[Statement] Poverty kills teachers -TDC

Poverty kills teachers

The shocking incident in Pangasinan National High School yesterday should serve as an eye opener for all of us. Two major issues of public education sector were put in highlight- violence and poverty. The shooting that resulted to the death of three people, two of them teachers and wounding of several others is the latest recorded incident of violence in schools involving teachers as victims. However, the reason behind this shooting is more appalling. According to the reports and the initial investigation, the gunman, who is a member of Pangasinan police force is collecting loans from his clients- the teachers when an altercation happen that led to the shooting spree. It is almost incomprehensible that some people kill to collect loans while others die because of debt.


With this incident, we would like to validate the public perception that teachers- or at least many of them are living in what we describe as “hand to hand” existence- worse than “hand to mouth” description. That is the literal handing of money to lenders right after they receive their salaries.

Teachers are the favorite clients of lending institutions and loan sharks because they are good payers. Teachers frequent the lending queues to make ends meet. And up to the point beyond the minimum take-home pay policy, teachers would find ways to borrow money- pawning their ATM cards of even certifying payments from anticipated bonuses to lenders. Yes, teachers are living in a borrowed income.

Thus, we call on the government to prevent the incidents of this kind in the future by providing just salaries and adequate remuneration and benefits- monetary or otherwise. Particularly, we call on President Aquino to certify Senate Bill 2146 and Senate Bill 2365 filed by young senators Sonny Angara and Bam Aquino, respectively. SB 2146 seeks to reform the tax system and collect more taxes from the rich and less from the poor while SB 2365 pushes for a P10, 000.00 additional compensation for public school teachers. These proposed measures, if enacted into law would surely augment the living of our teachers.

This government should sincerely care for the welfare of its teachers and never allow them to be killed for an unpaid loan. #

Reference: Benjo Basas, TDC Cahirperson- 09205740241

September 2, 2014

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