Higher minimum wage for public school teachers urged

October 2, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 107 views

QUEZON City 5th District Rep. PM Vargas has filed a bill seeking to upgrade the minimum wage of public school teachers in commemoration of World Teachers’ Day on October 5.

House Bill (HB) 4070 aims to adjust the minimum salary grade level of public school teachers from Salary Grade (SG) 11 currently at P25,439 to SG 19 or P49,835.

The salary grade levels of those occupying higher positions shall then be adjusted accordingly.

“With the rising costs of living, many teachers still struggle with the financial limitations of their profession while maintaining the delivery of quality education to our students amid the pandemic,” Vargas said.

Teacher organizations have been lobbying for salary increase since the 18th Congress, arguing that Republic Act (RA) No. 11466 or the Salary Standardization Law of 2019 was not enough to sustain their living conditions amid inflation and the pandemic.

Similar bills filed in the 18th Congress failed to get past committee review, despite clamor from teacher groups.

“We must recognize the dedication and guarantee the retention of competent teachers by ensuring that the remuneration due to them is commensurate to their work load,” Vargas said.

There are now at least 15 bills filed in the 19th Congress seeking to increase the salary of teachers in the country and are all currently pending in the House committee on appropriations.

Vargas, who is also a member of the House committee on appropriations, has filed several pro-teacher bills in line with the National Teachers Month celebration, which include: Teaching Supplies Allowance Bill (HB 4072); Distant Public School Teachers Incentive Bill (HB 4073), Health Care for Teachers Bill (HB 4074); and Housing Program for Teachers Bill (HB 4075), among others.

The salary upgrade for teachers bill, along with the other pro-teacher bills, are refiled versions from the 18th Congress filed by Rep. Vargas’ brother and now incumbent QC Councilor Alfred Vargas.

“This World Teachers Day, it is my hope that we recognize and justly compensate our noble teachers who shape the minds that shape the nation,” Vargas said.