THE House of Representatives has cut nearly P30 billion from the proposed budget of the Department of Education (DepEd) for next year due to the latter’s “slow use of funds.”
And some government officials, including Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto of Batangas, want the slashed budget to increase the take-home pay of public school teachers.
Of course, nobody will argue with Recto, one of the country’s top economists, when he said that there’s that urgent need to raise the various allowances of state-employed mentors.
“We can double the chalk allowance, raise the uniform allowance, implement step increments so that teachers will move up the pay scale, and increase the operating fund of schools,” he said.
On top of these increases, the government may also come up with new tax exemption rates so that teachers will either pay zero tax or smaller tax on their income, according to the senator.
Recto described the proposed measures as “interim and doable,” which can take effect in 12 weeks or by Jan. 1, 2018.
Increasing the take home pay of government-employed teachers will go a long way in improving the quality of education in public elementary and high schools throughout the country.
Everybody concedes that we need quality education to help prepare this impoverished but manpower-exporting nation and our youngsters in the highly-competitive world of business and other fields.
Likewise, we also share the view of well-meaning Filipinos, including our educators, that if we want quality education in public schools, then we should be willing to pay for it.
Thus, we should help begin an honest look at quality education by legislating a higher pay for our school teachers and the rest of the country’s overworked but underpaid public servants.