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Comelec: Sara Duterte can’t assume post yet

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Although she has taken her oath, vice president-elect Sara Duterte cannot assume her post yet, according to the Commission on Elections.

Comelec spokesman John Rex Laudiangco said the vice president-elect and all the winners in the May 9, 2022 elections shall start their term at noon of June 30.

Duterte’s inauguration was held yesterday in Davao City, where she served as mayor before running for the vice presidency.

The Comelec earlier said that there is nothing illegal if Duterte will take her oath ahead of June 30.

Any winning candidate, Comelec said, can take their oath in advance.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) on Sunday urged Duterte, the education secretary-designate, to fulfill the promise of her father, President Duterte, to sufficiently increase the salary of teachers.

The ACT issued the statement in time with Duterte’s inauguration in Davao City, 11 days before she formally assumes office.

“For one, she should push for significantly increasing teacher’s salaries to correct the distortion in the government salary scheme where teacher’s pay lag behind those of uniformed personnel and nurses,” ACT spokesperson Vladimer Quetua said.

“This will relieve teachers of burdensome loans, improve their living conditions, lift their morale, and ultimately improve the quality of teaching and of education,” he added.

The outgoing President promised to substantially increase the salary of teachers during his presidential campaign in 2016.

But this remained unfulfilled, as the latest pay hikes received by public school teachers from 2016 to 2019 were provided under the Salary Standardization Law approved by the late former president Benigno Aquino III.

Quetua also urged the incoming vice president to “meet the government’s unpaid obligations to teachers, citing the overtime pay for 77 excess workdays which they have rendered for school year 2020-2021.

She was also urged to compel the Comelec to immediately pay the additional honorarium of poll workers who rendered extended election service in the May 2022 elections.

“She can also support the demands of teachers as well as other sectors to suspend the PhilHealth premium increase,” added Quetua.

Apart from addressing teachers’ salaries and welfare, ACT also urged Duterte to resolving the current learning crisis, which it said was partly due to the school closures implemented because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Objectively evaluating the current education situation thru nationwide student assessments and consultations with education stakeholders can effectively guide measures for addressing the learning crisis that plague our education system. We hope that VP-elect Duterte is up to these challenges and truly help our teachers and the whole (of) education,” added Quetua.

Duterte on Saturday bared her priorities as incoming education chief.

“First is the effect of the pandemic to our learners since they did not participate in face-to-face classes for a long time. Second, the question on sending them all back to school… full on face-to-face classes. And then, number three, thorough discussion on the K-12 program,” she said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Duterte is set to meet with outgoing Education Secretary Leonor Briones to discuss the transition. – Janvic Mateo

COMELEC

SARA DUTERTE

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