MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday appealed to public school teachers for understanding as the government looked for funding for their pay hike.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones informed him that increasing the salary of every teacher by P10,000 would cost the state an additional P150 billion, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
"We appeal to our teachers that since this is a huge amount, medyo haba-habaan niyo lang muna yung pasensya talagang maghahanap tayo ng pera para sa inyo," Panelo told reporters.
(Please extend your patience. We'll find funding for you.)
"We're doing something about it," he said.
In January, President Rodrigo Duterte promised to increase the salaries of public school teachers within the year. The clamor for an increase in teachers' wages comes after pay hikes for police officers, soldiers, and other uniformed personnel last year.
Currently, entry-level public-school teachers, which have a Salary Grade 11 under Tranche 4 of the Salary Standardization Law, earn P20,754 monthly.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) is asking that entry-level basic salary for teachers be raised to P30,000 monthly, arguing that the current pay is not enough to cope with the rising prices of goods and services. There are more than 800,000 public school teachers in the country, the group said.
Panelo said Duterte ordered his economic managers to look for funding for the teachers’ wage hike, assuring them that the chief executive was not reneging on his word.
He also said the salary hike for teachers could be done it tranches.
"The President has committed himself and he has not reneged on any commitment he has made during the presidential elections," he said.