Angara proposes P2.9-B budget in 2019 for promotion of college faculty
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Juan Edgardo Angara wants to allocate about P2.9 billion in the 2019 national budget to fund the promotion of teachers in state universities and colleges (SUCs).
Angara raised the proposal during the Senate's deliberations on the 2019 budget for SUCs on Thursday, December 6.
He said this was one way universities and the government could improve the quality of education when implementing the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, a flagship program of the Duterte administration.
"After making tuition in SUCs free, the government should now aim at improving the quality of public higher education in the country…. One of the ways to do this is to provide advancement opportunities to SUC teachers," Angara said in a statement.
If approved, the P2.9-billion budget would fund the implementation of National Budget Circular (NBC) 461. The circular contains guidelines from the Department of Budget and Management, spelling out the funding of salaries for faculty promotions.
Funds for the promotion of faculty in SUCs were not included in the proposed budget for state-run colleges. Based on the circular, teaching and non-teaching personnel were supposed to receive promotions in 2017.
According to Angara, about 35,000 teachers would benefit from the funds.
Meanwhile, the proposed P2.9-billion budget is based on the proposal of the Philippine Association of State Colleges and Universities to partly implement NBC 461. The amount would cover 107 of the 114 SUCs, based on a resolution in the House of Representatives.
Why this matters: The free higher education law includes not just free tuition for students, but also better quality of education in universities. (READ: Senate seeks to realign CHED aid program, to raise free higher education budget)
One way to do this, Angara said, is through funding the "long overdue" promotion of teachers. (READ: You want good quality teachers? Pay them right – World Bank expert)
Aside from this, there have also been several calls from teachers and Malacañang itself to raise teachers' salaries. No less than President Rodrigo Duterte said he wanted an increase in teachers' salaries.
But Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said there would be no salary increases in 2018. He said doubling the salaries of some 880,000 public school teachers would cost the government an additional P343.7 billion.
Despite this, the budget chief gave assurances that there are plans to increase teachers' salaries beyond the Salary Standardization Law. He said a study will be commissioned for "benchmarking" on the salaries of teachers and other government personnel in the 1st quarter of 2019. – Rappler.com