MANILA, Philippines - Lueda Saro has been a kindergarten teacher for 16 years.
That's also how long she's been earning P9,000 every month for putting in 9 hours of work every day.
Lueda is a contractual employee.
In comparison, regular kindergarten teachers earn twice as much for only 6 hours of work.
"Pareho ng trabaho pero magkaiba ng suweldo," Saro said.
This is why Saro is disappointed when President Benigno Aquino made no mention in his 2012 State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday about contractual workers.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) is dismayed, saying the government is not doing anything to help teachers and state employees.
"Nababahala kami kasi wala siyang sinabi ukol sa planong itaas ang suweldo ng mga professionals," said ACT partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio.
This is the same sentiment of the Alliance of Health Workers (AHW).
Contractual nurses only get a monthly salary of P8,000, which is not even half of the P18,000 that regular nurses get.
"Current nurse to patient ratio is at 1:75 while the ideal set by the DOH is 1:15. Kasi kulang ng mga nars," said AHW secretary-general Robert Mendoza.
The ACT and the AHW on Tuesday gave Aquino failing marks for his third SONA.
The Department of Education (DepEd), meanwhile, pointed out that salary woes of contractual workers in the sector do not mean that government is not doing something about it.
A DepEd official defended Aquino, saying that they're working on a standardized salary scheme for teachers.
"Hindi naman porke hindi binanggit sa sona eh di na kasama sa prayoridad ng Pangulo," said DepEd Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali.
The DepEd appealed for patience, saying that teachers'needs are being addressed. - report from Jing Castañeda, ABS-CBN News; ANC