/ 24 November 2022

THE TEACHERS’ Dignity Coalition backed House Bill 1580 authored by Representatives Jude Acidre and Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and House Bill 3554 sponsored by Rep. Ralph Recto.

The measures seek to provide a wider range of positions for public school teachers from the current Teacher 1 to III and Master Teacher I to IV to Teacher I-VII and Master Teacher I to V, respectively.

Basas again decried the low pay of teachers.

“Public school teachers have long endured low salaries. In 1989, during the time of former President Cory Aquino, teachers’ salaries were tied to the Salary Standardization Law, a generic law that covers almost all civilian government employees. This, despite the provision of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (RA 4670), a special law that provides the rights and well-being of teachers,” Basas said.

The TDC blamed SSL 1 or RA 6758 for the poor categorization of the entry-level position of teachers. Based on the said law, Teacher I gets Salary Grade 10, the lowest position of government professionals. It was adjusted to SG11 in 2009 when Congress passed Joint Resolution No. 4.

The group, however, said their salaries remain the lowest in government service.

“From 1989 up to the present, there have been five SSLs under seven presidents but the salary of public teachers remains at the bottom,” Basas said.

The TDC acknowledged President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 174 signed on June 23, 2022, which is almost similar to the contents of the proposals of Honorable Acidre, Romualdez and Recto are almost similar to the said EO. However, its implementing rules and regulations have not been released and the consultation conducted by DepEd is still ongoing.

The TDC said that the circulating draft of the IRR for Executive Order 174 signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte has caused concern.

“Batay sa EO 174 at sa umiikot na draft IRR ng DepEd, tila lulusawin ang posisyon ng Head Teachers. Kabaligtaran po ito sa layunin ng career progression na maging madali ang promosyon sa mga posisyon ng mga guro,” said Dino Busilig, a head teacher in Calatagan National High School in Batangas and the Lead Convenor for National Head Teachers Association of the Philippines.

Busilig said that head teachers are worried that their position might be dissolved.

“Ang paglusaw sa aming posisyon ay magdudulot ng demoralisasyon sa aming hanay. Nag-aral kami at sumunod sa mga resikistos at sa kuwalipikasyon upang maging Head Teachers at pinagtibay ito ng CSC. Katuwang kami ng school heads sa pangangasiwa ng mga paaralan, paano na lamang kung biglang lulusawin ang aming posisyon? Malinaw na ito ay hindi patas,” Busilig added.