Press Release
October 4, 2011

Cayetano pushes for decent pay for Filipino teachers
on World Teachers Day

Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano raised concern on reports that teachers are among those crossing borders of strife torn countries of Tunisia and Egypt to be able to work in Libya.

He said although the government's full deployment ban is still in effect in these countries, particularly Libya, many Filipino professionals including teachers are taking the risky path to have jobs.

There are 59 teachers now bound for Libya, according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). They were able to seek working visas in Tunisia and Egypt but they will just use these places as entry point to Libya.

Cayetano raised the concern as the United Nations commemorates World Teachers Day on October 5.

"We have seen the exodus of Filipino teachers in the last ten years to work as domestic helpers in HongKong or as caregivers in Canada and London," said Cayetano, adding the situation is now even worse with teachers "risking their lives for high paying jobs in strife torn Libya."

Cayetano pointed out the need to increase the compensation and benefits of public school teachers in order to mitigate the growing number of teachers who opt to work abroad in hopes of a higher paying job.

"The reason why we are having a hard time protecting our countrymen abroad is because we lack the necessary initiatives to keep them here in our country and protect their rights to adequate livelihood opportunities and just compensation," he added.

Cayetano is seeking the immediate passage of Senate Bill No. 2353 also known as " Teachers Compensation Bill" that aims to allocate P9,000 worth of additional compensation to public school teachers. The amount will be given in tranches within a three year period.

According to the Cayetano, the proposal also include P1,000 annual allowance for medical check-up and a Magna Carta bonus to public school teachers and non teaching personnel of the Department of Education.

He said public school teachers belong to the country's "poor sector" because their monthly salary falls below the poverty threshold indicated by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

Cayetano has pointed out that a public school teacher earns an average of P10,933 monthly, but with the mandatory deductions such as GSIS, Pag Ibig, etc, their take home pay will further shrink to around P8,000.

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