Loren Legarda twisted the truth about upgrading the salary grade of public school teachers


THIS IS IN REACTION TO THE ARTICLE ENTITLED “Tempers fly in vice presidential debate.” (Inquirer, 3/23/10) 

We would like to refute the accusation of Sen. Loren Legarda that Sen. Mar Roxas, as the Senate education committee chair, did not conduct hearings on a bill she filed to increase teachers’ wages.

Legarda was referring to her Senate Bill (SB) 1611 which sought to upgrade the salary grade of public school teachers. Legarda’s bill, along with other similar bills, were discussed and consolidated by the committee—the end-result being Senate Bill 2408.

SB 2408, titled the “Educators in Basic Education Compensation Act,” seeks to provide additional compensation to public school teachers, among others. It was filed under Committee Report No. 77 on June 11, 2008; on the same date, the Senate approved SB 2408 on second reading without amendments. A month and a half later, on July 29, 2008, the Senate passed and approved SB 2408 on third reading; Roxas voted in its favor. It was sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence two days later, on July 31, 2008. Since then, the bill has been pending in the lower house. The complete legislative history of SB 2408 is publicly viewable, accessible and downloadable at http://www.senate.gov.ph.

At this juncture, we would like to give credit where credit is due. Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano was the Senate education committee chair at that time, and Legarda might have been referring to his hard work and diligence with her remarks in the “Harapan” debate. It is quite unfortunate that Legarda overlooked, if not ignored, this accomplishment of Cayetano. For the record, Roxas assumed the position of Senate education committee chair only on Nov. 24, 2008.

Notwithstanding the fact that SB 2408 is still pending in the House of Representatives, it is significant to note that Congress passed Joint Resolution 4 (JR 4), which increased the compensation and benefits of all government employees, including public school teachers. Roxas was among the authors of JR No. 4, which initially took effect on July 1, 2009 and became fully affective on Jan. 1, 2010. This clearly refutes Legarda’s unfounded accusation against Roxas.

In the spirit of fairness, we hope that Legarda, being a former journalist herself, would check her facts first before making any unwarranted accusation that would distort the truth and mislead the public.

director general, Liberal Party,

 yo, loren... talaga lang ha! pati din pala ikaw parang si villar?


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