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Teachers’ group thumbs down staggered pay hike

/ 01:07 PM June 20, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio denounced Thursday the warning of business groups that an immediate salary increase for public school teachers would worsen the pay disparity between public and private school personnel.

The Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines, Action for Economic Reforms, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Foundation for Economic Freedom and Philippine Business for Education earlier called on the government to grant the P10,000 per month pay increase for public school teachers in tranches.

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The groups argued that an entry-level public school teacher (salary grade 11) even receives 58 percent more in pay than a private school teacher.

The possible rise in the disparity of pay could also “fuel the migration of private school teachers to public schools and exert financial pressures on private schools whose tuition fees are regulated by the government,” the business groups argued.

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READ: Pay hike for teachers better given in phases, biz groups say

“We totally reject this argument benchmarking the salaries of public teachers to private school teachers,” Tinio said during the House of Representatives Makabayan opposition bloc’s weekly press conference.

Tinio said the entry-level pay for private school educators is usually lower because they are often hired on a contractual basis or are not granted regular status.

While this practice should be condemned as it has no basis in law, the congressman said this should not be used to block the pay hike of public school teachers.

“Muli, ang panawagan ng ACT, ipantay na sa mga sweldo ng pulis at sundalo ang sahod ng mga guro…  It will cost approximately as much as what was given to uniformed personnel,” the party-list representative said.

(The ACT’s appeal is that teachers’ pay be at par with police and military personnel.)

“Kung gugustuhin lang ng administration at ni Pangulong [Rodrigo] Duterte ay kayang ipatupad sa kagyat ang substantial na salary increase para sa mga guro kaya muli natin ididiin ito lalo pa’t binubuo na ng DBM [Department of Budget and Management] ang budget para sa [2020],” he added.

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(If the administration of President Duterte wills it, the substantial salary increase for public school teachers can be realized.  Hence, our appeal, now that the budget department is preparing the 2020 budget.)

Duterte has vowed to increase the salary of public school teachers after working for the salary hike of police and military personnel.

READ: Teachers to Duterte: Raise pay as promised

Under the 4th tranche of the Salary Standardization Law, an entry-level public-school teacher with a salary grade of 11 earns a monthly salary of P20,754.

The government would have to shell out some P150 billion to implement the proposed wage hike, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)

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