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Teachers jealous of soldiers, accuse gov’t of ‘favoritism’

BAGUIO CITY — Teachers are jealous of military and other uniformed personnel with the alleged “favoritism” by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) on Oct. 14 lambasted what it called “flagrant favoritism” of the government towards the military and uniformed personnel (MUP), following the budget agency’s release of P22.3 billion pension differential funds for retired MUP to cover the months of June to December 2019.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) promised that the pending January to May 2019 pension differential will be acted on soon.

Joselyn Martinez, ACT Chairperson said, “It appears that the Duterte government is spending more for the pension differential of retired police and military officers than it is willing to do for the 1.5 million active civil servants. Nasaan ang hustisya rito?

The proposed 2020 budget by DBM and approved by the Lower House contained only P31.1 billion funds for the salary increase of civilian government employees.

ACT estimates the 2019 government spending for pension differential of MUP to total up to P38 billion once the January to May allotment for such is released.

“It really pains our teachers to learn of these unfair and unjust government measures where the MUP is pampered while the welfare of civilian personnel is grossly sidelined. The Duterte government must be reminded that nation-building does not rest on national security alone, but more importantly on the development of the country’s human resource and over-all improvement of the quality of life,” Martinez claimed.

ACT also showed dismay that PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde will soon be a beneficiary of the pension funds for the MUP, with his retirement taking effect on October 29. Albayalde has taken a terminal leave effective today after an exposé on his involvement in the ‘ninja cops’ controversy.

“Albayalde receiving the highest pension rates despite being implicated in the dirty inside-job drug business reflects how flawed this system is. This is demoralizing to our overworked and underpaid teachers who try to teach the principles of justice and accountability everyday among our youth,” Martinez said.

ACT challenged the government to ‘exercise some semblance of fairness and decency’ in apportioning and expending the taxpayers’ money,’ while reiterating its demand to increase the budget allocation for salary increase of civil servants in the 2020 budget to make way for their demand for hiking teachers’ salaries to Php30,000 monthly, the minimum wage in the public sector to Php16,000 a month, and the basic pay of college instructors to Php31,000 per month. ●