No budget yet for teachers' additional pay - Palace

Posted at 06/01/14 1:53 PM

MANILA -- The opening of school classes on Monday will be welcomed by protest actions from public school teachers aiming for higher wages.

Malacanang, however, remains non-committal about their demand.

“While we recognize their plea, we are already in the middle of implementing the 2014 budget. We have to identify other sources to cover the request or study this in the drafting of the budget for 2015,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in an interview with radio dzRB.

According to him, the Department of Education is asking for understanding from the teachers amid the need to fulfill their duties to students.

The teachers, led by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, said protest actions will greet Monday’s opening of classes, warning of a “mass leave” if the government continues to snub their request.

Public school teachers are seeking an increase in the entry-level salary to P25,000 from P18,549, adding that5 adjustments should be made accordingly for senior-level teachers.

But Coloma said the government has been doing its part in strengthening the education sector, noting that from the P195.9-billion budget in 2010 when President Benigno Aquino III came to office, there was an increase of 71% to P335.4 billion in 2014.

He also pointed out that this is the highest allocation in the budget as anchored on the Constitutional provision that the country should give priority to education.

Coloma instead asked the public, including government agencies from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, to implement the system of “bayanihan (helping)” to ensure that the opening of classes will be smooth on Monday.

“Magtulungan po tayo para tiyakin ang kaligtasan at kaginhawaan ng mga kabataang mag-aaral. Makipag-ugnayan po tayo nang masinsin sa isa’t isa para maging maayos at matahimik ang pagbabalik eskwela ng ating mga anak, kapatid, kaanak, kapitbahay, at ka-barangay,” he said.