MANILA—In a bid to arrest brain drain in the education sector, a lawmaker has sought to increase the salary of public school teachers in the country.
ACT Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio filed House Bill 2142, which seeks to upgrade the minimum salary grade level of public school teachers in elementary and secondary levels from Salary Grade 11 to Salary Grade 15.
“We want to encourage all government teachers to stay in the country, give what’s due them, and not push them to seek better pay and working conditions overseas,” Tinio said.
Representatives Edgardo Angara of Aurora and Carmelo Lazatin of Pampanga have earlier filed similar bills.
Tinio said Republic Act No. 4670 or the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers says that salaries of public school teachers should be at par with those in other occupations requiring equivalent qualifications, training, and abilities.
He said the current pay scheme for teachers is not competitive with most other positions in government.
“A duly licensed professional teacher occupying the entry-level position of Teacher 1 with a monthly salary of P15,645 earns substantially less than a high school graduate who enters the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) as a cadet, with monthly salary of P21,709,” Tinio noted.
Tinio said the family living wage in Metro Manila is estimated at P957 per day or more than P21,054 per month, while the monthly salary of a Teacher 1 is only P15,649.
As a result, he said, teachers resort to borrowing, making them heavily indebted to government financial institutions such as the GSIS, private lending institutions or even loan sharks.
Tinio said the effort of the government to upgrade the educational system will not succeed unless the condition of public school teachers is improved.
“Facilities and equipment are as good as the people who manage and operate them. Teachers in dire conditions can never be expected to turn in good quality students and future leaders of our land,” he said.