Amid economic crisis, teachers call on gov’t for 'urgent' relief measures 

With the "worsening" economic crisis, public school teachers urged the government to implement relief measures as soon as possible.


Hundreds of public school teachers under the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and ACT National Capital Region (NCR) Union staged a noise barrage along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City to call for immediate salary hikes and tax cuts on goods.

“It is downright inappropriate and immoral for the government to be cashing in on our hardships as they collect more value-added tax (VAT) each time prices of fuel and basic commodities increase,” ACT NCR President Ruby Ana Bernardo said in a statement issued Sunday, Nov. 20.

“We call on the Marcos government to bring down the prices of goods and bring relief to the people by scrapping the VAT on oil and essential goods,” she added.

ACT noted that teachers “lose about P4,000 of their monthly salary to steep inflation.” Citing its computation, the group said that the “real value” of the salaries of 92 percent of public school teachers who occupy Teacher I, II, and III positions eroded by P3,862 to P4,524 with an inflation rate hitting 7.7 percent last month based on 2018 consumer price index.

The Teacher I position which receives P25,439 now only has a real salary worth P21,577; the Teacher II salary of P27,608 is only worth P23,416, and Teacher III pay of P29,798 is only equivalent to P25,274, the group said.

For ACT Chairperson Vladimer Quetua, increasing salaries and cutting down taxes on goods are “perfectly doable measures.”

If the government would rechannel hundreds of billions allocated to corruption-prone infrastructure projects and confidential and intelligence funds, ACT said that it can grant its rank-and-file employees with “substantial” salary increase.

Given this, Bernardo said that the group will be joining all Filipino working people in a protest on Bonifacio Day (Nov. 30) to demand “urgent economic relief” amid the crisis.

“Our right to decent standards of living is grossly violated as the Marcos government refuses to lift a finger in the face of the grave economic crisis,” Bernardo said.

“We refuse to accept that the government cannot do anything with our predicament,” she added.