Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto recently proposed four new teacher positions to bridge the huge gap from Teacher III to Master Teacher I. If this becomes law, thousands of teachers would certainly be happy.
Unknown to most members of the general public, most of the public school teachers have the positions of Teacher I to III with Salary Grades of 11 to 13. This means that they are receiving a basic monthly salary of Php20,754 for Teacher I, Php22,938 for Teacher II, or Php25,232 for Teacher III.
After the Teacher III position, the next rank is Master Teacher I that pays a basic monthly salary of Php40,637.
Photo credit: DepEd
While the huge increase between the two positions sounds awesome to the public, the reality is that the Department of Education (DepEd) has no funds to promote everyone; there are only very limited slots starting from the Master Teacher I position, up. Thus, most teachers are stuck at Teacher III.
In fact, according to Recto, while there are close to 772,000 teachers from Teacher I to III, very few make it to the Master Teacher levels.
The basic monthly salary might be Php40,637 for Master Teacher I, but there are only 39,950 teachers with this rank all over the country. Master Teacher II pays Php45,269 but there are only 15,828 under this rank. And there are only 65 Master Teacher III in the country; they earn Php51,155 a month.
“Many are stranded for years, or even forever, in deadend positions where promotion is delayed or impossible because of missing rungs in the DepEd career ladder,” Recto explained.
“Teachers joke that they entered the DepEd as bachelorettes, and now that they are grandmothers, they are still at Teacher III.”
Photo credit: MSN
Four new positions will close the gap, explained Recto; his proposal pushes for the creation of the ranks Teacher IV to VII, with salary grades corresponding from 14 to 17.
“These are the bridge items to Master Teacher I. Creating them is only just and fair,” he added.
“One of the pillars of civil service is the predictability of meritorious promotion. In the case of the DepEd, there seems to be a glass ceiling which prevents the career progression of the truly deserving.”
Under Recto’s proposal, a Teacher IV (Salary Grade 14) will receive Php27,755, Teacher V (Salary Grade 15) will receive Php30,531, Teacher VI (Salary Grade 16) will receive Php33,584, and Teacher VII (Salary Grade 17) will receive Php36,942.