The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) – Philippines strongly condemn the recent deduction from teachers’ and employees’ Net Take Home Pay (NTHP). The Department of Education (DepEd) violates its own DepEd Order No. 12, series of 2017 that states that the new threshold on NTHP of DepEd personnel shall be Four Thousand Pesos (P 4,000.00).
“We received a lot of reports from the National Capital Region and other regions wherein teachers and employees received only P200 to P1900 upon withdrawal of their salaries from the Automated Teller Machines. We demand that the ceiling of P4, 000.00 as their Net Take Home Pay (as per Gen. Appropriations Act of 2017) be maintained,” said Mr. Benjamin Valbuena, ACT Philippines Chairperson.
Further, the order was inked through the hand of DepEd Sec. Leonor Briones last March 6, 2017. She should have weighed further the impact on classroom teachers the effect of the order. But then this pro-private sector DepEd secretary again displayed her uncaring stance with personnel within her own department! But for Sec. Briones, the best long-term solution to teachers’ over-borrowing is teaching teachers financial literacy. “We really have to institute financial literacy among our teachers,” she stressed. Teachers have to “make financial choices amongst themselves…it’s not as if the Department has created this problem and they are aware of this problem,” she ended.
Sec. Briones and President Rodrigo Duterte should understand that teachers and other education personnel are already in a cycle of indebtedness because of low salaries that does not even meet the standard cost of living inside the country. To be able to survive their families, education personnel have been victims of loan sharks.
No amount of measure of so called financial literacy as proposed by DepEd and quickly echoed by Mr. Benjo Basas of Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) will address the predicament of the personnel of the education sector. Dr. Liling Briones and Mr. Benjo Basas missed the whole point too. Salary Increase for both public and private school teachers is a pressing demand now more than ever!
Queuing loan payments and maintaining the NTHP will not solve the problem unless our salaries to a minimum will meet the very standard cost of living set by our government. Our salaries are simply not enough and because our demand for a just salary increase has been unattended, acquiring loans from both public and private lending institutions have been a” way of life” for the majority of the teaching and non-teaching personnel.
“If President Duterte can double the salaries of the military personnel in 2018, why can’t he do the same for the education sector and whole public sector for that matter? Mr. Benjie Valbuena intoned.
“Fellow teachers and public servants, we are under the attack of neoliberal reforms that maintain meager salary, deficient benefits, oppressive tax reform and rotting education system. We must act! Enough is enough!” concluded Mr. Valbuena.
Scrap the illegal DepEd Order No. 38 S. 2017!
Implement the P4,000 Net Take Home Pay!
FIGHT FOR SALARY INCREASE!
Updated: October 29, 2017