On the first day of filing for bills for the 18th Congress, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines trooped to the House of Representatives to call on legislators to make pay hike for public school teachers a priority. The teachers’ federation was joined by ACT Teachers Representative France Castro who filed House Bill 219 for the increase of the entry level pay of teachers to Php30,000, college instructors to Php31,000, and government employees to Php16,000, as well as the raising of the Personnel Economic Relief Allowance from Php2,000 to Php5,000.
“We are here to challenge the newly-elected lawmakers to prioritize teachers’ pay hike, and ensure its immediate enactment,” declared ACT National Chairperson Joselyn Martinez.
ACT argues that the current pay of teachers and other rank-and-file employees is unable to cope with the continually rising cost of living and does not afford workers decent lives. The group also notes that it does not follow the principle of equitable pay as the gap between the salaries of top officials, as well as those of the uniformed personnel, and ordinary public employees has widened with the Salary Standardization Law.
“Ours is a just call which serves the principle of social justice, as it will rightfully raise the standards of living of the millions of employees who make up and actually work to deliver services to the people. Hence, it’s important to remind our lawmakers the President Duterte’s pay hike promise is not only his to fulfill, but the entire government’s duty,” asserted Martinez.
The group urged the Congress to ensure that a meaningful salary increase for teachers and all rank-and-file employees be enacted and implemented by January 2020.
“We have already waited three years for the raising of our salaries and for our profession to be dignifiged. It is time for this government to finally make it happen, whether through a law, a joint house resolution, or executive order,” Martinez called.