MANILA — Malacanang on Monday said proposals to increase the salary of public school teachers and other government employees would be acted upon by legislatures depending on funds availability.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda stressed this in a Palace press briefing amid threat of a mass leave by public school teachers as over 20 million students returned to schools on Monday.
Lacierda explained that government employees, which include teachers, get pay adjustments which are decided by Congress under the Salary Standardization Law (SSL).
“We are in the last tranche of the salary standardization and therefore, there have been calls for wage increase. But then we would have to defer to the legislature to act on that proposal,” he said.
Lacierda noted that the government would still study the impact of a salary increase on the national budget and its sources of funding.
“We are under a government of laws and not of men. So all these would have to be decided based on how the law—how we view the law, how the law is proposed, and how it benefits the entire class of people affected,” he added.
Lacierda assured that the government understands the concerns of the teachers as he asked them to also consider the concerns of the students.
“We find ways within the bounds of the law to make sure that we try to ameliorate or alleviate the concerns of the teachers, and not just the teachers, but all the government employees,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lacierda said school opening was generally peaceful and orderly.
He said the Philippine National Police (PNP) has deployed over 18,500 personnel for more than 7,400 police assistance desks established nationwide. These are on top of the regular mobile and foot patrols that will be focused on the different schools and campuses.
“The PNP has earlier set the operational guidelines and procedures to ensure a safe, secured and peaceful opening of classes up to the succeeding weeks,” Lacierda added.