Amid the celebration of World Teachers’ Day today, October 5, Senator Win Gatchalian said that he will soon be filing a bill that aims to update the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (Republic Act No. 4670).
Among the new provisions that Gatchalian will introduce is the grant of a special hardship allowance to mobile teachers, including Alternative Learning System (ALS) teachers. Gatchalian also seeks to protect teachers from out-of-pocket expenses and non-teaching tasks. There are also provisions for teachers’ basic rights and longevity pay.
Gatchalian emphasized the need to ensure full implementation of the law aimed at improving the living and working conditions of public school teachers. He pointed out that it has been 57 years since the law was passed, yet some of its provisions have not been fully realized.
One such provision is Section 22, which entitles public school teachers to a free annual physical examination. Gatchalian noted that while the Department of Education (DepEd) has provided for some monetary medical assistance since 2019, there is still no program for the annual check-up of teachers as mandated by the Magna Carta.
Another concern is Section 26 of the law, which stipulates that a retiring teacher should be promoted one rank higher, and the salary of that rank should be the basis for calculating retirement benefits. However, the current method of computation used by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) relies on the average monthly compensation that the employee received during the last 36 months of service prior to retirement.
Furthermore, Gatchalian highlighted that while Section 31 of the Magna Carta requires the DepEd Secretary to submit the annual budgetary requirements to implement the Magna Carta, the agency only submits an omnibus budget request to Congress for its annual needs.
“Napapanahon na upang tiyakin nating tumutugon ang Magna Carta sa mga pangangailangan at hamong kinakaharap ng ating mga guro. Nakatakda tayong maghain ng panukalang batas na mag-aamyenda sa Magna Carta, at magpapanukala tayo ng mga bagong probisyong siguradong magtataguyod sa kapakanan ng ating mga guro,” said Gatchalian, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.