DepEd eyes giving teachers additional benefits instead of salary increase

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 27 2022 01:59 PM

Members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers hold a protest outside the House of Representatives in Quezon City on July 18, 2022. The group urged the congress to fast-track bills to increase teachers’ salaries and called for an increase in education budget in the coming national budget deliberations. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers hold a protest outside the House of Representatives in Quezon City on July 18, 2022. The group urged the congress to fast-track bills to increase teachers’ salaries and called for an increase in education budget in the coming national budget deliberations. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Department of Education (DepEd) is planning to give additional benefits to teachers instead of further raising their salaries, its spokesperson said Wednesday.

In a press conference, DepEd Spokesperson Michael Poa said the plan was already presented to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who instructed the agency to further study the proposal.

"We will be looking into non-basic wage benefits that we can give them para naman madagdagan 'yong take-home nila," he said, though he refused to specify the benefits to avoid "preempting" DepEd's study.

(We will be looking into non-basic wage benefits that we can give them so they can have more benefits to take home.)

Poa explained that the DepEd chose to give more benefits instead of a wage hike to avoid making public school teachers' salaries "too high," which may lead to an exodus of educators from private schools.

"If we increase the basic wage of the teachers, if we make it too high, it will really affect the private sector kasi either lilipat 'yong teachers in the private sector to the government, or baka hindi kayanin ng private sector tapatan, baka magsara 'yong private sector," he said.

(If we increase the basic wage of the teachers, if we make it too high, it will really affect the private sector because either teachers in the private sector will transfer to the government or the private sector may not be able to give an equal pay and may lead to their closure.)

Poa noted that teachers' salaries have been increasing annually since 2019 under the Salary Standardization Act, the final tranche of which would be implemented next year.

The DepEd has yet to discuss calls from various groups to upgrade entry-level teachers' Salary Grade from 11 to 15, Poa added.

He also cited a recent executive order that created new teaching positions, providing "professional growth and career advancements" for state mentors.

Poa said the DepEd may also hire additional non-teaching staff to relieve teachers of administrative tasks, which can improve the quality of teaching.

"Ang plano natin, we need to upskill 'yong ating teachers. So dahil doon, ang gagawin natin is mag-focus muna sila sa teaching, tatanggalin natin 'yong admin tasks," he said.

(Our plan is we need to upskill our teachers. So because of that, what we will do is make them focus on teaching, and take away admin tasks from them.)

The plan to relieve teachers of administrative tasks is part of the DepEd's ongoing curriculum review, aimed to improving the delivery of basic education.

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