Salaries of Philippines teachers not enough for high cost of living

Jun. 05, 2007

MANILA – The crisis of the countrys educational system is reflected in the dire plight of its public school teachers, whose salaries are not even enough to keep up with the high cost of living, according to independent think-tank IBON Foundation.

Comparing the basic salary of the lowest paid public school teacher (P9,939 a month) with the monthly cost of living in the National Capital Region of P20,454.61 means there is a monthly gap of P10,515.61.

The last time public school teachers received a salary increase was in 2001.

Moreover, teachers actually receive only less than half their salaries in their pay checks due to deductions of 30 to 50 items, including contributions to the Government Services Insurance System and withholding tax. In addition, having to service loans at usurious rates further depletes many teachers pay checks.

Teachers also have to work longer hours because of the lack of classrooms and teachers. During school year 2005-2006, pupil-teacher ratio for the elementary level reached 1:35 while the secondary level had a ratio of 1:39.

The plight of the countrys public school teachers reflects how severe the crisis besetting the countrys public educational system has become under the Arroyo administration.

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