On Philippine teachers’ salary increase

On Philippine teachers’ salary increase
by: Lor Villa Encenzo

The “Public School Teacher -1 will receive 36,000.00 pesos salary per month,” whispered my friend in Metro Cebu who is pushing to make real and tangible of what he has been dreaming for nearly a decade – to receive the almost 100 percent salary increase at last.

However, his dreaming is not yet over as the Aquino administration sounds lukewarm by making it clear to the entire nation that any salary increase shall be referred to the existing government salary standardization law which means that any increase beyond its limit, needs an act of Congress.

“If we are going to increase the salary of public school teachers, we also have to raise the salary of all other employees of the government,” says Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.

In reaction, I would say, let Lacierda and many other key officials in Malacanang assume the post of a full-time Public School Teacher-1 handling Grade-III Class with 45 pupils around for a period of at least one week, then we want to hear if they would not change their mentality. They might just defer salary increases for any other government employees and make priority the salary increases for teachers.

Teacher’s job is so tiring, so tedious and so exhausting, whereas other government employees are far from exhaustion and some are too relax inside the air-conditioned rooms. Indeed, our teachers in the Philippines are so underpaid. And any salary increase for them is already a long overdue. Therefore, it is too unfair to say that if you raise the teachers’ salary, you must also raise the salary of other government employees.

My teacher friend left for the U.S. for a greener pasture, and today he is receiving a salary equivalent to around 500,000 pesos per month using very advanced classrooms, teaching aids and gadgets . When he was in the Philippines, he received only 18,000 pesos per month using a place under the mango tree as a temporary classroom with no aids and gadgets. This difference is so so so far…Think of it Mr. Lacierda.

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