Teachers' groups have been urging the government to raise the pay of teachers, saying their present salaries are no longer enough to support the needs of their families. 
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Pay increase coming, Duterte assures teachers
Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - June 13, 2019 - 4:37pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has assured teachers that his administration is working to raise their salaries following fresh calls for him to upgrade teachers' pay to allow them to cope with the rising prices of goods. 

Duterte said teachers would be the next sector to be given a pay hike after soldiers and police officers.

"Now I have doubled their (soldiers and policemen) salaries. I prioritized them. 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 during the oath-taking of newly-elected local officials in Cagayan de Oro City on Wednesday.

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones was quoted in Novermber 2018 as saying the department has "more than 800,000 employees", which includes non-teaching staff. 

"There are only a few policemen, something like 160 (thousand). There are 130 (thousand) in the military. It’s easier. That is why their salaries have been doubled," Duterte said Wednesday.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers on Thursday said the government should look beyond the cost of raising teachers' pay. "It adds to human resource development, and will also boost the economy by increasing teachers’ purchasing capacity," ACT National Chairperson Joselyn Martinez said of a pay hike.

Teachers' groups have been urging the government to raise the pay of teachers, saying their present salaries are no longer enough to support the needs of their families. 

The Teachers' Dignity Coalition has called for a P10,000 per month across-the-board salary hike while the ACT has asked for a P30,000 salary for Teacher I, P31,000 for Instructor I, and P16,000 pay for salary grade 1 government employees. 

Palace: Economic managers looking for money for pay raise

In an earlier press briefing, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said economic managers are still looking for ways to augment the pay of teachers. Citing data from the budget department, Panelo said raising public school teachers' salaries by P10,000 would require the government to shell out about P150 billion. 

"The problem isn’t the lack of funding, but really the government's priorities. The P3.757-trillion 2019 spending program can attest to the huge resources we have and, just the same, to what the administration values. Unfortunately, education suffered significant budget cuts while "Build, Build, Build" and war programs got the huge chunk of the budget," ACT's Martinez said Thursday.

"Build, Build, Build" is the government's massive infrastructure program, which is seen to spur economic growth and create jobs for Filipinos.

At the same event, Duterte said the low pay is not an excuse for government personnel to engage in corrupt practices. 

"It does not mean that just because it (pay) is meager you have to commit corruption. That is the difficult part there and we understand it," the president said. 

Duterte also justified his decision to prioritize the security sector forces in the pay hike. 

"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," the president said.

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