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Salary Hike, NOW!

Eva Suanes Bengdaen

· Volume I Issue II

On his campaign during the 2016 election, President Rodrigo Duterte keeps on reiterating his promise that he will double the salary of the uniformed personnel composed of policemen and military and he also assured that the other government employees will also receive wage increase once he took the presidency.

A year after winning the election, he fulfilled his words to the policemen and the military since they have received their salary increase including other benefits such as bonuses, allowance, health care, and housing, but not to the teachers. He said he prioritized the uniformed personnel because he has been using them in his war against drugs and terrorism.

Now the president is on his midterm, and he says that he doesn’t forget his pledge to the public school teachers. He also said that his budget secretary is now looking and working for all possible means to grant the increase. However, he stated that he cannot double the teachers’ salary due to insufficient government funds.

On his latest (SONA) State of the Nation Address, the president again mentioned the same statements of granting the teachers and other government employees wage increase and he mandated the congress to immediately pass the Salary Standardization Law which he said will materialize the increase. These words from the president revived the diminishing hopes among the public school teachers of receiving their salary increase.

The last time teachers given a salary increase was in 2016 under the Executive Order of former President Benigno Aguino III where a measly 2,000 pesos increase was divided into four tranches. In this, teachers only received an increase of 500 pesos a year where the last tranche expired last January. How can this amount suffice the necessities of the families of our public teachers where inflation rate is rapidly increasing?

Public school teachers have been clamoring for a 10,000 wage increase to be able to adapt to the ballooning prices of basic commodities like foods, medicine, transportation fare, and others, In addition to their expenditures in providing their students learning materials. Even though teachers are not obliged, they are being forced to spend their own savings just to give students a better learning.

This salary increase would be a big help to our dear teachers to live a better and a decent life. Decent in a way that this could save our public school teachers from the verge of drowning from the different loans which they have acquired from the government and private lending institutions in trying to sustain their financial needs.