Pay hike

Sun.Star Cebu - - OPINION - TWIT­TER: @sun­starcebu FACEBOOK: /ce­busun­star Teach­ers of Con­cerned

Pub­lic school teach­ers re­cently car­oled sen­a­tors to call for pay hike, higher ed­u­ca­tion bud­get, and the junk­ing of the Tax Re­form for Ac­cel­er­a­tion and In­clu­sion (Train) law. The House was then on the third day of ple­nary on the 2019 na­tional bud­get.

Teacher car­ol­ers with Santa hats and mu­si­cal in­stru­ments sang pop­u­lar Christ­mas car­ols with mod­i­fied lyrics to high­light their sit­u­a­tion and de­mands.

Teach­ers from the Al­liance of Con­cerned teach­ers said their need for eco­nomic re­lief gets more ur­gent by the day, es­pe­cially with Mala­cañang’s re­cent re­trac­tion of its ear­lier com­mit­ment to sus­pend the im­ple­men­ta­tion of an­other P2 per liter fuel ex­cise tax in Jan­uary 2019, as pro­vided by the Train law.

Mala­cañang with­drew ear­lier the de­clared sus­pen­sion of the 2nd tranche of the fuel ex­cise tax hike re­port­edly due to the “slow down” of the Novem­ber in­fla­tion to 6 per­cent from the 2-month 6.7 per­cent peak. The gov­ern­ment also said that non-im­ple­men­ta­tion of fuel tax hikes will have ef­fects on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Build, Build, Build pro­gram and will neg­a­tively im­pact the bud­get for per­son­nel ser­vices of the na­tional gov­ern­ment agen­cies.

The Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion uses the gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees as scape­goat to raise funds for the ques­tion­able in­fra­struc­ture projects. We have noth­ing to do and noth­ing to gain from the tax col­lected through the Train law. The law clearly states that 70 per­cent of the col­lec­tion will go to Build, Build, Build.

We asked the sen­a­tors to re­peal the Train law that not only did not de­liver on its prom­ise to bring re­lief to the ma­jor­ity of Filipinos but also short­changed us.

The econ­omy, as felt by us, the peo­ple, has spi­raled down at an alarm­ing rate this 2018, which stands in con­trary to the gov­ern­ment’s claim that the in­crease in this year’s in­fla­tion sig­ni­fies eco­nomic growth and sub­se­quently proves the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s eco­nomic poli­cies as ef­fec­tive.

The net ex­pense of fam­i­lies has not de­creased de­spite claims of lower food prices in Novem­ber.

We felt no respite from high prices as while veg­etable prices have gone down, prices of rice and fish have not changed. Worse, prices of canned goods have spiked as pro­duc­ers claim the prod­ucts avail­able in the mar­ket to­day were pro­duced dur­ing the months when oil prices were at its peak.

We de­nounce the gov­ern­ment’s pri­or­i­ties for fund­ing in 2019 as it is all for Duterte and noth­ing for the peo­ple. Gov­ern­ment’s pro­posed bud­get saw heavy al­lo­ca­tions for in­fra­struc­ture projects that do not bring any sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment to peo­ple’s well-be­ing, as well as for anti-peo­ple and self-serv­ing agenda such as the war on il­le­gal drugs, fed­er­al­ism, and mil­i­ta­riza­tion.

We urge the sen­a­tors to rep­re­sent the peo­ple’s de­mands dur­ing their de­lib­er­a­tion. In­crease our salaries and al­lo­cate higher bud­get for ed­u­ca­tion and other so­cial ser­vices.

We also call for an ad­di­tional P3,000 in the Per­son­nel Eco­nomic Re­lief Al­lowance (Pera) to cur­tail the ef­fects of the steep in­crease in the prices of goods and ser­vices.--Al­liance

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