Don’t keep teachers’ hopes up, prove funding for salary hike is sufficient, gov’t told

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 06 2019 09:46 PM

Sen. Francis Escudero said he sees 4 possible sources of funds in the plan to increase teachers' salaries — loans, a realignment of funds, tax increase, or savings. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA—Sen. Francis Escudero on Thursday said that if there’s a plan to increase teachers’ salaries, government must provide data to show it has the money to fund it.

“Ang huling dapat gawin ng pamahalaan, paasahin na naman iyong ating mga teacher na tinaasan pero wala naman pagkukunan kaya hindi mapapatupad. Baka ipangutang pa nila iyon, drawing pa lang. Mas maganda na kung may pagtataas na gagawin, tiyak, sigurado at may pondo para doon,” Escudero, chairman of the Senate committee on education, said at a news forum.

Escudero said he sees 4 possible funding sources — loans, a realignment of funds, tax increase, or savings.

According to Malacañang, President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered his economic managers to look for ways to fund the teachers’ salary hike.

Escudero said the definition of a living wage must be clear if the government intends to push through with the salary increase.

“Ang isinaad sa Saligang Batas na living wage, hindi naman minimum wage. Ang living wage, ang ibig sabihin noon, sapat na suweldo o kita para matustusan ang pangunahing pangangailangan ng isang pamilya,” he said.

“Pero para sa akin ang computation dapat ang living wage na katumbas na kinikita ng isang tao para tustusan iyong pangangailangan ng kaniyang buong pamilya.”
 
Escudero also defended the Department of Education prioritizing the construction of classrooms, instead of faculty rooms, cafeteria, and similar facilities.

He also backed the schoolteacher in Cavite who shared on social media the comfort room converted into a faculty office.

“People make do (with) whatever it is they have. Sinisikap nating pakinabangan at gawing sapat kung anomang mayroon tayo at iyon ang ginawa ng teacher marahil," he said.

"Hindi rason para kasuhan siya sa paniniwala ko at hindi rin rason para personalin ng DepEd iyong ginawang iyon ng teacher. Dahil hindi naman siguro paninirang puri lamang at hindi ko alam kung saang libro nila maka-classify na cyberbullying iyong ginawa ng teacher sa pagpost na ‘yun."