Report and photos by Denver Del Rosario of UP-CMC for Kodao Productions
PASIG CITY—Teachers from the National Capital Region (NCR) staged a protest at the Department of Education (DepEd) yesterday to denounce Secretary Leonor Briones for her anti-teacher remarks and policies.
“She reiterated her insensitive statement that teachers are well-compensated and shall not receive local allowances and additional teaching supplies allowances,” Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT)-Philippines Chairperson Benjamin Valbuena said.
Bonifacio Memorial Elementary School teacher Reynaldo Ga also slammed Briones saying the official is lying about teachers’ salaries.
“She is really a liar because deductions from our salaries are enormous. In my case alone, P3,000 is being deducted from my salary,” Ga said.
DepEd said entry level teachers receive a gross salary of P24,399 per month which includes their basic pay, Personal Economic Relief Allowance, and personal benefit contributions such as GSIS, Philhealth and PAGIBIG, among others.
ACT-Philippines, however, said teachers only take home P16,000 after tax and contributions.
The amount is less than half of the Ibon Foundation-announced monthly living wage of P33,570 for a family of six.
Martinez said Briones shot down their proposal to have their chalk allowance increased from P2,500 to P5,000.
Teachers are forced to spend their own monies various school events and requirements, Ga added.
“During summer breaks when we are supposed to be on vacation, DepEd forces us to attend so many seminars that we have to pay for ourselves,” Ga revealed.
“Teachers are really being made to suffer a great injustice as we were only given a measly P500 salary increase these past two years,” ACT Teachers Party’s Joy Martinez said.
According to Martinez, Briones also rejected other suggestions to increase teachers’ salaries.
Briones was among three cabinet secretaries who issued DepEd-DBM-DILG Joint Circular No.1 S. 2017 that prohibits the use of the Special Education Fund for the teachers’ local allowance.
The teachers said Briones has yet to hold a dialogue with the teachers regarding their salaries and benefits.
“We already wrote to her several times, but she refuses to talk to us. She is close-minded as she only favors private businesses over the public,” Martinez said. #