Luistro: P25K minimum pay for teachers 'realistic'

MANILA, Philippines – Education Secretary Armin Luistro on Monday, September 8, said the salary increase proposed by teachers' group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT Teachers) is more conservative and realistic than other proposals.

"Alam ko po na dun sa mga isinusulong na iba’t ibang mga numbers, yung sinusulong po yata ng grupo niyo ay yung mas mukhang conservative and realistic,” Luistro told ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio during Monday's hearing on the proposed 2015 budget of the Department of Education (DepEd).

(What I know is that among the proposed numbers, what your group proposes looks more conservative and realistic.)

Currently, teachers are paid a minimum of P18,549 ($425.58)* a month, but House Bill 245 filed by Tinio proposes to raise this to P25,000 ($573.59). Even the minimum pay of non-teaching personnel will also be raised from P9,000 ($206.49) to P15,000 ($344.16) a month under the proposal.

As of school year 2012-2013, there are 377,831 public elementary school teachers and 169,743 public high school teachers in the country.

Tinio asked the education secretary whether he believed there is already a need to increase the salary of teachers in public elementary and high schools.

"Opo naman, at siguro ang pinag-uusapan lang yung magkano (Of course, but we have to talk about how much) ,” Luistro answered. (READ: INFOGRAPHIC: How much are public school teachers getting?)

He said DepEd is "very supportive" of any increase in the salary of teachers within the budget of the administration.

"‘Di lang po namin naihabol yan dito sa 2015 [budget] dahil nung panahong yan, ang alam ko po may pag-uusap na sa ibang miyembro ng Kongreso at saka ng DBM [Department of Budget and Management] para sa isang mas mahabang pag-aaral. Ang alam ko po hindi lamang sa teachers,” he added.

(We were not able to put this in the 2015 budget because during that time, what I know is some members of Congress and the DBM were already in talks for an extensive study on this. What I know is it is not only for teachers.)

Including its attached agencies, DepEd is seeking a P364.9-billion ($8.37 billion) budget for 2015. 

Luistro also assured Tinio he will always be the bridge of Filipino teachers and the current administration. In fact, in Cabinet meetings he said he presents a "good picture of the needs of teachers." (WATCH: DepEd aiming to hire and keep best and brightest teachers)

"Hindi lang po yata ako pwedeng sumali sa mga rally ninyo, pero alam niyo naman ang sentimiyento ko (I don't think I can join your rallies, but you know where my sentiments lie.)” the secretary said. – Rappler.com

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Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.

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