Public school teachers in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental will join a nationally coordinated march rally today to call for a bigger education budget to address the current shortage in the requirements for quality and relevant education.
The teachers who are affiliated with the Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Negros and the Bacolod City Public School Teachers Federation and other allied organizations, will march from the Rizal Elementary School to the Fountain of Justice in front of the Old City Hall at 5 p.m. where they will hold a program in celebration of World Teacher’s Day.
ACT-Negros chairman Gualberto Dajao yesterday said their demand is not unreasonable considering that in the proposed 2012 National Budget that was passed on second reading in Congress, debt servicing even had a bigger budget than that for education, which is in violation of Article V of the Constitution which provides that the State should give priority to education.
Dajao said the budget for education is only P238.8 billion compared to the budget for debt servicing which is P356.1 billion that will have no benefit to the people.
The teachers are also demanding for the upgrading of salaries of Teacher 1 to salary grade 15 and salary grade 16 for instructor 1 in state colleges and universities or an increase of 6,000 in base pay of non-teaching personnel, and to regularize all volunteer and contractual teachers.
Dajao said Teacher 1 receives P17,000 which will be increased to P18,000 next year with the implementation of the Salary Standardization Law 3. However, this is not enough to meet the present standard of living, he said.
Dajao said they are also demanding for the creation of 104,000 new permanent teacher items to meet the shortage in teachers.
In their position paper, the teachers said they are calling on President Benigno Aquino III to act on their 10-point demand for greater education budget, increase chalk allowance to P2,000; increase base productivity pay to P5,000; clothing allowance to P6,000; allocate P91.5 billion for classroom shortage and other school facilities.
Provide adequate budget for universal kindergarten program; give greater subsidy for the Philippine Normal University and all state colleges and universities; and increase maintenance and operating expenses in all levels of education by 100 percent.
Also present during the press conference yesterday were ACT-Bacolod chairman Richard Gelangre, Public Elementary School Principal Association Carmen Navarro, BCPSF president Gladys Amylaine Sales, Cris Boko Jr. –vice president, Ronnie Tababa – treasurer.*CGS