Bill proposes P50,000 as teachers' monthly pay | Inquirer News

House bill proposes P50,000 as teachers’ monthly pay

PHOTO: Composite photo of a teacher standing up while another is in a video meeting, with a hand holding bills. STORY: House bill proposes P50,000 as teachers' monthly pay

COMPOSITE IMAGE: Daniella Marie Agacer

MANILA, Philippines — This Valentine’s Day, the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives is ditching the traditional roses and chocolates in favor of a love letter addressed to the nation’s educators: A bill proposing a significant increase in teachers’ salaries.

On Tuesday, Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas, Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel, and ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro filed House Bill No. 9920, which seeks to raise the minimum monthly salary for teachers to P50,000.


In their explanatory note, the lawmakers said they hoped to close the gap between teachers’ salaries and the cost of living, as well as to address the distortion created by the doubling of entry-level pay of military and uniformed personnel.


“Heeding the demand for substantial salary increases promotes and protects the rights of the majority of our front-liners in education to decent lives, to be fully compensated for their hard work, and to a just return of the taxes they are faithfully paying,” they pointed out. “It is a matter of justice, one that must be granted at the soonest possible time for public school teachers.”

If passed, this would almost double the current basic wage for public school teachers of about P27,000 a month, according to Castro. This would also be roughly the equivalent of Salary Grade (SG) 15 under the Salary Standardization Law (SSL).

Apart from the proposed increase, the bill also seeks an annual adjustment in the pay of public school teachers and education support personnel “to keep pace with the cost of living.”

“What we want for professional teachers is that they get P50,000 a month,” Castro said in a video message during the filing. “Our current wages are not enough for a decent living wage.”

There are currently around 803,000 educators in Teacher 1 to Teacher 3 positions in the country who are earning SG 11, or about P20,179, under the SSL.


The Makabayan lawmakers said this would be “insufficient to meet the family living wage of P1,119 per day or P33,570 per month” to sustain a family of five.

They noted that other front-liners, such as soldiers and police, enjoyed a salary increase of between 50 and 100 percent under the Duterte administration, while teachers were given increases of a little over P6,000 spread across four years.

These “measly increases,” they said, “are quickly eaten away by inflation and excise taxes” and were one of the reasons why teachers “would rather work abroad despite the risks and hazards to earn almost thrice or eight times the entry-level salary.”

“The disparity between the salary and the family living wage continues to widen, as inflation steadily rises without corresponding timely increases in salaries,” they noted. “With the measly salaries that public school teachers are receiving, they could not afford their families’ basic needs.”

Day of protests

Teachers will observe Valentine’s Day by expressing how their hearts get broken over the lack of action from the government to provide higher starting salaries for them, improve their benefits, and hire additional nonteaching staff to take over administrative tasks.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) would stage protests in select schools in Metro Manila to voice out their clamor for a P50,000 starting monthly salary, which they said was being studied by the government for its “long-term outlook.”

This year, the ACT National Capital Region (ACT-NCR) said the government also made a promise that a study would be carried out with the help of the World Bank on the increase in teachers’ salaries and benefits.

To reiterate these concerns, the teachers’ group announced that it planned school-based activities on Wednesday by expressing its dissatisfaction with the Marcos administration and calling for “immediate action” to address the educators’ economic concerns.

ACT-NCR president Ruby Bernardo announced that there would be six protest centers where these activities would be held: Justice Cecilia Muñoz Palma High School and Lagro High School in Quezon City; Manila Science High School in Manila; Barangka High School in Marikina City; Manggahan Elementary School in Pasig City, and in Vicas Market in Caloocan City.

Overworked, underpaid

“We want to show in these activities how the government can be heartless to teachers,” Bernardo told the Inquirer. “Two administrations have passed and both failed the teachers by not making good on their promises to increase our salaries and benefits.”

Bernardo said public school teachers all over the country have yet to receive their 77-day overtime (OT) pay, which originated from returning to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.

Teachers also do not have the benefits of having sick leaves, “and up to this day, we have not received our OT pay for that,” she said. “All we got in exchange was a thank you.”

READ: Makabayan reps want entry-level pay for teachers raised to P50,000

READ: Teachers’ group prods gov’t to prioritize education, address woes

READ: DepEd teachers finally freed of extra tasks

The government should start addressing these concerns if it really cared about the welfare of teachers, Bernardo noted. “They keep saying they will study the increase in salaries. Where is that increase now?”

ACT chair Vladimer Quetua likewise urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to hire more nonteaching personnel, or what they call the education support personnel (ESP), to fill in for the administrative workload being carried out by teachers.

In a statement, Quetua said the 10,000 administrative personnel hired by DepEd for 2023 and 2024 were not enough to fill the nonteaching tasks that were removed from teachers by the agency last month.

He reiterated his earlier call for DepEd to hire a minimum of two ESPs for each of the 47,931 schools nationwide.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

This would ensure that the ESPs would not experience the “same overburdened conditions” that teachers had to endure.

For Quetua, the workload of teachers could be lighter if DepEd would hire 95,540 additional ESPs nationwide with an entry-level pay of P33,000.

TAGS: Makabayan bloc, Salary Standardization Law, teachers’ salaries

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.