Pia: Teachers need pay hike to keep up with decent living standards

To be able to teach effectively, public school teachers need to live decently. 
This was emphasized by Senator Pia S. Cayetano, as she noted the huge disparity between the living wage recommended by government economic planners and the current take-home pay of the average public school teacher. 
Recent estimates by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) show that an average Filipino family of five with two working members earning P21,000 each, needs a combined income of P42,000 a month to be able to provide for their basic household needs. 
In the case of public school teachers, where the entry-level pay (Salary Grade 11) earns a gross income of P20,574, Cayetano noted that the amount even falls short of government’s own living wage standards, especially after regular deductions from their basic pay are factored in. 
It is for this reason that the returning senator and former Taguig City representative has been pushing for a substantial hike in the compensation of educators in basic education. 
Cayetano has filed Senate Bill No. 70, the’Additional Support and Compensation for Educators in Basic Education Act’ among her priority measures in the 18th Congress. 
SBN 70 proposes a salary increase of P10,000 per month for public school teachers, locally-funded teachers, and non-teaching personnel of the Department of Education (DepEd). 
Under the bill, the P10,000 teachers wage hike will be granted in three tranches over the next three years, as follows: P4,000 per month on the first year, an additional P3,000 per month on the second year, and a final increment of P3,000 pesos per month, on the third year. 
On top of the salary adjustment, other benefits stipulated in the bill include medical allowance, a yearly bonus based on the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (RA 4670), and  additional compensation from local school board funds.
‘Considering their crucial role in society, teachers should receive an average pay that would allow them to keep up with decent living wage standards set by the government,’ said Cayetano. 
“The pay hike rightfully deserved by our teachers will improve their quality of life and motivate them to perform their tasks exceptionally,” she added. “Adequate pay and benefits should also encourage our best and brightest minds to enter the teaching profession as envisioned by our Constitution.”
While admitting that there are serious fiscal considerations in carrying out the measure, Cayetano said the level of pay matters when it comes to strengthening teacher competencies and the overall quality of teaching and learning in the basic education sector. 
As the former chairperson of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts, and Culture, Cayetano has worked for the passage of numerous landmark laws to enhance public education in the country.
These include the National Teacher’s Day Act (RA 10743), Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education or UniFAST Act (RA 10687), Open High School System Act (RA 10665), Open Distance Learning Act (RA 10650), Iskolar ng Bayan Act (RA 10648), and Ladderized Education Act (RA 10647). #

Senator Pia Cayetano: Teachers should receive an average pay that would allow them to keep up with decent living wage standards set by the government.

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