No pay hike for gov’t employees in 2013, solon warns

DESPITE soaring prices in utilities and basic commodities hitting public school teachers and other civil servants, President Benigno Aquino did not see it fit to provide for a pay hike in next year’s budget, a progressive lawmaker bared.

ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio said that preliminary statements issued by the Palace on the proposed 2013 budget are deafeningly silent on the demands of government employees for salary increases.

“The phrase ‘overworked yet underpaid’ has practically become attached to the names of public school teachers, like an unwanted degree,” Tinio lamented.

“That’s why they, along with other government employees, pin their hopes on a salary increase everytime the budget season rolls in.  But PNoy never failed to disappoint them—the two annual budgets approved under his administration did not provide for pay hikes.”

Entry-level teachers receive only P18,549 monthly (Salary Grade 11).  Tinio filed House Bill 2142, or the Public School Teachers’ Salary Upgrading Act, to push for a pay hike from SG 11 to SG 15, or P24,887 monthly.  Neither certified urgent by Aquino nor included in his priority bills, it has been pending in the Committee on Appropriations since September 2010.

Tinio urged his 181 co-authors of HB 2142 to fight for higher teachers’ pay to be included in DepEd’s budget.  Per his estimates, at least P152.5 billion is needed for the salary upgrading of the 510,629 teachers already in DepEd’s payroll.

Tinio also vowed to campaign for enough budgetary support for the salary upgrading of teaching personnel in the tertiary level from SG 12 to SG 16 (from P19,940 to P26,878), and for the P6,000-increase in the base pay of other government employees.

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