House Appropriations Committee Chairman Davao City Congressman Karlo Nograles today said the salary increase for teachers as promised by President Duterte will be the next priority of his panel and expects that this can be implemented upon the full cycle of fourth tranche of the Salary Standardization Law.
Nograles said that the 4th round of the salary adjustments granted for government employees including teachers will be completed next year and by then, the government should already have enough funds for a new round of wage increases.
“Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno was just being candid about the present status of our financial situation but it doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. We still have the 4th round of the salary standardization law which also covers our teachers. After that, we should be ready for a new cycle of financial packages not only for our teachers but for other government workers as well, “ Nograles said.
“For 2018, we have also increased the monthly allowances of public school teachers - from P2,500 previously, they will now receive P3,500 per month. So we are always looking for ways to add to the benefits of our teachers,” Nograles added.
He pointed out however that if and when a new cycle of salary adjustment is carried out after SSL4, this should also cover all other government workers except those belonging to the uniformed service.
“Kung bibigyan natin ng dagdag sweldo ang mga teachers, kailangan kasama na din ang ibang mga government workers. Tulad ng Salary Standardization Law, which benefitted government workers, not only teachers, we would want to come up with another comprehensive law that will provide another round of salary increases beyond 2019,” Nograles said.
Nograles said his panel is already conducting its own technical study on the possible wage adjustments that can be implemented upon the completion of the SSL4
“Hindi tayo titigil sa 4th tranche ng SSL. Pagkatapos ng 4th tranche itutuloy pa natin ang dagdag sweldo para tuluyan talaga nating ma-professionalize ang government services. With increased salary rates we will be attracting the best and the brightest into the government sector and we will help minimize the temptation for corruption. Kung maganda sweldo mo bakit ka pa mangungurakot?” Nograles noted.
Nograles said that with the expected improvement on the country’s economy, he is optimistic that the government will already have enough money to support a wage hike not only for teachers but for all government employees right after the completion of SSL4.
“The money that would be used for this salary increase will not just come like manna from heaven. It has to be sourced somewhere and the amount needed for this is really staggering. For this alone, we really need to study and properly chart our projections on how we can implement this,” Nograles said.
“The Department of Budget Management (DBM) chief’s remarks was simply the prudent thing to say at the moment, given all the projects lined up by the Duterte administration this 2018. But make no mistake, finding funds for the teachers’ salary increase is one of our more important targets,” he added.
As Appropriations panel head, Nograles will have a more direct hand than others in allocating budgets for certain policies or purposes. This function is consistent with the power of the purse possessed by the House of Representatives.
Last Tuesday, Duterte ordered the DBM to work out a way to significantly increase the salary of teachers under the second package of the tax reform law.
He made the request after the government successfully hiked by 100 percent the base pay of the lowest-ranked military and uniformed personnel (MUP) under Joint Resolution no.1. Those holding higher positions will also receive augmented pay.
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