/ 14 February 2022

ANTIQUE Rep. Loren Legarda vowed to work to improve the quality of education and make it more accessible to learners.

The lawmaker, who is eyeing a Senate return, said that improving the education system does not only mean having good infrastructure and facilities for students but also addressing the needs of teachers and non-teaching personnel.

“Ang salary grade ng entry level public school teachers ay Salary Grade 11 lamang na nasa mahigit P25,000 sa kasalukuyang Salary Standardization tranche. Naitaas na po natin ang suweldo ng mga military and uniformed personnel, gayundin ang ating mga nurses. We also have to push for a competitive salary for our teachers,” Legarda said.

“I had previously filed bills for the upgrading of teachers’ salaries when I was at the Senate. I filed it again in the House of Representatives, and I am going to continue pushing for the approval of this long-overdue measure that is so important to the teaching profession,” she added.

When she was the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, Legarda initiated and sponsored measures to uplift the plight of teachers.

Through her intervention, the chalk allowance was increased from P1,000 to P1,500 in 2015, and to P2,500 in 2017 and to P3,500 in 2018.

In 2019, public school teachers received for the first time their World Teachers’ Day incentive now given every 5th of October, after Legarda allocated P800 million under the General Appropriations Act.

The lawmaker also backed the teachers’ demand for overtime pay.

She committed to coordinate with the Department of Education to ensure that the efforts of teachers beyond their mandate are well compensated.

“Aside from their teaching duties, teachers are likewise most reliable in serving the general welfare. They go beyond their duties in the classroom, notably when they serve during election period and when they aid the Philippine Statistics Authority in gathering data from households across the country,” Legarda said.