MANILA — The Department of Education (DepEd) is appealing to public school teachers not to push through with their threat to go on mass leave when classes resume on June 2 if their demand for a salary increase is not met.
DepEd Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo said that while the department recognizes the right of the teachers to express their grievances, they must not resort to any means that will disrupt the operations of public schools nationwide.
“We ask our teachers to put the interest of students in their mind and relay their concerns in a peaceful and diplomatic manner. While we respect the rights of everyone, the right of education is paramount,” Mateo said during the Inter-Agency Command Conference held Tuesday at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan, DepEd Complex in Ortigas, Pasig City.
He reiterated that the department is supporting calls for raising the income of teachers in view of their important contribution to bringing knowledge and molding the minds of young people.
“DepEd supports any measures that will benefit our teaching and non-teaching staff. We agree with their demand for salary increase as this would help improve their economic condition and motivate them to improve their performance,” he said.
In a previous interview, the assistant secretary explained that although the department may increase the wage of the instructors, they have to comply with the provisions set by the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) for government employees.
“We are appealing to Congress to pass a bill that would amend the provisions of the SSL so that our educators will be able to earn their well-deserved benefit because of their important role to the society,” Mateo said.
Under the said law, a public school teacher earns a basic pay of P18,549.
A bill has been filed in the House of Representatives by Magdalo Party-list Representatives Francisco Ashley Acedillo and Gary Alejano which seeks to adjust the income of teachers from P18,500 to at least P36,000.
House Bill No. 4801 seeks to upgrade the salary grade level of teachers in public elementary and secondary levels from Salary Grade (SG) 11 to SG 20.
Government employees under SG 20 have a basic salary rate of P36,657.
The salary would be adjusted based on their qualifications and their length of service.