Briones clarifies: I’m not against teachers’ salary increase
MANILA, Philippines — Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones on Friday clarified she is not against the salary increase of public school teachers.
Briones said her previous remark on the issue was “misunderstood” or “misrepresented to be a position against a salary increase.”
“It is not true that I am against the salary increase of our public school teachers,” Briones said in a statement.
Briones reiterated the need to consider the amount of money the government needs to shell out should increase in the wages of public school teachers be implemented.
“First, we need to carefully assess the fiscal impact of the salary increase. A PhP5,000.00 across the board increase will require an additional P75 billion annually,” Briones said.
“Raising such amount will have to consider corresponding policies in taxes, borrowing, or budget reallocation,” she added.
Briones also noted that other government personnel should be likewise considered.
“I emphasize that we cannot think of the teachers alone. There is an equity issue in relation to other government personnel that we need to address,” she pointed out.
The DepEd chief, nevertheless, assured “the next salary increase of public school teachers will come.”
“As Secretary of Education and member of the cabinet, it is my duty to help make sure that such salary increase is equitable, within the government’s means, and sustainable,” she said.
Teachers have been asking for a raise of P10,000 for them to catch up with rising prices of commodities and basic services.
Meanwhile, Malacañang has assured teachers that President Rodrigo Duterte was already working on their salary increase and has ordered government economic managers to look for sources to fund their pay hike.
(Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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