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Group calls for pay raise for teachers as prices rise

Angelica Y. Yang - Philstar.com
Group calls for pay raise for teachers as prices rise
In January 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to increase the pay of teachers.
The STAR / Ernie Peñaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — Teachers' group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines urged the incoming administration Wednesday to increase the salaries of teachers in the face of rising prices of basic goods and petroleum products.

"Sana ay makinig ang susunod na administrasyon sa hirap na dinadanas ng mga guro at ang pangangailangang ng makabuluhang pagtaas sa kanilang sahod," ACT Philippines Secretary General Raymond Basilio said in a statement.

(We hope that the next administration will listen to the woes of teachers and the need for a substantial increase in their pay.)

Basilio said they are pushing for an upgrade in the pay of entry-level public school teachers to Salary Grade (SG) 15 (or P35,097/month for this year). At present, an educator serving as Teacher I gets a salary of P25,439 per month, equivalent to SG 11. The group hopes the proposed adjustments will also apply to teachers with higher ranks.

"Our teachers' economic hardships stem from the very basic problem of low salaries. It's well-known how teachers struggle to feed their families and shoulder the costs of education even before the pandemic hit," he explained.

Basilio also called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to join them in demanding for their pay hike, which they described as having been long overdue.

During his campaign, President Rodrigo Duterte promised to double the salaries of teachers but is leaving office on June 30 without doing so.

The group pointed out that teachers were only given an annual increase of P1,500 through the Salary Standardization Law, even as the pay of the police force and of soldiers were doubled during the Duterte administration.

ACT Philippines made its statements shortly after inflation, as measured by the consumer price index, soared to 5.4% year-on-year last month. This is faster than the 4.9% pace recorded in April.

This week, local oil firms also announced a big-time price hike in gas, diesel and kerosene products due to developments affecting the global oil market, which the country heavily relies on for its supply.

ACT PHILIPPINES

ALLIANCE OF CONCERNED TEACHERS

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

DEPED

DUTERTE

EDUCATION

SALARY

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