50k salary for newly hired teachers sought

50k salary for newly hired teachers sought

A new legislative proposal has been introduced aiming to substantially raise the monthly salaries of public school teachers to ensure they can afford a decent standard of living. House Bill 9920, put forward by the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives, proposes increasing the entry-level salary for these educators to PHP 50,000, up from the existing PHP 27,000. This adjustment is meant to elevate their salary grade from 11 to 15, nearly doubling their current wages.

This push for higher pay comes in response to various challenges, including the rising cost of living and the financial hardships that have intensified for many following the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill points out the sharp increase in the prices of fuel and basic goods, which has made it difficult for teachers and their families to make ends meet on a PHP 27,000 monthly salary.

One of the bill’s critical observations is the discrepancy in salary adjustments between educators and military personnel, noting the significant raises given to the latter during the term of a previous administration. This comparison highlights a broader issue of salary parity and the valuation of different public service roles.

Despite annual salary increments through the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) of 2019, the legislation notes that these adjustments have not sufficed. Entry to mid-level teachers still earn below the PHP 33,570 minimum family living wage, as estimated by the economic think tank IBON Foundation. This figure represents the minimum needed for a Filipino family to maintain a decent living standard.

The proposed bill also sheds light on the comparative salary increases between educators and law enforcement and military personnel. For instance, it contrasts the substantial increase in base pay for entry-level police officers in 2018 with the modest, gradual raises given to teachers over four years.

The document underlines the importance of acknowledging the qualifications, training, and dedication of teachers, emphasizing that their contributions to public education should not be undervalued compared to other public service roles. It argues for a fair compensation system that reflects the critical work teachers do and the challenges they face in their profession.

Recent responses from the government, including a rejection of a pay hike proposal by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) due to budgetary concerns, have been met with promises from Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte. She has committed to exploring avenues to improve teachers’ salaries, indicating that solutions to these issues require collaborative efforts and comprehensive policy adjustments.

This bill signifies a pivotal effort to address the financial needs of public school teachers, advocating for a more equitable salary structure that recognizes their indispensable role in shaping the future through education.