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Salary increase for public teachers can cause closure of more private schools – VP Sara

Salary increase for public teachers can cause closure of more private schools – VP Sara

According Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte, increasing the public school teachers salary will later force more private school shutdowns.

During the House appropriations committee deliberations on the proposed P710-billion Department of Education (DepEd) budget, ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro asked Duterte about their plan to address the low salary public school teachers.

Duterte mentioned her meeting with Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma, who believes the “market standard for salaries should be the private sector.”

“Clearly, we see that there is a wide disparity between the salary of teachers in private schools,” she said.

“In this case, if the government continues to increase the salaries of teachers in the government sector, this will put undue pressure on the private educational institution. Thus, creating a mass migration of teachers from the private schools to the public schools, which we actually see now,” she added.

Sara said that this will “force more closures of private schools”.

Castro responded that she had already heard such answers from the previous administrations.

Castro added their pay should be based on the current cost of living and many other relevant factors.

Duterte then said the DepEd will take note of Castro’s comments, and will “endorse that to the Department of Budget and Management, who decides on the salaries of government employees.”

Castro, in a separate statement, expressed her disappointment over Sara’s response.

“The fact is, a substantial salary increase for teachers in the private sector is long overdue. Salaries of public school teachers should set the standard for salaries in the private school, not the other way around,” the lawmaker said.

Castro also slammed the lack of plans to back the “high target outcomes” earlier presented by the DepEd.

“Paano natin makakamit ang targets kung walang konkretong plano? Paano natin mabubusisi ang mga programa at polisiya ng DepEd kung tunay na makakatulong nga ba na makamit ang mga target o baka naman puro pahirap lamang ulit sa mga guro na papasan ng kakulangan ng ahensya ang maaasahan kung walang maipresentang plano,” she added.