Teachers hit Duterte tax, inaction on salary policy, inflation | BICOL TODAY

Teachers hit Duterte tax, inaction on salary policy, inflation

By Bicol Today News Team

CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region – Teachers, belonging to the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) hold Black Friday Protest at the Senate gates to call on the legislators to remedy the unabated price hikes and the looming budget cuts on education.

The protest action was done following recent reports that July inflation rate reached a five-year high of 5.7% and the 2019 proposed budget of the Department of Budget and Management will effect a 6% slash on the education budget.

ACT on Saturday informed Bicol Today in Naga City.

“Teachers are already suffering a lot due to sky-rocketing prices of commodities while the Duterte government continue to deprive us of significant salary increase. Decreasing the education budget in 2019 will surely have a double whammy effect on our economic condition,” said Benjamin Valbuena, ACT Philippines Chairperson.

The group called on the Senate to do the following legislative measures to deliver immediate relief to teachers and the people: suspend the collection of excise and value-added taxes effected by the TRAIN Law; immediately pass the pending bills which seek to increase the salaries of teachers and other government employees; and prevent the imminent hefty cuts on education budget.

Valbuena explained that salary increase was already needed even before TRAIN Law was implemented this year as the last salary increase scheme implemented by the Aquino government in 2015 gave a measly 2.2% yearly increase to teachers but effected 200–300% pay hikes to top officials.

He said that the pay schedule in government was further distorted when Pres. Duterte, one-sidedly, doubled the pay of uniformed personnel this year.

“The state has only succeeded in widening the gap between the pay of common public sector employees and high officials, between the civilian and the uniformed, when its duty is to bridge these gaps in the name of equity and inclusiveness,” Valbuena lamented.

He added that the need for pay hike became more urgent when inflation ‘wreaked havoc’ to the economic well-being of teachers and the people in the last months, induced by the worsening economic crisis and TRAIN Law.

‘The tax reform scheme of the Duterte regime is clearly regressive and anti-poor. It heightens the vulnerability of those with little income to losing more to indirect taxes and price manipulations,” said Valbuena.

He further explained that the common folk, on the other hand, is unlikely to benefit from the big collections of TRAIN-imposed taxes as the 2019 budget proposed by the Department of Budget and Management will effect drastic cuts to economic and social services such as education.

‘In the proposed 2019 budget, the Duterte government is failing once again to perform the state’s duty of making an equitable redistribution of the country’s wealth by using the taxes primarily to render social services to those who need them most,” stated Valbuena.

He lambasted the impending hefty cuts in the education budget that consist of decreases in the budget for benefits, promotion and hiring of education workers, procurement of equipment and materials, and construction of education facilities. [BicolToday.com]

Posted by on August 13, 2018. Filed under Nation,Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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