A PROPOSED law that seeks to increase teaching positions and expand the career ladder in public schools has been filed at the Senate.

Senator Ralph G. Recto filed Senate Bill 1131, which will add four more teaching positions and supply the missing rungs in the Education department’s career level.

“Many teachers in the teaching career line are stranded for years, in dead-end positions where their promotion is delayed or deemed impossible because of missing rungs in the Department of Education career ladder,” he said in the bill’s explanatory note.

“One reason often given on why only a few of the more than 200,000 Teacher III holders eventually make it to the Master Teacher items is the lack of available positions and the corresponding funding,” he added.

Under the bill, the Budget department will create the following teaching positions with the corresponding salary grades (SG): Teacher IV with SG-14 (P27,755); Teacher V with SG-15 (P30,531); Teacher VI with SG-16 (P33,584) and Teacher VII with SG-17 (P36,942).

Creating these positions will address the gaps in the professional continuity of teachers, Mr. Recto said.

“The four-salary grade gap between a Teacher III (SG-13) and a Master Teacher I (SG-18) pushes some of the teachers to shift to the school administration career line starting with Head Teacher I (SG-14) for higher compensation even as the job veers away from actual classroom teaching and regardless of their aptitude for supervisory duties and responsibilities,” he said.

Education officials have said they were looking at adding more positions after the first three teacher ranks, citing the large gap between them and the master teacher levels. Teacher III is immediately followed by Master Teacher I.

Education Undersecretary Tonisito M.C. Umali had said they could add the positions even without a law. — Gillian M. Cortez