Gatchalian seeks to raise public school teacher pay to up to P30K
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has filed a bill that seeks to raise the salary of public school teachers up to P30,000.
Senate Bill No. 178 aims to adjust the pay of public school teachers in elementary and secondary schools with the ranks of Teacher I, Teacher II, and Teacher III from Salary Grade (SG) 11, 12, and 13 to Salary Grade 13, 14 and 15, respectively.
Gatchalian said the bill will make the average salary of Filipino public school teachers at par with those in other countries in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“We compared the salaries of teachers from the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, and based on our research, among these seven member-nations of the ASEAN, we are third to the last in terms of annual salaries of teachers – above only Malaysia and Vietnam and below the ASEAN average at that,” the senator said in a statement on Friday.
Gatchalian noted that the average annual salary of teachers in the Philippines—inclusive of benefits—is $18,160 while the average pay for teachers in other ASEAN countries is at $27,742.
“If our bill becomes law, it would increase the average annual teachers’ salary in the Philippines to $21,547, closer to the ASEAN 7 average,” he said.
The lawmaker said that based on the fourth tranche of the Salary Standardization Law, the proposed law would increase the salary of Teacher I from P20,754 to P25,232 or a difference of P4,478.
Teacher II salaries, he said, would increase by P4,817 to P27,755 from the previous P22,938.
Meanwhile, the salary of Teacher III personnel would be raised to P30,531 from P25,232 or an increase of P5,299.
“Inadequate take-home pay for a majority of public school teachers has been a common complaint which is said to have led to their increased indebtedness,” Gatchalian said.
“The logical argument that follows is that teachers take out loans because of their low pay and in time accumulate too much debt. And in order to remedy this problem, the obvious request has been to increase the starting pay of public school teachers,” he pointed out.
The senator said 83 percent of personnel employed by the Department of Education (DepEd) are those with ranks Teacher I, Teacher II and Teacher III.
He said that the starting salary schedule of Teachers I-III increased by an average of only 11 percent when accounting for the pay increase per SG level from the first tranche in 2016 to the fourth tranche in 2019.
Meanwhile, teachers working as Master Teacher I—one level higher than Teacher III—would have experienced a similar increase of 21 percent.
“As of 2018, the gap in pay between a Master Teacher I and Teacher III was P13,861 compared to P3,224 in 2007. This has resulted in increasing inequity between those filling the ranks of Teachers I-III and higher positions,” Gatchalian said.
“Public school teachers are in the forefront of national development, thus, they should be accorded the proper compensation by the government as has been provided for the nation’s police officers and soldiers,” he added. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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