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Teachers confused by P110-B pay hike for state workers

/ 05:10 AM September 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The announcement on Monday that President Rodrigo Duterte had allotted P110 billion over the next three years for a raise in government workers’ salaries was not enough to appease the country’s largest teachers’ union, which accused him of deliberately muddying the waters.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said in a statement that the President should clarify how the allocation would be distributed, otherwise the lump sum amount only “served to confuse and obscure the planned increase’s actual benefit to state workers.”

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Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, the House of Representatives ways and means committee chair, had said workers with Salary Grades 1 to 17 would get higher increases compared to those with Salary Grades 18 to 33 — which included the President and lawmakers. No additional details were given.

Of the P110 billion, P32 billion is included in the 2020 national budget proposed by the Department of Budget and Management.

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ACT said if the proposed amount for the next three years was divided equally among the government’s 1.5 million employees, it would add up to a P5,044 increase in their salaries— far short of the P10,000 raise the group has sought for entry-level teachers.

These teachers, who have Salary Grade 11, currently only earn P20,754.

“The government’s conservative 2- to 4-percent inflation forecast will render the measly P5,000 increase insignificant, effectively denying us yet again a fair chance at a decent life,” said Joselyn Martinez, ACT national chair.

“If nothing else, the proposed measure seems to only serve to pacify our intensifying demand for better pay,” she added.

The sense of déjà vu is stark for the country’s 800,000 public school teachers, who received an annual increase of only P500 under former President Benigno Aquino III’s version of the Salary Standardization Law being proposed by Mr. Duterte’s administration.

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TAGS: ACT, Alliance of Concerned Teacger, Rodrigo Duterte, teachers’ pay hike
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