Teachers slams recent pay hike bill, vows to fight for higher pay

Published December 11, 2019, 3:52 PM

by Dr. Eduardo Gonzales

By Merlina Hernando-Malipot

A federation of teachers on Wednesday slammed the recent pay hike plan which got the nod of President Rodrigo Duterte – noting that this was “worse than what we feared.”

(MANILA BULLETIN)
(MANILA BULLETIN)

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines, in a statement, opposed the the pay hike plan contained in the recently filed bill on salary increase for government workers by Senator Bong Revilla backed by President Duterte. The amount and terms of increases, the group said, is worse than the worst scenario that they expected.

“Not only are the amounts too small, it is spread out in more tranches that will even go beyond Duterte’s term, clearly the President is not keeping his words,” said ACT Philippines Chairperson Joselyn Martinez.

Earlier, ACT noted that Revilla filed Senate Bill 1219 which proposes for about a total of 23% increase divided in four years, or roughly P1,500 hike in monthly salaries per year for 92% of public school teachers who occupy the positions Teacher I, II, and III. The pay hike plan, the group said, is in accordance with the proposal of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and concurred by the President himself.

 Fulfill your promise

ACT noted that since the 2016 presidential campaign and in his first two years in office, President Duterte “has consistently promised to double the teachers’ salaries but downgraded his commitment” in his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) to an amount that will be “enough to tide us over.”

Martinez said that the proposed increase “would not even translate to increased daily family budget as it will only be eaten up by income tax and impending increases in mandatory contributions.”

ACT explained that upon the implementation of the salary increase, Teacher I will lose the income tax-exempted status that they have now. The Universal Health Care Act mandates the hiking of employees’ Philhealth contributions yearly, from 2.75% today to 4.5% in 2023. The GSIS is also proposing for hefty increases in membership contributions.

“Paano kami matutulungan nitong makatawid sa pang-araw-araw gayung ‘ni hindi ito sasayad sa sikmura namin? (How can this [pay hike] help up get through everyday when it would not even reach our stomachs?” Martinez asked. “Bigay-bawi ang sistema (it’s like a give and take system) only, they will be giving us crumbs which the government will only collect back,” she added.

Martinez further criticized the planned P500 increase in the monthly salaries of Salary Grade I employees, the same amount given by the past Aquino government under Executive Order 201. “The Duterte government has propped up its image by capitalizing on the shortcomings of the past regime, but in fact it is no better, as far as increasing the government minimum wage is concerned,” she lamented.

ACT asserted that the “stingy” pay hike proposal only reflects the government’s “lacking sincerity” in improving the quality of service-delivery to the people. “Essential to improving government services is making sure that our frontliners are afforded decent standards of living. It is downright exploitative for our employer to press our teachers for quality education while it refuses to give us quality life,” Martinez said.

For the group, the fate of teachers’ and government employees’ salary increase is a “critical issue” towards the 2022 national elections – noting that the 2.4 million civilian government workers, regularly-employed and under contracts – could“easily translate” to five million votes. “Through the ballot, we will register our great disappointment, no vote for those who fail on their promises or act as accomplices to it,” Martinez declared.

Given this, ACT vowed to stage continuing protest actions. “We will fight the ‘life-and-death’ issue in Congress and we will hold for bigger protests next year,” Martinez ended.

 
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Teachers slams recent pay hike bill, vows to fight for higher pay

Published December 11, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Merlina Hernando-Malipot

A federation of teachers on Wednesday slammed the recent pay hike plan which got the nod of President Rodrigo Duterte – noting that this was “worse than what we feared.”

(MANILA BULLETIN)
(MANILA BULLETIN)

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines, in a statement, opposed the the pay hike plan contained in the recently filed bill on salary increase for government workers by Senator Bong Revilla backed by President Duterte. The amount and terms of increases, the group said, is worse than the worst scenario that they expected.

“Not only are the amounts too small, it is spread out in more tranches that will even go beyond Duterte’s term, clearly the President is not keeping his words,” said ACT Philippines Chairperson Joselyn Martinez.

Earlier, ACT noted that Revilla filed Senate Bill 1219 which proposes for about a total of 23% increase divided in four years, or roughly P1,500 hike in monthly salaries per year for 92% of public school teachers who occupy the positions Teacher I, II, and III. The pay hike plan, the group said, is in accordance with the proposal of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and concurred by the President himself.

 Fulfill your promise

ACT noted that since the 2016 presidential campaign and in his first two years in office, President Duterte “has consistently promised to double the teachers’ salaries but downgraded his commitment” in his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) to an amount that will be “enough to tide us over.”

Martinez said that the proposed increase “would not even translate to increased daily family budget as it will only be eaten up by income tax and impending increases in mandatory contributions.”

ACT explained that upon the implementation of the salary increase, Teacher I will lose the income tax-exempted status that they have now. The Universal Health Care Act mandates the hiking of employees’ Philhealth contributions yearly, from 2.75% today to 4.5% in 2023. The GSIS is also proposing for hefty increases in membership contributions.

“Paano kami matutulungan nitong makatawid sa pang-araw-araw gayung ‘ni hindi ito sasayad sa sikmura namin? (How can this [pay hike] help up get through everyday when it would not even reach our stomachs?” Martinez asked. “Bigay-bawi ang sistema (it’s like a give and take system) only, they will be giving us crumbs which the government will only collect back,” she added.

Martinez further criticized the planned P500 increase in the monthly salaries of Salary Grade I employees, the same amount given by the past Aquino government under Executive Order 201. “The Duterte government has propped up its image by capitalizing on the shortcomings of the past regime, but in fact it is no better, as far as increasing the government minimum wage is concerned,” she lamented.

ACT asserted that the “stingy” pay hike proposal only reflects the government’s “lacking sincerity” in improving the quality of service-delivery to the people. “Essential to improving government services is making sure that our frontliners are afforded decent standards of living. It is downright exploitative for our employer to press our teachers for quality education while it refuses to give us quality life,” Martinez said.

For the group, the fate of teachers’ and government employees’ salary increase is a “critical issue” towards the 2022 national elections – noting that the 2.4 million civilian government workers, regularly-employed and under contracts – could“easily translate” to five million votes. “Through the ballot, we will register our great disappointment, no vote for those who fail on their promises or act as accomplices to it,” Martinez declared.

Given this, ACT vowed to stage continuing protest actions. “We will fight the ‘life-and-death’ issue in Congress and we will hold for bigger protests next year,” Martinez ended.

 
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