Two party-list lawmakers on Saturday demanded an increase in salary of guidance counselors in public schools.
In addition, Reps. France Castro and Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers asked for the hiring of more guidance councilors to address the emerging needs of the students in guidance and counseling.
The two lawmakers, both members of the Makabayan Bloc in the House, made the statement after their party-list held a dialogue with officials of the Department of Education, the Philippine Guidance and Counseling Association and Department of Education Guidance Counselors’ Association of the Philippines early this month to address the issues confronting guidance counselors.
“DepEd committed itself to find solutions in correcting the long injustice to our guidance counselors,” Tinio said.
At the same time, Castro said there is a need to upgrade their salary.
“To become a licensed guidance counselor, he or she must first obtain a masteral degree. Sadly, the entry level salary is just Salary Grade 11 or P20,179. The government need to increase their salary given the high qualifications and expertise and heavy workload.”
At present, Castro said only 1,400 positions out of 4,200 guidance counselor positions are filled up in DepEd and they are expected to serve almost 27 million students.
In reality, she said the positions are not attractive to registered guidance counselors due to low compensation so in effect the positions are not being filled up.
“We urge the DepEd to push with its commitment to the guidance counselors based on the recent dialogue: the support for salary upgrading to not lower than SG 16 or P31,765; to fill up the positions; and also to push the Department of Budget and Management to approve DepEd and the guidance counselors’ proposal for salary upgrade,” the two lawmakers said.