SENATOR Loren Legarda yesterday called for the passage of the proposed measure seeking to provide more benefits and greater protection to teachers and non-teaching personnel in all levels of public and private schools, and state universities and colleges.
In line with the celebration of National Teachers’ Month (September 5-October 5), Legarda filed Senate Bill No. 36, known as the “Integrated Magna Carta of Teachers and Non-Teaching Personnel” that aims to strengthen and amend certain provisions of Republic Act No. 4670 or the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, which was passed into law 50 years ago.
“Teachers are invaluable to our society. The value of their commitment to mold the character and values of the youth cannot be overemphasized. They are likewise most reliable in serving the general welfare, notably when they serve during election period and when they aid the Philippine Statistics Authority in gathering data from households across the country,” said Legarda.
Despite the nobility of the profession, the shortage of teachers remains a major setback in providing the constitutional right to education.
According to the Department of Education (DepEd), about 114,304 additional teachers were needed to accommodate the number of enrollees in 2015 alone.
The proposed measure addresses the need to attract more teachers and non-teaching personnel of competent and efficient skills by providing, among others, an annual salary increase to mitigate the effects of inflation, security payment of their salaries on a monthly basis regardless of semestral or summer vacations, and gratuity benefit for those who choose to retire before reaching the compulsory age of 60 and have rendered at least two years of service.
“Our teachers, who continue to endure the dismal conditions of shortages in school facilities, meager benefits, hardships and sacrifices for the well-being of the youth, deserve worthy compensation, and not just verbal accolades, for their noble profession,” Legarda said.