Palace assures Duterte “working on” teachers’ salary increase

MANILA, Philippines – The Malacañan Palace gave assurance that President Rodrigo Duterte is not abandoning his promise to increase the salary of our public school teachers.

As the new school year opened this week, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that they are already “working on” for teachers’ appeal for a pay hike.
Palace assures Duterte “working on” teachers’ salary increase

Panelo confirmed that the President has asked his economic advisers to look for possible sources of funding for the raise.

“The President is working on that and hopefully that can be responded to. Our economic managers are doing everything to see how things can be done,” Panelo said.

“Let’s see, because I’ve talked with the secretary of finance, budget and economic managers and they said they’re working. Let’s see. I don’t know where they will get the funds, but they are looking for these sources. I think the economic managers have to answer that,” he added.

Under Tranche 4 of the Salary Standardization Law, entry-level public-school teachers belong to a Salary Grade 11 and earn a monthly salary of P20,754. The teachers are asking for an additional P10,000 to cope with the rising costs of commodities.

Panelo said that the President has worked on so many things the past years but isn’t renouncing his promise to the teachers.

“The President is not reneging on his statement, but as you all know there are many things that occurred during the 3-year term and the President had to increase the salaries of soldiers and the PNP (Philippine National Police),” Panelo said.

The spokesperson cited anew Duterte’s mother Soledad as the reason for the President’s soft spot for teachers.

Panelo said, “You must remember that the mother of the President was a teacher so his heart is with the teachers.”

Panelo asked the teachers for more time since the additional P10,000 per teacher would amount to a additional P150 billion funding from the government. He said, “We appeal to our teachers that since this is a huge amount, medyo haba-habaan niyo lang muna yung pasensya talagang maghahanap tayo ng pera para sa inyo.”

“Look at the entire forest of public service”

Meanwhile, Department of Education (DepEd) secretary Leonor Briones poured cold water on the promised pay hike.

Speaking at a briefing at Signal Village National High School in Taguig City, Briones offered no encouraging words and asked the teachers to “look at the entire forest of public service.”

Briones explained that an increase in the salary of teachers would mean an increase of all government employees and might result to other professionals like nurses to be further underpaid.

She said, “No man is an island. We are a very important sector, beloved by all, but at the same time we have to love everybody else.”

— Sally, The Summit Express

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