SEN. Sherwin Gatchalian called for an urgent oversight review of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers to address the persisting concerns on their salaries and working conditions.
Gatchalian, who heads the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, revealed that there was a strong need to fulfill all 27 provisions of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, whereby only 11 of the provisions were accomplished and nine partially met while seven remained to be realized.
“Isa po sa agarang gagawin natin ay ang magkaroon ng oversight sa Magna Carta dahil nakita po namin na 40 percent of the 27 provisions are fulfilled and 60 percent either partially or unfulfilled (We will prioritize the formation of an oversight of the Magna Carta after we discovered that 40 percent of the 27 provisions are fulfilled and 60 percent either partially or unfulfilled),” said Gatchalian.
“Meron talagang pangangailangan na itaas ang sweldo ng ating guro dahil naiiwan na ang mga Teachers 1, 2 at 3 pagdating sa pay gap kumpara sa Master Teachers 1, 2 at 3 (There’s really a need to raise the salaries of our teachers because Teachers 1, 2 and 3 are already behind when it comes to pay gap compared to Master Teachers 1, 2, and 3),” he further said.
A Teacher 1’s current monthly salary, which falls under Salary Grade (SG) 11, amounts to P20,754. A Master Teacher 1, which falls under SG 18, receives a monthly salary of P40,637.
Republic Act 4670, or “The Magna Carta for Public School Teachers,” was enacted as the country’s legislative commitment to the International Labor Organization and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s recommendation concerning the status of teachers in 1966. The law aims to improve the social and economic status of teachers, improve their living and working conditions, terms of employment and career prospects.
E-Net Philippines and teachers’ groups also flagged other provisions of the Magna Carta that were not properly implemented. These include a six-hour work schedule and benefits such as special hardship allowance, hazard pay, annual free medical check-up and hospitalization, among others.
Gatchalian emphasized, however, that not all provisions of the law had budgetary requirements. The provision on teachers’ working hours, for instance, can be achieved by pushing the Department of Education to review and upgrade its policies.