Sponsor a Faculty Chair

Project Description:

The Sponsor A Faculty Chair Project was designed and devised to “buy time” for St. Mary's School of  Sagada [SMSS] to get on its feet financially while the school administration work on developing and setting a college preparatory curriculum, stabilize staffing, and provide the necessary infrastructure (facilities, teaching resources, and equipment) to deliver such a quality-oriented education curriculum. 

This project was also intended to deviate from the usual practice of “patronage” whereby scholarships were given directly to specific students whose parents are either relatives or friends of donors.  By shouldering the salaries of faculty, all students at SMSS benefit as a whole, as opposed to a few individuals.  The project also allows the school to set and implement guidelines and procedures for granting academic scholarships to top achievers and financial assistance to deserving grantees who are in need.

The project was formally launched last school year (2006-2007) for 13 faculty positions.

Calculation of Faculty Chairs: 

Probationary teachers at SMS receive P10,000 monthly and a government mandated 13th month pay of P10,000.  With social security, Philhealth (i.e. Medicare), Pag-Ibig (another government mandated retirement fund), the cost of employing one faculty member amounts to about P150,000 annually or $3,000, with the peso-dollar exchange rate pegged at 50 Philippine Pesos to 1 US Dollar.

The proposed principal's annual salary is 247,500.00 Philippine Pesos [or U.S. $4,500].

The number of faculty is determined through FTEs or full time teaching equivalents.  Having a high school curriculum that requires expertise in specific subject areas like math and Filipino, the school hires a combination of full time teachers and part-time teachers, depending on enrollment and need.  A full time teacher teaches five classes out of 8 periods, and/or has student contact (classroom instruction) 25-30 hours in a 40-hour week.  The rest (10 hours) is devoted to preparation, consultation, and group responsibilities like Vespers, meetings, substitution, and Mass.  Faculty members are also expected to be available for other activities such as tutorials, and consultation for an hour after school hours and on Saturdays, if there is a need.  SMSS faculty members are only given 3 days sick leave (this does not cover sickness of members of their families) and no personal leave.  If they miss work and/or exceed their sick leave allowances, the peso equivalent is deducted from their monthly pay.  Full time teachers are paid twelve months a year, including the semester, Christmas, and summer breaks which are considered as “paid vacation.”

As a rule of thumb, the number of faculty members (full time and part time) exceeds the number of FTEs.  Budgets are based on FTEs, rather than number of people.


Based on past, current and projected number of student enrollees as well as projected tuition fee increases, the school principal proposed the following number of full-time equivalent faculties for chair sponsorships.

School Year

Target Number of Chairs

Tuition & Fees Paid by Parents*







2007-2008 (current)






 (end of Strategic Plan)










*scheme increase approved by PTA last month [September 2007]
** includes Guidance Counselor
*** consider this as a cushion or grace period
**** A Principal’s chair is envisioned so that SMSSI can hire a qualified replacement for Dennis Faustino when he retire. 

Next year (2008-2009), SMSSI intends to hire a much-needed Guidance counselor but will be finalized only when the financial situation of the school has been stabilized.  This will be a another FTE which make the total to 21.  Fr. Jerry Sagayo, Dennis Faustino, and the PTA officers have been currently assuming the responsibilities of the Guidance Office. 

Why the emphasis on the next five years?

During the 5-year period from 2006 to 2011, it is crucial that the foundation for quality education will have been solidly put in place. After that, it is expected that the projected tuition-fee income flow of SMSS will be sufficient to fund the basic operating cost of administering a "quality education oriented" school. As has been demonstrated in many parts of the country, parents will not hesitate to pay for quality education. So quality education is really the best hope for insuring a sustainable tuition-fee income base for SMSS.

Establishing quality education will mainly depend on establishing faculty competency which in turn requires a competitive pay scale. However, SMSS can not totally depend on tuition fee increases to defray the true cost of quality education. Tuition fees at SMSS will continue to be subsidized in consonance with SMSS's mission of providing affordable quality education to indigent communities of  the Cordilleras  - categorized as among the poorest of the poor of Philippine society. Thus SMSS has also initiated an endowment fund project to help bridge the funding gap resulting from a susidized tuition fee income base and the true cost of administering quality education.

During the 5-year period from 2006 to 2011, the SMSS endowment fund is projected to have been fully established. As we all know, Dennis Faustino is donating a land he owns in Floridablanca, Pampanga to St. Mary's School, Sagada to help build up the school's endowment or trust fund. To maximize the proceeds from the land, the plan is to subdivide and develop the property before selling. Developing and marketing the property is estimated to be accomplished within 5 years. The proceeds of the land sale together with the earnings from another land donation by the late Frank Longid; plus whatever funds generated [or will be generated] by the Endowment Fund Build-up Committee and other related SMSSI / SMSSAFF  initiatives, presents the best hope towards financial viability for SMSS during the coming years. The endowment fund principal is not to be spent; only the interest earnings can be allocated for operational, facilities or building expenditures. The next five years will give time for whatever endowment principal funds are generated to earn interest earnings.

Another SMSS project towards helping bridge the gap between subsidized tuition fees and the true cost of quality education is the "Sponsor A Student" Project.

Project Updates:

For periodic updates on the Sponsor A Faculty Chair Project go to:

Sponsor a Faculty Chair Commitee: This committee was formed to lead and/or coordinate the funding campaign for this project. To those interested in joining this committee please email Igorot44@aol.com.  

To the members of the Sponsor A Faculty Chair committee, you may download the following brochure and solicitation letter and use it in your sponsor a faculty chair related marketing activities.

Any group of SMSS alumni and friends [a class, a group from one region, a family, a chapter, etc.] may sponsor a faculty chair in full or in part. Any amount [no amount is too small] is welcome.

For suggestions, comments and/or recommendations, please email 

Lambert Sagalla
SMSSAFF President
Website Administrator

The above presentation was based mainly from Dr. Dennis Faustino's

To make a donation go to the

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