Cristina Manalo, president of the Metro Manila chapter of the Philippine Public School Teachers’ Association (PPSTA) in an interview with Philippine Star said “We are urging the President to make good on his word. He knows of teachers’ dedication in providing quality education to our youth amid challenging situations. We only ask for what is due to us – decent salaries that will bring dignity to our noble profession.”
In January of this year, President Rodrigo Duterte promised that he will increase the salary of all public school teachers in the country. The Salary Standardization Law (SSL) enacted in former President Benigno Aquino’s time can’t keep up in President Duterte’s inflation rate.
Under the SSL, there will be 4 tranches starting January 1, 2016. The last and the 4th tranche was given on January 1, 2019. A Teacher I’s salary increase rate with the SSL tranches is pegged at 2.77%. In January 2019, core inflation rate was recorded by the Philippine Statistics Authority at 4.7 % while the same index was at 2.6% in January of 2018. A teacher’s salary can’t keep up with the rate of inflation, also given the fact that some take home as low P5,000 per month due to debts with private lending institutions or the Government Service Insurance System.
It is even worse in the private school system where the average monthly salary is at PHP 11,400 compared to the average monthly salary of public school teachers at PHP 19,600.
An average corporate executive’s salary can go up to millions of pesos each month while the teacher who shapes the next leaders of our country can hardly afford to buy the basic needs in life such as food, clothes and shelter.
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