By Marie Tonette Grace Marticio
ORMOC City – Education Secretary Leonor Briones said Friday that teachers under the Department of Education (DepEd) will receive bonuses and higher allowances, but not a salary increase, this year.
Briones, making the announcement during the World Teacher’s Day celebration in this city, said that the public school teachers would receive P3,000 as anniversary bonus in December, and their cash allowance would increase from P3,500 to P5,000 before the year ends.
The education official explained that the government cannot afford to increase teachers’ salaries.
She said that the DepEd’s budget is P527 billion, of which P350 billion goes to the salaries of the teachers. She said the department would need another P350 billion to increase the entry level salary from P20,179 to P39,000, which the government cannot afford.
“It’s not a question only of increasing the level of the teachers’ salaries, which is the biggest army, bigger than the combined strength of the military. But if we raise their salaries, we have to raise the salaries of everybody else in the government,” she said.
“While we think of the personal needs of our teachers, we have to also to think of the rest of the economy. We also have to think of the rest of Filipinos and we have to prosper together,” she added.
She added that they also need to consider the status of private school teachers who earn as low as P6,000 a month.
She said that the most time a teacher will stay in a private school is three years. “Kapag pumasa ‘yun sa licensure examination for teachers (LET) aalis na ‘yun (when a teacher passes the exam, he or she will leave). We cannot promote the interest of the public school teachers as we also need private school teachers. These things should have a balance,” she explained.
Meanwhile, the official assured the teachers that they would get their wage hike for the fourth and last tranche next year as part of the Salary Standardization Law for all government employees.