DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte declared on Friday an incremental salary increase to public school teachers.
“Pero ang inyo, kayo ang isunod ko pero hindi naman masyadong doblado, hindi talaga kaya. Hindi talaga kaya,” he said.
Duterte spoke during the 37th Principals Training and Development Program and National Board Conference where he explained that he cannot immediately double the increase for teachers because they are many compared to the police and the military.
“Remember, the economy. Pag nag-improve yan, kayo ang sunod. Honest. Pero incremental ha, walang biglaan. Marami kayo. You are five times more or seven times more than the soldiers,” Duterte added.
Meanwhile, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers Party-list Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro challenged the President to include the substantial pay hike for public school teachers and all rank-and-file civilian government employees in the proposed 2019 budget.
“The President has given false hopes in ending endo and salary increase; he should give a clear amount and timeline of the salary hike implementation. It should not start later than the 2019 budget deliberations,” Castro said.
Tinio added that it is high time to go beyond promises and actually walk the talk by issuing marching orders to Budget Department Secretary Benjamin Diokno to include funds for government pay hike in the 2019 budget proposal.
The solons are worried that Duterte is inclined to granting insignificant pay hike similar to EO 21.
Wilfredo Lacatan, vice-president of Alliance of Concerned Teachers Union of Davao Region, slammed President Duterte for failing to fulfill his campaign promise for salary hike for teachers.
“Teachers have long been suffering. A licensed public school teacher 1 only received P18,549 a month and is more burdened with the implementation of the TRAIN law. DepEd teachers could no longer avail of loans to private institutions but with the GSIS, only resulting to bigger deductions on their pay slip,” he said.
He added that with the low pay, teachers find it difficult to fund the enrollment of their children and are unable to attend Masteral classes.
Duterte has directed the Budget Department to look for ways in raising teachers salaries.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno in January said that the increase in teachers salaries would take a backseat to give way to the P8 trillion Build,Build,Build infrastructure projects.
The DBM said that an additional P343.7 billion in Personnel Services (PS) costs is required for the pay hike of teachers.
In January, the President signed Joint Resolution 01 stating the increase in the base pay of the military and police. Based on the resolution, the doubling of salaries in the military and police is due to their exposure in high risk environment in fulfilling their task for the peace and order and national security of the country.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers Party-list filed House Bill 7211 which aims to enact a P30,000 salary for a Teacher 1,P 31,000 for Instructor 1 and a P5,000 Personnel Economic Relief Allowance for all government employees.
Article XIV of the Philippine Constitution affirmed that,”The state shall assign higher budgetary priority to education and ensure that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share of the best available talents through adequate renumeration and other means of job satisfaction and fulfillment”. (davaotoday.com)