The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines on Thursday, July 8, said that it has started gearing up to “charge” President Duterte in his last State of the Nation (SONA) over his “failure to deliver on his promises” – especially on doubling teachers’ salary.
To drumbeat the campaign for salary increase and remind Duterte of his campaign promise, teachers hung tarpaulins that bear their demands in several Metro Manila public schools including Judge Juan Luna High School, Bago Bantay Elementary School, Delfin M. Geraldez Mem. Elementary School, West Fairview High School, Sta. Lucia Senior High School, New Era High School, Batino Elementary School, Melencio M. Castelo Elementary School, and J. Rizal Elementary School.
“Our first school year under distance learning exposed and aggravated the dire crisis in education,” ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio said.
Basilio lamented that as always, it was teachers and education support personnel “who toiled the most to ensure education continuity, to enable the youth’s enjoyment of their right to education; while the government abandoned its mandates.” Basilio noted that such only furthers the “justness of our call” for better pay.
ACT noted that teachers’ incomes hardly sufficed pre-pandemic – even with the “bogus pay raise” provided by the Duterte admin’s salary standardization law.
Basilio said that the teacher’s monthly salary only increased by around Php1,500—which is far from the President’s promise of doubling their pay.
“This was further diminished by taxes and bigger mandatory deductions,” Basilio said. “It’s not rocket science to see how gravely insufficient that is to cover the costs of distance learning, nor can that help our families survive the health and economic crises plaguing the country,” he added.
ACT has been expressing the sector’s dismay with the President’s failure to fulfil his many promises, earning the latter a #TaksilSaPangako tag.
“If anything the education sector has been at the least of the President’s priorities,” ACT said. The President, the group added, hardly “lifted a finger” to aid in delivering education at a time of pandemic.
Given this, such, ACT announced the mounting of their efforts to demand what is due them and hold to account the government for failing to deliver its mandates.
“More schools are expected to hang tarpaulins to highlight their pressing call to upgrade teachers’ basic salaries to salary grade 15 and college instructors’ to salary grade 16 and the raising of the national minimum pay in the public sector to P16,000 monthly,” ACT explained.
Duterte is set to deliver his last SONA on July 26.