By Alliance of Concerned Teachers
January 15, 2019
QUEZON CITY – Teachers from the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) renewed their call for substantial salary increase upon Budget Chief Diokno’s announcement regarding the February release of the 4th tranche of the salary adjustment under Executive Order 201, s. 2016. The group denounced the lamentable increase in their salaries while top government officials receive as much as P100K additional to their already 6-figure income.
“The 4th tranche only amounts to an increase of P575 for Teacher I, P789 for Teacher II, and P1,008 for Teacher III, and it is us who compose around 90% of the workforce in public basic education. Meanwhile, the President will receive an additional P101,656 and DBM Sec. ‘Joke-no’ may receive as much as P71,601 more. It is impossible to miss the injustice here,” declared Joselyn Martinez, ACT National Chairperson.
Martinez argued that these amounts “hardly cover the erosion in our salaries due to the TRAIN-induced surge in inflation last year, which were implemented by the very people in our government whose salaries were barely hurt by the rise in prices of basic commodities.”
Educators that belong to Teacher I, II, and III ranks will receive 2.8% to 4.2% salary increases under the 4th tranche of pay hike, which are way below the 5.2% inflation rate in 2018. President Duterte, on the other hand, will receive a 34% increase on his monthly salaries.
“We are hoping that this is not what the President was referring to when he claimed to want to raise our salaries this year,” said Martinez.
She stated that ACT is more than willing to discuss with the President the immediate and just demands of teachers, adding that “as the sole accredited union of teachers all over the country, we are confident that we represent the demands of our sector.”
“We remain steadfast on our call for a P30,000 salary for Teacher I, P31,000 for Instructor I, and P16,000 for salary grade 1 employees. We also call on the President to immediately effect a P3,000 increase in our personnel economic relief allowance (PERA),” urged Martinez.
The group also proposed some potential sources of funds for the increase, which included “the presidential pork, road users’ tax, flood control projects, P75 billion worth of last-minute insertions to the 2019 budget, tokhang and war funds,” among others.
“If the government were to truly be earnest in its efforts and wield its power and authority to serve the people, then nothing is impossible. The pay hike of teachers and other workers can be implemented in no time. Until then, we shall carry on the fight,” concluded Martinez.