World Teacher’s Day: Marcos to Prioritize Teacher’s Welfare, ACT Philippines Raise 7 Demands to Malacañang

By: Andrea Eleanor Cabaron
October 06, 2023

Teachers from various sectors of the education community demand several changes from the Malacanang. Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN.

In a Facebook post, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. paid tribute to teachers, citing their role in educating the youth. 

“Happy World Teachers’ Day to our educators, to whom our nation owes an immeasurable debt. We recognize your sacrifices for our youth and assure you that we will prioritize your welfare and that of your families.” 

He also stated in a separate Facebook post that teachers are the “heroes of children’s education.”

“As we thank you for all that you do, we also continue to work harder to improve your lives. The Marcos-Duterte administration will remain hard at work in addressing the needs of our schools, and our students.” Marcos Jr. added.

The Vice President and Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Sara Duterte accompanied the World Teacher’s Day celebration in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, saying that they also acknowledge the challenges that teachers face as they celebrate Teachers’ Day.

“Teaching is not an easy profession. It requires patience, dedication, and a genuine love for nurturing young minds. You teachers often work tirelessly, going above and beyond your call of duty to ensure that every student receives the attention and education they deserve,” Duterte stated.

Meanwhile, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines led teachers, education workers, and students to march last Thursday, October 5 to commemorate World Teacher’s Day. 

Carrying placards, balloons, and signages, the teachers gathered along Espana Boulevard in front of University of Santo Tomas and proceeded to march towards Mendiola Peace Arch to conduct a short program, raising the sector’s long-standing demands epitomized by the theme: “Gurong Pilipino, Manindigan Para sa Sweldo, Edukasyon, At Karapatan.”

Vladimir Quetua, the chair of ACT-NCR, claimed that they have a list of demands.

“May pito kaming pinaglalaban na ihahain namin at idudulog sa Malacanang. Pangunahin ang pagtaas ng sahod, usapin ng mga benepisyo, at irechannel yung confidential at intelligence fund at ibasura ang K-12,” Quetua elaborated.

The group’s 7 demands consists:

  1. Increase in teachers and education workers salaries

  2. Improvement of teachers and education workers benefits

  3. Address perennial education shortage for learning recovery

  4. Abolition of confidential funds and intelligence funds

  5. Full funding of the free college education program

  6. Uphold education workers’ right to freedom of association

  7. Junk K-12 curriculum and conduct nationwide genuine consultation with all stakeholders.

The National Teachers’ Month started last Sept. 5 and ended on Oct. 5. 

Every October 5, World Teachers' Day marks the implementation of the 1966 International Labor Organization-United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, setting the benchmark for teachers' rights and obligations as well as requirements for their employment and working and learning environments.