MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday vowed again to raise the pay of public school teachers.
Duterte said he has consulted with Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno about the salary hike and decided to push through with it within the year.
“I’m willing to strike a deal sa mga maestra (with teachers). You can choose the date, [this] January. We can make an agreement or manifesto, kayo ang isusunod ko this year (you will come next this year). Kayo ang pinakamarami eh (Your ranks have the most number among civil servants),” Duterte said during the groundbreaking of a school in Bulacan.
There are more than 800,000 public school teachers in the country, according to the Teachers' Dignity Coalition.
Duterte’s announcement drew loud applause among the crowd composed mostly of teachers and school personnel.
Public school teachers have been clamoring for a significant increase in their salaries following pay hikes for police officers, soldiers and other uniformed personnel last year.
Duterte vowed anew to increase the salary of public school teachers even as the Palace had already said the latter should not expect any salary increase before 2020, when the schedule of hikes under the Salary Standardization Law ends.