President Rodrigo Duterte appealed to public school teachers to wait a bit longer their salary increase, noting that it is harder to source funds for them given the number of educators in the country.
During the oath-taking of newly-elected officials of Cagayan de Oro City on Wednesday night, Duterte explained that he prioritized the salary hike for uniformed personnel since they retire without any source of income.
“You know military, the Armed Forces and the police, they retire at the age of 56. If they marry at the age of 30, they still have to send their children to high school, if not college,” Duterte said.
“If they retire and if they don’t have a business as a source of income, the family will suffer. They could not have coped to educate the children further in schooling. Now I have doubled their salaries,” he added.
Duterte vowed to put teachers next in line for a salary hike but asked for patience since there are almost a million teachers in the country compared to more or less 300,000 military and police personnel.
“Next would be the teachers. We’re working on it — like what I have promised. But remember that there are millions of teachers,” Duterte said.
Data from the Department of Education (DepEd) showed that there are about 830,000 public school teachers nationwide.
“There are only a few policemen, something like 160. There are 130 in the military. It’s easier. That is why their salaries have been doubled,” Duterte explained.
Duterte stressed the importance of having a strong army to ensure security in and out of its borders.
“If you want a strong country, you need to have a strong army. Nothing will happen if you have a weak armed forces. If it’s too weak, you cannot enforce the law,” he added.
Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the government will need to raise around PHP150 billion if it would give teachers’ a salary increase of PHP10,000 per month.
According to DepEd, public school teachers’ monthly salary has increased by more than 100 percent since 2000.
Data from DepEd showed that the basic monthly salary of a Teacher I constituted a 119.25 percent hike, which means that following the final tranche of the Salary Standardization Law in 2019, a Teacher I now gets PHP20,754 compared to the PHP9,466 in 2000. (PNA)
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