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Bill seeks P50,000 entry-level pay for public school teachers

MANILA, Philippines — The three-member militant Makabayan bloc filed yesterday a bill in the House of Representatives that will nearly double the entry-level salary of public school teachers nationwide, to the tune of P50,000 monthly.

Representatives France Castro of ACT Teachers party-list, Arlene Brosas Gabriela party-list and Raoul Manuel of Kabataan party-list authored and filed House Bill (HB) 9920, so as to not only be at par with police and military personnel, whose salaries have been doubled by former president Duterte during his reign, but also to give what is due of them.

“It must never be alleged that their qualifications, training and fortitude are less than those of the police and the military. Indeed, how far can P27,000 take a Teacher 1 and his or her family at a time when fuel prices rise almost weekly?” Castro, Brosas and Manuel asked.

“It must be stressed that this level of pay of the main frontliners of education professionals who went through long years of academic and practical training amounts to less than the family living wage,” they added.

The measure “proposes substantial salary increases for public school teachers to close the gap between their salaries and the cost of living,” according to the lawmakers.

“It will also address the distortion created by the doubling of entry-level pay of military and uniformed personnel,” they said.

Salaries of teachers in private schools pale in comparison with their counterparts in public schools.

Nevertheless, the three opposition legislators said that it is “no wonder (that) most teachers would rather work abroad despite the risks and hazards to cam almost thrice or eight times the entry-level salary.”

“Indeed, there is an urgent need for salary increases for public school teachers, along with other government employees. For these reasons, the immediate approval of this bill is sought,” they added.

The Makabayan legislators also provided provisions in HB 9920 for “annual adjustment of salaries to ensure that these keep pace with the cost of living.”

They said that the Salary Standardization Law of 2019 has failed to address the disparity of the salaries between the low and middle-level-salary-grade