Public school teachers staged a surprise protest action in front of Malacañan Palace’s Gate 6 today to demand pay hikes for education workers and teachers.
Held a few days before Labor Day, the teachers complained against the Duterte government’s refusal to grant salary increases to the largest group of civil servants after increasing police and soldiers’ wages.
“It is abominable how the Duterte regime has first played around with, then turned a deaf ear to our urgent call for economic relief,” Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) secretary general Raymond Basilio said.
Basilio referred to Duterte’s presidential campaign promise of increasing teachers’ salaries.
Protesting teachers held packs of rice, dried fish and instant noodles to dramatize what their families’ meals have been reduced to due to lack of a subtantial wage increase in years.
“The urgency for salary increase has doubled since the implementation of the TRAIN Law in January 2018,” Basilio said, adding 80 percent of teachers are already deep in debt due to steep inflation rates.
‘Worse, price increases have pushed more and more teachers to desperate measures such as ‘sangla-ATM’, taking sideline jobs such as tutorials and online-selling despite the already burdensome workload of teachers, and downgrading family diet and expenses just to make ends meet,” Basilio added..
ACT said it is pushing for substantial increase in the monthly basic pay of teachers in the basic and tertiary education, as well as for non-teaching personnel.
ACT said a basic salary of PhP 30,000 for an entry level teachear and PhP 16,000 for non-teaching education personnel are just. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)