Press Release
October 4, 2019

Zubiri: Senate to push for pay hikes and direct grants to teachers

"I shall push for pay hikes and direct grants to teachers and prioritize the bills filed in the Senate. Our teachers deserve more than we have managed to give them such as salary increases in line with the Salary Standardization Law in 2015 mandating a series of increases in four years that ends this year. Government has promised to institute another round of government pay hikes. We will initiate the push for pay hikes in the Senate," said Majority Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri as the country celebrates National Teachers Day.

"For public school teachers, we will consider to upgrade the Salary Grade (SG) of teachers by putting entry level teachers in Salary Grade 19 instead of SG 11 (SBN by Sen. Angara); additional P10,000 compensation a month (SBN 37 by Sen. Pangilinan); additional chalk allowance (SBN by Sens. Recto & Revilla); and payment of the long-overdue Magna Carta benefits."

I filed Senate Bill No. 104 pushing for P10,000 monthly additional pay, grant of bigger chalk allowance, P1,000 annual medical check-up allowance and giving the long-delayed yet much-deserved Magna Carta benefits. If President Duterte would push through with his promise during the State of the Nation Address to double public school teachers salaries, we will help him find the sources of funds as that would entail additional P343.7 Billion. The proposed 2020 Department of Education budget for salaries is P417,548,392,000."

The proposed 2020 Budget includes additional benefits to be paid to teachers directly, as follows: Special Hardship Allowance set at a maximum of 25% of total basic pay for the year and annual World Teachers Day grant of P1,000. Currently, each teacher is given a cash allowance of P3,500 per school year to buy chalks, erasers, forms, portfolio preparation and other classroom supplies and materials. "Ibinibigay ito sa bawat guro pero para ito sa gamit sa pagtuturo, hindi personal na benepisyo. Mahabang panahon na silang nag-aabono para sa mga supplies. Susuportahan ko na dagdagan ito ng bawat taon para sa kabuuang P10,000."

"Likewise, I shall push for bigger support to In-Service Training to be conducted by the University of the Philippines, Philippine Normal University, Development Academy of the Philippines and other highly-rated public or private institutions. The in-service training will benefit the public school system and enhance the learning experience of Filipino students. It will boost the morale of all Filipino teachers already known to be among the best teachers abroad."

"The pay hikes and additional grants will make the Philippines the greener pasture they have been looking for. We expect that more teachers will choose to stay here in the country. They don't have to leave the Philippines."

Zubiri pointed out that the DepEd experiences difficulty in hiring more teachers every year. Of 882,528 total permanent positions, the DepEd hired only 815,599 in 2017; 825,364 in 2018 and this year, of 950,969 total permanent positions. "The public school system has been losing qualified teachers to other industries such as call centers and service industries."

"By paying our teachers bigger salaries, we shall graduate from our sad reputation in the past as an 'exporter' of teachers. They will now have a strong reason to stay as teachers in the country and not leave their families. Inaasahan nating hindi na mapipilitang kumapit sa patalim ang ating mga guro kapag naipasa na ang mga isinusulong nating dagdag sahod at benepisyo."

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