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PRESS RELEASE: Solon hits PNoy: P946 billion of pork but zero for pay hikes for teachers, civil servants

3 October 2013 2 Comments

PRESS RELEASE

October 3, 2013

Reference: ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio (09209220817)

  

No gift coming for World Teachers’ Day

Solon hits PNoy: P946 billion of pork but zero for pay hikes for teachers, civil servants

  

On the eve of World Teachers’ Day, a militant solon slammed President Aquino’s indifference to the demand for salary increases of public school teachers and other state workers. 

“The President hangs pork barrel funds, but for the just demands of public school teachers and other government employees, he gives nothing,” said ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio.  “Nagbigay siya ng zero para sa umento sa sahod ng mga guro at kawani, samantalang higit sa P946 bilyon ang inilaan niya para may maipapamudmod siya sa mga pulitiko.”

With the continuation of depressed wages amid billions of public funds set aside for patronage, Tinio says that Aquino has earned the ire especially of public school teachers, who comprise one-third of the total bureaucracy.

In fact, Tinio promised, Aquino can count on hordes of angry teachers who will be spending an early World Teachers’ Day on the streets tomorrow.  “Sisingilin nila ang Presidente at mga alipores nito sa ginagawa nilang pandarambong sa pondo ng bayan, na dapat sana’y inilalaan sa dagdag na sahod at benepisyo para sa mga guro at kawani.”

World Teachers’ Day is celebrated every October 5 to commemorate the adoption in 1966 of the UNESCO-ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, a landmark document recognizing the duty of states to promote and protect teachers’ rights to adequate remuneration, among others.

Tinio estimates that, out of the entire 2014 budget, Aquino set aside P946 billion of lump sum funds subject to his sole discretion.  The 2014 General Appropriations Bill was passed on second reading early morning last Saturday without a single cent removed from funds identified as Presidential pork, such as Special Purpose and Unprogrammed Funds.

Tinio noted early in the budget deliberations that Aquino’s proposal for 2014 does not provide for salary increases for government employees.  Budget Secretary Butch Abad replied that the administration will still study if it is the “appropriate time” to give another round of salary hikes, adding that this “would entail a huge amount of money.”

Tinio countered that according to his rough estimates, the demand for pay increases is tiny compared to Aquino’s P964 billion pork.

“For example, increasing teachers’ minimum pay will cost government at least P5 billion more—an additional amount that will barely make a dent in PNoy’s pork.”

Teachers demand a starting monthly salary of P25,000 (from P18,549) while non-teaching personnel want P15,000 for those in Salary Grade 1 (P9,000), with corresponding hikes for higher grades.  Tinio filed House Bill 245, An Act Increasing the Minimum Monthly Salaries of Public School Teachers to Twenty Five Thousand Pesos (P25,000) and Non-Teaching Personnel to Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P15,000), in answer to this demand.

Tinio also noted that teachers demand accounting and accountability for Aquino and his allies’ mangling of the national budgets laid by law since 2010, which led to the centralization then dissipation for political patronage of large chunks of funds appropriated by Congress.

In an earlier statement, Tinio condemned the Disbursement Acceleration Program—through which the administration pooled as savings unobligated funds in the middle of the year then realigned for programs not authorized by Congress—as “nothing less than the President arrogating unto himself the power of the purse.  It is Presidential discretion over public funds gone wild.” 

Tomorrow, October 4, ACT Teachers Party-List and the Alliance of Concerned Teachers will spend World Teachers’ Day with various unions and associations in a protest march from UST to Mendiola, starting at 9:30 am.  They will later join the anti-pork barrel march at Ayala.  ###

  • gregorio villar lopez

    let

  • gregorio villar lopez

    let us stand and be united and work for the upliftment of teachers lives by demanding for an increase in our salary before its toolate let us act now