/ 23 August 2023

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian pushed anew his proposal to raise the entry-level salary of teachers to boost their morale and uphold their welfare.

This was after President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. ordered the Department of Education to study a long-term approach on how to increase the salaries of teachers and non-teaching personnel, on top of the wage hike under the Salary Standardization Law.

“Mahalagang hakbang na maitaas ang sahod ng ating mga guro upang mapanatiling mataas ang kanilang morale at mahikayat ang ating mga kabataan na kumuha ng kurso sa pagtuturo,” Gatchalian, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, said.

Senate Bill 149 or the Teacher Salary Increase Act topped Gatchalian’s priority bills under the 19th Congress.

Under the measure, Gatchalian seeks to raise the salary grades of Teacher I from SG 11 or P27,000 to SG 13 or P31,320 while Teacher II from SG 12 or P29,165 to SG 14 or P33,843, and Teacher III from SG 13 or P31,320 to SG 15 or P36,619.

“As our public school teachers find themselves at the forefront of national development, they should be accorded appropriate recognition and adequate compensation by the government,” Gatchalian said in the bill’s explanatory note.

The senator earlier said that compared to their peers in Southeast Asia, Filipino teachers have been left behind in terms of wage. Citing Indonesia and Singapore, he said teachers in both countries receive salaries amounting to P66,099 and P60,419, respectively.

Last year, when he presented the findings of a Senate basic education panel’s review on the implementation of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, Gatchalian said that raising teachers’ salaries should be a priority for the incoming 19th Congress.

Decongesting teachers’ workload and ensuring adequate health insurance should also be prioritized, he added.