two years in a public or private high school.”

“We aim to build on our talent pool of good math and science teachers in the secondary level in anticipation of the full roll-out of K to 12,” Angara said.

He also said that close to 100,000 teachers are needed throughout the country, based on figures from the Department of Education. “With this bill, we seek to help fill in this gap as quickly as possible,” Angara added.

The bill also proposes the hiring of unemployed or retired science professionals as high school teachers.

“Philippines is still lacking in competent Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics professionals and teachers. Many studies correlate the quality of teachers and of teaching to student achievements in science and subsequently to their choice to build science careers,” Angara said in the explanatory of the bill.

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  • boypalaban

    ok yan…
    pero kumusta na ang Freedom of Information Bill?

  • magiting78

    Dpat noon nyo pa pinagtuunan ng pansin ang R&D sa pinas, wala n yung mga Engineers natin pinakikinabangan n ng ibang bayan…

  • generalproblem

    ok yan. pero mas madali siguro kung dagdagan ang sahod ng mga tetsir para di na sila nag sideline for extra income. wala kasing kita sa engineer pag sa pinas ka work aalilain ka lang nag mga intsik na may ari ng pabrika. maraming nag enroll sa lawyer kasi malaki pera dyan.

  • Shaun67

    I graduated Bachelor of Education in Mathematics but I didn’t bother to take the board exam after I graduated knowing that teachers are not well compensated unlike other professions. They should really create something that would encourage competent and excellent teachers in the fields of Sciences and Mathematics. Teaching is a really fulfilling profession but cannot fill your pockets when you choose to dedicate your life into it. Right now, I work at a corporate office of an international company, (hotel industry) which is very far from what I studied and graduated for. My sentiment is this, I earn more right now and I don’t have to prepare anything coming to work nor do something after work like checking of test papers or preparing my lesson plans for the next day’s lecture. They should have thought of this way back before. We all know that BPO (call centers) are very rampant right now with salaries equal or even more than what a teacher could get. As of now, I could still take the board and if I pass I could still consider myself teaching Math  but with an offer or salary more than what I am earning now. I’m no hypocrite and I also have bills to pay.

    • Toni

      I understand your sentiments and I don’t blame you. But I believe things could have been different for you had there been better opportunities for teachers. There are thousands of people like you who could have been able and competent teachers if not for the disregard and neglect by the government. LIke you, I was forced to teach elsewhere in search of better opportunities. It is sad – but it is the reality.

  • Toni

    hindi lang teacher training ang kailangan – dapat din mag-invest sa mga lab equipment at iba pang gamit. Mey pondo rin  dapat sa mga lab consumables like chemicals. How do you encourage R&D if students have no investigative skills? How will they develop these skills if there are no equipment?

  • Jimmy

    improve laboratory equipment in deped schools, science and math teachers are enough and competent. how can you perform experiments if there are no lab equipment to use including the chemicals? same old story, papogi lang itong si angara e

  • Toni

    Dati akong Instructor ng Physics sa isang state U – but frustration in the system got the better of me and it forced me to seek better opportunities. I am now teaching at an international school – I have gone a full circle around Asia and sad to say, our standard of education is lagging behind most Asian countries. The government has to do more to keep its best teachers e.g career advancements, recognition, assistance in R&D, and most importantly eradication of stup!d agency heads.

  • sam_aquino

    tagal mo ng senador, angara…  ngayon mo lang naisip yan???

    kahit na gaano karami pang bills ang ipasa nyo, kung kakarampot lang nmn din ang sweldo, sino magtatrabaho???

    dagdagan nyo ang sweldo, para ganahan din mga teachers na magturo at hindi nag sideline magtinda ng langgonisa at tocino.

    angara mo…


    NAKUPO SALAMAT AT BINIGYAN NYO NG PANSIN ANG MGA PINOY NA NAGPAPAUNLAD NG IBANG BANSA DOON NILA GINAGAMIT TALINO NILA…BAKA NA NAMAN BILL LANG ITO SANA START TO BE GREEN INDUSTRIALIZED 7100 ISLANDS..ayusin ninyo mga lab saka mag equipment proposed a new site. MADE schools for poor talented children. all over the philippines..ingatan nyo lang mapasok ng sabotahero….


    157..ilang architecto at engineer na secretly building the military defence of other country..WHO KNOW????LOL..

    • opinyonlangpo

      By chance you got that right. Defense and security of other countries is a very lucrative employment.

  • agustin


    • opinyonlangpo

      Add to that the very low pay and no incentives from the government. Lawyers and politicians have the all perks of their jobs, this must be a country of lawyers and politicians.

  • opinyonlangpo

    “Philippines is still lacking in competent Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics professionals and teachers” – The competent ones applies for a job abroad, and those not qualified abroad are left here to teach, its the money.

  • divictes

    In mathematics, the Kumon system has been proven as effective. If private schools can afford a copyright, why can’t our government? Will it costs as much as a year’s pork barrel?

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