A lot of heat has been cooking up about the plans to increase public school teachers’ salaries not being actioned by the Philippine government. As a matter of fact, teachers pointed out that the campaign of the Duterte Administration is not acting upon their campaign promise of having this as a priority. However, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), it just needs ample planning.
This is why a handful of proposals were submitted to increase public school teachers’ salaries to a maximum of P36,409.00 from the current compensation they are getting of P20,754.00.
A couple of Senators agreed to this proposal. In fact, they filed bills that would implement the increase of public school teachers’ salaries in different versions.
18th Congress on July the 1st 2019
Senators who attended the 18th Congress last July 1, 2019, underwent their filing of bills that look to hike or increase public school teachers’ salaries. They’re at different versions but they all seek the same goal—to give public school teachers the privilege of receiving a higher monthly income.
Senator Francis Pangilinan is among the Senators who filed a bill that would increase public school teachers’ salaries. In his bill, he wanted an increase of P10,000.00 per month. In addition to that, he said that this increase should be seen in three (3) tranches.
Not only that, Senator Pangilinan also iterated that public school teachers should receive or be given extra support in the form of monetary reward like medical allowances, an annual Magna Carta bonus, allowances, and renumeration of the funds of the school board.
Senator Juan Edgardo Angara or more commonly known as “Sonny” Angara, also filed a bill that would increase public school teachers’ salaries. In his version of the bill, he looks to have an increase to at least P36,409.00, a drastic jump from what they are currently getting which would bring them from a Salary Grade (SG) 11 to Salary Grade (SG) 19.
How much would the needed budget be for this to be effective?
According to Senator Angara, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) would need to pursue these changes in at least five (5) years to allow a smooth transition to the changes. Why? Because about 800,000 public school teachers would be feeling this increase and the DBM needs ample time and planning for adjustments.
In addition to that, Angara also was set to file a bill that would provide a discount on the health care, school supplies, school fees, and books of those students who are struck by poverty in all school levels; this includes learners in the technical-vocational institutions.
Senator Ramon Revilla Jr., more commonly known to be Senator “Bong” Revilla, also filed a bill that would provide a certain allowance to public school teachers—the allowance, being “teaching supplies allowance,” would be granted as a part of the plans to increase public school teachers’ salaries.
Last but most definitely not the least was Senator Nancy Binay. Her version of the bill was the to definitively bring the monthly salaries of public school teachers to P28,000.00; non-teaching personnel, on the other hand, shall be brought to P16,000.00.
In her version of the bill, she wants to provide assistance to those who are in the teaching industry even if they are not teachers. In fact, she aims to exempt public school teachers who are members of the electoral board during election from the income tax compensation. Plus, an additional educational assistance to public school teachers.
These are just some of the bills that were brought up during the 18th Congress. If we take a step back, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones was questioned down for calling this increase some sort of a “money/budget issue.”
In clarification, she said that the plans to increase public school teachers’ salaries are also in their plans; they just have to be planned well and carefully assessed because it will have drastic impacts on the fiscal budget.
She said that a sly increase of P5,000.00 increase will require extra budget of around P75 billion on a yearly basis.
What did Philippine economic managers say about this issue?
As per Economists and experts on the Philippine economy, extending or an increase in the salaries of public school teachers will cost the Philippine government an extra P343.7 billion in the Personnel Services expenses.
This, as per them, is nearly equivalent to the two (2) percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Philippines which could literally have large impacts on how they prices of common goods will be for the public.
So in conclusion, the extra pay for teachers really needs to be looked at first. Senators and people in the education industry are not, in any way, against seeing to increase public school teachers’ salaries; all they want and need is careful assessment and judgment of the situation of our country financially.
Bills filed during the 18th Congress
The first (1st) round of bill filing and resolutions started on the 1st of July, 2019, Monday and will continue on until the 4th of July, 2019, Thursday.
In this, Senators can file up to a total of ten (10) proposed bills and resolutions that they see fit for the situation and that could ultimately help the citizens of the country.
One of the most noted was Senate President Vicente Sotto III or more commonly known to be “Tito” Sotto. He was the first to file his bills and among those bills were combating fake news and terrorism; lowering the age of criminal responsibility; and the marvelous 14th month pay for employees in the private sector or private employees.
What do you think about the plans to increase public school teachers’ salaries? Would this help the education industry in producing more valuable people from education? Could this encourage people to be public school teachers to help students who are in need when it comes to education and nurturing?
Let’s wait for the signing of these bills into laws—hopefully, the plans to increase public school teachers’ salaries are currently in the books for the higher governments of the Philippines.