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Shorter working hours for public school teachers pushed THE working hours of public school teachers may

be reduced by two hours if Congress approves a proposed law pushing for a six-hour work day. Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and his son, Camarines Sur Representative Diosdado Dato Arroyo, is urging the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture to approve their proposed House Bill 5223, or the Six-Hour Work Day for Public School Teachers Act of 2011. Reducing their work hours from the present eight-hour workday will allow them to rejuvenate in mind and body, and allot more time for teachers to innovate and enhance classroom teaching, the younger Arroyo noted. The bill seeks to exempt public school teachers from the Civil Service Rules that prescribe the generally established rule on an eight-hour workday. Republic Act 4670 or the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers clearly states that teaching hours for teachers shall not to be more than six hours. However, the issuance of a memorandum by the Department of Education has prescribed that teachers should allot six hours for actual classroom teaching per day while the remaining two hours for teaching-related activities.(Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)

DepEd asked to focus on teachers welfare By INA HERNANDO-MALIPOT Public school teachers challenged on Saturday Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro to prioritize teachers welfare in his programs, noting that any reform move that does not put the teachers in paramount consideration would not work. Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC), a 30,000-strong group, said the teachers welfare need to be prioritized or DepEd will just waste money and effort in introducing reform programs. TDC praised the statement made by Luistro during the turnover ceremony in DepEd wherein he paraphrased, in his speech, the famous inaugural line of President Aquino kayo ang boss ko into ang mga batang Pilipino (Filipino youth) ang boss ko, giving emphasis to the childrencentered administration of the education department. TDC officials said they want to meet with Luistro to particularly discuss his position on the teacher-related issues such as swift resolution to problems of public school teachers in their dealings with the Government Service Insurance System; strict implementation of the welfare

provision of Magna Carta for Public School Teachers enacted in 1966; allocation of greater budget to address the growing shortages in public school system; upgrading of entry-level position of public school teachers from Salary Grade 11 to at least Salary Grade 14; relief of teachers from hazardous non-teaching related assignments such as compulsory election duties and census enumeration; and contractualization of public school teachers. Creation of Hospital for Teachers Pressed By MARIO B. CASAYURAN October 6, 2010, 4:26pm MANILA, Philippines It is now time for the national government to put up a special Philippine Teachers Hospital following the increasing number of teachers being diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB), pharyngitis, hypertension, anemia, hyperacidity and other work related-health risks. Sen. Loren Legarda, chairperson of the Senate climate change council, strongly endorsed the establishment of this kind of hospital in Senate Bill 1397, known as the Philippine Teachers Hospital Act., she recently filed. In celebration of the World Teachers Day, Legarda delivered a privilege speech last Tuesday urging her colleagues to pursue proposed laws that seek to promote the welfare of teachers such as Magna Carta for Public School Teachers and regionalizing the Department of Education (DepEd) payroll system. Citing Department of Health (DoH) statistics based on a World Health Organization (WHO) report, Legarda said the Philippines is among the 22 high-burdened countries in the world. TB is the sixth leading causes of illness and the sixth leading cause of deaths among Filipinos. Most TB patients belong to the economically-productive age group ranging from 15 to 54 years old.

Lawmakers move for higher pay for teachers Sunday, December 11, 2011 SENATOR Ramon Revilla Jr. has filed a bill seeking to raise public school teachers' salaries to keep them from leaving the country. If the bill is passed into law, an entry-level public school teacher will be paid at salary grade 15 instead of the current salary grade of

10. According to the Civil Service Commission website, that could mean a salary of P25,438 a month instead of the P17,602 under salary grade 10. Revilla said teachers are underpaid even if the Constitution requires government to put the "highest budgetary priority" to education and to "ensure that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share of the best available talents through adequate remuneration." He said the existing salary for an entry-level teacher is around P15,649, far below the estimated P21,054 family living wage in the National Capital Region. The Magna Carta for Public School Teachers requires salaries that "compare favorably" with other jobs requiring the same qualifications. Pay for teachers should also be enough to give teachers "a reasonable standard of life." "No wonder most of the public school teachers opt to leave the country and earn dollars in menial jobs (rather) than the dignified pedagogical nature that they once held in the country," he said. "The government should afford these unsung heroes their long-delayed pay increase and protect not only the country's present interests through these teachers but also the better future that we are all aiming for," he said. The increase, if approved, will cover all public school teachers "including those in technical and vocational schools and state universities and colleges." Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio has filed his own version of bill at the House of Representatives. The congressman said teachers make less than a Philippine Military Academy cadet, who gets P21,709 a month. Teachers' salaries are also lower than many call center and business process outsourcing workers. "The salary for call center employment, which requires neither formal education nor bachelor's degree, ranges from P12,500 to 20,000 a month," he said. He said low pay has "obviously" pushed local teachers to seek employment abroad, where schools pay them the equivalent of P1.5 million to P2.5 million a year. Public school teachers in the country, in contrast, make only P203,437 a year. Cebu City Representative Rachel Del Mar has also filed a bill to raise the salary grade of teachers. She wants the salary grade raised to 20, or P37,376 a month according to the salary schedule on the CSC website. (Jonathan de Santos/Sunnex)

Free college education for children of public school teachers sought April 27, 2011 8:50am

A party-list representative is pushing for the passage of a bill that seeks to grant free college education to the children of public school teachers. Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Rep. Antonio Tinio has filed House Bill 4077 which aims to uplift the economic condition of public school teachers by providing free tuition and other fees to their dependent children who are admitted to public post-secondary education institutions. "[Despite] the enactment of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers in 1966, teachers have been waiting in vain for the benefits intended to somehow ease their hardships," Tinio said in a statement released on Tuesday. The bill exempts one dependent child of a public school teacher from paying tuition and all other fees provided that the child meets the minimum requirements of his/her desired state university, college or any public technical/vocational schools under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). But Tinio clarified that two dependents may get free college education if both parents are public school teachers. "By shouldering the educational expenses of a teacher's child, the government shall provide substantial economic relief for teachers, give due recognition to their dedication and hard work and enhance the status of the teaching profession," Tinio said. Tinio is the Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture. Under the bill, the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and TESDA shall jointly promulgate the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed legislation. Emmanuel Louis Bacani/LBG, GMA News