Senators file bills seeking pay hike for teachers

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 08 2019 07:37 PM | Updated as of Jul 11 2019 11:03 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - Several senators have filed bills seeking to raise the salaries of public school teachers, following the hike of pay for policemen last year.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon filed Senate Bill No. 19 which seeks to set the entry-level salary of public school teachers to not less than P30,000 a month, from the current P20,754.

"We should provide teachers with the right incentives to encourage them to remain in the noblest profession of educating and molding our youth to become productive citizens of this country," Drilon said in a statement.

"This proposed salary increase will invigorate our teachers as they help build the nation, one student, one classroom at a time," he added.

Drilon said his proposed measure is geared towards the improvement of the performance of teachers which he hopes would result in “a better quality of education, and ultimately, a better Philippines.”

The veteran lawmaker said the proposal to raise the salaries of teachers is getting bipartisan support in the Senate.

Similar bills have been filed by several senators ahead of the opening of the 18th Congress on July 22.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian filed a bill seeking to raise the salary grade of public school teachers with the rank of Teacher I, Teacher II, and Teacher III from Salary Grade (SG) 11, 12, and 13, respectively, to SG 13, 14, and 15.

Sen. Sonny Angara, meanwhile, is seeking to raise the salary grade of public school teachers to SG 19, which has an equivalent pay of P45,269 to P50,702.

A teacher with an SG 11 salary earns P20,754 a month to as much as P22,829, depending on the length of service. If their salary grade gets upgraded to 13, they would be entitled to a monthly pay of P25,232 to P27,503.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and Sen. Francis Pangilinan, meanwhile, are both proposing to increase the salary of public school teachers by P10,000. The raise will be implemented in three tranches, according to the two senators’ proposal.

Sen. Nancy Binay also filed a bill seeking to raise the salary of entry-level teachers to P28,000 and non-teaching personnel to P18,000. Sen. Pia Cayetano also filed a bill seeking a pay hike for teachers, and another one prioritizing infrastructure building for higher public education institutions.

Senate President Tempore Ralph Recto, meanwhile, has filed a bill seeking to increase to P10,000 the P3,500 annual “chalk allowance” given to teachers.

“‘Chalk allowance’ is to teachers as what bullets are to soldiers,” Recto said in a statement.

“And those waging the war against illiteracy need more of this ammo. Because at present, all of them dip into their meager salaries to buy the supplies they need for teaching.”

The Department of Education’s (DepEd) chalk allowance budget this year is P2.9 billion, Recto noted.

Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, meanwhile, filed a bill seeking to raise the salaries not only of public school teachers but of other government workers as well.