By Genalyn Kabiling
The government is working on the proposed salary increase for public school teachers in the country, President Duterte announced on Wednesday.
In his visit to Cagayan de Oro, the President has assured the public school teachers that they would be next to receive a pay hike after the government adjusted the compensation of soldiers and policemen.
“Inuna ko sila [I prioritized them]. Ang sunod [The next] will be the teachers. We are working on it — like what I have promised,”Duterte said during the oath-taking of newly elected local government officials of Cagayan de Oro.
Duterte admitted though it was “easier” to double the salaries of soldiers and cops because they were fewer compared to public school teachers.
“But remember that there are millions of teachers. There are only a few policemen, something like 160. There are 130 in the military. It’s easier. That is why their salaries have been doubled,” he said.
Duterte explained that the government has raised the salary of the soldiers and cops in recognition of their sacrifice and hard work. He said he gave them priority in the pay hike because they put their lives on the line to serve and protect the nation.
“They have taken an oath of office, joined an organization inside government that… If I tell them to go to Malabang in Lanao del Sur because there’s war, ‘jump straight to hell and die,’ they will do that,” he said.
Recently, Malacañang urged the public school teachers to wait patiently as the government looks for the budget for the proposed salary hike.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the government would have to spend P150 billion if it would grant a P10,000-pay increase for public school teachers. Economic managers, he said, are still looking for the possible sources of funding for the salary adjustment for teachers.
Panelo said the President remains committed to providing a salary increase for public school teachers as promised.
Public school teachers have reportedly called for a P10,000 salary increase to help cope with the rising consumer prices in the country.