Teach­ers hurt, dis­ap­pointed

'How come we're not pri­or­ity of salary in­crease'

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Front Page - By PJ Orias

Agroup of teach­ers in North­ern Min­danao said they were hurt and dis­ap­pointed over Bud­get Sec­re­tary Ben­jamin Dio­kno's state­ments say­ing in­creas­ing teach­ers' salary is not a gov­ern­ment pri­or­ity.

Al­liance of Con­cerned Teach­ers (ACT) chair­per­son for North­ern Min­danao Ophe­lia Taba­con said they were happy that President Ro­drigo Duterte an­nounced his plans to in­crease the salary, but their hap­pi­ness was “cut short” with the bud­get of­fi­cial's state­ment.

“The call to in­crease our salary has been a lon­gover­due call. How can they say that we are not a pri­or­ity when in fact teach­ers are front­lin­ers and some­times we be­come chan­nels of dif­fer­ent gov­ern­ment pro­grams,” she said.

President Duterte has or­dered the Depart­ment of Bud­get and Man­age­ment (DBM) to find a way to dou­ble the teach­ers' salaries, but Dio­kno said this move would cost the gov­ern­ment P1 tril­lion. He also said the gov­ern­ment's pri­or­ity is `Build, Build, Build' so­cial pro­tec­tion, and tak­ing care of the poor.

Taba­con also said the gov­ern­ment was quick to glam­or­ize the newly-ap­proved tax re­form law, which in­creased rates on fuel, cars and sug­ar­sweet­ened drinks but re­duced per­sonal in­come tax, thus higher take home pay for teach­ers.

But Taba­con said the in­creased take home pay is dif­fer­ent from the ac­tual in­creased amount of their salaries.

“Gi­pal­abas nila nga swerte ang matu­tudlo kay mu­dako ang take home pay (They made it ap­pear that we were lucky be­cause our take home pay will in­crease), pero wala mi nali­pay ani kay amoa man ng reg­u­lar nga sweldo nga

giba­lik lang sa amo, dili kana mao ang among gi­pan­gayo (but we are not happy with this be­cause this is not what we are ask­ing for),” she said.

“Bisan dako ang among sweldo, ni­taas man pud kaayo ang palali­ton, so gibawi lang (Al­though our take home pay in­creased, the prices ba­sic com­modi­ties also in­creased, so it’s ba­si­cally the same),” she added.

She said teach­ers nowa­days have to look for ways to ramp up their method of teach­ing, and they do this through spend­ing their own money, say­ing P3,500 chalk al­lowance is not enough to buy com­put­ers, tele­vi­sion, and in­ter­net.

Taba­con said one proof that a teacher’s salary does not suf­fice to the ac­tual need, is for teach­ers them­selves re­sort­ing to mas­sive loans.

A teacher who re­fused to be named said, it is im­pos­si­ble to build his now two-storey house with­out loan­ing money.

“And it’s al­most the same case for ev­ery teacher in our school,” he said.

In­creas­ing pay for teach­ers, po­lice, and sol­diers was the cam­paign prom­ise of President Duterte.

Last Jan­uary 1, Duterte signed Joint Res­o­lu­tion No. 1 in­creas­ing the base pay, al­lowances, ben­e­fits, and in­cen­tives of all mem­bers of the mil­i­tary, po­lice, and other uni­formed per­son­nel in gov­ern­ment.

Taba­con said they are set to stage a rally to con­tinue the call to in­crease salaries of teach­ers.


PROM­ISES. In­creas­ing pay for teach­ers, po­lice and sol­diers was the cam­paign prom­ise of President Duterte. NorMin’s ACT group are set to stage a rally to con­tinue the call for the gov­ern­ment to in­crease salaries of teach­ers.

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