Educators dismayed over measly wages ahead of National Teachers’ Day

Oct. 03, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — A group of educators here has once again called on the Duterte administration to approve their proposed salary increase ahead of the observance of the National Teachers’ Day Friday (Oct. 4).

“We hope that the government would finally realize that [the] teaching profession is naturally service-oriented. This would put our call for a substantial increase in the proper context,” said Ophelia Tabacon, regional chairperson of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT-X) in Northern Mindanao.

In a statement, Tabacon said the P2,000 increase is not enough as they demand P30,000 entry-level pay for new teachers.

“Tuparin ang pangako (fulfill the promise),” she said, referring to the promise of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to make good on his pronouncement to raise the teachers’ pay.

During his 4th State of the Nation Address on July 22, he urged Congress to pass a new Salary Standardization Law that would implement the increase of government employees, including public school teachers.

“It has been four years now, the military had already enjoyed their doubled salary but the teachers are still coping the meager income which is not even enough for the family of four,” Tabacon said.

She said ACT members are pushing a salary of P30,000 for entrance pay level of teachers, P31,000 for State Universities and Colleges professors, and P16,000 for all government employees.

“This could be (a) substantial salary for the rising basic commodities brought about by TRAIN law. The 20,754 cannot suffice the family needs of the teachers especially that teaching materials and school facilities are taken out from his or her own pocket,” she said.

Teachers are one of the lowest-paid professionals in the country. ACT teachers are always clamoring for a salary increase, an equitable, decent and living wage and better working condition, Tabacon said.

“But what they did was keeping on red-tagging us, accusing leaders to be supporters of [New People’s Army]. This might put all ACT leaders’ life in danger and the whole organization as well,” she added. (

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