Lawmaker files bill to amend Magna Carta for public school teachers

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 24) — A lawmaker is seeking to amend the Magna Carta for public school teachers, saying it should be updated to reflect the concerns and issues educators are facing today.

ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro filed House Bill no. 8054 on Nov. 23, hoping to reflect the significant changes that happened in the 54 years since Republic Act No. 4670 or the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers was enacted.

"Many changes in the conditions of the public education system have occurred which would require the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers to be revisited and updated," the assistant minority leader said in a statement on Tuesday. "HB 8058 or the Magna Carta of Public School Teachers revisits and updates provisions from RA 4670 which will reflect the demands of public school teachers of the 21st century."

Included in the proposed magna carta are shorter teaching hours, better protection for those hired under probationary status, limitations on allowable salary deductions, and health benefits.

The bill also sought to protect teachers to form unions.

"Protection of rights of teachers to organize unions, substantive rights related to sex and gender, broader protection with regards to rights, benefits and leaves under other laws are also expressed in the proposed amended Magna Carta," Castro said.

She added that there would be heavier penalties meted out to those who would violate the provisions of the charter.

"Fifty-four years is a long time, many changes in teaching methods, requirements and demands have been made," she said. "Now that teachers are asked to be 21st century teachers, it is high time that the Magna Carta of public school teachers also reflect 21st century demands for adequate salaries and benefits that commensurate to their functions and status, a more humane terms and conditions of work be realized and for greater protection in the performance of their duties within and outside schools be observed of public school teachers."