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Teachers appeal for salary increase to the next DepEd Secretary

Teachers appeal for salary increase to the next DepEd Secretary

Teachers are appealing for a salary increase, saying they will be more effective at their jobs if they have one less problem to worry about.

In an interview, Merry, a grade school teacher in the Island Garden City of Samal, said it is a sad reality that they have to patronize loan sharks, both to make ends meet and for work itself.

“We tend to accept their offer because we also use it for classroom improvement and sometimes for the learners,” Merry told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Wheng, a public school teacher here, said some of teachers lack financial literacy and grab loan offers without realizing the high-interest rates.

“An increase of salary grade would greatly help. DepEd should also hire more competent teachers and allow early retirement for 50 years old,” she added.

Wheng said school-related beautification is one of the factors why teachers resort to loans.

“Not all materials were covered using the maintenance and other operating expenses budget because there are a lot of school concerns and priorities being addressed by the MOOE,” she added

Wheng said some teachers resorted to loans to buy laptops, printers, and other materials needed for student-learner modules.

“There is also internet connection that we really need. Another additional expense on our part,” she added.

Presumptive Vice President Sara Duterte, the incoming Department of Education (DepEd) secretary, has expressed concern about teachers who are deep in debt, especially to loan sharks.

“That is the sad reality for our teachers. I saw it when I was the mayor of Davao City,” Duterte said in an interview Friday.

Duterte pointed out that such a dilemma affects the quality of work.

“How can you expect the teachers to work religiously if they are confronted with such a problem?” she said.

Merry said aside from loans, a teacher also becomes ineffective when tasks outside of teaching pile up.

“The teachers cannot focus on teaching alone,” Merry said.

Sandee, a public school teacher in Davao de Oro, said they hope to do away with ancillary services and many reports.

She cited “Brigada Eskwela” (School Brigade) as a good project, but stressful.

“We are forced to shell out our own money during the preparation of our classroom evaluation,” Sandee said.

“We are expecting the next DepEd chief to address our concerns,” Sandee said.