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Lawmakers refile bill seeking pay hike for teachers, education personnel

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Lawmakers refile bill seeking pay hike for teachers, education personnel
A public school teacher records a lesson for her class under DepEd's distance learning this school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — Progressive lawmakers from the House of Representatives' Makabayan bloc refiled a measure on Thursday seeking to raise the salaries of teaching and non-teaching personnel.

Rep. France Castro (ACT Teachers Party-list), Rep. Arlene Brosas (Gabriela Women's Party) and Rep. Raoul Manuel (Kabataan Party-list) refiled House Bill 203 on the first day of the 19th Congress. A previous version of the bill, House Bill No. 5990, failed to advance from committee review during the 18th Congress. 

The bill aims to upgrade the salary of entry-level teachers from Salary Grade (SG) 11 to SG 15. It also seeks to raise the basic salary of non-teaching personnel to P16,000, which Castro said was a result of past consultations. Castro added that "discussions are ongoing to further raise this to P25,000 for other government employees."

Castro said that the wages of teachers have long been left behind by other professions with similar qualifications, such as nurses.

The teachers’ solon also hit the latest adjustment of salaries through the Salary Standardization Law 5, which she said failed to address the wage disparity between teachers and higher officials. Salary increases from the adjustment would also be set back by recent inflation and fuel price hikes, she added.

"Napag-iwanan na ang sweldo ng ating mga guro kumpara sa mga nurse, pulis at militar pero tambak rin sila ng trabaho sa loob at labas ng kanilang mga klasrum," Castro added.

"Our teachers are only asking that they be given salaries that can provide them and their families decent lives,” she also said.

Castro said that raising teachers’ salaries would be her priority measure in the 19th Congress. 

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., whose inauguration was held the same day, previously filed measures to upgrade teachers’ salaries during his senatorial stint in the 15th Congress. Both Senate Bill No. 3106 in 2010 and its refiled version in 2012 failed to get past the committee level.

Marcos peppered his presidential campaign with promises to improve teachers’ salaries and workload. — Intern, Cristina Chi

ACT-CIS PARTYLIST

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

DEPED

FERDINAND MARCOS JR.

GABRIELA PARTYLIST REP

KABATAAN PARTYLIST REP

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