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13, 2012

NR # 2830

Lawmaker: Upgrade minimum salary grade level of teachers to SG 22
Another lawmaker is seeking to upgrade the present minimum salary grade level of public school teachers who are among the underpaid workers in society. Rep. Eduardo Gullas (1st District, Cebu), through House Bill 6404, proposed to upgrade the present minimum salary grade of public elementary and high school teachers from the present Salary Grade 11 to 22. Gullas said his proposal aims to give meaning to the spirit and intent of the Constitution to provide the biggest budgetary support for education and guarantee that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share of the best available talents. “Article XIV, Section 5 (5) of the Constitution provides that the State shall assign the highest budgetary priority to education and ensure that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share of the best available talents through adequate compensation and other means of job satisfaction and fulfillment,” he said. This mandate cannot be fulfilled if public school teachers continue to be underpaid despite being regarded as the molders of the children’s future. Public school teacher’s receive only less than P10,000 a month for their basic salary according to him. “The teachers are considered to be the prime movers of the educational system. Hence, the government must give priority to their interest and welfare,” said Gullas. In HB 6404, Gullas proposed to raise the minimum salary grade level of public school teachers from Grade 11 to Grade 22, provided the salary upgrading shall be differentiated in accordance with the qualifications and length of service rendered by teachers and shall not be prejudiced by across the board adjustments. The bill did not specifically mention the compensation equivalent to Salary Grades 11 and 22 but according to previous reports, Salary Grade 11 amounts to a monthly compensation of about P18,549 while Salary Grade 22 amounts to a basic monthly salary of P42,652. The bill provides that the National Government shall appropriate such amount to implement the salary upgrading, and ensure the salary increase shall take priority over other non-educational and non-agricultural budgetary allocation. It further provides the Department of Education shall come up with a specific programmed budget needed to cover the expenses for the upgrading in salary levels for all the corresponding teacher’s plantilla positions for a period of at least five years to allow the Department of Budget and Management to make the necessary budgetary adjustments to facilitate the smooth implementation of the enacted law. Earlier, Rep. Reynaldo Umali (2nd District, Oriental Mindoro) through House Bill 6090, Rep. Antonio Tinio (Party-list, ACT Teachers) through House Bill No. 2142 and Rep. Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David (4th District, Manila) through HB 6000 proposed to upgrade the minimum salary grade of public school teachers from Salary Grade 11 to 15. Meanwhile, House Bill 5787 filed by Rep. Maria Evita Arago (3rd District, Laguna) seeks to raise the present compensation of an entry level teacher (Teacher 1) from Salary Grade 10 to Salary Grade 15. (30) rbb