Teacher career progression bill clears House panel hurdle

Teacher career progression bill clears House panel hurdle
Students of Aurora Aquino Elementary School in Malate, Manila actively participate during their first day of classes on August 29, 2023.
STAR / Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — Public school teachers may soon have access to more advanced career opportunities and higher compensation after the House appropriations committee approved the unnumbered substitute bill for the proposed Teacher Career Progression Act on Tuesday. 

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Roman Romulo (Pasig City), creates two distinct career paths for teachers — classroom teaching and school administration — and establishes five additional higher positions with corresponding salary increases. 

The bill aims to ensure that high earners in the public school system aren't limited to administrative roles, allowing teachers to practice their profession inside the classroom with competitive salaries.

The measure also advocates for teacher promotions to be based on merit and competence instead of criteria related to natural vacancies, quota, and ratio-and-proportion, Romulo said in a press release.

“Let us give them a track so that they can go forward with their profession; let us assure them of promotion based on merit, not on subjective standards being applied right now,” Romulo said. 

Head teachers' current career paths will remain unaffected, but they can opt for new options in the proposed measure.

Salaries will also increase, either through higher salary grades or the Salary Standardization Law's implementation, pending calculations by the Department of Budget and Management.

A 2023 World Bank report focusing on the East Asia and Pacific region found that teachers in the Philippines have one of the most ineffective methods in Southeast Asia and teacher training programs targeted at them have failed to improve their mastery of content.

The World Bank also noted that the teaching profession continues to be beset with perennial problems in low salaries, poor working conditions and weak career progression. 

This makes it difficult for education systems to attract or select the best candidates, the report said.

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