The House of Representatives’ Committee on Basic Education, chaired by Rep. Roman Romulo of Pasig City, has created a technical working group that will consolidate the bills that propose to provide salary adjustments and allowances for public school teachers.
The committee will craft a measure that shall provide additional support and compensation for educators in basic education based on House Bills 6, 2475, authored respectively by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, and couple Reps. David Suarez of Quezon and Anna Marie Villaraza-Suarez of ALONA party-list.
The two bills were among the 36 measures filed by different lawmakers which seek to promote the rights and welfare of public school teachers.
The committee named one of its vice chairpersons, Rep. Rosanna Vergara of Nueva Ecija, as the TWG head.
Cayetano’s HB 6 or the proposed “Teachers Salary Increase Act of 2019” noted the long-time clamor of public school teachers for urgently needed support, since their present compensation package puts them in a peculiar situation of being just within the present poverty threshold.
The bill also aims to remedy the current problems of teachers relative to the provisions of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers.
“Since its enactment in 1966 remains unimplemented and to prevent the massive exodus of members of the teaching profession who are seeking jobs in other countries, the type of brain drain that the country cannot afford.”
Suarez, for his part, said throughout his experience as a public servant for two decades, it was unavoidable that a lot of his engagements were with teachers.
“I find that they lack a lot of support in terms of what can be provided to them so that we can further improve their welfare so that we can further improve their morale especially in the duties that they perform in nation-building,” he said.
Suarez lamented that teachers in Quezon, his province, have to travel by kilometers to reach the school where they teach. Most of these public school educators, like the rest of workers in public service, have been forced to borrow money to augment their salaries to meet the basic needs of their families, he said.
Vergara said the disparity of compensation between teachers in private and public schools has resulted in the vast migration of teachers from private to public schools.
She said that in her district alone, the migration has resulted in the shutdown of five private schools. “And we don’t have enough classrooms in the public schools to accommodate the students affected by the closing down of these schools,” Vergara said.