MANILA (UPDATE)- President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said doubling the salary of teachers may not be possible at this time even as he again vowed to implement a pay hike for the sector.
Public school teachers have been clamoring for a significant increase in their salaries following the pay hike for police officers, soldiers and other uniformed personnel this year.
“Ang inyo, kayo ang isunod ko (I will raise your salary next),” Duterte told a crowd composed mostly of public school teachers and principals during the 37th Principals Training and Development Program and National Board Conference in Davao City.
“Pero hindi naman masyado doblado. Hindi talaga kaya… Ako, I’m not blaming anybody, but simply there are too many Filipinos. Ang resources natin wala.”
(But I can’t double it. We can’t afford. I’m not blaming anybody, but there are simply too many Filipinos. We lack resources.)
The loud cheer from the crowd when Duterte made his vow of a salary hike was immediately replaced by the sound of disappointment after the Chief Executive said doubling their pay may not be possible at this time.
In the latter part of his speech, Duterte said he believes salaries of public school teachers would eventually increase by even “five times more” than what soldiers currently receive.
“Remember, mag-improve ang pay niyo. Honest, hintayin niyo pero incremental ha. Walang biglaan. Marami kayo, you will [have] five times more or seven times more than soldiers (Your pay will improve. Honest, wait for it, but it will be incremental, not one time. There are many of you, you will have five times more or seven times more than soldiers),” he said.
Duterte vowed anew to increase the salary of public school teachers even as the Palace had already said the latter should not expect any salary increase before 2020.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque explained that teachers and other government workers were still expecting two more tranches of pay hikes in 2018 and 2019 under the Salary Standardization Law.