Over 900,000 public school teachers across the country are set to receive their P1,000 World Teachers’ Day Incentive Benefit (WTDIB) on Oct. 5, the Department of Education and a congressional leader said on Monday.
DepEd spokesman Michael Poa confirmed that 925,178 teachers nationwide will receive their incentive by Wednesday and that the funds for this have been downloaded to the regional education offices.
“We have an itemized sum of P925 million that is meant to pay for the WTDIB of our teachers this year. The amount is specified in the 2022 General Appropriations Act,” Quezon City Rep. Marvin Rillo, House appropriations committee member, said.
“A special provision in this year’s budget law also stipulates that the money earmarked for the WTDIB will be released during the annual World Teachers’ Day celebration,” Rillo said.
“We also wish to assure our teachers that we in Congress are absolutely determined to sustain the annual funding for their WTDIB,” Rillo said.
A bill has been filed at the House of Representatives proposing to upgrade the minimum wage of public-school teachers in commemoration of World Teachers’ Day on October 5.
House Bill 4070, authored by Quezon City Rep. Patrick Michael Vargas, aims to adjust the minimum salary grade level of public-school teachers from Salary Grade (SG) 11 currently at Php 25,439 to SG 19 or Php 49,835.
The salary grade levels of those occupying higher positions shall then be adjusted accordingly.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Oct. 5 of every year as World Teachers’ Day to celebrate the crucial role of teachers in guiding children and adolescents through the learning process.
Republic Act 10743 also declared Oct. 5 of every year as National Teachers’ Day to pay tribute to those engaged in the teaching profession.
The observance marks the anniversary of the Oct. 5, 1966, global adoption of the UNESCO-International Labor Organization Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers.
The approved document proclaimed the international benchmarks on the rights and responsibilities of teachers.
It also laid down the universal standards for the initial preparation, recruitment, employment, and continuing education of teachers.
The UNESCO theme for World Teachers’ Day 2022 is: “The transformation of education begins with teachers.”
“With the rising costs of living, many teachers still struggle with the financial limitations of their profession while maintaining the delivery of quality education to our students amid the pandemic,” Vargas said on Monday.
Teacher organizations have been lobbying for a salary increase since the 18th Congress, arguing that Republic Act No. 11466 or the Salary Standardization Law of 2019 was not enough to sustain their living conditions amid inflation and the pandemic.
Similar bills filed in the 18th Congress failed to get past committee review, despite clamor from teacher groups.
“We must recognize the dedication and guarantee the retention of competent teachers by ensuring that the remuneration due to them is commensurate to their workload,” the Quezon City solon said.
There are now at least 15 bills filed in the 19th Congress seeking to increase the salary of teachers in the country and are all currently pending in the House Committee on Appropriations.
Vargas, a member of the Committee on Appropriations, has filed several pro-teacher bills in line with the National Teachers Month celebration, which include Teaching Supplies Allowance Bill (HB 4072); Distant Public School Teachers Incentive Bill (HB 4073), Health Care for Teachers Bill (HB 4074); and Housing Program for Teachers Bill (HB 4075), among others.
The salary upgrade for the teachers’ bill, along with the other pro-teacher bills, are refiled versions from the 18th Congress filed by Rep. Vargas’ brother and now incumbent QC Councilor Alfred Vargas.
“This World Teachers Day, it is my hope that we recognize and justly compensate our noble teachers who shape the minds that shape the nation,” Vargas said.