Senator Win Gatchalian underscores the urgency of an oversight review of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers to address the persisting concerns on their salaries and working conditions.
Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, revealed Monday during a policy forum hosted by the Civil Society Network for Education Reforms (E-Net Philippines) that there is a strong need to fulfill all 27 provisions of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, whereby only eleven (11) of the provisions were accomplished, nine (9) are partially met while seven (7) remain to be realized.
“Isa po sa agarang gagawin natin ay ang magkaroon ng oversight sa Magna Carta dahil nakita po namin na 40 percent of the 27 provisions are fulfilled and 60 percent either partially or unfulfilled,” said Gatchalian.
“Meron talagang pangangailangan na itaas ang sweldo ng ating guro dahil naiiwan na ang mga Teachers I, II at III pagdating sa pay gap kumpara sa Master Teachers I, II at III,” he further said.
A Teacher I’s current monthly salary, which falls under Salary Grade (SG) 11, amounts to P20,754. A Master Teacher I, which falls under SG 18, receives a monthly salary of P40,637.
Republic Act No. 4670 or The Magna Carta for Public School Teachers was enacted as the country’s legislative commitment to the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers in 1966. The law aims to improve the social and economic status of teachers, improve their living and working conditions, terms of employment, and career prospects.
E-Net Philippines and teachers’ groups also flagged other provisions of the Magna Carta that are not properly implemented. These include a six-hour work schedule and benefits such as special hardship allowance, hazard pay, annual free medical check-up and hospitalization, among others.
Gatchalian emphasized, however, that not all provisions of the law require budgetary requirements to be fulfilled. The provision on teachers’ working hours, for instance, can be achieved by pushing the Department of Education to review and upgrade its policies.
“Talagang napakalaking hamon nito pagdating sa pagbibigay ng world-class teachers’ welfare program. Kapag sinabing world-class, hindi lang naman natin tinitingnan and sweldo pero maging ang iba pang mga pangangailangan na dapat nating naibibigay sa ating mga guro,” Gatchalian added.
He will file a resolution to conduct a hearing on the matter.