22 July 2014
July 28 marks the fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President BS Aquino. This marks the fourth time that Pres. BS Aquino would brag about the pretentious economic growth that the country has supposedly undergone over the past four years. But amidst all these hype is the gnawing reality that this growing economy did not trickle down to the rest and that most Filipinos, including public school teachers, are still mired in hardship and poverty.
Despite the clamors of public school teachers for salary increase since the beginning of his administration, Pres. BS Aquino never once heeded our calls. We are still, according to columnist Conrado de Quiros, the “national animal”. We who put our lives on the line – trekking for hours against the rugged terrain of the Cordilleras and juggling several classes every day, among others – to fulfill our duties of educating the “hope of our fatherland” are rewarded with no more than a smug indifference from the President.
And did he, Pres. BS Aquino, ever listen? Is House Bill 245 by ACT Teachers Partylist Representative Antonio L. Tinio unjustified? We have been judicious in our demands. Enacting HB 245 and thereafter increasing the minimum monthly salary of public school teachers to Php 25,000 and non-teaching personnel to Php 15,000 wouldn’t even make a dent on the country’s annual budget. It would only take an estimated additional budget of Php 3 billion every year. Compare this amount to the funds appropriated through the DAP that he and his lackeys so arrogantly defends.
Thus, this coming July 24, public school teachers in Baguio City, such as those teaching in Roxas National High School, Magsaysay National High School, Magsaysay Elementary School, and Alfonso Tabora Elementary School, among others, will be wearing black arm bands to persist in our clamor for salary increase. This activity is a nationally coordinated activity of ACT Philippines.
In addition, teacher leaders and members of ACT Union CAR will join the protest action this coming July 28 at Malcolm Square here in Baguio City. Public school teachers in the City and the rest of the region are one with the other sectors of Philippine society in the struggle for a better educational system and for a better nation.
Upgrade the salary of teaching and non-teaching personnel!
Approve House Bill 245!
Increase education budget to 6% of the country’s GDP!
Education budget, dagdagan! Military budget, kaltasan!
Edukasyon, karapatan ng mamamayan!
ACT Union CAR