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Pacquiao vows to double salary of teachers to ‘restore dignity in teaching profession’


Sen. Manny Pacquiao, a presidential candidate, said his administration will double the pay of all government teachers and intervene to enhance the living standards of their private-sector counterparts to restore dignity to the teaching profession.

According to Pacquiao, many teachers’ living standards have deteriorated so badly over the years that many of them have turned to loan sharks and shady networking techniques to make ends meet. He went on to say that, despite their status as educators, many educators continue to live in slums or rent substandard flats due to a lack of government support.

“Sobrang napabayaan na ng pamahalaan ang ating mga guro. Noong araw, ang pagiging guro ay isang position of dignity and respect pero parang nawawala na ito dahil napakarami sa ating mga guro ang naghihikahos kaya napipipilitan na pumasok sa mga sitwasyon na nakakawala ng dignidad,” Pacquiao said.
“Marami sa ating mga teachers ang nagiging biktima ng mga pyramiding schemes at marami sa kanila ang baon sa utang dahil sa five-six. Hindi dapat nangyayari ito sa kanila dahil sila ang nagbibigay ng karunungan sa ating mga anak. Kailangang bigyan natin sila ng malasakit at ibalik sa kanila ang kanilang dignidad,” he added.

While Pacquiao appreciates President Rodrigo Duterte’s efforts to raise the pay of people in the military services, he believes it is equally vital for the government to look after the wellbeing of the country’s teachers and health-care professionals.

Health care workers and teachers, he said, are the most vital civilian sectors during a pandemic because they care for public health and our children’s education.

"It is time for the new President to resolve this injustice in their working conditions," Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao stated that the government would acquire funds from a variety of sources, including its savings from corruption, which he estimates to be between P700 billion and P1 trillion every year.

He would also stop providing large budgets for intelligence and discretionary expenditures and reallocate them to pay for teacher and health-care worker raises.

“Hindi ito imposible dahil napakalaking pera ang nasasayang dahil sa korapsyon. Kapag napatigil natin ang korapsyon at naipakulong na natin ang lahat na kawatan sa gobyerno, malaki ang pondong matitipid ng pamahalaan at ito ang gagamitin natin para mapabuti ang buhay ng ating mga guro at mga health care workers. Itong korapsyon talaga ang ugat ng ating kahirapan,” Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao said he would ask Congress to look at labor standards in private schools and determine if the health-care and educational sectors may benefit from a legislated pay rise. He would also request that the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) and the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) revise the current teacher minimum wage.

In addition to doubling their salary, Pacquiao believes that teachers should be provided with all of the technology they need to teach their kids online, as part of his “one gadget, one student” initiative.

“Kung yung ating mga sundalo at pulis ay ating inaarmasan para sa kapayapaan ay aarmasan din natin itong ating mga guro ng mga makabagong kagamitan para sa maitaas ang antas ng karunungan ng ating mga kabataan,” Pacquiao said.

Because of the ongoing threat of the Covid-19 virus, Pacquiao believes the country’s school system will continue to use the web platform as a teaching tool. Pacquiao also stated that even once the Covid epidemic is over, schools should continue to adopt digital ways of instruction, which entails the usage of mobile phones and computing equipment.

Pacquiao vows to double salary of teachers to ‘restore dignity in teaching profession’|Inquirer

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