Teachers Response | Why Public School Teachers Tend to Overborrow

Manila Bulletin recently posted an article on “Why Public School Teachers Tend to Overborrow” and some teachers responded with sentiments and own experiences why this culture of borrowing even started on the first place.

Here is the article posted by Manila Bulletin written by Merlina Hernando-Malipot which was published last October 31, 2017.

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.

Source: Manila Bulletin


The following statements were sourced from the comments section of Manila Bulletin’s article.

the teachers have spokenMan H :

“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”.


Zi Melanie:

“As a public elementary school teacher, I admit I made loans for:

  • my family to have our own house and not to rent,
  • to buy laptop, printer, lapel, mini projector which i use for my classroom instruction
  • 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…

Kaya 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”.

B. 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 biased when she believes that teachers use the money that they borrowed 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”.

G. Zaragoza:

“Speaking in behalf of the other teachers and as a teacher as well,, our salary isn’t just ours or for our families, we also just give it back to the kids who goes to school that haven’t 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….”



“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”.

H. 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 for 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!”



We are all teachers here. Please feel free to share your own stories and experiences on why we are all trapped in this Loan-don bridge.

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8 Thoughts to “Teachers Response | Why Public School Teachers Tend to Overborrow

  1. I’ve been teaching for 26 years and I admit I have more than 90 percent of borrowed money and there are reasons why…first and foremost is, we are receving our salary once a month and it took a very long time to wait for that salary to receive again. So hard to stretch the salary for 1 month budget. There are many expenses that may come unexpetedly especially if a son and daughter get sick. We, the teachers are spending more for our visual aids and if we are going to list the budget for one subject in one day it will take less or more than 1k to prepare those materials how much more for 5 days in a week and in a month and in a year? That is for quality education… There are instances also that in trainings or seminars, we get the registration from our pocket. Being a single parent, I struggle for survival while doing my job efficiently…
    All I wish is to raise our salary and receive it every 15 and 30….
    Thank you….
    God bless everyone

  2. Why over borrowed??? Good question indeed!
    I am in teaching for only 1 year and 5 Mons. And I admitted that I am already over borrowed my salary,why? First, when I first hired as teacher and sent to far flunged barangays I Dont have a classroom, I started teaching under the shade of big trees, no blackboards to use. So it is my responsibility to make an initiative so that I can give a better learning environment to my learners,so make your own classroom, with complete furniture ,room down to blackboards,chairs and tables, then , I was i assigned in an area which very far from my family, it takes 1300 pesos for one fare only and take note I Dont have a hard post ,next, the salary for the newly hired takes number of months before it will release,so they are already tendencies that we already overborowed , then you have to produced your own instructional materials which you must need a laptop,printers for im’s and reports. Lastly, being a single.mother of 5 children who are all in schools I have to.secured them that before I will go back to.my area of assignment they have complete supplies, from their baons down to their every days food.and more I am a mother with a heart I can’t stand looking up my pupils with empty stomach.. So hopefully now you will know why we are over borrowed… Give us exactly what we need because in reality we are underpaid by the government…thank you!

  3. naopera po ako sa gall bladder , when it was to pay the hospital it was 110,000 pesos on hospital bills philhealth only remove 30,000 pesos… where will I get 80,000 pesos??? So I borrowed… But kulang ng 20,000 pesos so na hospital arrest ako ng 1 day naghanap solusyon utang ulit… yung hospital arrest for 1 night was 2,000 = 112,000 pesos na yun… magkano po ba sahod whole year teacher 2 four years ago??? Nagpapa aral po ako ng high school … allowance 150 pesos a day, school projects, activities,laptop, printer, uniform…etc… pagkain sa bahay 300 pesos kung swerte 500 pesos kung hindi. gas ng motor… 400 a month kung school to house lang…kung may seminars additional ….kasi may bayad seminars… contest and practice ng mga bata add pa more …saan napunta sahod ???….kulang na talaga… tapos kung nagkasakit mga anak loan ulit… sira ang bahay loan…other activities ng deped bayad…nagtanong po naman kayo … karampot na 4,000 pesos na po natitira sa amin inuutang pa naming…LGU’s magkano sahod … sorry po sa LGU’s … mas mataas pa sa kanila kahit isa dalawa session nila kada lingo half day pa… titsers whole day in school plus overnight work …sabi nga ng co-titsers ko uuwi ka nalang sa bahay school work pa rin…pati panaginip school work pa rin… tapos lac sessions, seminar Saturday pati sunday…. pati family time kinuha na… kunin niyo narin po pati lovelife namin… at may nagpakamatay na na mga titsers dahil sa pagkaka utang…pakingngan niyo po naman ang bawat hinaing ng mga gruo at empleyado… hindi po lahat mayaman…hindi po lahat ng titser may inaani…sa 100 percent ng titser…98 percent may loan

  4. 1. I loan so that I can finish graduate studies which is a requirement of DepEd, at the same time send my kids to school.
    2. I loan to improve our house so that there will be an extra space where I can house my students when they come to town to compete during DepEd activities like athletics and presconferences which last usually for 3 or more days.
    3. I need to loan to buy my laptop, printer, lapel, speaker, to pay my internet connection, to buy my camera for documentation, and a lot more.
    4. I need to loan so that I have extra money during competitions in and outside the Division.
    5. I need to loan to photocopy handouts and are given free to students.
    6. I need to loan so that when a hungry student comes to me then I have something to offer him or her, Or when they ask snacks after doing a heavy work.
    7. I need to loan to pay for registration in seminars outside DepEd.
    8. I need to loan because it is a need and my salary is enough.
    9. I need to loan because the government is taking it back anyway through TAX.
    10. I need to loan because my husband is not earning much and we have three kids and that I am supporting an academically good student but who`s family is not financially stable.
    11. I need to loan because my salary is just 1/4 of your salary.

  5. Sa dami ng issue sa Lipunan, hindi ko inakalang maging teacher kang tunay kung makapagLoan ka na.
    Yes totoo po at hindi maiwasan bilang guro ang makapag loan.
    In my 1st year as a public teacher nagloan agad ako bakit?
    1. Naregular ako by July pero November mo pa matatanggap ang sahod mo after 3months mo pa mararamdamang nagsasahod ka. Kung di ako magloloan anu ang ibabayad ko sa renta ng bahay? Sa pamasahe ko? Kakainin ko sa loob ng 3 buwang walang sahod? So in short nagloan ako para may gagamitin sa pagpasok ko at maitawid ang 3months ko.
    2. Nagloan ako dahil kailangan ng Nanay ko na isang labandera at tatay kong magsasaka para ibayad sa utang na pinag-pagaral sa akin at sa aming magkakapatid.
    3. Kung di ka bibili ng Laptop, printer, cp na android, pocket wifi anu ang gagitin mo sa school everytime may kailangan ipasa at kailangan mong mag internet, iprint ang LP at mga paper works. Kung hindi kami magloloan saan kami makakahingi ng mga gamit para sa sarili namin?
    4. Teacher po kami pero wala po kaming inssurance para sa kalusugan ni ultimong health card wala. Mag pa check up ka sariling pera mo at lahat gastos mo. Wala ng pakialam ang dep.ed sa mga teacher na may sakit. Mas mainam pa nga ang mga batang nagtatrabaho sa call center libre pagamot dahil sakanilang healthcard. Kung kami nagkakasakit anu pa ba ang maging solusyon? Eh di loan ulit.
    5. Hindi lng naman kami nagloan para lng sa sarili namin at may mga magulang pang kailangang tustusan dahil kami’y mahirap lang. Pero never po akong sumuko nag sikap at nakapagtapos at naging guro na dahil lng sa nanay kong labandera at tatay kong magsasaka. Kung sila ang na nganagilangan ng pera saan kaya ako kukuha kung ang sahod ko ay kakarampot lng para sa isang buwang budget? Malang loan Ulit.
    Ganun pa man lahat ng loan namin pinaghihirapan namin. Ang masakit lang ang husgahan kami ng lipunan at sariling Ina ng aming Departamento.

  6. Nakakalungkot isipin na ang pinuno mismo ng Kagawaran ng Edukasyon ang makapagsasalita ng ganito… Bagong bago pa lamang po ako sa serbisyo pero nakapagloan na ako agad… nang dahil sa sobrang delay ng sahod na 3 months bago mo makuha. At makukuha mu man pero pambayad din ng utang. San ka kukuha ng pmbyd ng rent ng bahay ng kuryente at tubig at expenses mo din sa school. Ni teacher’s table nga ako pa ang bumili pati monoblock ko. 🙁🙁😔😔

  7. Sana po ilagay sa SALN ng teachers ang daily expenses, hindi yong liabilities lang at assets.

  8. Teachers’ BASIC Needs Monthly Expenses:
    Water – 600.00
    Electric Bill – 1,000.00
    Food – 5,000.00 (w/ 1 sack rice)
    Groceries – 3,000.00
    Internet (Plan) – 1,299.00
    Load – 500.00
    Fare – 2,000.00 (100.00/day X 20 school days)
    Allowance & Fare of my child – 3,000.00 ( 150/day X 20 days)
    School/Classroom Needs – 2,500.00 (cleaning materials/school supplies/tarp-Bulletins, IM’s, printer Ink)
    Photocopies – 500.00 ( mine & my child)
    Di pa kasama, ang pamasahe if merong seminars, expenses of being a coach, laptop, printer, speaker, microphone, camera. If my bisita/evaluation, bbli pa ng paint, raffle tickets, teachers contribution. marami pang iba. d q na isa-isahin pa k c alam na nang mga teachers ano talaga ang totoo.
    No collection policy.

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