Bill to raise teachers' pay by P9T pending at House
Manila (14 August) -- ONE more hurdle and public school teachers could increase their take-home pay by P9T, one that would put them at the same level with the country's cops and soldiers pay.
The last barrier, said Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Jesli Lapus is the House of Representatives.
Lapuz, along with DepED authorities have been lobbying for the approval of House Bill 4734, which authorizes public school teachers to be compensated an additional one-time increase of P9,000 within three years of its becoming law and another P3,000 every year thereafter.
The bill's Senate counterpart, Senate Bill 2408, has been passed on second reading, Lapuz reported.
"The welfare of teachers and the benefits due them are foremost in our priority," Lapus also reiterated.
"DepEd gives its full support for the approval of House Bill 4734 and Senate Bill 2408 because we have always been cognizant of the need to improve the lot of our teachers," Lapus said.
When Lapus assumed office at DepEd in 2006 he immediately worked for the updating of teachers' service records (SR).
For years, teachers complained of unauthorized deductions in their contributions with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) because of discrepancies in the records of DepEd and GSIS.
Just 6.6 per cent of the SRs remains unencoded though already submitted to GSIS.
Last year, DepEd paid about P1.7 billion in arrears representing government shares in GSIS contribution for teachers.
DepEd explained the arrears resulted from the increase in GSIS premium from 9.5 per cent to 12 per cent for the period from July 1997 to December 1998.
Another P862 million was released to cover employees' compensation insurance premium adjustments when the GSIS increased the premium from P30 to P100.
DepEd also released P400 million last year to partially settle unpaid loyalty pays, step increments and other entitlements of DepEd personnel especially teachers. This is in addition to the P388 million released to cover PhilHealth premium adjustments because of the increase in premiums from P100 to P112.
In November 2007, DepEd signed a memorandum of agreement with Gawad Kalinga, Pag-Ibig Fund, and some pioneering local government units to undertake an affordable housing program for its more than 90,000 teachers who do not have their own homes yet.
Another beneficial move for teachers under Lapus is the reduced actual classroom working hours for teachers under guidelines set in June, in consonance with a Civil Service Commission ruling. (PNA) [top]