ACT Teachers Party-list filed a bill mandating an increase in the minimum salary grade level of public school teachers, updating it from Salary Grade 11 to 15.

ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio filed House Bill 2142 or "The Public School Teachers' Salary Upgrading Act" to raise the minum pay of public school teachers from P15,649 to P24,887 per month.

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Public school teachers in elementary and secondary schools, including those in vocational and technical schools and state universities and colleges, whether nationally or locally funded, are covered by the bill.

"As stated in our party platform and as we said throughout the election campaign period, upgrading of teachers' salaries is our number one priority," Tinio said.

Tinio added that he was prompted to file the bill since the current pay of teachers does not ensure a decent standard of living for themselves and their families, and because their pay doesn't compare favorably with those in similarly-qualified occupations.

He noted that the family living wage in the National Capital Region, estimated at P957 per day or more than P21,054 per month, is in sharp contrast with the P15,649 monthly salary of a teacher.

"In order to cope with this 'living salary gap', teachers resort to borrowing and are heavily indebted to government financial institutions, or loan sharks," Tinio said.

The Teachers' Dignity Coalition (TDC) welcomed the move of the party-list group.

"That's a good move. The bill will get our full support. Upgrading of teachers' salaries is one of our 10-point agenda to P-Noy," TDC national chair Benjo Basas told Sun.Star. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)