In a bid to attract more educators to teach in public schools, Sen. Sonny Angara filed a bill raising the minimum salary grade level of teachers from the current Salary Grade 11 to 19.
Angara said the bill primarily aims to attract more qualified and competent teachers in public schools and help motivate the country’s teachers to strive for excellence in their field and thus, improve the quality of education in the public school system.
The measure is among the first 20 bills Angara filed in the Senate for the 19th Congress.
“Public school teachers are among the most underpaid workers, given their workload and role in the society,” Angara said in the explanatory note of the bill.
“Despite the fact that they are heralded as molders of our children’s future and second parents to our children, public school teachers receive a basic salary that does not equate to their contribution,” he noted.
According to Angara, the low salaries received by almost 900,000 public school teachers have become a major disincentive for them to improve their teaching skills and discouraged them from pursuing further training.
He also said the low salary levels have made public schools the least attractive to the best and the brightest graduates from top colleges and universities, preventing the country’s public education system from benefiting from the knowledge and expertise of outstanding teachers.
“Our teachers are considered to be the heart of the educational system. Hence, the government needs to give priority to their welfare and interests,” he stressed.
Aside from this bill, Angara also filed a bill providing a Teacher Education for Achievers (TEACH) program which seeks to produce a well-trained teaching workforce through the establishment of a program that provides scholarships to qualified applicants who wants to pursue an Education degree and/or training in the areas of learning and education.
The senator also filed the proposed Teaching Supplies Allowance Act which increases the cash allowance to teachers from the current P3,500 to P5,000 per teacher per school year to provide them with relief from this financial burden.