MANILA – Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones said on Friday that a suggestion by Senator Richard Gordon to increase the starting monthly salary of public school teachers from PHP19,000 to PHP39,000 needs careful study.
”Perhaps to fulfill that promise, without creating an even wider gap with the policemen and the nurses and others, this has to be carefully planned in terms of the financial requirements,” Briones said in a press briefing in Malacanang.
Briones said the PHP39,000 monthly wage for public school teachers was discussed during last Thursday’s Senate plenary deliberations on the proposed DepEd’s PH567.6- billion budget for 2017.
”It was discussed, ‘cause it was brought up by one of the senators, that next year’s budget should start with a PHP39,000 basic salary starting for a public school teacher,” Briones said.
She said Gordon’s suggestion would mean additional PHP200 billion to the DepEd’s annual budget which is already one-third of the entire national budget of the government.
”I’m not saying that they should not be done. I’m just saying what the magnitudes are because we are asked to make a very quick computation,” Briones said.
Briones explained that if the salaries of the public school teachers will be increased, the monthly pay of the policemen and nurses should also increase at least near to the level of public school teacher’s salaries.
Right now, she said the starting monthly salary of policemen is PHP14,000 while that for nurses is PHP19,000.
The DepEd official also said the Senate proposal is too big compared to the only PHP8,000 monthly starting salary of a teacher in an average provincial private school.
”So these are the things I supposed that are being taken into consideration,” Briones said.
Briones, however, assured that President Rodrigo R. Duterte will fulfill his election campaign promise to increase the salaries of public school teachers “but not in one fell swoop.”
”You cannot contemplate the inflationary impact. These are things which have to be seriously considered, specially considering the size of the department,” Briones said.
She said DepEd has so far employed more than 720,000 teachers teaching over 24,000 million pupils and students nationwide. Jelly Musico/PNA-northboundasia.com