Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Wednesday said Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made a mistake in claiming that the government wants to double the salaries of public school teachers.
"Hindi talaga sinabi ni Presidente na dodoblehin. Ako nasa Gabinete, sa Cabinet meeting ako e. Ininterpret lang ni Harry Roque..." he said.
"I think yung pag sinabi niyang pagdoble, mali talaga 'yun. Kasi hindi naman namin pinag-usapan sa Gabinete yun," he added.
Roque on Tuesday said that Duterte has instructed the budget department to find means to increase teachers' pay.
He claimed it may be the same as the hike in the pay of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel.
“Judging by what he wanted for the PNP and AFP, it could also be that he is aiming for the doubling the salary of teachers," Roque said.
However, doubling the pay of public school teachers would require an additional P337 billion on the part of government, according to Diokno.
"Ganun kalaki dahil we have 880,000 teachers," he added.
The Budget chief said public school teachers will have an increase in their salaries this year and in 2019 under the Salary Standardization Law.
Last year, entry-level teachers earned P26,140. This will increase to P26,876 in 2018 and P27,546 in 2019.
"Tapos 'pag sinama mo pa yung epekto ng TRAIN, binaba namin ang tax, may additional sila na P52,000 (a year)," Diokno said. He added that a study showed public school teachers earn twice as much as their counterparts in private schools.