ACT solons to DepEd: Fund teachers’ pay hike in 2019 national budget

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ACT Teachers partylist Representatives France Castro and Antonio Tinio urged the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Budget and Management to include funding for the salary increase and benefits for public school teachers in the proposed 2019 budget.

The deadline for the submission of departments of budget proposals to the DBM is on April 19.

In a statement, Castro and Tinio demanded that DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones take steps to ensure that the salary hike for teachers would be funded next year.

“With the forthcoming April 19, 2018 deadline for the submission of the departments’ budget proposals to DBM, we demand the DepEd leadership to finally heed the call of public school teachers by ensuring that the P29,668 minimum entry-level salary and the funding for benefits in the Magna Carta For Public School Teachers, such as free medical examination and treatment at least once a year and overtime pay be reflected in their proposal,” said Castro.

She noted that as the education secretary, it is primarily Briones’ duty to implement the Magna Carta and other laws and agreements concerning the rights and welfare of teachers.

The solons also pressed Briones to include allocation for the implementation the 2015 Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) between the Alliance of Concerned Teachers-National Capital Region (ACT-NCR) Union which is crafted to ensure that the 62,000 public school teachers they represent receive the economic benefits under the Magna Carta and be provided provisions for better working conditions.

“Since the signing of the CNA in 2015, the Union’s lobbying efforts, especially for their CNA incentives, every budget deliberations had been consistently denied.” Tinio noted. “This anti-union stance, however did not stop public school teachers’ union in regions VI and XI from successfully concluding their own CNAs with their respective regional offices.”

Castro pointed out that the funds for CNA incentives should have a separate line item in the budget and must not be sourced from savings in the maintenance and other operating expenses since even the DepEd leadership itself admits that year in and year out, the funds allocated are always not enough to provide for the needs of the schools.

“CNAs are the public school teachers’ voice in the policy-making process, a right that must be recognized and even encouraged by the government as its constitutional mandate. For one, ACT-NCR Union’s CNA is a push for the implementation of Magna Carta benefits that remained unfunded ever since its enactment five decades ago,” he added.