Higher pay for teachers key to education quality improvement
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - March 14, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The government should pay teachers more if it wants to improve the quality of education in public schools, according to reelectionist Sen. Sonny Angara.

“Quality education begins with quality teachers. And to have good quality teachers in our public schools, we need to pay them well,” Angara said, as he reiterated his appeal to the government to give teachers a reasonable pay increase. 

 “I am sure money is not the overriding motivation for educators because many of them are dedicated and they love what they are doing. But teachers are not martyrs; they should be valued by society and compensated accordingly,” he added.

The senator issued the statement while campaigning in Lucena City with fellow senatorial candidates of Hugpong ng Pagbabago, the regional political party chaired by presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

Lucena City has a total of 157 elementary and secondary educational institutions – 88 elementary schools, 38 junior high schools and 31 senior high schools – 63 of which are public schools, making it one of the educational centers in Southern Tagalog.

Earlier this year, President Duterte announced that his promise to increase the take-home pay of public school teachers could finally happen this year.

He, however, did not mention how much the increase would be, but it was definitely on top of the fourth and last tranche of salary increases for all government workers to be implemented this year.

 Last year, the President also vowed to raise the salary of teachers after the basic pay of military and police personnel had been doubled.

Angara expressed hope the teacher’s pay adjustment would be equivalent or close to the rate he has been pushing for since 2016, when he filed Senate Bill 135.

Under the bill, the minimum salary grade level of teachers will be adjusted from salary grade 11 to SG 19, or double their current monthly base pay of P20,179 to P42,099.

The relatively low pay for teachers discourages many from entering the profession, and the pay hike would attract more qualified and competent educators to teach in public schools and would not be compelled to leave the classroom in order to support their families.

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