/ 21 April 2022

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian said that the next administration should give priority to the welfare of teachers as the country continues to grapple with the education crisis.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture stressed the importance of boosting the morale of teachers, citing their role as frontliners for learning continuity amid the pandemic and recovery efforts.

“Sa pagtugon natin sa krisis sa sektor ng edukasyon, mahalagang itaguyod natin ang kapakanan ng mga guro at tiyakin nating mataas ang kanilang morale, lalo na’t malaking bahagi sila sa pagkatuto ng mga kabataan. Kaya naman dapat maging prayoridad ng susunod na administrasyon ang pangangalaga sa ating mga guro,” Gatchalian said.

He noted that even before the pandemic, public school teachers were already overworked.

Based on a 2019 study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, public school teachers are burdened with several additional administrative or student support roles, a situation which can affect the quality of teaching.

For instance, they participate in the implementation of various programs such as mass immunizations, deworming, feeding, and elections, among others.

Gatchalian said that teachers should be given higher pay.

His proposal is to raise the salary of Teacher I from Salary Grade 11 or P25,439  to either Salary Grade 13 or P29,798 or Salary Grade 14 or P32,321.

The lawmaker noted that in terms of entry-level salaries, Filipino teachers have been left behind by their peers in other ASEAN countries like Indonesia where teachers get P66,099 and Singapore, which pays teachers P60,419.