PRRD WANTS TO STRIKE DEAL ON TEACHERS’ PAY HIKE
MANILA -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte said Thursday he is willing to strike a deal with public school teachers to increase their pay.
In his address to teachers at the groundbreaking of the Gen. Gregorio del Pilar National High School in Bulakan, Bulacan, Duterte said he is already discussing the possibility of increasing the teachers' salary with Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno.
"I am willing to strike a deal in the presence of (Education) Secretary (Leonor) Briones with the teachers. You can choose the date, January, just make it fast. Then we can make even an agreement or manifesto or choose whatever kind of document itself. Kayo ang isusunod ko this year (You will be next to receive a salary increase this year)," he said.
The President said he is willing to talk to representatives of teachers but not the Leftist ones.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier echoed the Philippine National Police’s remark, which noted that the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) has long been identified with the Left.
Duterte said the salary increase of uniformed personnel came first due to budget constraints and the peace and order situation in the country but vowed to prioritize the teachers' pay hike next.
"Inuna ko ‘yung sundalo because alam ko kung ano ang mangyari. We were able -- nasilip ko na ang future and it would cost lives at marami ditong mamamatay. Inunahan ko na sila. Long before nangyari ‘yan -- hindi ko lang sinabi. Alam ko na ang Intelligence the way we were picturing it, puputok ‘to. Pumutok nga. Kaya medyo ipit ako, Ma’am. (I prioritized the soldiers' pay hike because I know what will happen. I saw the future and it would cost lives. I had to act first. I just did not divulge it. The intelligence community, the way we were picturing it is that something would happen, and something indeed happened. Which is why I was caught in between, Ma'am)," he said.
Diokno, meanwhile, said all government employees are set to receive a salary increase in 2019 but Congress needs to approve the national budget first.
"All government employees will get an increase in pay, but it has to wait for the approval of the 2019 General Appropriations Act. DBM (Department of Budget and Management) has initiated a study for the increase in compensation for government workers from 2020 to 2022," Diokno said in a message to reporters Thursday.
In January 2018, Duterte signed a joint resolution increasing the base pay of the military and police. (PNA)
Photo by Joven Cagande/Philstar