ACT Rep: ‘Diokno is anti-teacher’

A progressive lawmaker slammed Budget secretary Benjamin Diokno’s quick dismissal of the proposed salary hike for public school teachers, accusing him of being “pathologically anti-teacher.”

“Diokno is still anti-teacher and is insensitive in his dismissal of President [Rodrigo] Duterte’s wish to increase teachers’ salaries,” ACT Teachers Party Representative France Castro told Kodao in an interview.

Diokno contradicted a Palace announcement Tuesday saying Duterte is now seeking to double teachers’ salaries after doubling the salaries of police and military personnel this month.

“I think that is not a priority at this time. Our priority is ‘Build, Build, Build’ and the social protection, taking care of the poor,” Diokno said in a press conference Wednesday.

But Castro said they have not heard Diokno raise the same objections when Duterte announced the salary increases for uniformed personnel.

“He was quick enough in looking for funds when the salary increases were for the military and police,” Castro said.

Castro also belied Diokno’s statement there are no more funds for more salary increases.

“There are funds available for teachers’ salary increases. The Bureau of Internal Revenue for one informed us during the budget hearings there are 500 to 600 billion pesos in uncollected taxes,” Castro said.

An entry level teacher receives P21,000 in gross monthly salary.

“We will still fight for at least a P25,000 monthly pay for Teachers 1 and P16,000 monthly salary for Salary Grade 1 public sector employees,” Castro said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)