Bill granting tax exemptions to public school teachers filed

Cristina Chi - Philstar.com
Bill granting tax exemptions to public school teachers filed
Teachers call for pay hike at a protest in this 2019 photo

MANILA, Philippines — A House of Representatives lawmaker has filed a measure seeking to exempt public school teachers from paying income taxes — a non-wage benefit meant to provide financial relief to some 900,000 educators.

In House Bill 9106, filed by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (Cagayan de Oro, 2nd District) in September, all salaries, wages, allowances, and benefits granted to public school teachers, including those in state colleges and universities, will be exempted from the withholding taxes.

Rodriquez said that sufficient compensation and benefits, “whether monetary or otherwise,” are needed to address the shortage of teachers in schools.

“It is vital that the government attract the most competent and efficient teachers for the benefit of our students,” Rodriguez said.

A similar measure was filed in the Senate during the 18th Congress by then-Senate President Vicente Sotto, but the bill failed to clear the committee level.

Teachers’ groups have long called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to raise teachers’ entry-level salary, which currently stands at Salary Grade 11 (P27,000). A Salary Grade refers to the government’s numerical system to determine the monthly income of its employees.

While DepEd Secretary Sara Duterte has rejected requests to bump up teachers; salaries due to concerns that this would misalign the pay scale of government employees, DepEd is currently undertaking a study on the long-term outlook on the salary increases for teaching and non-teaching personnel.

But despite the pay hikes the government has improved for teachers from 2019 to 2021, a Philstar.com analysis shows DepEd could only meet little more than half of its target number of new teachers hired.

RELATED: DepEd has tried to keep teachers' pay attractive amid inflation. Why has this not solved staff shortages? 

In a Viber message to Philstar.com, teachers group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) stressed that annual adjustments in teachers’ pay have been "pennies" compared to the actual family living wage — the amount a household needs to earn for a decent life — which it pegged at P34,000 a month in November 2022.

As of 2018, the teacher-student ratio is 1:29 at the elementary level, 1:25 in high school and 1:29 in senior high school, based on data from the Department of Budget and Management. 

“This highlights the difficulties our teachers face in providing quality education to our students,” Rodriguez said.

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with