APRIL 30, 2013

NR # 3089B

Public school teachers need living wages – solon
A lawmaker has vowed to pursue his proposal to upgrade the minimum salaries of public elementary and high school teachers from Salary Grade 11 to Level 15 to motivate and maintain highly qualified teachers in the country. “The current salaries of public school teachers do not compare favorably with other occupations in government. Their salaries are unable to insure a reasonable standard of life for themselves and their families,” ACT Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio said. HB 2142, authored by Tinio, which was referred to stakeholders by the Committee on Appropriations on September 20, 2010 for consideration and comment, would best be taken up early by the incoming 16th Congress. “A duly licensed professional teacher occupying the entry-level position of Teacher 1, with a monthly salary of P15,649.00 earns substantially less than a high school graduate who enters the Philippine Military Academy as a cadet, with a monthly stipend of P21,709,” Tinio noted when he filed his measure in 2010. Tinio added that neither does teachers’ pay compare favorably with those employed as call center agents in the private sector. The salary for call center employment, which requires neither formal education nor a bachelor's degree, ranges from P12,500 to P20,000 a month. In 2010, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said the family living wage in the National Capital Region (NCR) was estimated at P957 per day or more than P21,054 per month, in sharp contrast to the P15,649 monthly salary of a Teacher 1. “In order to cope with this ‘living salary gap,’ teachers resort to borrowing and are heavily indebted to government financial institutions such as the GSIS, private lending entities, or even loan sharks,” Tinio said. Tinio lamented that the situation is pushing the most qualified teachers out of the country to seek better pay and working conditions. While an entry-level Teacher 1 receives P203,437 annual pay, Filipino teachers in the United States receive annual salaries ranging from P1.5-million to P2.1 million. “The efforts of government to upgrade the educational system cannot succeed for as long as teachers are taken for granted,” Tinio stressed. It is interesting to note that under a Joint Resolution of Congress No. 4 on July 28, 2008, the modified Salary Schedule for Civilian Personnel, to be implemented in tranches,

shows that Salary Grade 11 ranges from P18,549 (Step 1) to P19,887 (Step 8) and Salary Grade 15 ranges from P24,887 (Step 1) to P26,868 (Step 8). The JR No. 4, further states that “the total Compensation Framework shall exclude all indirect compensation under existing laws such as, but not limited to: life and retirement insurance benefits; employees compensation insurance; health insurance; PAGIBIG Fund benefits; and Provident Fund benefits.” Among other provisions stated in the Joint Resolution is that an employee may progress from Step 1 to Step 8 of the salary grade allocation of his/her position in recognition of meritorious performance based on a Performance Management System approved by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and/or through length of service, in accordance with the rules and regulations to be promulgated jointly by the Department of Budget and Management and the CSC. (30) dpt

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