05 October 2017
Solons join Teachers’ Day of Protest for Salary Increase
ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio and Rep. France Castro joined the Teachers’ Day of Protest march to Mendiola today to condemn the Duterte administration’s failure to increase the salaries of public and private school teachers, instructors and other education personnel after more than a year in power.
National Teachers’ Day commemorates the signing in October 5 of the 1966 International Labor Organization at United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ILO-UNESCO) Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, a historic document which sets the international standards of just living wage and benefits for teachers and humane working conditions, and recognizes their participation in the formulation and implementation of policies and laws affecting them and their profession.
“More than five decades after the adoption of the Recommendation, we have yet to see the implementation of these international standards. The ILO-UNESCO Recommendation calls for the government recognition, respect and protection of the rights of the educators, both in the public and private sectors,” Castro stressed. “Even despite Duterte’s promises of change and more than a year into his administration, the still-dismal state of the Philippine education system is reflected in the underpaid and overworked conditions of public and private school teachers.”
Tinio and Castro filed House Bill 56 back in July 26, 2016 proposing the increase in the minimum monthly salaries of public school teachers in basic education to P25,000, teaching personnel in state universities and colleges to P27,000 and non-teaching personnel to P16,000. They also support the demand for national daily minimum wage of P750 and an end to contractualization for those in the private sector including teachers. However, such measures are not included in the administration’s priority legislative agenda, the solons noted.
“If there is a will, there is a way. The Palace and the Congress already made concrete steps to increase the salaries of uniformed personnel since the proposed 2018 national budget includes around P25 Billion for the initial implementation of the 100% increase in the salaries of the police, military and other uniformed personnel,” Tinio noted.
“Now we have to ask: If the salaries of uniformed personnel increase, what about those in the civilian bureaucracy? These include teachers, nurses, and other rank-and-file government employees who are in the frontlines of providing services to the Filipino people,” Tinio remarked. “They also need and deserve decent salaries but this administration did not allocate funds for substantial increase of their salaries other than the meager increase provided by the past administration’s Executive Order 201.”
“Together with more than 600,000 public school teachers, we demand that the House of Representatives immediately discuss and approve HB 56 and other proposals for salary increases of teachers and government employees, as well as other measures for the salaries of private school teachers and an end to contractualization. We also demand the non-diminution and increase of benefits of public school teachers and other rank-and-file government employees. Today is a day of protest as we register our discontent with the administration’s unfulfilled promises,” Castro ended. ###