/ 8 April 2021

THE ALLIANCE of Concerned Teachers reiterated its call on the government to give teachers a salary hike, saying that they need support because of distance learning expenses.

The group made the call a day after the Philippine Statistics Authority reported a 4.5 percent inflation rate for March, following the 4.2 percent and 4.7 percent inflation rates for January and February 2021, respectively. High food inflation remained unresolved at 20.9 percent while transportation cost soared by 47.5 percent.

“More than 9 out of 10 public school teachers receive salaries that are way lower than the family cost of living. This speaks volumes on how their families suffer with soaring prices amid the health and economic crisis, while they bear the brunt of the ill-funded distance learning program,” Raymond Basilio, the group’s secretary general, said.

Independent think-tank Ibon Foundation pegged the monthly cost of living for a family of five at P31,920 in February 2021. However, 93 percent of public school teachers hold the ranks of Teacher I, II, and III with salaries from P23,877 to P30,547.

Basilio lamented that the government has yet to properly compensate teachers who continue to wait for the release of their 2019 performance-based bonus.

ACT said that teachers are burdened with the expenses of work-from-home set up as they shell out their own money for gadgets, internet connection, and higher cellphone load expenses and electricity bills. Many of those who are required to report to school or deliver modules in communities also shoulder higher transportation expenses.

“Gipit na gipit na ang ating mga guro, lalupa’t marami sa kanila ang may asawa o anak na nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa pandemya. Wala namang saysay ang ipinatutupad na P1,500 umento sa Salary Standardization Law V ni Duterte dahil kulang pa itong pambayad sa tumaas na income tax, mga kontribusyon sa GSIS at Philhealth at presyo ng bilihin,” Basilio said.

“Duterte has only one year left in power but our educators have yet to see and feel the actual fulfilment of any of his promises. Kung nagawa niyang doblehin ang sahod ng mga pulis at militar, kung nakakapag-aksaya ng pera sa red-tagging at imprastraktura sa gitna ng pandemya, bakit hindi tinutupad ni Duterte ang kanyang pangako sa ating mga guro?” he added.