Jinggoy Estrada assures he will push for salary increases for public school teachers

Administration Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada has assured public school teachers that he would look into their salaries and benefits to ensure that it would be commensurate with their workload.

Estrada made the promise during a recent interview, saying it is one of his priorities as the incoming chair of the Senate Committee on Labor and Employment in the 19th Congress.

The returning senator stressed that he understands the clamor of teaching personnel for higher pay and will look for available funds to meet their needs.

“Pagtutuunan po natin ng pansin yang pagtaas ng sweldo ng ating mga gruo sa pang publikong paaralan dahil ang pagiging isang guro ay isang marangal na trabaho, ngunit talagang noong araw pa napakababa na ng kanilang tinatanggap na sahod (We will look into the proposals seeking to increase the salary of our teachers in public schools because being a teacher is a noble job, but even before, they have to contend with a very low salary),” Estrada said.

“Kaya talagang nakakaawa rin itong ating mga guro lalong-lalo na sila yung naatasan na magbilang ng mga boto at kinakailangan talaga bigyan ng karagdagang sahod ang ating mga guro sa public schools (That’s why we feel for the plight of our teachers especially those who were tasked during the canvassing of votes. We really need to increase the salary of our teachers in public schools),” he stressed.

A salary increase is necessary not only to compensate for the additional workload brought about by the blended learning at the onset of the lockdown due to the COVID19 pandemic but, more importantly, to prevent teachers from leaving the country to work abroad, the lawmaker added.

However, Estrada underscored that any proposed salary increase is highly dependent on the country’s reserves.

But he assured that once available funds have been certified by the National Treasury, he sees no reason why the Senate will not approve the measure.

“It all boils down to funding. Basta’t may budget madali, basta sesertipikahan ng National Treasury na may pera napakadali pong ipasa, basta may availability of funds para itaas ang sweldo ng ating mga guro, mga kapulisan, mga military, kasundaluhan napaka dali pongipasa yung mga ganitong klaseng batas (As long as there is a budget and the National Treasury certifies there is available budget, it would be easy to pass the bill raising the salaries of our teachers, policemen, and military),” the senator said. -Hannah Torregoza/Manila Bulletin