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Why public school teachers tend to overborrow


By Merlina Hernando-Malipot

In an attempt to find out why public school teachers tend to overborrow money from various lending institutions, the Department of Education (DepEd) will look into their “spending patterns” as well as into other possible factors why their propensity to borrow is higher compared to other government employees.



Education Secretary Leonor Briones, in an earlier interview, noted that as a researcher and an academician, she wants to find out more about the culture of borrowing among public school teachers. “I want to find out that’s why I’m looking at their spending patterns and looking into their propensity to borrow compared to other households,” she said.

Briones said aside from the unpaid loans, “the bigger problem is the propensity to borrow and we have to understand why does it happen and why is it happening in a more prevalent way than any other employee of government?”

Citing a study of the Philippine Institute for Developmental Studies (PIDS) on households, Briones noted that the propensity of public school teachers to borrow is 50 percent higher compared to other employees of the government such as the police and nurses.

“This is something that we have to understand,” Briones said. “I have already been thinking about this, why is that so?” she added. Groups of teachers such as the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) and the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) have been claiming that the primary reason why most educators – particularly in the public sector – avail of so many loans is that their salary “is not enough for a decent living.”

However, Briones said many public school teachers – especially those who been promoted and have spent long years in service – have higher salaries compared to other government employees. They also enjoy other incentives – both from the national and local governments. Among these are a two-month paid vacation during summer break, clothing and “chalk” allowances, Christmas bonuses, and performance bonuses.

Briones also noted that public school teachers – compared to their counterparts in small private schools in the provinces – are also paid “30 percent higher.” And when compared to private schools in Mindanao, she added that public school teachers are also paid “50 percent higher.”

“Another question is what do they spend their borrowed money on?” Briones said. Before, she noted that teachers borrow money to pay for the tuition of their children.

But now, based initial findings, Briones noted that teachers spend on a variety of things including travel abroad. “There’s nothing wrong in traveling abroad but what is the choice that you will make? They have to make financial choices among themselves,” she said.

Briones also noted that many public school teachers tend to continue borrowing even if they already have loans from various lending institutions.

“They are under the false illusion that they are under the P4,000 net take home pay but what they don’t realize is that the loans accumulate,” Briones said. One teacher, she explained, has P5,000 take home pay because “he has loans from seven lending institutions.”

Aside from the possibility of not receiving any pay once they retire, public school teachers may also suffer sanctions – from mere reprimand to revocation of their licenses to teach – due to their unpaid loans.

Data from the Philippine Regulation Commission (PRC) showed that there are more than 500 pending cases versus teachers filed by various lending institutions in the past three years.

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    Teachers’ money attitude falls squarely under ‘PSYCHOLOGICAL WALLET’. Bo Sachez I think has a material for this.

  • lyn

    ask the teachers why do they overborrow…i dont think teachers are maluho… karamihan nga mukhang katulong dahil di man lang makabili ng magarang damit dahil inuuna ang panggastos sa pamilya…ang mga nakaka afford ng luho ay yung talaagang mayaman na, bago pa man mag teacher.

  • Botodsmountain Jose

    that’s only clear that teachers are financially illiterate.

    • lyn

      It’s also clear that you are not in the system and that’s why you can’t see what’s happening in the field. Have you tried spending your salary for your clients without reimbursements? No? Well we do it as our clients are our students who by the way are sometimes not provided with the basic needs by their own parents.

      • anonymous

        its also clear that you have only worked for public school…try working for private schools. Same load lower salary.

  • Yvonne Eligado

    Hahaha…my teachers were both parents who had difficulty meeting our family’s needs as children. It was a cycle…utang for our daily needs,,,bayad tang….utang….bayad tang…walang katapusang utang. It was a cycle! Consequently my father went overseas, otherwise, we would have not finished schooling. By saying that teachers are financially illiterate, the government put blame on our dedicated teachers, on something that they should be doing. Why not look at how dedicated they are? Nagbubuwis buhay para lang makaturo sa mga bata lalo na sa far flung areas. My God! Some of them even shell out their own money for renting boats just to reach islands or hard to reach places. Ang nanay ko noon, nangungutang ng pera para lang makabili ng chalk. Chalk! Tell me, doon sa mga nagsasabing financially illiterate any mga teachers, kaya niyo bang gawin yan? It is the system, hindi ang mga teachers any may problema!

    • lyn


  • Gracey Zaragoza

    Speaking in behalf of the other teachers and as a teacher as well,, our salary isnt just ours or for our families, we also just give it back to the kids who goes to school that havent eaten anything..those who don’t have “baons” with them..those who doesn’t have notebooks or pencils and other school supplies..another thing is, teachers are known to be the Jack of all trades, we are assigned to different coordinatorships, and we are expected to have an output from our coordinatorships like training the school choir for example, kids that have potential to sports but doesn’t have the capacity to provide for himself in the financial aspect..and the department doesn’t provide the financial support for that case..so the teacher, as the coach, or as the trainer, doesn’t have a choice but to spend his/her own money to sustain..we are not overspending,,we just simply dont have a choice….

  • Hazel Gerada

    My mother was a public school teacher in a town, until she retired. I am aware that she and many others borrowed money — not for travels and wants , but for survival. One of the major reasons fo borrowing? Delayed salary (early-mid ’90s). I remember there were months when delay could reach 3 months! As a result, loan sharks would offer ‘help’ at 15-20% interest per month. This brought them into a quagmire of debt.

    Plans of the agency may look good on paper and in the national level, but I hope a more stringent accountability system is in place to ensure that teachers to the towns/barrios are supported as they should.

    Chalk? Cleaning implements? Etc… I am sure my mother and her co-teachers had to buy their own supplies, or had to get things from their houses to become ‘classroom use.’

    Sad, but this is a reality :(

    In all of these, I did not hear mother complaining. She and my father, who was a farmer, managed to sent 5 children to college… and pay all debts, too!

  • elmer valenzuela

    My late aunt, a public school teacher, always approached people for cash. Even for a small amount, say, jeepney fare! I used to wonder back then how could she be so penniless? Until I became a government employee.

  • jong kai

    one of the simple answers – Lending institutions just lend and lend and lend and lend. They have the power to do credit investigation and if they have found out that a person has outstanding loans, they should not have granted him/her. Our public school teachers are the most vulnerable to such, lalo na sa mga remote places. Lending agents have been deployed and kikita mga yan sa komisyon pag may nangutang.
    Ang sa akin lng, kung walang nagpapautang, walang mangungutang… Eliminate the root cause. Lending institutions should also be investigated on the % interest that they impose on the lendee, if these are really fair.
    These teachers should also not be deprived of the financial benefits of their profession as well as their license, because they have losned money on a legal way, and there’s nome that I think is a culpable violation against the Code of Ethics of Professional Teachers. Doing so will just make things worse.

  • Managing finances can be as challenging as earning a living. Perhaps easier if our paycheck doubles or triples the sum required for all expenses. Though this is likely the case, still the figures per se do not equate to a stress-free financial management. So, managing finances wisely is a big issue especially to us, teachers, who always struggle with a tight budget….read more at https://www.i-millennial.com/personal-finance-tips-teachers-series-part-2-managing-finances/

  • Zi Melanie Etnemelc Zerreitug

    As a public elementary school teachers i admit i had made loans first for my family to have our own house and not to rent, second to buy laptop, printer, lapel, mini projector which i use for my classroom instruction third to buy decoration, charts, plyboards for my classroom instruction cabinets, trashcan, cleaning materials etc…lastly baon of my students who cannot afford to buy breads during recesstime…kya po madaming loan dahil may yearly classroom management evaluation we need to buy things for the classroom and for the learning of the students…yan po b ay di p sapat bakit may loan ang teacher?kindly observe po sa mga maliliit na public schools specially in provinces para po makita nyo tlga ang dahilan wag po kayong mag rely sa mga reports lng kung meron man pong maluhong pamumuhay mas madami po ang hikahos na pamumuhay makapagturo lang ng maayos thanks po

    • Hazel Joy Bulaong Natividad

      Correct and true.

  • Man Heaven

    The organization itself allowed this to happen. Proof? Among the government agency DepEd is unique in having a policy of contracting private lending institutions to sign agreement with them to make automatic deductions for loans which will be taken by teachers. Remove this scheme then at least you remove one element in the culture you want to change. Another, in 1991 I first entered DepEd, It took one whole year for me to receive my salary. In private schools, one month after your employment, a teacher received right away the salary for that month. I left DepEd and came back ten years later, the practice of waiting for the salary is still not addressed. While the number of lending institution increased exponentially.

  • maria sarah vergara

    10 years na din po ako as public school teacher, dati din po akong baon sa loan in a private/ public institution. Sa tuwing makikita ko ang payslip ko na hindi na makakabuhay sa loob ng isang buwan napapaisip ako kung papaano makalalagpas sa mga loans ko. Lagi kong binabantayan ang mga loans ko hanggang sa makita ko na masama ang loan ng loan dahil mahirap para sa isang tulad ko na wala ding pang extra income plus padagdag ng padagdag ang presyo ng mga bilihin talagang mabuti kung maging wise ang mag-asawa pagdating din sa pera management sa kakarampot na natira sa sahod. Sa pamilya namin kung anong meron lang kami na kaya lang ng aming bulsa iyon lang kailangang gastusin namin. Hanggat maaari ang pagloloan sa amin ay sa category ng needs, importante ba talaga? May home credit din po ako na personal printer for school need, mabuti na lang po may kapatid po ako na nag sponsor sa akin ng laptop. Yung mga loans ko unang una sa mga magulang ko binigay. Tapos sa panganganak ko nagamit, at pagpapaopera sa breast, pinang matrikula sa masteral hanggang sa ngayon ang thesis ko hindi pa natapos.tsk!tsk! Sa ngayon bumaba ang net income ko From T-II to T-I kasi transferred to another region.

  • Kenneth Raguindin

    “two-month paid vacation”?!?!
    Vacation is just an illusion

    • q311xp

      Exactly! Sandamakmak na training at seminar ang required so wala din. Also, justified sya. Gusto mo ng matalinong teachers? Bigyan mo ng time na mag-aral at magbasa ng bagong material na ituturo! kung walang vacation kelan sila magbabasa?

      • anonymous

        have you tried teaching on a private school?

  • Merlinda Franco

    because there are loan sharks who lure them to this loans

  • Foxfirejks

    Two months vacation during summer is just a part and parcel of what teachers should enjoy after being done with truck load of paper works, overnight enrolling of students for LIS due to snail speed of internet at daytime, spending more than 8 hours in school without overtime pay, home visitation without protection and security and many more.Not a teacher herself she will never understand what teachers are going through. One simple suggestion to help her find out the spending pattern of teachers is to find the root cause of all this mess.

  • Benedict Duque

    I spent 11 years of my life as a public high school teacher and I didn’t receive enough financial support for purchasing a laptop (25,000), printer (3,600), microphone and speaker (5,000), and truckloads of classroom materials. The Education Secretary is bias when she believes that teachers use the money that they barrowed when going abroad. The fact will still remains that our salary is not enough to support our family and siblings. You can’t hide the truth even though how much sugar coated statements you will brought out to the media. You should talk to teachers face to face and don’t rely your findings on surveys.

    • anonymous

      while your argument is valid, why is it that other private school teachers that are paid lower that their public school counterpart are still surviving, if we take your argument with regards to purchases to classrooms they are still doing well (in terms of debts to pay)

      • Genevieve

        are you a private school teacher? it seems you are sure that private teachers are doing very well? when in fact they grab every chance they had to goto public schools because their salary is not enough.

        • Richel Canales Pagarigan

          I’ve been a private school teacher for two years before I entered public. Everything we need as teachers were provided by the admin. Pupils in private school even offer snacks and expensive gifts to their teachers rather than teachers give to their pupils as compared to public school scenario.

      • Hazel Joy Bulaong Natividad

        Please do not be judgemental. So far, all the arguments here are true iba iba ng situation. Mahirap at magastos ang 21st century education. Especially sa part ng mga teachers. Kailangan nming maging 21st century teachers para tapatan ang mga bata. This includes yng laptop, internet subscription na may monthly dues, flat screen tv if the teacher can afford nandun n ksi ang lahat you can play educ videos, prezi, ppt, music lahat. Lapel na lagi nsisira dhil everyday gamit. At marami pa. Sa college mura pero pg work na dun na gastos. Pero may iba din nman na wala loan like yng “hindi gutom” nung napasok sa Dep Ed, masuwerte sila at maayos ang buhay nila pero maliit na percentage lang yan. Maari totoo din yng nagtratavel pero maliit n percentage din yan. So iba iba talaga hindi pwede lahatin. Sana po kung ano yung nkararami yun po ang paniwalaan. Thanks for reading!

    • Hazel Joy Bulaong Natividad



    please correct me if iam wrong: medyo maraming mga teachers na galing sa hindi karangyaang pamilya, kaya pumasok sa education na course dahil isa ito sa may medyo mababang tuition fee per unit kumpara sa ibang kurso, kaya kapag siya ay nakapasok na bilang isang guro, ang kanyang sweldo hindi lang para sa kanya, kundi pantulong na din sa magulang at mga kapatid. tulad ng pagpaayos ng bahay ng mga magulang, pag paaral sa mga nakababatang kapatid. idagdag pa natin yung dahil nakaranas siya ng hirap nung kabataan niya, yung estudyante niya na nakikita niyang hindi kumain, walang pamasahe, walang ballpen ginagawan niya din ng solusyon. pero may di rin karamihan na mahilig talaga mag tour sa iba ibang lugar at bumuli ng mamahaling gadgets dahil sa facebook.hehehe maganda itong plano ni sec briones, para makita talaga kung saan galing ang problema, at kung ano ang dapat na solusyon. para na din malaman ni sec briones ang totoong nangyayari sa loob ng masikip at mainit na classroom, hindi lang yung mga sabi sabi na na nasasagap niya sa loob ng kanyang malaki at airconditioned na opisina. financial literacy of teachers vs well equipped classrooms or both?

    • Hazel Joy Bulaong Natividad

      Tamang tama ka dyan.

  • Grey Cee Gee

    #ATTENTION #DepEd #rant #hustisya
    Please, ngayon ko lang ito ibubuhos ng bonggang-bongga! Gigil nyo si ako eh…
    Let’s get things straight here. Saan po ba kayo nakahanap ng mga professional workers na ang sweldo ay ginagastos din nila para po magkaroon sila ng maayos at komportableng trabaho at pinagtatrabahuhan?
    For example, a doctor. Naranasan nyo na bang magpunta ng ER na walang pera kaya ang doctor mismo ang lalabas at bibili ng dextrose na ituturok sa inyo?! O nakapagpagawa na ba kayo ng gusali pero kinulang ang pangbili nyo ng materyales kaya ang engineer na ang bumili ng mga ito? Hindi, ‘di ba?!
    Eh ang teachers? Sa sweldo ng isang Teacher I, napapagkasya niyang makapagtaguyod ng pamilya, makapagpaayos ng bahay, makapagpaayos ng classroom, makapagpaaral ng mga kapatid o pamangkin, makapagpaaral ng mga batang salat sa buhay, at idagdag nyo pa na kailangan mag-upgrade ng mga teachers ngayon kasi hindi na i-renew ang license nila. MAGASTOS!
    Iyong pagpapaayos niya ng bahay obligasyon niya iyon bilang bahagi ng isang pamilyang kanyang itinataguyod. Eh iyong magpaayos ng classroom na kung mamalasin ay nadaanan pa ng kalamidad? Is that their obligation? Sira ang bubong, bintana, pintuan…walang maayos na pintura ang mga pader. Walang upuan o lamesa. Ano sa tingin nyo ang gagawin ng mga guro? Maintain a conducive learning environment di ba? Saan kukuha ng pangpaayos? Sa PTA na 4P’s? Hindi naman lahat nasa 4P’s eh lalo na ‘pag kalaban sa pulitika. Sa MOOE, na kung hindi kinakapos eh ang dami pang code na sinusunod! Eh sa kailangan na maisaayos agad ni teacher because the students are suffering. Ang ending mas maayos pa ang classroom kaysa sa sariling pamamahay! Alam niyo bang malalaman mo kung teacher ang nakatira sa isang bahay kung magulo, hindi na-maintain ang pintura o bubong o garden, or laging may pending construction pero….may internet!
    Ang pagpapaaral sa mga kapatid, pamangkin, o kamag-anak is also their responsibility. Pero ang pagpapaaral ng mga batang kapos sa pangangailangan? Teachers naturally have the heart for those in need but don’t dare question kung saan sila kumukuha ng pangbigay gayong kakarampot lang din ang meron sila! At least kaya nilang pagkasyahin lahat matupad lang ang kanilang layunin na makapag-ambag ng kaalaman. Nariyang may pumapasok na walang baon, natural pakakainin. Mayroon ding nagkakasakit sa paaralan, syempre gagawan ng paraan na magamot o madala sa pagamutan. O di kaya naman ay walang pang-uniform o pangbili ng mga gamit sa pag-aaral. Tapos pag exams bawal maningil ng pangphotocopy ng test paper pero wala namang code yan. So paano? Idagdag nyo pa walang libro! Not to mention naging coach pa si teacher sa sports o kung anumang extracurricular activity or contests. Sino ang magbabayad ng gastusing hindi na kayang bayaran ng mga magulang ng mga bata? Contest nga ng sariling mga anak nila hindi nila mapuntahan eh. O di kaya kapag anak ka ng isang teacher kung pwedeng ikaw na lang ang magrepresent sa kahit anong marunong ka para iwas na sa gastos kasi nanay mo naman ang coach! Kaloka!
    Di bale na nga ang pansariling pangangailangan nila eh. Di bale na nga ang pag-aaral maka-enrol lang at makabayad ng entrance fee. Hahanapan ng paraan ng mga teachers ang gastos makaattend lang ng seminars, na hindi pwedeng kaltasin sa MOOE, dahil kailangan matatakan ang training passbook nila! Alam nyo bang ang magandang bag at sapatos ni Ma’am ay ilang buwan niya pang babayaran? Dahil mas inuuna niya ang pangangailagan ng iba. Iyong magpaparlor lang sina Ma’am o makabili ng sasakyan si Sir ay issue na?
    Teachers strive to look good the best but the cheapest way they can wag lang mawala ang tinging propesyonal ng mga tao sa kanila. The respect they have to gain everyday of their lives. They can’t live the way they wanted to, yet they live a good life for others. And here, teachers are being judged by the people na dapat sana ay mangangalaga at magpoprotekta sa kanila.
    Yes, I am a teacher. And I grew up to a family of educators. I know some of you know perfectly well how complicated it is to grow up to a family like that. Celebrations are moved to weekends o kaya naman minsan eh kapag nakatanggap ng bonus. PTA meetings na walang nag-aatend dahil conflict din sa PTA meeting nila. Yung bahay na ako na ang nakapagpatuloy na ipaayos dahil napunta sa pag-aaral namin at sa classrooms na pinaglipat-lipatan ang panggastos. And guess what? Syempre may parte na hindi ko rin natapos dahil nagkasakit ako, twice, na nangailangan ng hundreds of thousands. Saan kaya ako kumuha ng ganun kalaking pera samantalang ang offer lang ng PhilHealth sa una ay 10 libong piso at sa pangalawang instance naman ay 20 libong piso? Na-check nyo ba kung ilang teachers na lang ang truly madly deeply healthy ngayon?
    Then you’ll say, may clothing at chalk allowances naman ang teachers. Wow! Eh ang mahal po ng uniform nyo na sobrang init po ng tela. Iyon bang may klase ka ng 1 or 2 pm at sa sobrang init eh nag-uunahan na ang pawis mo sa likod. Tapos ngayon madalang na lang po gamitin ang chalk. Puro po kayo online reports, encoded forms, powerpoint presentation or multimedia presentation. Dapat po siguro laptop allowance. Iyon pong kakayanin lahat ng Excel files! Kaso walang budget ang government para diyan, so saan ulit kukuha ang teacher?
    At isa pa, kapag solicitation bawal magbigay ang schools sa mga establishment. Pero laging may solicitation sa mga teachers. May namatay o naospital na colleague o estudyante, o ambag para sa mga sports meet. But that’s just cash. Minsan buhay ang kapalit. Tuwing eleksyon, teacher ang mag-administer, or fiesta dapat may ganap din ang mga guro.
    Don’t get me wrong. I love being a teacher. I love the kids. If only the government will be fair enough. Marami sanang mga guro ang magagaling at masisipag. Pero nasaan sila? Sa ibang bansa o nasa mga matataas na antas nagtuturo. Why? Because we all feel neglected. Prangkahan na lang tayo oh…sabihin nyo lang kung hinihingi nyo ang serbisyo naming para hindi na kami umasa sa sahod. Bahala na ang mga pamilya naming. Bahala na ang mga batang sa amin din umaasa. ????????????????????????

  • John Holt

    Kailangan mo ba ng mga mapagkukunan upang simulan ang iyong sariling negosyo? Kailangan mo ba ng mga pautang upang bayaran ang iyong mga utang o binabayaran mo ba ang iyong mga bayarin o magsimula ng magandang negosyo? Kailangan mo ba ng mga pondo upang pondohan ang iyong proyekto? Nag-aalok kami ng mga garantisadong serbisyo sa pautang sa anumang halaga at sa anumang bahagi ng mundo (mga indibidwal, kumpanya, broker at institusyon) sa aming natitirang rate ng interes na 2%. Para sa pagpaparehistro at higit pang impormasyon bilang tugon sa sumusunod na e-mail address: johnholtloancompany@gmail.com

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    Mr. John Holt