Pacquiao vows to double salary of teachers to ‘restore dignity in teaching profession’
MANILA, Philippines — PROMDI Presidential candidate Sen. Manny Pacquiao said his administration will double the salary of all government teachers and would intervene to also improve the living standards of their counterpart in the private sector to restore dignity in the teaching profession.
Pacquiao said that over the years, the living standards of many teachers have miserably deteriorated that many of them even resort to loan sharks and in dubious networking schemes just to get by. He added that despite their status as educators, many teachers are still living in slums or are renting in squalid apartments because of the lack of support from the government.
“Sobrang napabayaan na ng pamahalaan ang ating mga guro. Noong araw, ang pagiging guro ay isang position of dignity and respect pero parang nawawala na ito dahil napakarami sa ating mga guro ang naghihikahos kaya napipipilitan na pumasok sa mga sitwasyon na nakakawala ng dignidad,” Pacquiao said.
“Marami sa ating mga teachers ang nagiging biktima ng mga pyramiding schemes at marami sa kanila ang baon sa utang dahil sa five-six. Hindi dapat nangyayari ito sa kanila dahil sila ang nagbibigay ng karunungan sa ating mga anak. Kailangang bigyan natin sila ng malasakit at ibalik sa kanila ang kanilang dignidad,” he added.
Pacquiao said that while he is thankful that President Rodrigo Duterte went out of his way to increase the salaries of those in the uniformed service, it is equally important that the government should also look after the welfare of the country’s teachers and health care workers.
He noted that during the pandemic, health care workers and teachers are the most important civilian sectors as they cater to public health and the education of our children.
Pacquiao stressed that “it is time for the new President to resolve this injustice in their working conditions.”
In order to finance the wage increase of government teachers, Pacquiao said that the government would get funds from various sources including its savings from corruption which is around P700 billion to P1 trillion a year.
He would also stop allocating hefty budgets for intelligence and discretionary funds and realign them for the salary increase of the teachers and health care workers.
“Hindi ito imposible dahil napakalaking pera ang nasasayang dahil sa korapsyon. Kapag napatigil natin ang korapsyon at naipakulong na natin ang lahat na kawatan sa gobyerno, malaki ang pondong matitipid ng pamahalaan at ito ang gagamitin natin para mapabuti ang buhay ng ating mga guro at mga health care workers. Itong korapsyon talaga ang ugat ng ating kahirapan,” Pacquiao said.
For the private sector, Pacquiao said that he would ask Congress to review the labor standards in private schools and see if the health care and educational sector can have a legislated wage increase. He would also ask the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) and the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) to revamp the current minimum wage for teachers.
Apart from doubling their salary, Pacquiao said that teachers should be also equipped with all the gadget that they need to be able to teach their students online to complement his “one gadget, one student” program.
“Kung yung ating mga sundalo at pulis ay ating inaarmasan para sa kapayapaan ay aarmasan din natin itong ating mga guro ng mga makabagong kagamitan para sa maitaas ang antas ng karunungan ng ating mga kabataan,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao estimates that the country’s educational system will continue to adopt the online platform as an instructional tool because of the continuing threat of the Covid-19 virus. And even after the Covid pandemic is over, Pacquiao said that schools are still expected to use the digital modes of instruction which necessitates the use of mobile phones and computing devices.