Teachers in Eastern Visayas join the nationwide action calling for salary increase, a campaign mounted by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers since the Benigno Aquino administration.
On February 3, Friday, teachers from all over the region primarily composed of public school teachers from elementary and high schools simultaneously held progam rallies and held up placards in their schools urging President Rodrigo Duterte to finally bring the wage hike into reality under his government.
“Teachers here in Eastern Visayas cannot afford to be silent anymore,” said Mer Inisa Ogario, Regional Coordinator of ACT in the region. She also added that “from the snail-paced financial assistance for those affected by super-typhoon Yolanda, the delayed Performance Based Bonus to Budget Secretary benjamin Diokno’s anti-teacher statements, the Duterte regime is mounting up offense after offense against us teachers.”
Ogario also noted that for the 2017 budget under the General Appropriations Act, the Department of Education acquired the lion’s share but ‘only a little portion’ has been allocated for the salary upgrading of teachers under the framework of the Salary Standardization Law. Of the P543.2 billion fund for the DepEd, P19.4 billion was alloted for salary hike. The SSL will then only give ‘P25 a day’ increase for teachers and other government workers. Ogario lamented the skyrocketting prices of basic goods to which the salary increase, she claims ‘can hardly be called an increase’.
Measly bonus, delayed distribution
“We are also calling for the long overdue release of the 2nd tranche of the financial assistance for teachers affected by Yolanda,” said Ogario. She also accused the DBM and the DepEd of playing to their group’s “repeated calls to release the said assistance.” “The PBB on the other hand was dpromised on October last year but teachers are still in dire need of the fund,” she added.
In January 2014, former President Aquino through then Presidential Management Staff Secretary Julia Andrea Abad issued the guidelines for the release of housing financial assistance to government employees affected by typhoon Yolanda. The fund was sliced from the President’s Social fund. The allocation was P100,000 for those with totally damaged shelters and P30,000 for those with partially damaged houses. But years after the storm, the fund is still yet to be distributed.
All over the country, the national leadership of ACT declared the launching of several massive actions by its local chapters in the country to signify its “intensified and urgent call to increase the salary of entry-level teachers to P25,000 and P16,000 for other government workers.”