[Statement] Invest in education to win war against drugs, crimes and corruption-TDC

Invest in education to win war against drugs, crimes and corruption

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte rose in tremendous popularity by attacking the evils of illegal drugs, criminality and corruption on his road to presidential campaign. The formula proved to be very effective that it brought him to power and become the president of the Philippines by a vote of 16 million people.

However, the president has also pockets of promises for some sectors. During the campaign for 2016 presidential elections, the Duterte camp has promised to give the P10, 000 across the board increase for government teachers, along with the promise to double the salaries of military and uniformed personnel, yet after two years the increase in our salaries were pegged under the context of the salary standardization law (SSL-4) which only provides for a little over P500 increase from year 2016. Meanwhile, the military and uniformed personnel, or at least their entry level position increased by 100 per cent. For us teachers, there were occasional pronouncements, but these are not manifested in policies.

Worse, earlier this year, the government thru the statement of DBM Secretary Ben Diokno confirms that it does not prioritize the increase in our salaries and discussions for these proposals will only begin on 2019, or after the Aquino’s SSL 4 lapses.

Today, as the president delivers his third State of the Nation Address and present his accomplishments as well as further promises, we would like to reiterate the public school teachers’ call for augmentation of our salaries, better compensation packge, benefits and incentives for us as well as protection and welfare for our teachers, at present and in in the future.

By doing so, we challenge the President and the concerned government agencies to act on these three main demands:

1. Enactment of the P10, 000 increase in salaries of teachers;
2. Fully implement of Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (RA 4670) by providing the necessary fundng for this vintage law;
3. Reform the GSIS and employ policies that would provide benefits for teachers and government employees and truly secure our retirement; and
4. Apportion budget in education sector based on the needs of the field.

These are not sectoral demand, but rather a proposal that would benefit the nation, especially our most important resources- our people.

After two years, it seems that the government is losing its war against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption. The trend may continue, unless it shifts to a better course of battle- thru education. Crimes, drug problem and even corruption may be reduced or even eliminated if the people are well-educated and employed and social services are accessible. The “Tunay na Pagbabago” slogan will only be achieved if the government would invest in education at the very least and ensure social justice, at most. #

Reference: Benjo Basas, 09273356375

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