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Castro on Senate’s higher pay for state workers: Initial victory but is still a far cry

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

House Assistant Minority Leader France Castro has welcomed the Senate’s move in doubling the allocated funds for pay hike of government employees under the 2020 national budget.

Castro, party-list representative of ACT Teachers, said that although the upcoming hike was “still a far cry from the demands of teachers and other government employees for a substantial salary increase,” it was an initial victory and a “step forward in the struggle for a substantial salary increase.”

“Teachers and other government employees have long been calling for decent salaries,” said Castro.

The Senate last week added P32 billion to the P31.1-billion initial allocation for salary increase of public sector workers for 2020.

Castro said it was high time that lawmakers heed the calls of teachers and other government employees for a substantial salary increase.

“We also welcome the move of the Senate to fund the increase in salaries of entry-level pay of public nurses to P30,000 per Supreme Court decision,” said Castro.

Castro stressed she hopes that Congress would also allot similar entry-level pay for public school teachers since their professions have relatively similar qualifications and workload.

A P63-billion budget for pay hike could yield a monthly salary increase of less than P3,000 if divided equally among the more than 1.5 million government workers according to the ACT Teachers solon.

But Castro explained that the amount was still a far cry from their demand of increasing the current P20,754 monthly salary of Teacher 1 rank to P30,000.

“Salary increases for our front liners in the delivery of basic education and health services–teachers and nurses—are certainly better proceeds for taxpayers’ money than pork and militarist programs for sowing state terrorism and stifling dissent,” said Castro.

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