MILITANT teachers’ group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) on Wednesday stormed the Senate to demand the immediate passage of a law increasing the salaries of teachers and employees in public schools.
“We call on our senators to immediately enact a law increasing our salaries now.
Our salaries can no longer give us a decent living. The Philippine Constitution’s Article XIV, Section 5 clearly states the government must allot the highest budgetary allocation to education and that salaries for the teachers must give ‘satisfaction and fulfillment’ to them. This is furthered by Republic Act 4670 or the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, which particularly mandates that teachers’ salary must be able to provide reasonable standard of living for themselves and their families,” France Castro, the group’s secretary general, said.
“Senators [Juan Edgardo] Angara, [Antonio] Trillanes 4th and [Ferdinand] Marcos [Jr.] have pending bills already in the Senate. The increase we received during the Arroyo administration [was offset by]high inflation, skyrocketing increase in the prices of basic commodities and services,” Castro aded.
To support this claim, ACT referred to a study of IBON Foundation that found that the family living wage in the National Capital Region (Metro Manila) was P1,054 per day or more than P32,674 per month, which it said meant that many teachers needed to resort to borrowing from government financial institutions such as the Government Service Insurance System, private lending institutions or loan sharks to cope with this “living salary gap.”
“If the government really considers us as the new heroes, increasing our salaries would be the best act to manifest such consideration. We hope that we will not be pushed to our limits and forced to launch a nationwide mass leave. We are only asking for what is due us,” Castro said.