JUST IN: Duterte approves Revilla pay hike bill

SALARY INCREASE UPDATE: Duterte approves Revilla pay hike bill

Based on the Facebook post of Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines today, December 11, President Duterte gave a nod to the pay hike plan contained in the recently filed bill on salary increase for government workers by Senator Bong Revilla.

The proposed Salary Standardization Law of 2019 is set to benefit government employees especially those under Salary Grade 11 to 19. It will be implemented in four tranches starting January 2020 and shall increase every year until 2023.

If Senate Bill 1219 passed into law, the highest increases ranging from 20% to 30% will be given to government employees, usually Teacher I-III, and those under Salary Grade 10 to 15.

"Sen. Revilla, filed yesterday Senate Bill 1219 which proposes for about a total of 23% increase divided in four years, or roughly P1,500 hike in monthly salaries per year for 92% of public school teachers who occupy the positions Teacher I, II, and III," said post.

"Since the 2016 presidential campaign and in his first two years in office, Pres. Duterte has consistently promised to double the teachers’ salaries but downgraded his commitment in his last State of the Nation Address to an amount that will be ‘enough to tide them over." said Martinez.

Martinez said that the proposed increase would not even translate to increased daily family budget as it will only be eaten up by income tax and impending increases in mandatory contributions. Upon the implementation of the salary increase, Teacher I will lose the income tax-exempted status that they have now. The Universal Health Care Act mandates the hiking of employees’ Philhealth contributions yearly, from 2.75% today to 4.5% in 2023.

“Paano kami matutulungan nitong makatawid sa pang-araw-araw gayung ‘ni hindi ito sasayad sa sikmura namin? Bigay-bawi ang sistema, they will be giving us crumbs which the government will only collect back,” said Martinez.

Martinez further criticized the planned P500 increase in the monthly salaries of Salary Grade I employees, the same amount given by the past Aquino government under Executive Order 201.

“The Duterte government has propped up its image by capitalizing on the shortcomings of the past regime, but in fact it is no better, as far as increasing the government minimum wage is concerned,” Martinez said.

She said that the ‘stingy’ pay hike proposal ‘reflects the government’s lacking sincerity in improving the quality of service-delivery to the people, especially education which was found to be of dismal quality per the result of 2018 Program for International Student Assessment.

“Essential to improving government services is making sure that our frontliners are afforded decent standards of living. It is downright exploitative for our employer to press our teachers for quality education while it refuses to give us quality life,” said Martinez.

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Martinez said that the fate of teachers' and government employees' salary increase is a critical issue towards the 2022 national elections, noting that the 2.4 million civilian government workers, regularly-employed and under contracts, could easily translate to precious five million votes.

“Through continuing protest actions and through the ballot, we will register our great disappointment, no vote for those who fail on their promises or act as accomplices to it,” said Martinez.

Martinez said that they will fight the ‘life-and-death’ issue in Congress as she shared that ACT poises for bigger protests next year.

SOURCE: ACT Teachers Philippines

LOOK:  Revilla's Salary Standardization Law of 2019

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