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Hindi kulang ang sweldo! Diokno: Public school teachers paid more than private school counterparts

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MANILA — Public school teachers are not underpaid and overworked, contrary to the claims of some teachers’ groups, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.

In a radio interview on Tuesday, Diokno said the current salary of public school teachers is twice more than the salary of their private school counterparts.

“There is a study, which Philippine Institute for Development Studies Senior Research Fellow Rosario Manasan did on that. For example, in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the salary of public school teachers is three times more than those of private school teachers,” he said in Filipino.

As part of the 2016 salary standardization, Diokno said teachers receive a basic pay increase plus other benefits.

“They have PHP20,179 plus other benefits, that will amount to around PHP29,000 minus the contributions such as GSIS (Government Service Insurance System), PhilHealth, etc., which they can use in the future,” he said.

Diokno added that PHP250,000 of the annual salary of teachers is tax-free because of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.

“If you’re earning half a million in a year, your tax rate is 25 percent instead of 32 percent. The teachers are included here. In fact, 99 percent of the tax filers benefit from the TRAIN law,” he said.

By first quarter of 2019, DBM will commission a private study to determine the appropriate salary for public school teachers come 2020 until the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term.

In relation to the issue about public school teachers being overworked, Diokno said they have two months’ vacation and the government has employed 600,000 teachers nationwide.

The number could still increase as more jobs are created for teaching personnel each year, he added.