ACT on doubled
salary of teachers in 20 years: Cabinet member pay rose 5 folds
June 16, 2019
QUEZON CITY – ACT
countered DepEd's claim that teachers are taken care of with the
doubling of their salaries in 2 decades by raising the fact that
salaries of cabinet members increased by 570% and the president’s
basic pay by 606% since 2000.
DepEd Sec. Briones
reportedly defended in a recent cabinet meeting that teachers are
taken care of by presenting historical data on teachers' salaries
“Sec. Briones forgot to
mention that in the same period, salaries of top government
officials increased 5 to 6 times. Now, whose welfare are truly taken
care of?” asked Joselyn Martinez, ACT National Chairperson.
ACT study on government
pay scheme since 2000 revealed that cabinet members pay rose from
P38,500 in 2000 to P257,809 in 2019 while the president's salary
increased from P55,000 in 2000 to P388,096 this year.
“Clearly the principle of
equitable and sustainable pay is not reflected in the government
salary scheme. The government is the foremost violator of the
constitutionally mandated principle of social justice as the gap
between rank-and file and top officials continue to widen, ' added
Nothing special in doubled
salaries in 20 years
Martinez lambasted DepEd
for ‘deliberately obscuring the entire picture’ when the agency
claimed that teachers’ salaries have doubled since 2000 while
failing to mention its context, and the fact that all other salaries
as well as the costs of living also rose to around the same rate.
“There is nothing special
with the doubling of salaries in the span of two decades. Salaries
of all workers have been chasing after the rising cost of living
through the years but never managed to keep up,” said Martinez.
ACT cited that the 119%
increase in teachers' pay since 2000 are approximately the same, if
not lower than those received by minimum wage earners in the public
and private sector.
The minimum wage in NCR
rose by 140%, from P223.5 in 2000 to P537 at present. Salary Grade I
government employees had 130% pay increase, from P4,821 to P11,068
ACT also belied Sec.
Briones’ claim in ‘pushing for reforms and initiatives’ that
allegedly resulted in improved benefits, citing that benefits
received by teachers are largely the same as those received by other
government employees such as the 13th and 14thmonth pay, and their
The chalk allowance, ACT
said, is a special benefit for teachers for having the distinct
situation of needing to buy their own supplies needed in the
performance of their duty. ACT also raised that even the benefits
that are yet to be received by teachers such as the P500 medical
allowance and P1,000 World Teachers’ Day (WTD) bonus are already
mentioned by the secretary to make it appear that teachers are
better off than other government employees.
“The grant of medical
allowance is actually 50 years delayed since the 1966 Magna Carta
provided for it, and now it hangs by a thread as the president
placed it under conditional implementation. Even the WTD bonus is
P500 short of the P1,500 amount promised by Sec. Briones last year,”
The teachers’ federation
further argued that it was the ‘uncompromising pursuit for better
pay and benefits’ that gained teachers these rightful compensations.
“The government did not
give these benefits out of their own will, these are hard won by
teachers together with our partners in Congress, especially the ACT
Teachers Partylist,” said Martinez.
ACT detailed that the
increase in chalk allowance from P700 to its current amount of
P3,500 was campaigned by teachers inside and outside the parliament.
The same goes for the additional P2,000 in their uniform allowance
and the newly included P500 annual medical allowance for teachers.
These amendments were made possible by legislation principally
authored and pushed for by ACT Teachers Partylist. Even the official
celebration of World Teachers' Day (WTD) was a product of a law
passed by ACT Teachers Partylist, which allowed for DepEd's recent
move to provide a WTD bonus.
“The same resolve of
teachers and partners who recognize the value of education will also
win us our much-deserved salary increase,” declared Martinez.
‘Enough with the
ACT urged DepEd to stop
trying to ‘deodorize the government’ and instead work with teachers
in fulfilling the overdue pay hike promise.
“The propaganda has to
stop. More time should be spent on actually resolving the crisis in
the pay of teachers and other rank-and-file employees, instead of on
manipulating facts. Teachers are fighting for decent living and
working condition, heed us instead of delegitimizing our struggle,”