ORMOC CITY-Education Secretary Leonor Briones thumbs down on the clamor of public school teachers for an increase of their salaries.
Briones made this declaration on the eve of the annual World Teachers Day celebration Friday(Oct.5)with Ormoc City hosting this year’s event attended by 6,500 teachers from all over the country.
The Education Secretary, in a press conference here Thursday night, said that raising teachers’ salaries could possibly result for the government to impose new tax increase just to meet the demand of the teachers as well as other government workers, to include those serving in the local government sector.
“Right now, the budget of the Department of Education is P527 billion and more than P350 billion go to the salaries of the teachers. If we give in to the demand that we’ll have an increase on the starting salaries of P29,000, it will cost us another P350 billion,” she said.
“Now, I would like to ask and consult all of you here as I presumably presumed that all of you are taxpayers, are you prepared, can we afford to contribute P350 billion more in taxes to increase the salaries of the teachers?,” Briones, a former national treasurer, said.
“While we think the personal needs of our teachers, we have to also to think the rest of the economy. We also have to think the rest of the Filipinos and we have to prosper together,” she added.
Public school teachers, particularly those belonging to the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) are demanding for an increase of salaries from the current P21,000 to P30,000 as starting salary citing as the increase on the prices of commodities and utilities.
Briones also said that another factor why she is not in favor to increase the salaries of the teachers is doing so could result to exodus of teachers coming from private schools.
This is because teachers teaching in private schools receives as low as P6,000 for their salary which is very small compare to the starting salary being received by a public school teacher.
She said that a private teacher, once he or she passes the LET (Licensure Exam for Teachers), will immediately apply for a teaching job in a public school lured by its higher salary.
“The most a teacher will stay in a private school will be three years. Pagpumasa na yan sa let,aalis na yun. We cannot promote the interest of the public school teachers (at the expense of private school teachers),” Briones said.