The Philippines government has been ordered to find means to double the salaries of the country’s teachers, similar to the recent pay hikes of soldiers and police officers.
The instruction was issued by President Rodrigo Duterte himself, ahead of the second tax reform package submission to Congress, a presidential spokesperson said.
According to the spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday, the president asked the budget department to look into the matter but did not indicate how big of an increase Duterte was seeking.
However, it is thought that the hike would be the same as those enjoyed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel.
“Judging by what he wanted for the PNP and AFP, it could also be that he is aiming for the doubling the salary of teachers,” Roque said, as quoted by the ABS-CBN News.
Typically, teachers’ salaries in the Southeast Asian country range anywhere between US$390 and US$950 a month.
The president’s order received praises from the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), who welcomed the announcement.
“We welcome this statement from Malacañang and we hope that the President will use his influence and power to make this statement a reality,” said TDC National Chair Benjo Basas, said.
Basas added state teachers have “patiently waited” for their turn after the pay raise given to uniformed personnel.
“For the longest time, our calls for a just compensation and treatment commensurate to our role in society have been neglected by previous administrations,” Basas said.
We hope that this time, things would really change.”
Another prominent teachers’ representative Antonio Tinio also welcomed Duterte’s announcement, saying the minimum salary for government employees should be raised by not less than PHP16,000 (US$317), according to ABS-CBN.
“As long-time advocates for decent pay, we welcome the statement coming from the Palace that President Duterte wants to increase the salaries of public school teachers… Our teachers deserve nothing less. We eagerly await the formal proposal from the DBM,” Tinio said.
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