Honoring our teachers


“The government’s dedication to uphold the welfare of our teachers, has already been yielding favorable results.

I strongly believe that teaching is one of the noblest and most indispensable professions in our society. Being a teacher is a great responsibility. A teacher is required to dedicate an enormous amount of time, resources and energy to provide our students with guidance, knowledge and wisdom as well as to nurture their individual talents and gifts so that our youth may realize their aspirations, reach their full potential and contribute to the advancement of society.

It is to show gratitude and appreciation to our teachers that, by virtue of Republic Act 10743, we celebrate and observe the National Teachers’ Day every fifth of October.

During this time, we honor our teachers and acknowledge their crucial role, loyal service and commitment not only in developing productive and conscientious Filipinos but also in creating, nurturing communities and a stronger nation. The occasion also aims to increase public awareness on the value of our teachers in society so as to encourage the younger generation of Filipinos to join this noble profession.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, whose mother was a public school teacher, has always been an advocate of the welfare of our teachers. That is why, after increasing the salaries of police officers and soldiers, Tatay Digong also wants to give public school teachers their due by increasing their pay as well. He has already directed the Cabinet to explore ways to raise the salaries of public school teachers by 2020.

Meanwhile, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) last April announced that more than 75,000 teaching positions will be created for the school year 2018 to 2019 to give jobs to teachers all over the country, especially those who have just graduated and passed their corresponding licensure exams. An abundance of job opportunities and prospects await those who wish to pursue teaching careers. Currently, we have 880,000 public school teachers nationwide.

The government’s dedication to uphold the welfare of our teachers, who are considered as the backbone of our education system, has already been yielding favorable results.

Last March, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced that the teacher-student ratio in the country has improved from 1 teacher per 45 students in prior years to 1 teacher per 31 students for primary and senior secondary school and 1 teacher per 36 students for junior secondary school.

Teacher education has also been regaining popularity as well. The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) has noted an increase in the enrollment in the education and teacher training track at all levels of tertiary education. From being third, teacher education is now the second most popular course among the 21 teaching groups classified by CHEd.

These are all great news for the country’s education system, which received another big boost with President Duterte’s signing of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act granting full tuition subsidy to students in State Universities and Colleges (SUC), local universities and colleges and state-run technical-vocational schools.

“The truth is the law took a tortuous path before becoming a reality.

The Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act was a result of the team effort between the Legislative and Executive branches of the government, contrary to the assertion of a certain re-electionist senator, by the name of Bam Aquino, who claims sole ownership over the passage of the legislation. But thanks to the power of Facebook and Twitter such “epal” move to credit-grab will not prosper in the age of the Internet.

The truth is the law took a tortuous path before becoming a reality. First of all, you cannot embark on such an ambitious and costly endeavor like this without first finding the source of funds through which you will pay it. But because of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act or TRAIN Law, which is the first package in the Duterte Administration’s Comprehensive Tax Reform Program, we can now fund the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act and other programs of government.

Moreover, the final law was the unified version of several different bills of several legislators from the lower and upper houses of Congress and not just Senator Bam Aquino. The bill also required a majority vote before being sent to the President for signature. Furthermore, President Duterte could have vetoed the bill just like the Presidents before him because of the enormous cost it would entail to the nation’s coffers. But he did not because he understands the benefits of such a legislation to the Filipino people.

Public service is a selfless endeavor. As public servants, we must be focused on rendering quality service to the Filipino people instead of wasting precious government resources to achieve one’s political agenda or personal ambitions. Our people deserve no less than our absolute commitment to make their lives better.