Teachers criticized a proposed public sector wage hike bill pending at the House of Representatives ‘favoring military and uniformed personnel over employees in the civilian bureaucracy.’
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said that House Joint Resolution No. 24 will grant higher pay increases to military and police personnel relative to professionals in the civilian bureaucracy, such as teachers, nurses, accountants, lawyers, and doctors.
House Joint Resolution No. 24, “Joint Resolution Urging the President of the Philippines to Modify the Compensation and Position Classification System of the Government and to Implement the Same Initially Effective July 1, 2009, and Authorizing the Amendment of Existing Laws and Issuances Contrary to the Provisions of this Resolution,” was drafted by the Department of Budget and Management and the Civil Service Commission and filed by Speaker Prospero Nograles on September 16, 2008.
ACT revealed that at a recent meeting of a Technical Working Group, officials of the Department of Budget and Management explained that a Police Officer I or Private will receive a total monthly compensation (which includes basic pay and allowances) of P19,800; a cadet in the Philippine National Police Academy will receive P25,140; and a 2nd Lieutenant, P34,218. On the other hand, a Teacher I or Nurse I will receive P20,549; an Accountant I will receive P21,940; a doctor or lawyer (Medical Officer I or Attorney I) will receive P28,878.
Antonio Tinio, ACT national chairman, said, “In this proposal, a Cadet in the PNPA will be paid 22 percent higher than a public school teacher.” “In fact, the Cadet will have the same basic salary as an Associate Professor I in our state universities and colleges. That’s a tenured Ph.D. holder sharing the same pay grade as a plebe in the academy. Is that fair to professionals in the civilian bureaucracy?” he added.
“While we do not begrudge military and police personnel the pay increases that will be granted them, we do resent the fact that the Arroyo administration has consistently focused on upgrading the pay of uniformed personnel while neglecting to do the same for the civilian bureaucracy,” said Tinio.
He pointed out that while Malacañang imposed a wage freeze on civilian personnel from 2001 to 2007, during the same period it substantially upgraded the salaries and benefits of military and police personnel. “Unfortunately, we’re seeing the same bias in the administration’s current proposal.”
“We appeal to the members of the House as well as the House leadership, particularly Speaker [Prospero] Nograles and Committee on Appropriations chairman Junie Cua, to heed our call for fairness and uplift the pay and status of teachers and other professionals in the civilian bureaucracy,” said Tinio.
The group demanded for a P9,000 increase in the total compensation of teachers, from the current P14,026 to P23,026.
Tinio made his appeal during today’s march of 5,000 public school teachers to the Batasang Pambansa. Teachers from Quezon City, Manila, Caloocan, and other cities of Metro Manila, as well as the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, and Tarlac, participated in the march. “This march signals our determination to carry on this struggle for decent salaries for teachers and other professionals in government.”
Similar protests were held simultaneously in Cebu City and Koronadal City.
In Koronadal City, more than 500 teachers marched to the Round Ball in the center of the city, where they held a rally and candle lighting ceremony in support of the call for a P9,000 increase in the salaries of teachers. (Bulatlat.com)