Updates on teacher career progression bill

Updates on teacher career progression bill

– Bill deferred due to budget estimate errors.

– Discrepancy on funding understanding between committee and DBM.

– DBM needs one more week to recompute funding requirements.

Salary grade adjustments may affect higher positions in the bureaucracy

The House Committee on Basic Education and Culture deferred the approval of a bill seeking to institute a career progression system for teachers when it found errors in the budget estimate.

The committee had a misunderstanding during with the Department of Budget on how much funding would be needed to implement  the proposed Teacher Career Progression Act — which is a substitute for House Bills No. 1580 and 3554.

Under the bill, the new positions of Teachers 4, 5,6, and 7 would not need master credentials or quotas. This proposal also suggests an increase in the basic salary of teachers — from Salary Grade 11 to Salary Grade 12.

But, DBM Director Perpetual Judea Quiazon clarified that the P28.8 billion funding would only be for the reclassification of Teachers 1, 2, and 3 from the current Salary Grades 11, 12, and 13, respectively, to Salary Grades 12, 13, and 14.

“So it is not for all,” Quiazon said.

Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo, scolded the DBM director for informing the panel late about the errors.

“Now you are coming to this committee, at these last hours, to tell us that we had a different understanding with what you said before. So this is what we will do, Ma’am Perpetual, to be clear: Maybe you have submitted it already. You are here in this hearing. Please take a look at this substitute measure,” Romulo said.

“Our understanding during the last hearing is that what is requested of DBM is for Teachers 1, 2, and 3. That’s why when DBM made a presentation last hearing, it was for Teachers 1, 2, and 3 only. But we will comply with your request,” Quiazon replied.

Romulo conceded that the substitute bill would have to wait for one more week — as DBM would need a week to recompute the funding requirements.

“We wanted to approve this bill this morning, but now that DBM gives us this number [1 week to recompute], I think it is reasonable for everyone to wait for one week,” he said.

Bill authors and sponsors believe that raising salary grades and adjusting teacher career progression will boost professional development and career advancement, along with preserving local talent — considering that the Philippines has suffered from a talent drain, including teachers, in recent years.

The Department of Education (DepEd) welcomed the proposal. But DepEd Assistant Secretary Francis Cesar Bringas warned that making salary grade adjustments would affect salary scales of positions in the higher office — as they would also need to move higher to protect their posts.

“I have no objection to the Salary Grade 12, but this will create a domino effect on the higher positions in the bureaucracy. So  if we have Salary Grade 12 for Teacher 1, our School Principal 4 and Master Teacher 5 will be [at] Salary Grade 22 — which is already higher in the salary grade than the salary grade of an education program supervisor in the division and the region.” Bringas said.