THE GOVERNMENT is eyeing to give teachers additional benefits instead of raising their salaries, the Department of Education (DepEd) said on Wednesday.
The department wants to give public school teachers non-basic wage benefits such as allowances instead of further increasing their salaries to avoid an exodus of educators from private schools, DepEd spokesperson Michael T. Poa told a news conference.
“We will be looking into non-basic wage benefits that we can give them so they can have more benefits to take-home pay,” he said.
“If we increase the basic wage of the teachers, if we make it too high, it will really affect the private sector,” he added. “Teachers might transfer to the government or the private sector may not be able to give an equal pay and may lead to their closure.”
The plan was already presented to President R. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., according to Mr. Poa.
“He has instructed that to look into the non-basic wage benefits, we [should check] what can be added to increase the teachers’ take-home pay.”
ACT Teachers Party-list and Kabataan Party-list last month filed a bill adjusting the minimum salary of entry-level public school teachers from Salary Grade (SG) 11 to SG 15.
The proposal, which failed to get the nod of lawmakers at a committee level in the previous Congress, also adjusts the minimum salary of entry-level teachers in public universities and colleges from SG 12 to SG 16.
Meanwhile, Mr. Poa said DepEd is also planning to remove non-teaching tasks and responsibilities from teachers so they could focus on their main duty of educating.
DepEd will hire non-teaching personnel to do the administrative tasks currently handled by teachers, he said.
“We noticed that aside from teaching, they also have admin tasks,” Mr. Poa said. “To complement, we will perhaps have to hire non-teaching staff to handle those things.” — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza