Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said that the salary increase for public school teachers may only be possible if it is justified by a research study, and only after two years when the full salary standardization program of the government is implemented.
“I think that is not our priority at this time. Our priority is Build, Build, Build and the social protection, the taking care of the poor,” said Diokno.
On doubling the basic pay of public school teachers, half a trillion pesos is needed to finance the salary of 600,000 public school teachers throughout the country.
It means half the budget of the government.
“What you don’t want to do is see the entire budget as salaries because the government has other responsibilities like peace and order, like building infrastructure. You don’t want a budget that is simply salaries for everybody. I don’t think Filipino taxpayers would like that,” said the budget secretary.
Also, Diokno claims that the salary of a public school teacher is way higher than that of a teacher in the private sector.
For Emmanuel Soriano, a school principal who has been teaching in public school for 19 years now, though the basic salary of teachers is not yet doubled like that of the soldiers and policemen, he still appreciates the effort of the government to look after their welfare.
“Kami naman nakakapaghintay. Hindi naman nagmamadali. At least mayroon kaming hinihintay. Tutal yung salary standardization law natin, di pa natatapos yung huling bahagi, eh eto na naman yung kasunod na pagtaas. So, kami nagpapasalamat dahil di kami nakakalimutan sa mga kawani ng gobyerno,” said the school principal.
(We can wait. We are not rushing. At least we are waiting for something. Anyway, the last part of the salary standardization law has barely begun and yet another increase is waiting in the wings. So we are grateful that government employees are not being forgotten.)
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will submit a report on the research study they will conduct on the proposed salary increase.
Meanwhile, DBM has announced that the government is already preparing for the 2019 proposed national budget.
Based on the development budget coordinating committee, the approved budget level for next year is 3.4 trillion pesos.
Government agencies are required to submit their respective budget proposals for next year until mid-April of this year, as President Duterte is eyeing to submit the 2019 proposed national budget on July 23, coinciding with his third state of the nation address.