ACT to Palace: No more promises, sign pact to upgrade teachers’ salaries

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Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo. (Photo courtesy The Filipino Times)

MANILA, Philippines — “No more promises.”

This was the reaction of ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio after Presidential Spokesman Panelo said that there was still time for President Duterte to fulfill his promise of doubling teachers’ pay. Panelo’s remark was a reaction to public school teachers’ dismay with the meager pay hike provided by the recently signed Salary Standardization Law V, which will give teachers a raise of only about Php1,500/month every year until 2023.

“We’ve spent the last three years urging the President to honor his word and substantially raise our salaries. So we say: no more promises, but more decisive actions. We are challenging the President to face us and sign a binding pact to immediately upgrade teachers’ salaries to SG 15,” pressed Basilio.

Doing so, ACT argued, will keep public school teachers’ pay at par with nurses and uniformed personnel. Police officers’ salaries have been at Php29,668 since it was doubled in 2018. Nurses, on the other hand, will receive a minimum salary of Php32,053 under the SSL 5 as their pay have been upgraded from salary grade 11 to salary grade 15 following a Supreme Court ruling.

“With the new SSL, teachers’ salaries will lag behind other professionals’ pay even after four years, as it will only amount to Php27,000 by 2023. This is a grave injustice to the mother of all professions and upon whom a vital part of national development rests,” added Basilio.

Basilio continued that since it was the Palace who declared that the President intends to keep his promise still, then so too should they prove their sincerity to nearly a million public school teachers.

“The President himself announced last year that he’s willing to meet with us and sign an agreement regarding our pay hike demand. But that’s just another promise he didn’t keep, despite our persistent efforts to follow through. Teachers are thus reasonably skeptical. Nonetheless, in the interest of advancing teachers’ welfare and providing quality education to the youth, we urge the President to decisively effect a pay raise and finally give the teachers due recognition,” said Basilio.

ACT further declared that public school teachers will continue and intensify their just fight for decent and livable pay, and for the teaching profession to be given dignity by the government. (Stacy Ang/JGo/Currentph.com)

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