Dismayed teachers challenge Presidentiables to block SSL 2015
After the House approval of the proposed salary increase for teachers and government employees, teachers’ groups were dismayed at the measly cost of salary increase the government is planning to give next year. Thus, they challenge the presidential and vice presidential candidates to block the passage of this bill into law once it reach the Senate.
We were hurt by this proposal. It’s like we were treated as beggars and not as teachers. We were made to wait for five years for this salary increase that would supposedly boost our morale, yet they gave us some kind of an insult.” Said Benjo Basas, national chairperson of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC). Basas added that “It seems that this proposal is tailor-made for the legislators, cabinet secretaries and the president themselves.”
According to the proposal the entry-level position of teachers will receive an additional amount of P2, 205.00 from the present P18, 549.00 or a meager increase of less than 12%, a drop of 33% from the previous legislated increase under Arroyo administration which granted the teachers an amount of P6, 523.00 increase or 54% from their salary under SSL-1. That P2, 205.00, just like in the past will be spread over a period of four years, thus an annual increase of a little more than P500.00, the lowest in recent history.
Basas particularly call on the candidates who are now sitting as members of the Senate like Sen. Miriam Santiago and Sen. Grace Poe, both are running for president and Senators Alan Cayetano, Chiz Escudero, Gringo Honasan, Bongbong Marcos and Sonny Trillanes who are all running for the second top post.
“If they wanted to rule the country, they have to first recognize the value of education and the nobility of teaching profession. If they believe that teaching is the noblest of all professions, then we deserve better salaries. We just hope that they will treat us better than the insensitive Aquino administration. ” Basas exclaimed.
The TDC and Ating Guro Partylist released a joint statement condemning the Aquino administration and describing it as “Barat at Atrasado” along with a matrix of salary increase that shows the amount and percentage of increases from SSL-1 (2008), the present SSL-3 (2012) and the proposed SSL 2015 of the Aquino administration. In a swift comparison, the Arroyo administration is more generous based on the table.
The House proposal prepared by the DBM and approved by Malacanang will only provide for a 23% increase for the lowest position in government, the Laborer 1 at Salary Grade 1 or an increase of P2, 068 from present P9, 000.00 to P11, 068.00. While for cabinet members, senators, House members, vice president and the president, the increase will reach more than 150 per cent. In particular, the president’s salary at SG-33, the highest, will receive an increase of 223% or an additional P268, 096.00 from its present amount of P120, 000.00.
“It is important to note that the Aquino administration has no initiative of a legislated increase since year 2010 and the adjustments on the salaries of teachers and government employees in 2011 and 2012 were actually mandated under the SSL-3 of former president Arroyo.” Basas added.
Aside from the candidates who are now in Senate, the groups also called on VP Jojo Binay and Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to issue a statement on the matter. And while the social media is now flooded with anti-Liberal Party comments and memes, they still hopeful the Roxas-Robredo tandem will also denounce this injustice. Teachers perceived that President Aquino and Secretary Abad are behind this ‘anti-teacher’ proposal.
“This is the best time to repair the erroneous compensation scheme for teachers. Past and present salary laws classified teachers as among the lowest paid government professionals. The Congress, thru a joint recommendation in 1991 and a bill approved by Senate in 2008 agreed that there was indeed an injustice and that error should be rectified. Those who aspire to become president or vice president of this country should have a clear and firm stand on this matter.” Basas ended
The groups will lead mass actions in Manila on Monday to put pressure on Malacanang to reconsider its decision. #
TDC National Chair/ Ating Guro First Nominee
Attachment: Matrix of comparison
November 12, 2015
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