Gatchalian files bill seeking to increase the salary of public school teachers to P30,000

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian filed on Tuesday a bill seeking to raise the salaries of public school teachers up to P30,000.

Gatchalian files bill seeking to increase the salary of public school teachers to P30,000
Senator Gatchalian seeks to increase the salary of public school teachers | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Wyn Gatchalian

Promising to make the salary hike of teachers as one of his priority legislations for the 18th Congress, Gatchalian filed Senate Bill No. 178. It seeks to raise the salary grade of public school teachers from currently Salary Grade 11, 12 and 14 to SG 13, 14 and 15, respectively.

The senator said the move is made to ensure that our teachers' wages are at par with those in other countries in the Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Gatchalian cited that based on a study comparing the salaries of public school teachers from the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, we ranked third to the lowest.

"We are third to last in terms of annual salaries of teachers – above only Malaysia and Vietnam and below the ASEAN average at that,” the senator said.

According to Gatchalian, the average annual salary of teachers, including benefits, in other ASEAN countries is currently at $27,742 (almost P1.5 million). Public school teachers in the Philippines have an average annual income (inclusive of benefits) of $18,160 (almost P1 million).

SEE ALSO: Here's the list of benefits DepEd teachers enjoy for their dedicated service

If the bill gets passed, it would raise the salaries of teachers to an annual of $21,547 (P1.15 million), a bit closer to the ASEAN average.

Following the fourth tranche of the Salary Standardization Law, the proposed bill would hike the wages of Teacher I from P20,754 to P25,232, Teacher II from P22,938 to P27,755 while Teacher III would get an increase from P25,232 to P30,531.

"Inadequate take-home pay for a majority of public school teachers has been a common complaint which is said to have led to their increased indebtedness," Gatchalian explained.

He added that due to low take-home pay, teachers often get into loans and accumulate too much debt. The solution to this problem is to increase the teachers' starting pay, Gatchalian said.

The senator also noted that out of the 889,700 personnel currently employed by the Department of Education (DepEd), 83% make up the positions of Teacher I, Teacher II and Teacher III.

Gatchalian highlighted the increasing inequity between those filling the ranks of Teachers I-III and higher positions.

He said, "As of 2018, the gap in pay between a Master Teacher I and Teacher III was P13,861 compared to P3,224 in 2007."

Gatchalian ended his statement by reminding that public school teachers "are in the forefront of national development, thus, they should be accorded the proper compensation by the government as has been provided for the nation’s police officers and soldiers."

NOTE: Ongoing validation of average salary of teachers in the ASEAN region, as presented by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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