As they lose over P3K of monthly salary to inflation, teachers seek wage hikes anew 

A group once again called on the government to increase the salary of teachers as they continue to lose a significant portion of their monthly pay to inflation.


“With the country’s inflation rate hitting a 14-year high of 7.7 percent in October 2022, the purchasing power of entry-level public school teachers’ P25,439 monthly salary is cut by P3,862 or P175.55 in their daily pay,” the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines said.

ACT noted that this eroded amount accounts for 15 percent of the current basic pay of Teacher 1 which “now has a real value” of P21,576.76.

The computations, ACT said, are based on the depreciation of the purchasing power of one peso now only worth 85 centavos compared to its value in 2018.

ACT noted that public school teachers occupying Teacher I positions form 52 percent of all public school teachers nationwide

From 2018 to 2022, ACT said that the Teacher I position received a total of P5,292 increase in their monthly salaries through the pay adjustments of the Salary Standardization Law IV and V.

But with the soaring inflation, ACT said that the “real value” of this salary increase is reduced by 73 percent or P3,862.

“Sa madaling salita, mula 2018 hanggang ngayon ay P1,397.76 lamang ang tunay na natamasang umento ng Teacher I sa kanilang buwanang sweldo, o P25 kada araw (In other words, from 2018 until now Teacher I has only really enjoyed an increase of P1,397.76 in their monthly salary, or P25 per day),” ACT Chairperson Vladimer Quetua said.

He furthered that as a majority of teachers are “deep in loans,” many only receive a monthly net take-home pay of P5,000 after loan payment deductions.

“There is really no more room for belt-tightening in this predicament, we are in an emergency situation that calls for emergency measures,” Quetua said.

“There is no indication that the economy will improve in the next months with the global crisis projected to even worsen, and our spineless local economy sure to be dragged further under water,” he added.

ACT also cited the Ibon Foundation’s computation of family living wage based on government data which amounts to P1,119 daily or about P33,000 a month.

Quetua said that none of the 92 percent of public school teachers, who occupy Teacher I, II, and III positions, receive salaries of this level. “The minimum wage in the private and public sector should approximate these amounts to allow our people to meet their basic needs,” he explained.

Given this, ACT noted that the salary level of Teacher I in public schools should be upgraded from the current salary grade 11 to salary grade 15 so that they can have a gross pay of around P35,000 per month.

“Our people and our teachers deserve to afford regular meals and basic needs, the Marcos government has to urgently effect pay hikes to bring wages and salaries to liveable levels,” Quetua said.

Quetua also pointed out that it is well within the government’s powers to effect wage hikes and bring down the prices of commodities through the "removal of onerous taxes" on essential goods.

“What are they in power for if they cannot manage the economy and safeguard the welfare of the people?” he added.