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Fast-Track Passage of Laws Benefiting Our Teachers – Legarda

October 5, 2010

IN CELEBRATION OF WORLD TEACHER’S DAY, SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA URGED HER COLLEAGUES IN THE CHAMBER TO PURSUE THE PASSAGE OF PROPOSED LAWS THAT SEEK TO PROMOTE THE WELFARE OF OUR TEACHERS, AMONG WHICH ARE THE FOLLOWING MEASURES SHE AUTHORED:
1. Senate Bill 1397, the Philippine Teachers’ Hospital Act – proposing the establishment of a special hospital as a primary medical facility for the hospitalization and medical care of teachers and their dependents;
2. Senate Bill 10, the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers – providing security of tenure to teachers, just compensation, non-wage benefits, continuous training;
3. Senate Bill 1429, Regionalizing the Department of Education Payroll System
4. Senate Resolution No. 3, Increasing the Compensation of the Uniformed Personnel in the Military Service, the Police Establishment, Teachers and Nurses.
In her manifestation at the Senate Floor, Legarda said there is an estimated 500,000 public school teachers nationwide who seek adequate remuneration.
“They demand that from the current Salary Grade 11 they would elevate to Salary Grade 15 and be provided with non-wage benefits, most importantly, medical benefits. ”
“Most teachers are also eager to undergo further training and studies—their fervent desire is such that they nevertheless would have done it using their own resources if only they had enough funds. Unfortunately, our teachers have limited resources even to sustain their own needs.”
Legarda said that for the year 2011, the Department of Education submitted a proposed budget of Php207.271 billion, of which only Php862 million would be allotted for human resources training and development including scholarship and fellowship grants to teachers.
“This amount is not enough to fund a long-term plan for the upgrading of teachers’ skills, especially those who must undergo specialization, and for the training of principals’ management skills. ”
“Without updated training, the efficiency of their teaching would be affected. We cannot give what we do not have; and so, teachers cannot impart something they do not know.”
The Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change also recognized the important role of teachers in leading the country to recovery in the wake of recent disasters.
“It is in the four corners of a classroom that a child, who survived a destructive typhoon, is given hope—the hope that with education, with the patience and loving guidance of a mentor, he will be able to leave behind the dark images of a disaster and start dreaming and working for a better life.”
Legarda emphasized, “Leading the way to recovery—that is the task given to our teachers. Ironically, teachers in our country also need to recover from the crisis caused not only by natural disasters and worldwide phenomena, but also the lack of concrete steps to address our teachers’ long-standing concerns and growing needs.”
“Let us reaffirm our support to our teachers and other non-teaching personnel in the education sector in their continuous quest for proper recognition that goes beyond lip service. Let us give them the benefits long due them which they rightly deserve, ” Legarda concluded.