By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Results of a survey reveal that half of Filipinos think public school teachers are underpaid.
And for Senator Win Gatchalian, this puts urgency on passing his topmost priority measure which is to raise the salary of the country’s public school teachers.
Based on the results of a Pulse Asia survey conducted on June 24-27, 50% of respondents think that public school teachers are underpaid, 37% think that they have enough salary, while only 3% say that they are overpaid. Ten percent of respondents cannot say whether teachers are underpaid, overpaid, or have enough salary. The survey, which Gatchalian commissioned, had 1,200 respondents.
More than half of those belonging to Classes ABC (57%) and E (53%) think that public school teachers are underpaid. Almost half (48%) of those in Class D also think that public school teachers are not adequately paid.
Gatchalian has also been pointing out that when it comes to entry level pay, Filipino public school teachers are being left behind by their counterparts in the ASEAN region. In Indonesia for example, the entry-level pay of teachers is P66,099 compared to the P25,439 entry-level pay of Filipino teachers.
In Senate Bill No. 149 or the proposed Teacher Salary Increase Act, Gatchalian proposes to raise the Salary Grades of Teacher I from Salary Grade 11 (P25,439) to Salary Grade 13 (P29,798), Teacher II from SG 12 (P27,608) to SG 14 (P32,321), and Teacher III from SG 13 (P29,798) to SG 15 (P35,097). Raising the salaries of public school teachers was one of Gatchalian’s campaign promises.
“Panahon na upang itaas natin ang sweldo ng ating mga guro, lalo na’t sila ay napakahalagang sangkap sa pagkakatuto ng ating mga kabataan. Kung maitataas natin ang kanilang mga sahod, maitataas din natin ang kanilang morale at mahihikayat din natin ang mas maraming mga kabataan na kumuha ng kurso sa pagtuturo,” said Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.
Increasing the salary of public school teachers is consistent with Republic Act No. 4670 or the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, Gatchalian pointed out. The law provides that teachers’ salaries shall compare favorably with the pay in other occupations and should ensure a reasonable standard of life for teachers and their families.
Gatchalian also plans to seek amendments to the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers to make it more responsive to present-day challenges. (ai/mtvn)