[Statement] Teachers ask for Diokno’s apology -TDC

Photo by TDC

Teachers ask for Diokno’s apology

During the protest action of teachers in DBM last Monday, January 15, where they were allowed to enter the premises of the office and had a dialogue with one of its assistant secretary, they are convinced that Sec. Diokno is consistent with his statement- TEACHERS’ ARE NOT PRIORITY.

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) last Monday troop to DBM head office to protest what they called a very insensitive statement made by the secretary last week when he said on national TV that the increase in salaries of public mentors in not a priority. In the said rally, teachers from Metro Manila and CALABARZON aired their sentiments in a program outside the gates of the DBM. After about half an hour of negotiation, they were allowed to enter the office and received by Assistant Secretary Myrna Chua. The meeting however went not so well as some of the teachers insisted to talk to Diokno and ask him to explain further his ‘hurtful’ statement. Asec Chua on the other hand explained that the secretary, while also in the office is very busy attending to more important meetings. The teachers said that they are willing to wait up to the lunch break to ensure that the secretary will meet them even for just five minutes, they further explained that they might come late to their classes or even fail to report to school because most of them have afternoon schedule.

Asec Chua said that the secretary’s quoted statement was taken out of context. The teachers further asked for even a minute and finally even a 30-second encounter with the secretary. Chua said that they might just want to have a photo op, which enraged a TDC member from Muntinlupa, Ryan Dela Cruz who replied “Pumunta kami dito para makipag-usap nang maayos at hingiin ang paliwanag ng secretary tapos sasabihin niyo gusto lang namin ng photo ops, Masyadong foul naman yan.” Chua said that she felt that teachers are harassing her and walked out of the executive lounge and leave the teachers.

Today, a press conference of DBM secretary is scheduled in the morning. The TDC initially planned to mobilize again, however in the end decided not to pursue its rally today and prepare for a bigger mass actions, national in scope if necessary. Benjo Basas, TDC national chairperson said that they will listen to Diokno’s presscon and expect him to clarify his several statements and make an apology for saying that teachers’ salary increase is not a priority.

Below is the TDC reply to earlier statements of the secretary:

DBM/Diokno: Teachers’ Salary Increase is not a priority
TDC: “The Constitution mandates that education spending should get the biggest chunk in national budget and even says that teachers should be given adequate remuneration and other benefits or incentives that will make them fulfilled and satisfied in their chosen field. Paano mangyayari na hindi priority ng DBM ang sahod ng mga guro samantalang priority dapat ito ng estado ito ayon sa saligang batas.”
(The state shall assign the highest budgetary priority to education and ensure that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share of the best available talents through adequate remuneration and other means of job satisfaction and fulfillment. -Philippine Constitution, Article XIV, Section 5)

DBM/Diokno: Public school teachers’ salary in average is far better than their counterparts in the private sector
TDC: “While we recognize that in average, public school teachers are getting higher pay than our private school counterpart, the DBM misses the whole scenario. First, most of these private schools fail to comply with the labor standards- job security, minimum wage, right to organize and to collectively bargain etc. The DBM being a government institution should at least help to raise the status of private school teachers to the standard of the government and never use the miserable conditions of most the private school teachers to justify that we from public schools are more fortunate than our brothers and sisters in the private sector. They want us to be happy for other people’s misery. And if the DBM will do profiling, they will find out that most of the teachers in private schools are just starting their career, they are not the sole breadwinner in their respective families. Some of them too are not eligible to teach in public schools and are actually waiting for the results of the licensure examination.”

DBM/Diokno: Teachers’ salaries have increased to an average of 15-16% since 2016 as per EO 201
TDC: “This claim is far from reality. Let us take the case of entry-level position of teachers which is Salary Grade 11, under EO 201 that took effect in the year 2016. They will only have a total increase of 12% or an addition of P2, 205 to their old rate of P18, 549. That P2, 205 will be divided in four tranches from 2016 up to 2019. The 2018 tranche is only the third in four, thus roughly we only get the total of 9% for this year.” (The scheduled amount of tranches: 2016, P528.00; 2017, P543.00; 2018, P559; and 2019, P575.00)

DBM/Diokno: Teachers’ monthly take-home pay is more than P26, 000
TDC: “This time, Mr. Diokno employed the computation of former budget secretary Butch Abad, we referred to it as A BAD computation. This is a simple addition of all the salaries, allowances and bonuses of teachers. Then the sum is divided into 12 and the quotient is declared by Diokno as the average monthly take-home pay. He misses the fact that most of these bonuses are given once a year in a specific date and for specific purpose like in the case of teachers- chalk allowance. All other benefits are like productivity enhancement incentive (PEI), productivity-based bonus (PBB), clothing allowance are also given to other employees.”

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Reference: Benjo Basas, National Chairperson, 0927-3356375/ 0999-9744612

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