Presidential aspirant and Senator Manny Pacquiao on Tuesday promised to double the salary of all government teachers and push for the improvement of the welfare of educators in the private sector to “restore the dignity” of the profession.
In a statement, Pacquiao noted that the living standards of many teachers have “miserably deteriorated” due to lack of support from the government.
“Sobrang napabayaan na ng pamahalaan ang ating mga guro. Noong araw, ang pagiging guro ay isang position of dignity and respect pero parang nawawala na ito dahil napakarami sa ating mga guro ang naghihikahos kaya napipipilitan na pumasok sa mga sitwasyon na nakakawala ng dignidad,” Pacquiao said.
(The teachers have been neglected by the government. Back then, the teaching profession is a position of dignity and respect but it has deteriorated over time because our teachers are not earning enough and they are forced to enter situations which do not maintain their dignity.)
While he acknowledged President Rodrigo Duterte’s initiative to increase the salaries of the uniformed personnel, Pacquiao said it is equally important for the government to prioritize the welfare of the teachers and the healthcare workers as they are considered as the most important civilian sectors during the pandemic.
“It is time for the new President to resolve this injustice in their working conditions,” he said.
Pacquiao said anew that his proposal could be funded if the government could track the estimated P700 billion to P1 trillion public funds which he said are lost to corruption.
Pacquiao also vowed to stop allocating hefty budgets for intelligence and discretionary funds and realign them for the salary increase of the teachers and health care workers.
Meanwhile, he said he would ask Congress to review the labor standards in private schools and check if the wage increases for the private health care and educational sectors could be legislated.
Apart from this, he vowed to ask the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) and the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) to revamp the current minimum wage for teachers.
On top of the wage increases, Pacquiao said teachers should be provided with all the gadgets they need to complement his “one gadget, one student” proposal.—LDF, GMA News