Qualified public-school teachers are set to receive their P1,000 World Teachers’ Day Incentive Benefit, the chairman of the House committee on basic education and culture said over the weekend.
“The sum of P800 million meant to pay for the WTDIB of qualified public-school teachers is provided for and fully funded in this year’s General Appropriations Act,” Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo said.
The Department of Education has already issued the guidelines for the payment of the incentive benefit, Romulo said.
Meanwhile, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto called on the DepEd and the Department of Budget and Management to hasten the creation of four new teaching positions with corresponding salary grades to close the large salary gap between Teacher III and Master Teacher I positions.
Recto said positions for Teacher IV, V, VI, and VII should be created with Salary Grades 14, 15, 16, 17, respectively, as currently there is a P15,000 monthly pay and a four-salary grade gap between a Teacher III, who at SG13 earns P25,232 a month, and a Master Teacher I (SG 18, P40,637).
“Nearly 772,000 public teachers are faced with a career roadblock because of a curable problem in the DepEd plantilla system,” the senator said.
“Many are stranded for years, or even forever, in dead-end positions where promotion is delayed or impossible because of missing rungs in the DepEd career ladder,” he added.
The group Save the Children Philippines also hailed teachers for instilling values, shaping young minds and striving to ensure that learners reach their full potential.
Alberto Muyot, chief executive officer of Save the Children, said teachers significantly impact children’s growth and development.
“We salute the hard work, dedication and talents of our teachers who stand side by side with Save the Children Philippines to ensure that children continue to learn and develop,” said Muyot in a statement.
Romulo said the P800 million “is for this year. Next year, another P900 million has been earmarked to pay for the WTDIB in the proposed 2020 national budget that the House recently approved.”
He said the bigger allocation anticipates that a greater number of teachers, to include new hires, would be entitled to receive the incentive benefit in 2020.
Under DepEd Order 026, issued on Sept. 19, 2019, the P1,000 WTDIB “shall be given to each entitled public school teacher not earlier than Oct. 5,” which is celebrated across the globe as World Teachers’ Day.
The incentive benefit “shall be granted to all public school teachers (as defined under the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers) who are in the service at DepEd as of Sept. 30, 2019,” except those:
· On absence without leave (AWOL) as of Sept. 30, 2019;
· No longer in service as of Sept. 30, 2019;
· Found guilty of any offense in connection with their work from Sept. 18, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2019; and
· Hired after Sept. 30, 2019.
Romulo said as of April, the DepEd had a total of 847,000 authorized teaching positions, of which 806,000 had been filled.