NURSES and teachers cannot expect a salary increase under the Duterte administration, at least for the year 2017.
Secretary Benjamin Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management made the statement on Monday during the presentation of the P3.35-trillion national budget for 2017 before the House Committee on Appropriations.
Diokno noted that the 2017 budget only earmarked a P39-billion fund for the salary increase of the military, police and other men in uniform, because nurses and teachers in the government are already paid higher than their private sector counterparts.
“Teachers in the public school earn three times more compared with private school teachers, while nurses earn twice compared with those who work in five major government hospitals,” Diokno told the House appropriations panel, in response to a question from Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio.
“To increase it further…e todo ambisyon naman `yun [that would be too ambitious]because we are really measuring the government employees’ salary as compared with the private sector,” Diokno added.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd argued that the Duterte administration’s proposed tax reform, which includes lowering individual income tax, would increase the take-home pay of all workers including those in the government.
The Duterte administration plans to reduce the individual income tax rate to 25 percent from up to 32 percent.
“Under our existing tax laws, a Teacher 2 is paying as much as P29,000 worth of taxes annually. With lower income taxes, that will be reduced to P4,200. Our tax reform package will be for the welfare of the teachers you represent,” Dominguez told Tinio.
The Duterte administration asked lawmakers to pass a joint resolution that will grant the P39-billion additional pay for the military and other uniformed men, to be released in four tranches.
“We are not comfortable with just an EO. We need congressional action for the salary adjustment,” Diokno added.