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DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Two militant lawmakers urged President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday to include in the 2018 proposed budget, a substantial salary increase for teachers and other government employees.

Alliance of Concerned Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro ​said they were concerned ​about the government’s development plan ​that was “silent” in terms of pay hikes of public school teachers and personnel.
“The Philippine Development Plan for 2017-2022 is silent as to salary increases for government personnel, majority of whom are teachers and non-teaching staff. Two secretaries, including secretary Diokno who heads the Development Budget Coordination Committee which drafted the 2018 proposed budget, opposed pay hikes in government,” ACT Rep. France Castro said in a statement on Friday.
Castro said that “pay hikes in government are less likely to be found.”
She vowed, however, that “salary increase for teachers and other government employees is one of the very first things that we will look for and pursue in President Duterte’s SONA and budget proposal.”

ACT’s Tinio said the Duterte administration has enough funds to raise the salary of public school teachers and school personnel. She claimed that under the Duterte administration, the education department has a budget proposal of P3.8 trillion.
“This would be the first budget proposal that the Duterte administration created from scratch. With a P3.8T budget proposal and the Department of Education having the highest allocation, the Duterte administration is more than capable of providing teachers and other rank-and-file personnel significant change in their salaries,” Tinio said.
“We reiterate our demand for P25,000 for Teacher 1 and P16,000 as minimum salary in government,” he said.
DBM’s Diokno during the 2017 budget deliberation said that substantial salary increases demanded by teachers are “too ambitious” while DepEd’s Briones claimed that teachers are “not underpaid.”
“With today’s rising prices of basic goods and services, they need more than what we are giving them now,” Tinio said
“The DBM is so quick and agressive in pushing for new taxes yet brands just demand for substantial salary increases as ‘too ambitious’.”
It can be recalled that the President, in his speech last July 28, vowed to implement an increase for teacher’s salaries. “Itong increase of salaries, ang sunod ko mga teachers,”Duterte said.
“We will continue to support and fight with the teachers and other government workers in their struggle for salary increase. We call on all teachers and government workers to unite and fight for their right for sufficient salaries and benefits in the coming State of the Nation Address of President Duterte,” the lawmaker said.

Source: Davao Today

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