DBM wants study on P500-B pay hike

Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Wednesday said a study would be conducted on the proposed doubling of salaries of  the about 600,000 public school teachers, citing that this would need about PHP500 billion.

He said the Duterte administration’s priority was to increase  spending on infrastructure and social protection programs, with the latter targeted to have a budget of at least PHP8 trillion.

“So I think we have to study that (doubling of teachers’ salary) very carefully…What I am planning to do is have a study done by a third party or private sector to compare the salaries…Just to validate prior to the salary standardization law,” he said.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte is pushing for the increase of public school teachers’ salaries following the same move for uniformed military personnel and other uniformed personnel under the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DIL), Philippine Coast Guard, and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority.

Diokno explained that even without the President’s plan to hike teachers’ pay, the latter would receive higher salaries in line with the third and fourth tranches this and next year under the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) III.

“There’s about 15 to 16 percent increase in the salaries of teachers and there will be another round next year…so I think the best time to see all the salary adjustment is after four years,” he said.

The Department of Budget and Management chief said the planned study on salary hike, which would be conducted once the SSL ends in 2019, would cover not only teachers’ but all salary classification.

He said he would discuss this with the President to explain to him the implications on the budget.

“What you don’t want to do is to see the entire budget as simply salaries because the government has other responsibilities…We don’t want the budget as simply salaries. I don’t think Filipino taxpayers will like that,” he added. (PNA)