Senators file bills increasing wages of public school teachers

MANILA, Philippines – Senators of the 18th Congress on Monday, July 1, filed bills that seek to increase the salaries of public school teachers.

Senator Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara wants public school teachers to receive at least P36,409 monthly, and bring them to Salary Grade 19 level.

This is a jump from their previous basic salary of P20,754, under Salary Grade 11.

In filing the bill, Angara said that increasing the wages for the 800,000 teachers will be done over a period of 5 years to "allow the Department of Budget and Management to make necessary budget adjustments."

Senator Francis Pangilinan also filed a bill on additional compensation of about P10,000 per month. He proposed that this be paid to public school teachers in 3 tranches.

Pangilinan also wants additional support in the form of allowances, renumeration from local school board funds, medical allowance, and an annual Magna Carta bonus.

Meanwhile, Senator Nancy Binay's version of the bill sought to bring the monthly wages of teachers and non-teaching personnel to P28,000 and P16,000, respectively.

In another bill, Binay also wants to exempt public school teachers who serve as members of the electoral board during elections from income tax compensation. She also wants to give additional "educational assistance" to public school teachers.

Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr also filed a bill on granting a "teaching supplies allowance" to public school teachers.

Groups like the Alliance of Concerned Teachers and the Teachers' Dignity Coalition have slammed the Duterte administration for not acting on calls to increase the salaries of public teachers, despite it being a campaign promise of the President.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones was earlier criticized for calling the increase a "money issue." Briones later on clarified that she supports pay hike plans but there has to be a "careful assessment on the hike's fiscal impact."

Briones said that a P5,000 across-the-board increase will require an additional P75-billion budget annually.

Economic managers earlier said that doubling pay for teachers will cost the government an additional P343.7 billion in Personnel Services expenses, equivalent to 2% of the gross domestic product of the Philippines.  Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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