Duterte eyeing to hike teachers' pay through TRAIN package 2
President Rodrigo Duterte is eying to use the revenues to be generated by the second package of tax reform measures in funding the increase in the pay of teachers, according to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
The STAR/Boy Santos
Duterte eyeing to hike teachers' pay through TRAIN package 2
Audrey Morallo (Philstar.com) - January 9, 2018 - 3:10pm

MANILA, Philippines —  President Rodrigo Duterte is eyeing to use the revenues to be generated by the next package of tax reform measures in increasing the salaries of public school teachers, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Tuesday.

In a press briefing at Malacañang, Roque said that although Duterte had not yet identified the amount of the target increases he might be aiming to double the entry salary of public educators judging by what he wanted for the police and the military.

"Now, in connection with the second tax reform package, the president also stated that with the second tax reform package, he has instructed DBM and all other agencies to find means to increase the salary of teachers after the initial doubling of salaries for the AFP and the police," Roque said.

"So the teachers will be next," he said.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez recently said that they were aiming to submit the second package of tax reform measures to Congress this January.

In a statement over the weekend, Dominguez said that this measure, which would lower corporate income taxes and modernize physical incentives, was expected to be revenue neutral, which meant that it was not expected to raise fresh funds, raising concerns on how the government would fund the pay raise of teachers.

Duterte announced in December that the pay of soldiers, police and other uniformed personnel in government would be raised, at one point divulging that he threatened to step down from office if his wish was not granted by Congress.

Aside from increases in their salary, uniformed personnel involved in the five-months-long battle for Marawi City, especially those wounded in action would also be provided with generous cash assistance.

More than 160 soldiers died during the siege of Marawi City, the longest urban war in the Philippines since World War II. The siege saw heavy and intense ground firefight and aerial bombardments, decimating much of the lakeside town's once lively business district.

The president said only former dictator Ferdinand Marcos and he were the ones most concerned with the welfare of soldiers, judging by the support they extended to the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police.

The Department of Education said last week that teachers would receive higher salaries because of additional "chalk" and clothing allowances and the tax reform package of the government which would exempt many educators from paying taxes.

The issue on teachers' pay came under scrutiny after their ballooning debt, which reached a staggering P300 billion, was revealed. The department assured its personnel of the restoration of their P4,000 net take-home pay despite claims that educators were over-borrowing.

In November 2016, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said that the government was looking into the possibility of increasing the salary of public school teachers to P39,000 a month, which was estimated to increase the budget by P200 billion.

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