MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte in his 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA) called on Congress to pass a new Salary Standardization Law that will raise the pay of government workers, including public school teachers. (READ: Teachers renew calls for ‘urgent’ salary hike as classes open)
“To the teachers who toil and work tirelessly to educate our young, kasali na po dito ‘yung hinihingi niyo…hindi masyadong malaki pero it will tide you over,” he said in front of lawmakers on Monday, July 22.
(To the teachers who toil and work tirelessly to educate our young, what you have been asking for is included here. It may not be so big but it will tide you over.)
In 2015, former president Benigno Aquino III pushed for the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) – which mandates a 4-year salary increase to the basic salaries of government employees.
The compensation adjustment under SSL ends in 2019.
Doubling the salary of public school teachers under his administration was one of Duterte’s campaign promises.
Senators of the 18th Congress on July 1, filed bills seeking to see this promise through.
Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara wants public school teachers to receive at least P36,409 monthly, bringing their pay to Salary Grade 19 level. This is a jump from their basic salary of P20,754 under Salary Grade 11.
Senator Francis Pangilinan also filed a bill on additional compensation of about P10,000 per month.
Meanwhile, Senator Nancy Binay’s version of the bill sought to bring the monthly wages of teachers and non-teaching personnel to P28,000 and P16,000, respectively. She also wants to give additional “educational assistance” to public school teachers.
But Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in June that government could not think of teachers alone when it came to salary increases. There are other government personnel to think about, she said. She also said that raising teachers’ salaries by P5,000 would require an additional P75 billion annually.
Briones even said that teachers’ salaries have, in fact, improved. The minimum salary for public school teachers increased from P19,077 in 2016 to P20,754 in 2019, under the Salary Standardization Law.
Former budget chief and now Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas President Benjamin Diokno said the same in January 2018.
He said that doubling teachers’ salaries would cost an additional P343.7 billion or 2% of the gross domestic product. – Rappler.com
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