MANILA – Quezon City 5th District Rep. Patrick Michael Vargas on Monday filed a bill seeking to upgrade the salary grade level of public school teachers in commemoration of World Teachers’ Day on Oct. 5.
The proposed measure, House Bill (HB) No. 4070, aims to adjust the minimum salary grade level of public school teachers from Salary Grade (SG) 11 currently at PHP25,439 to SG 19 or PHP49,835.
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 increases since the 18th Congress, arguing that Republic Act 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 passage with the committee review, despite clamor from teachers' groups.
“We must recognize the dedication and guarantee the retention of competent teachers by ensuring that the remuneration due to them is commensurate with their workload,” 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 pending in the House Committee on Appropriations.
Vargas, who is also a member of the Committee on Appropriations, has filed several pro-teacher bills in line with the National Teachers Month celebration, which includes: 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 measures, 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. (PNA)