“Disyembre pa lamang ng taong 2015 ay ipinangako na ng noo’y Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte ang umento sa sahod ng mga guro kung siya ay magiging pangulo. Hanggang ngayon ay naghihintay kami sa katuparan ng pangakong ito.” Said Benjo Basas, the national Chairperson of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC).
As the new school year begins tomorrow, public school teachers again remind President Rodrigo Duterte to deliver his promise of a pay hike for them. According to the TDC, teachers are anticipating a better compensation package after the Arroyo and Aquino administrations tied the teachers; salary to the salary standardization law (SSL), a generic law that mandates the salary scale of most of the government employees, including teachers. The scheme under the SSL was begun in 1989, during the time of President Corazon Aquino and with minor changes, has been the same scheme up to the present.
For instance, under SSL scheme, former President Noynoy Aquino issued the Executive Order 201 effective January 2016 granting a P2, 205 increase in the salary of entry-level teacher, the Teacher I. The amount, however, shall be divided in 4 tranches or a little higher than P500.00 additional amount for their monthly pay each year. The fourth and last tranche is scheduled this year.
Basas argued that “Since it was only an executive order, the President may intervene and amend some of its provisions or better yet, rally the legislators to enact a law that would grant the promise pay hike.”
“Recognizing the intricacies of governance, our teachers patiently waited for the promised enhancement of our salaries and benefits, while obviously, our brothers and sisters in the uniformed service were given priority,” Basas added referring to the salary increase for military and police that took effect last January 2018. One feature of the pay increase in military and uniformed personnel is the 100% additional pay for their lowest rank.
According to the group, teachers are waiting for this since President Duterte assumed office in 2016, with an increase in salary of teachers among his promises. The president in several occasions has also mentioned the said promise to teachers and will be next after the police and military. The TDC has been pushing for the enactment of the bill that would grant P10, 000 across-the-board increase in salaries of government teachers, among other benefits. TDC believes that since there is a new set of lawmakers, “this is the most opportune time to call for the legislation of teachers’ salary increase. But the DepEd support would surely help.”
The group has formally solicited the support of Secretary Briones for this specific advocacy.
“For the longest time, our calls for just compensation and treatment commensurate to our role in society have been neglected by the previous administrations.” Basas ended.
TDC in the recent past has staged a series of protest actions to dramatize the socio-economic situation of teachers aimed to pressure the government to heed their calls for higher salaries.
For other details:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson, 09273356375/
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