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Sa sundalo, pulis meron, sa guro wala? LP senators throw shade at ‘heartless’ Diokno

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Heartless and insensitive.

This was how Liberal Party senators’described party pooper Budget Sec. Benjamin Diokno who shut the door on the teachers’ salary increase promised by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“It’s not certainly the way to treat our public school teachers, who have been seeking government’s help for higher salaries and additional benefits so that they can live decently,” Sen. Francis Pangilinan, LP president, said.

Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Sen. Paolo Aquino, both LP members, bashed Diokno for his pronouncements dismissing any possibility of pay increase of public school teachers at this time.

Diokno said the Duterte administration’s priority was itsmassive infrastructure program over the next five years.

He said teachers should wait until 2020 for the full implementation of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) to increase their salaries.

“Beyond their traditional mission in the classrooms, teachers are mentors and influencers of the youth and of the community. Their critical role in nation-building could not be overlooked,” Pangilinan, whose mother is a retired teacher, said.

Drilon pointed out that the DBM was able to find funds for the salary hike of military and uniformed personnel.

He said there was no reason for Diokno to whine about the cost of increasing the pay of public school teachers.

“Instead of slamming the doors on the plea of the teachers, Secretary Diokno should use his wise judgment and skills to find the funds and put money where it is most needed. Investments on the country’s human resources, especially our teachers, can never go wrong,” Drilon said.

Pangilinan noted the same on the recent doubling of the salaries of military and uniform personnel.

He said this can be seen as a positive sign to start the ball rolling for a similar initiative in adjusting the pay of teachers and teaching personnel, who deserve no less, he added.

Sen. Bam Aquino said that while teachers may not bear arms or engage in dangerous missions, they give the same dedication and hard work to educate the students.

“They have legitimate demands and are not shielded from the impact of higher prices of goods and services, especially with the TRAIN law in place,” Aquino said.

“Gaya ng sundalo at pulis, gumagamit din sila ng gasolina, bumibili ng pagkain at iba pang gastusin na nagtaas na dahil sa TRAIN law,” said Aquino, principal sponsor of the Expanded Tertiary Education Act.