[Press Release] Teachers hope Pres. Duterte will grant the P10, 000 pay increase -TDC

Teachers hope Pres. Duterte will grant the P10, 000 pay increase

benjo 070716 copyPublic school teachers on Wednesday said they are anticipating an announcement from the palace that it is now ready to grant the P10, 000 across-the-board increase for the salaries of public school teachers. This was the reaction of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) following several pronouncements that the salaries of uniformed men will be doubled under the Duterte administration.

“We are happy for our brothers and sisters in the police and military for they are almost assured of the enhancement on their pay.” Said Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson. Basas recognizes that “the uniformed personnel will be at the center of the administration’s foremost concern- crime prevention and the path to peace. Thus, it is understood that the president would prioritize them.” He added.

Public school teachers are pushing for a P10, 000 additional compensation for teachers and education personnel above the Salary Standardization Law (SSL). The proposal is based on the original bill filed by Sen. Alan Cayetano during the 14th Congress in year 2008.

“However, the then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo preferred the amendment to SSL which granted the entry-level position of teachers an increase of P6, 523 over a period of 4 years from 2009 to 2012.” Basas explained.

Basas said his group acknowledges the increase in any amount however, “we want something that is founded on historical, moral and legal bases, but what Arroyo did was just a perpetuation of the flawed salary scheme for government personnel committed by Congress when it enacted the SSL in 1989.”

The succeeding administration of Pres. Noynoy Aquino did not end the suffering of teachers and just waited for the law to lapse in 2012. Worse, the Aquino administration never considered raising the salaries of teachers and government employees until its last months in office when it pursued the SSL 2015 which further amended the existing SSL.

“Again, the increase under Aquino administration is like an insult. We waited for almost five years for a salary increase, only to have a measly pittance thrown at our faces.” Basas exclaimed.

The SSL 2015 proposal would grant the entry-level position of teachers with an increase of P2, 205.00 from the P18, 549.00 or a meager increase of less than 12% which will be given in tranches over a period of four years or an increase of a little more than P500.00 a year. The bill did not get the nod of the upper chamber due to varied versions and ended up in an executive order signed by Aquino on January this year, the EO 201 which maintained the amount of increase as proposed in the bill.

“The increase under Aquino is the lowest in recent history. By comparison, Arroyo may become more generous by granting a 54 percent as compared to Aquino’s 12.” Basas added.

Basas recalled that during the campaign period for 2016 elections when they call upon the presidential and vice presidential bets to support the bill, the only tandem that took their proposal seriously is the Duterte-Cayetano team.

“We are hopeful that the president would soon announce that salary upgrade for public school teachers is underway. We believe that change is coming.” Basas ended.

July 6, 2016

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