Solons seek pay hike for state teachers, nurses

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 21 2018 04:29 PM | Updated as of Feb 21 2018 05:45 PM

MANILA - Members of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives have filed separate bills seeking salary increases for public school teachers and other government employees.

ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro said House Bill No. 7211 seeks to raise the monthly salary of teachers from P20,179 to P30,000 amid soaring prices of commodities. 

"Bagama't nagkaroon ng kaunting pagtaas ang net take-home pay ng ilan sa sektor ng kaguruan at empleyado, di ito sasapat dahil halos lahat ng serbisyo at bilihin ay tumataas," Castro said in reference to lower personal income tax rates yet hikes in duties on gas and sugar-sweetened beverages under the tax reform law. 

Castro said the salary increase should be implemented now as the raise under the Aquino administration's Executive Order No. 201 adjusting the pay of state workers would only take full effect after 2019. 

The bill also aims to increase the Personnel Economic Relief Allowance granted to all government employees from P2,000 per month to P5,000.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, meanwhile, filed House Bill No. 7197 to raise the entry-level salary of government nurses from P11,000 to P16,000.

The Leftist lawmaker said the amount is almost equivalent to minimum wage in the private sector and just half of the P32,000 ideal family living wage.

"'Yung entry level na suweldo ng kawani sa gobyerno, dahil sa kasalukuyan 'yung entry level na P11,000 hindi na makabubuhay 'yun. Sa House Bill 7197, [ga]gawin na itong P16,000," he said.

"Kung ating susuriin, talagang kulang pa rin ito sa family living wage na dapat nasa P32,000. [Ang] P16,000 ay kalahati lang, halos katumbas lang ng minimum wage sa private sector," he added.

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said the pay hike for state workers, including those in the education sector, is much needed so they could live a decent life.

"The salaries remain insufficient for a family living wage of P1,119 per day or P33,570 per month for a family of 6 to have a decent and humane condition of living," he said.

Government recently implemented a pay hike for soldiers, police officers and other uniformed personnel.