Briones announces on World Teachers’ Day: “We can’t afford salary increase”


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MANILA, Philippines – Amidst calls for a “good news” on World Teachers’ Day, Education secretary Leonor Briones announced that the agency couldn’t afford a salary increase for the 6,500 public school teachers in the country.

Briones announces on World Teachers’ Day: “We can’t afford salary increase”
Education secretary Leonor Briones explains why they can’t afford teachers’ salary increase | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Leonor Briones

Briones explained that once the government agrees to raise the teachers’ salaries, it might push them to increase taxes further to supplement the budget. She said, “Right now, the budget of the Department of Education is P527 billion and more than P350 billion go to the salaries of the teachers.”

Briones pointed out the need for additional P350 billion in taxes for the raise.

The education secretary asked the public and teachers if they can afford to pay more taxes. Briones said, “Now, I would like to ask and consult all of you here as I presume that all of you are taxpayers, are you prepared, can we afford to contribute P350 billion more in taxes to increase the salaries of the teachers?”

Briones continued that the increase should be seen in a different light, including thinking about the entire Filipino who would be burdened with the possible added tax. She said, “While we think of the personal needs of our teachers, we have to also to think of the rest of the economy. We also have to think of the rest of Filipinos and we have to prosper together.”

Briones also pointed out that an increase in public school teachers’ salary would result to an influx of teachers from the private school.

Briones explained, “The most a teacher will stay in a private school will be three years. We cannot promote the interest of the public school teachers (at the expense of private school teachers).”

Alliance of Concerned Teachers had been calling for an additional P9,000 to increase their pay from P21,000 to P30,000. Private school teachers are receiving way lower compared to those in public school.

Meanwhile, Briones spoke in Ormoc City on October 5 for the celebration of National Teachers’ Day and reported significant developments in teachers’ welfare, benefits and compensation.

According to Briones, teachers are expected to receive a bonus amounting to P3,000 this December 2018. The cash/chalk allowance increased to P3,500 this year. The DepEd also allocated a total of P2,152,162,000 for special hardship allowance for teacher assigned in areas with difficulty in transportation. Honoraria to qualified teachers have been allotted and several other more projects as part of the 10-point agenda of Briones.

Briones renewed her commitment to teachers saying, “Because we recognize their fundamental role in educating the Filipino learners and carrying out reforms at the grassroots, we are relentless in our desire to capacitate and empower our teachers.”

— Sally, The Summit Express


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