Salary Increase petition to Senate as 2019 budget is deliberated
Alliance of Concerned
November 19, 2018
QUEZON CITY –
Teachers from the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) headed to the
Philippine Senate today to submit their petition for salary
increase, which garnered around 25,000 signatures.
“The clamor for a
substantial pay hike remains to be loud and strong, as evidenced by
the thousands of education workers as well as parents and other
supporters from 17 regions who signed the petition. The strongest
justification of its urgency is the still-at-peak Philippine
inflation,” declared Joselyn Martinez, ACT National Chairperson.
The upper house is
currently deliberating the 2019 National Expenditure Program and ACT
is pushing for legislators to take into account the demands of
teachers and education workers for immediate economic relief and
better standard of living.
“The government claims to prioritize social services but the budget
proposal released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM)
tells a different story,” lamented Martinez. She added that the
shift from obligation-based to cash-based resulted in a 6.4%
decrease in the actual amount of the budget allocation for the
education sector, which is in contrary to DBM’s claim that it
increased by 12%.
“We urge the Senators not only to heed our demands but to do what is
constitutionally mandated of them,” Martinez pressed, citing Section
5 Article 5 of the 1987 Constitution which states that:
The State shall assign the highest budgetary priority to education
and ensure that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share
of the best available talents through adequate remuneration and
other means of job satisfaction and fulfillment.
“We are exhausting all possible means to advance our calls, which is
why teachers will also go on a Sit-Down Strike on November 29 to
show the government that we are united and resolute in our demand
for decent salaries,” declared Martinez. The group first made the
announcement in a forum last week.
“The protests, which could take on various forms, will continue as
long as education workers suffer and the education system crumbles.
We will carry on the fight,” concluded Martinez.
ACT is calling for a P30,000 salary for Teacher I, P31,000 for
Instructor I, and a P16,000 minimum pay for all government workers.
They are also demanding for a P3,000 increase in the Personnel
Economic Relief Allowance (PERA) in light of the erosion of the
values of salaries due to the TRAIN-induced inflation.