Biz groups back gradual salary increase for teachers
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - June 20, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Some business and professional organizations have expressed support for a gradual salary increase for public school teachers, saying the proposed one-time P10,000 per month salary increase would have dire effects to the country’s economy.

The Action for Economic Reforms, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Foundation for Economic Freedom, Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines and the Philippine Business for Education issued a joint statement Wednesday weighing on issue.

While they agreed that teachers deserve better compensation, training opportunities and tools, the groups said an immediate P10,000 per month increase could have heavy impact on the country’s economy and society.

They noted that the salary of an entry-level public school teacher on average is already 71 percent more than what their private counterparts receive.

“Raising the disparity in pay between public and private school teachers would further fuel the migration of private school teachers to public schools and exert financial pressures on private schools whose tuition fees are regulated by government,” the groups said.

On the macro level, they noted that granting the P10,000 per month increase would cost the government an additional P150 billion, which could supposedly raise the annual deficit of the national government.

“To appreciate the magnitude of this, we note that the entire annual budget for the conditional cash transfer program, which benefits 4.3 million households and promises to break inter-generational poverty, will cost less than half of this,” read the statement.

“The difficult-to-pass TRAIN 1 raised less than half of this,” it added, referring to the tax reform program of the Duterte administration.

Instead of the one-time increase, the groups supported a gradual pay hike for public school teachers that would reflect recent salary adjustments and is benchmarked to the market and other civil service employee comparators.

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