Senator Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian

Senator Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian on Wednesday said the salary increase for public school teachers is already overdue and should be the priority of the next administration.

Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture, is pushing to raise the salary of Teacher I from Salary Grade 11 (PHP25,439) to Salary Grade 13 (PHP29,798) or Salary Grade 14 (PHP32,321).

“In terms of entry-level salaries, Filipino teachers are already left behind by their peers in other Asean countries like Indonesia (PHP66,099) and Singapore (PHP60,419),” he said in a statement.

Gatchalian emphasized the importance of boosting the morale of teachers who have been ensuring that students continue to learn amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Sa pagtugon natin sa krisis sa sektor ng edukasyon, mahalagang itaguyod natin ang kapakanan ng mga guro at tiyakin nating mataas ang kanilang morale, lalo na’t malaking bahagi sila sa pagkatuto ng mga kabataan (While we are responding to the crisis of education sector, it is important that we also support the welfare of our teachers and ensure that they have high morale, especially that they are a big part of our students’ learning),” Gatchalian said.

Last month, acting presidential spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said an increase in teachers’ salaries might soon be realized despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I’m sure mayroon ding pagtaas ng suweldo sa mga guro natin. Mahal ni Tatay Digong ang ating mga guro (I’m sure there will be an increase in the salaries of our teachers. Tatay Digong loves our teachers),” he said during the “Ask Me Anything, Anywhere” segment aired on his Facebook page.

Duterte, in several speeches, said teachers are very important to him because his late mother Soledad was also a teacher.

Andanar said he will ask Education Secretary Leonor Briones for updates regarding plans to raise teachers’ pay.

The education sector obtained the largest increase in the approved 2022 national budget with PHP788.5 billion which is expected to help various reforms and initiatives for the country’s education sector amid the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic. (PNA)

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