DepEd pushes additional benefits for teachers

DepEd pushes additional benefits for teachers

Amid calls for an increase in the salary of teachers, the Department of Education (DepEd) is pushing for more benefits to be given to them.

The DepEd will “review and propose additional benefits for public school teachers,” Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla told reporters during a visit yesterday at Signal Village National High School in Taguig City, led by Education Secretary Leonor Briones and Taguig City Mayor and representative-elect Lani Cayetano.

DepEd had earlier proposed adding so-called “special hardship” and “teaching overload” allowances as forms of honoraria for teachers, Sevilla said at a press briefing.

In a statement in October last year, the DepEd defined the hardship allowance as an honorarium for teachers assigned in difficult posts, who handle multigrade classes or carry out mobile teaching functions; and overload allowance as remuneration for teachers who put in more than six hours of classroom teaching.

Sevilla added the agency is also proposing that a fund be created to cover the yearly medical examination for teachers, hence, becoming a benefit.

The DepEd will also recommend a system of promotion for teachers based on merit or performance, so they will not remain on the same level from where they started until retirement.

Briones, however, maintained that the government must collect additional taxes to provide the salary increase that they had long been asking, when she was asked again about the pressing concern of salary hike for teachers.

“If you think over 900,000 teachers will have an increase of P10,000, it will cost us P150 billion on top of the more than P500-billion budget… Let us ask our citizens, are you ready to pay P150 billion more?” the education chief said.

Meanwhile, P75 billion worth of additional taxes must also be collected should an increase of P5,000 for teachers’ salaries be approved. Briones cited a study from the National Economic and Development Authority as basis for her stand.

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