MANILA, Philippines – Public school teachers’ groups are opposing a move by the House of Representatives to cut a proposed P9,000 increase in their pay to P6,000, saying it will put them at a pay level below policemen and soldiers in the government’s salary scheme.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), Philippine Public School Teachers Association (PPSTA), and other allied groups said yesterday the P6,000 pay hike proposed under House Joint Resolution No. 24 is not enough to provide teachers the pay they deserve, considering their level of work and credentials.
The resolution aims to lay out a new salary standard scheme for government employees.
Antonio Tinio, ACT chairman, noted that under Resolution No. 24 sponsored by Speaker Prospero Nograles Jr., Salary Grade 11 to be given to entry-level teachers is still lower than the salary grade of cadets of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) and the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).
“Public school teachers are graduates of a four-year education course and are licensed teachers after passing the Licensure Examination for Teachers of the PRC (Professional Regulation Commission). But their salary grade is lower than cadets or so-called plebes of the PNPA and the PMA. Isn’t that insulting to public school teachers?” Tinio said.
The groups held a forum yesterday to discuss teachers’ welfare at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Manila.
The forum, organized with the help of the Department of Education, had Marikina Rep. Del de Guzman and Misamis Rep. Teofisto Guingona III as guests.
During the discussion, teachers lamented that the House had ignored a bill passed in the Senate that granted a P9,000 pay hike over a period of three years.
Joint Resolution No. 24 proposes that P6,000 pay increase be given to teachers over a period of four years.
De Guzman and Guingona sponsored separate proposed legislation to raise teachers’ pay by P9,000 to P10,000 for a period of four to five years.
Education Secretary Jesli Lapus has expressed support for the teachers’ call for a P9,000 pay hike as proposed by the Senate.
“I have been strongly espousing that teachers’ salary should be upgraded from the equivalent of an Army private to that of a lieutenant. Otherwise, teaching will not be considered a preferred profession of the best and the brightest,” Lapus said. –Rainier Allan Ronda, Philippine Star