By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
As government employees receive bonuses starting today, public school teachers lamented that theirs will probably end up as payment for their debts.
“The amount, in part or in full will just end-up in debt payments,” National Chairman BenjoBasasof the 30,000-member Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), said.
Incentives expected by public school teachers and other employees are the Year-End Bonus (YEB) which is equivalent to one month’s salary to be given starting November 15, a cash gift of P5,000 to be given along with the bonus, and the Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) amounting to P5,000 to be given not earlier than December 15.
Basassaid the Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) for school year 2016-2017, which is funded under Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, is expected to be released between August and October 2017; this year it would amount to 50 percent, 57.5 percent, and 65 percent (depending on their performance) of the basic salaries of government employees. However, it “is still in the process due to some changes in the guidelines,”Basas said.
Basas said an entry-level teacher (Teacher I, Step 1) with a basic salary of P19,620 will receive a minimum of P29,620 this year-end, broken down as follows: P19, 620 Year-End Bonus, P5,000 cash gift, and P5,000 Productivity|Enhancement Incentive, amounting to a total of P29,620.
While grateful for the expected incentives, the Coalition appealed once again for an increase in salaries of public school teachers and other personnel in the Department of Education.
“These year-end bonuses unfortunately will just end-up in debt payments for many of our teachers,” Basas said. “While we appreciate bonuses in year-end or mid-year, giving us adequate salaries and benefits would be the long-term solution to the so-called over-borrowing of teachers,” he added.
Basassaid he hopes that next year, President Duterte “would consider raising our salaries as what he did for the uniformed personnel of the police and military.”