Here is a news in Amid coa report on deped expenses, teachers reiterate calls for salary increase, read the full article below.
“We give the DepEd and its concerned offices the benefit of the doubt and we expect explanation from them in relation to the COA findings. At the end of the proper procedure, if there are proven irregularities or neglect, both should be dealt with accordingly and those responsible should be held liable. That is the way the DepEd does it with erring rank-and-file employees and teachers.” Benjo Basas, the national chairperson of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) said reacting to the COA report identifying more than 13 billion pesos unexplained expenses from the Department of Education (DepEd).
“If we give the money for the welfare of our teachers, surely it will go to its intended use with a ‘return of investment’ in several folds. Sa lahat ng gastusin sa edukasyon, teacher ang hindi dapat tinitipid. Dahil bawat pisong ibinibigay sa guro ay sulit na sulit. Mahirap yatang maunawaan na nasasayang ang pondo ng DepEd sa mga error-filled books at iba pang gastusin pero hindi mabigyan ng nararapat na sahod ang mga guro.” Basas added. He continued by saying that because of the lack of instructional materials and the technology-based instructions at present, teachers will have to spend more money for lesson preparation that needs internet connectivity, computer and printer, “Teachers have to bear the expenses for these necessities.”
The group has been lobbying for P10,000 across the board increase for teachers and DepEd employees but recent pronouncement from President Duterte suggests that the increase is not the one they expect.
“The president did not mention any amount, but he did give us hints that the increase will only be a continuation of the present scheme of salary standardization law (SLL), which for us is unfair and discriminatory especially for low level teachers who perform the actual daily tasks of classroom instruction.” Basas explained.
The President during the SONA ordered the Congress to provide the salary increase of government workers by crafting the next SSL which according to him will include teachers and nurses. The increase for teachers’ salaries under this, he said is not too big but a little higher than the previous one.
Recently, Malacanang thru Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the President would not renege on his promise to double the salary of public school teachers. For this Basas said, “We are not losing hope that President Duterte would still be willing to address this disparity, after all, this is a part of his promise. Kahit hindi nga doblehin masaya na kami, a P10,000 increase will be fine.”
Unfortunately, TDC says that there are only two SSL proposals filed in the Senate, the Senate Bill (SB) 49 authored by Sen. Ralph Recto and the SB 200 by Sen. Bong Go. Recto’s proposal would give a total of P6, 870 increase spread over three years, while Go’s counterpart would only give teachers a one-time increase of P591.00 by next year.
“Sadly, while there are several substantial proposals in both Houses of Congress, the Bong Go proposal seems to fit the description of the president- this is thru SSL, not too big and a little higher than the previous one.” Basas exclaimed. The group said that based on the latest adjustment under former president Noynoy Aquino’s Executive Order No. 201 or the SSL 4, the entry-level position of teachers received only P575.00 increase.
The group said that they are willing to discuss teachers’ issues with Senator Bong Go and that they actually sent a formal letter asking for such.
“The COA report may find irregularities or mismanagement on the expenditure of some DepEd budget items, but most importantly it proves that there is money enough to finance the welfare of the most important factor in education system- our teachers.” Basas ended.
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