House leader seeks PHP15,000 across-the-board hike in teachers’ salary

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016. Filed under: Philippine News
Tari "Bajidor Kahol" @ Indonesian Food Festival 2016: Indonesian ladies perform the traditional Indonesian dance Tari "Bajidor Kahol," to highlight the cultural presentation during the Indonesian Food Festivals on Saturday (July 30, 2016) with the theme "simply delicious" at Event Center, L/G Megamall Mandaluyong City. (PNA photo by Oliver Marquez) RMA/fom

Tari “Bajidor Kahol” @ Indonesian Food Festival 2016: Indonesian ladies perform the traditional Indonesian dance Tari “Bajidor Kahol,” to highlight the cultural presentation during the Indonesian Food Festivals on Saturday (July 30, 2016) with the theme “simply delicious” at Event Center, L/G Megamall Mandaluyong City. (PNA photo by Oliver Marquez)

MANILA  (PNA) – A House leader is seeking a PHP15,000 across-the-board increase in the salaries of public school teachers and the provision of other benefits for them as incentives to attract highly qualified teachers into the public school system.

Deputy Speaker Romero Quimbo said despite the teachers’ important responsibility of molding children to become productive Filipino citizens, teachers are getting a measly salary as compensation for their noble work.

“The responsibility of molding a child to become a productive Filipino citizen lies heavily in the hands of a teacher. This is the delicate duty that teachers have committed in their line of work being intimately connected with building the nation’s future. Despite this, however, existing laws are still unresponsive to their plight of enduring a measly salary as compensation for their work,” said Quimbo.

Quimbo, representative of the second district of Marikina City, further said the little amount is further reduced with the rising costs of living and inflation in the country.

“Even with the enactment of Republic Act No. 4670 or the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, the social and economic status, as well as the living and working conditions of teachers, have remained the same, if not worsened,” said Quimbo.

If genuine inclusive growth is to be realized, then certain investments must be made in order to improve the quality of education in the country, through prioritization of those who are directly engaged in educating the nation’s youth according to Quimbo.

House Bill 195, which has been referred to the House Committee on Appropriations, declares it is the State policy to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels, and to take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all in connection to this mandate.

It is also the State policy to give the highest budgetary priority to education and ensure that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share of the best available talents through adequate remuneration and other means of job satisfaction and fulfillment.

The bill provides for the upgrading of the salaries and other benefits for education workers with the objective of further improving the quality of education in the country through the provision of salary increase and other benefits for teachers.

The bill covers all teaching personnel in all public schools in the elementary and secondary levels, as well as those in technical and vocational schools and state universities and colleges.

It provides the existing salary of public school teachers shall be increased by PHP15,000 per month, regardless of their employment status and position. This salary increase shall be based on the qualifications, and on the merit selection and promotion of teachers pursuant to existing Department of Education (DepEd) policies.

Moreover, teachers who have been hired for the first time under the minimum salary grade as provided following the effectivity of the Act, shall be entitled to income tax exemption for a period of one year.

A Pension Fund shall be created for teachers who will be separated from the service due to retirement, sickness or other reasonable circumstance. Teachers who have been in service for 15 years shall be entitled to payments under the pension fund, the amount of which shall be determined by the DepEd.

Allowances, benefits, special incentives and such other increases in remuneration resulting from merit promotions, grants by local government units (LGUs), and legislative wage increases, shall be considered and treated as separate and distinct from the upgraded salary provided for under the Act.

Nothing in the Act shall be construed as to reduce any existing allowances and benefits of any form under valid legal orders, or to prejudice the granting of additional allowances and benefits to public school teachers.

The DepEd and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations to implement this Act.

The necessary funds needed for the creation of the Pension Fund shall be sourced from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). For the salary increase, the amount shall be included in. the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for the year following the approval of the Act.

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