December 4, 2018
QUEZON CITY – The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) called on President Duterte "to put into consideration the whole government bureaucracy, not to play favorites in giving out benefits and bonuses” after news of P50K Christmas bonus for staff of the Office of the President (OP). The President’s decision was reportedly inspired by Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s granting of P50K bonus to city hall employees in Davao City.
“It seems Duterte often forgets that he’s no longer merely a Mayor anymore, but the President of the Philippines. He cannot continue practicing 'patronage politics' while the rest of the country hardly make ends meet, with our belts incessantly tightening as the holiday season fast approaches,” says Joselyn Martinez, ACT National Chairperson.
Martinez also cited the doubling of the salaries of the military and police as another instance where Pres. Duterte has practiced partiality in favor of those ‘whose loyalty he needs.’
“His still-heavy reliance on patronage politics exposes his weakness as a leader,” continued Martinez.
She reminded that the money being used ‘in his bid to win over loyalty and allegiances within the bureaucracy’ is the people’s money and not his own.
“The President must responsibly and justly utilize the people’s money by providing substantial economic relief and by delivering free and quality social services to the people. All of us hardworking employees deserve a decent and dignified life,” demanded Martinez.
The group is calling for a minimum wage of P16,000, P30,000 salary for Teacher I, and P31,000 for Instructor I. Additionally, ACT urges the Duterte administration to immediately effect an upgrade from P2,000 to P5,000 on the Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (PERA).
“We challenge him to uphold the principle of equal pay for equal work. Especially that the government's current salary scheme is already distorted in favor of uniformed personnel and high officials, the least he can do is to provide equal benefits and bonuses for all to enable the low-salaried government workers to cope with the crisis,” pressed Martinez.