Legarda backs teachers’ rights and welfare
MANILA, Philippines — Senatorial candidate Loren Legarda has promised to include the concerns of teachers and the entire education sector in her legislative agenda.
This after the Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Philippines (ACT-Philippines) called for senatorial candidates to address the challenges in the Philippine educational system and uphold the importance of educators’ role in molding the character and values of the youth.
“Our goal is to highlight the value of teachers, the essential role they play in the development of the youth and guarantee them adequate support through the expansion of benefits and incentives,” she said in a statement.
The ACT-Philippines said they senatorial candidates must urgently address the need to upgrade the salaries of teachers and non-teaching staff; the provision of safe, accessible, and quality education; an effective pandemic response; dignity of work; and respect and protection of the educators’ democratic rights.
“Our teachers’ concerns go beyond education. We should invest in this profession in order to build our education system as a bastion of knowledge and hope for our future generations,” Legarda said.
As the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, Legarda sponsored the allocation of an additional P800 million under the budget of the Department of Education (DepEd) in the 2019 General Appropriations Act, which provides each public school teacher a P1,000 incentive every 5th of October, in celebration of World Teachers’ Day.
Legarda also pushed for the increase in cash allowance of teachers —from P1,500 in 2015 to P2,500 and P3,500 in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
She also co-authored the bill seeking to increase the Salary Grade level of teachers from the current Salary of Grade 11 to Salary Grade 15 for entry-level public school teachers; teaching personnel in higher education to Salary Grade 16; and of non-teaching personnel to P16,000.
The three-term former senator also co-authored the proposed Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, which aims to provide security of tenure and adequate wages.
Legarda also initiated in her home province Antique, Legarda initiated the Education Training Capability Seminars for DepEd Supervisors in partnership with the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP).
This program aims to enhance educators’ leadership and management competencies through a series of webinars and online training sessions and achieve modernized and adaptive education management and governance in the province.
“Considering that the education sector has been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is indeed a need to provide for special assistance for our students, learners, educators, and trainers to ensure their continued access to quality education even as they are protected from exposure to health risks,” Legarda said.