‘Pinoy teachers among lowest paid in Asia’

MANILA, Philippines – As the world commemorates World Teacher’s Day today, a party-list representative lamented that Filipino teachers are among the lowest paid in Asia.

Gabriela party-list Rep. Luz Ilagan, who taught at the Ateneo de Davao University for four decades, said “not only is it a dishonor, it is also an injustice for our teachers to teach amid conditions of scarcity and slave-like compensation.”

Citing a 2009 study by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Ilagan said teachers in the country only receive a 10% to 15% increase in salary after 15 years of experience.

Salaries of teachers from Malaysia, Thailand and Japan almost doubled within the same period, she noted.

“Teachers must be justly compensated for their work. Our teachers are among the least compensated in the region,” she said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Ilagan then urged President Benigno Aquino III to “honor teachers by reversing the budget cuts on education and concretely addressing the shortages in classrooms, teaching positions and textbooks.”

According to the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, the government needs to allocate P91.5 billion for classroom shortages and other facilities.

“As the world honors the women and men tasked to mold future generations, it is but fitting to call on those who have been molded to become leaders of our nation to return the favor and ensure that future generations will have teachers sufficiently equipped to give children quality education,” Ilagan said.

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