By: Rommel F. Lopez

Bills aimed at raising public school teachers’ basic pay have been filed in both chambers ahead of the opening of the 18th Congress.

At the Senate, Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri filed the Basic Education Teachers Pay Increase Bill Act, which proposes to raise the compensation of teaching and non-teaching personnel in the public sector by P10,000 per month, to be paid in three tranches.

Zubiri said he would “guarantee” that the Senate would “take it up as priority measure for the first few months of this Congress.”

“Masyadong maliit ang sahod nila kumpara sa laki ng responsibilidad nila sa mga mag-aaral. Apart from this salary increase, I also propose to provide medical allowance, magna carta bonus, and support in the form of additional allowances and remuneration,” he said.

Zubiri said he was hoping the bill would breeze through committee hearings as he had gathered support from some of his fellow lawmakers, “including the new senators.”

At the House of Representatives, neophyte congresswomen have filed their own bills seeking pay hikes for teachers.

Rep. Precious Hipolito-Castelo (2D, Quezon City) filed House Bill No. 1020, which seeks to raise the basic salary of all public elementary and high school teachers to P30,000 regardless of their length of service.

A similar bill was filed by Rep. Joy Myra Tambunting (2D, Parañaque City). House Bill No. 643 seeks to raise the minimum salary grade level of public school teachers from Salary Grade 11 (P20,754) to Salary Grade 15 (P30,531).