• Baguio City, Cordillera Administrative Region, Philippines

Cordillera Teachers support the immediate passage of a P 9,000 increase in the total compensation of teachers

March 3, 2009

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers – Metro Baguio Chapter urges all Cordillera Representatives (Congressmen) to support the call of the public teachers' sector for the immediate passage of P 9,000 increase in the total compensation of teachers.

Under the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, teachers’ salaries must “compare favorably with those paid in other occupations requiring equivalent or similar qualifications, training and abilities,” actual compensation for teachers had now fallen far behind that of other professions. “Nowadays, a private in the Armed Forces of the Philippines shares the same salary grade as a public school teacher, even though the latter has higher academic qualifications and is a licensed professional. Clearly, there is a need to upgrade the salaries of teachers.”

AThe Alliance of Concerned Teachers proposes the immediate passage of P 9,000 increase in the total compensation instead of the Malacanang-sponsored 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,” the so-called “Salary Standardization Law 3”. This will provide all government employees with salary increases to be spread out over a four-year period, with teachers under SSL3 getting a P6,000 hike over four years. The ACT challenges House Representatives to find a way to reconcile the two proposals.

ACT also supports the call of other government employees under the All-Government Employees’ Unity for the granting of a minimum monthly increase of P3,000. Under SSL3, government employees in the lowest salary grades will receive an increase of only P1,800 over a four-year period.

According to ACT National President Antonio Tinio, the HJR No. 24 will grant higher pay increases to military and police personnel relative to professionals in the civilian bureaucracy. “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.

ACT sees the bias in the administration's current proposal. Malacanang 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.

ACT revealed that at a recent meeting of a Technical Working Group, DBM officials 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. “In this proposal, a Cadet in the PNPA will be paid 22% higher than a public school teacher,” said Tinio. “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?”

ACT also appeal to the members of the House as well as the House leadership, particularly Speaker Nograles and Committee on Appropriations chairman Junie Cua to heed the call for fairness and uplift the pay and status of teachers and other professionals in the civilian bureaucracy. In particular, ACT demand is for a P 9,000 increase in the total compensation of teachers, from the current P 14,026 to P 23,026.

In Baguio City and nearby municipalities, the ACT – Metro Baguio Chapter will be conducting a massive information and education campaign like group discussions, gather signatures for the petition signing urging all Congressman to support the immediate passage of P 9,000 increase in the total compensation of teachers. ACT – MB also challenges teachers faculty club and associations, local government leaders and officials to lobby the support of there respective representatives to support the said bill. There is an imminent need and call for teachers, academic and non-academic personnel to unite in order to further advance the call for better salary and benefits.###