The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay Tuesday has laid out his plans to improve teachers’ welfare, including raising their basic salary.
“The Vice President will ask the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council, which he plans to convene immediately under his presidency, to include bills increasing teachers’ salaries and benefits among other priorities,” Joey Salgado, media affairs head for the Office of the Vice President, said on Tuesday.
“We are looking at adjusting the salary of a Teacher 1 from the salary Grade 11 (P18,549) to at least salary Grade 19 (P33,859),” he added.
Salgado noted that low compensation forces many educators to leave their profession and the country for jobs abroad.
Teachers last received a salary increase in 2012.
Salgado said Binay intends to provide teachers increased instructional materials allowance, study grants for their children, tax exemptions for additional benefits given to them and funeral assistance through discounts in burial services.
The Vice President also plans to give public school teachers study leaves with pay every so many years, to enable them to upgrade their knowledge and teaching skills, he added.
Implementing these plans entails a huge budget and that is why the Vice President would push for a 20-percent increase in the share of the education budget.
“Several bills on education are now filed in the Senate, including Senator Nancy Binay’s Public School Teachers’ Incentives Act of 2013 [SB 2006],” Salgado said.
“A Binay presidency will push for such notable bills, especially those providing benefits to the teachers, and those that will increase appropriations for education,” he added.
In a statement on the celebration of World Teachers’ Day, October 5, Binay praised the contribution of teachers to his personal success.
“Education is the most effective social equalizer. What and where I am today–all that I have achieved–I have done so because of the education that I was fortunate enough to receive,” he said.
“But more than this, I was also fortunate enough to have been under the tutelage of teachers who taught, not merely because it was their job to do so, but because they valued and loved their profession. Their passion to impart knowledge as well as wisdom to the impressionable young minds that was theirs to mold never wavered,” Binay added.
The Vice President, however, also expressed disappointment over the plight of Filipino educators, many of whom are forced to look for other jobs overseas because of meager salaries here.