17 August 2016
Reference: ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio (09209220817) and France Castro (09204166441)
Militant solons for the education sector urged Congress, which received Monday the 2017 budget proposal, to reject Aquino’s paltry pay hike and instead grant substantial salary increases to 1.6 million government employees, majority of whom are public school teachers and other education personnel.
“We welcome the inclusion in the proposed 2017 budget of funds for salary increases as these will provide needed additional finances for government employees and their families,” said ACT Teachers Party-List Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro.
The solons refer to the P39.59 billion Lump-sum for Compensation Adjustment included in the proposed budget submitted to Congress.
However, they urged the Duterte administration to reject Aquino’s four-year plan to adjust the pay scale for state workers, as embodied in Executive Order 201, series of 2016. The solons added that President Duterte should take the 2017 budget, the first to be proposed by his administration, as his chance to correct the paltry salary increases and inequitable pay scale provided by his predecessor.
Aquino’s EO only gives meager increases for the rank-and-file while doubling, even tripling, the salaries of executives and top public officials. It plans to hike the basic pay of rank and file employees by only 11% to 22% over the next four years. Entry-level teachers, nurses, and other mid-income employees (Salary Grade 11, currently at P19,077 per month) are given a measly additional P2,205 in four years (11.89%), or an average of P24 per day.
On the other hand, for executive-level positions, pay increases are 76.96% (Salary Grade 25, P71,476) up to a whopping 233.12% (for Salary Grade 33, P215,804 for the President of the Philippines).
“Congress should be reminded how much Aquino’s salary schedule is criticized as tilted in favor of executives and top politicians while shortchanging the rank-and-file, who keep most of government offices and services running, who need additional finances the most,” said Tinio. “We thus urge Congress to amend the 2017 budget proposal and grant more substantial salary increases to about a million employees in government. We also urge the Duterte administration to propose and enact a new salary schedule that will be more responsive to the needs of our state workers.”
“Our concrete proposal for substantial salary increases is a monthly basic pay of P25,000 for entry-level teachers, P16,000 for the lowest government employee (SG 1, currently P9,478), and P27,000 for college instructors (SG 12, P20,651), with the salaries for other positions adjusted accordingly,” said Castro. “If Congress leadership under President Duterte makes this a reality, government employees will be assured that real change–not small change or barya-barya–is coming.”
“We should look at all possible avenues to grant immediate economic relief to our government employees,” Tinio urged, maintaining that if the administration is only willing to grant salary hikes, there are funds for it.
They urged that the billion-peso allocations for debt servicing, PPP, CCT, and hidden pork should be rechannelled to fund salary increases for state workers.
The two solons vowed that salary increases will be one of their main issues during the 2017 budget deliberations.
SOURCE: ACT TEACHER PARTYLIST