Seeks higher compensation, medical allowance for basic educators
PASAY CITY (Oct 9) – Following the commemoration of the International Teachers’ Day last Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Alan Cayetano today pushed for the passage of a Senate Bill seeking to arm teachers in basic education with better financial capability to face the soaring prices of basic commodities.
In Senate Bill 94, entitled “An Act Providing for Additional Support and Compensation for Educators in Basic Education", Cayetano sought to grant a P9,000 additional compensation and P1,000 medical allowance for teachers.
"They are given a role that is crucial in creating a society geared towards economic development. It is but reasonable that they receive support and appropriate compensation to ensure that the pillars of education system are not left behind," Cayetano said.
Cayetano’s primary advocacy has always been focused on addressing issues that will allow all Filipinos feel the benefits of the growing economy.
Increasing teachers’ benefits, he noted, will not only help our teachers live a comfortable life but will also improve the quality of education and consequently allow students to find quality employment.
SB 94, which he authored and filed early this year, seeks to grant the additional compensation to: public school teachers, locally-funded teachers, Philippine Science High School teaching and non-teaching personnel, and even non-teaching personnel of DepEd except for those in SG 30, under the Department of Education schedule of salaries, or holding positions from Assistant Secretary or higher.
The additional compensation, under the bill, should be given in three equal tranches:
- P3,000 per month on the first year,
- P3,000 per month on the second year, and
- P3,000 per month on the third year.
The bill cited a 1998 World Bank study which stated that teachers are the "single most important factor" behind a student's performance, hence, the need to provide them with better compensation commensurate to their roles and life challenges.
The bill quoted the DepEd as saying that teachers should have the equivalent salary grade of a 1st Lieutenant in the Philippine Army or P29,028 a month as based on the revised salary standardization law III.
Currently, however, the entry level for teachers is merely at Salary Grade (SG) 11 which is equivalent to P18,549 monthly income.
Cayetano’s measure likewise cited a 1991 Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM) report which pointed out that the level of compensation for educators was disproportionately low "relative to the functional definition of the teaching job, the sensitiveness of the teaching responsibility, the technical requirements of the job, the time required for it and the intellectual demand it makes."
EDCOM also recommended that compensation for teachers be raised to SG 17 which is equivalent to the salary of a 1st Lieutenant in the Philippine Army.
"Hiking our teachers’ salary will ensure that their focus on educating the youth never wavers by providing them with the support and benefits they need," he pointed out.
Aside from an across-the-board additional compensation, SB 94 likewise seeks to provide a comprehensive package of benefits such as medical allowance of at least P1,000 for check-ups and other medical needs and annual Magna Carta bonus to answer for unpaid benefits due them under Republic Act No. 4670 or the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers Act.###
Ref: Office of the Senate Majority Leader
Alan Peter S. Cayetano
Rm. 603 GSIS Complex Senate of the Philippines Roxas Blvd Pasay City