WHILE public school teachers have their own concerns, particularly on their salary, they should also consider the concerns of the students who would be affected if they will continue to hold protest actions, a Palace official said Monday.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda made the statement following threat by the members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) to go on mass leave if President Benigno Aquino III refused to grant their call for salary increase.
"We understand their concerns but I hope that the teachers will consider the concerns of the students. Our concern right now, with respect to the wages, it's not limited actually to the teachers. Kasi when you're speaking of government employees, which includes teachers as well, we require a Salary Standardization Law from Congress and this should be best addressed with the legislative branch," he said in a regular press briefing in Malacanang.
ACT members held rally on Monday when classes for School Year 2014-2015 opened to press for wage hike.
While it would be up to Congress to come up with another Salary Standardization Law, Lacierda said that the administration has to determine its possible impact on the national budget.
"Kung merong proposal we will have to look at the numbers kasi, at the end of the day, it boils down to how much are they proposing, and then how much it will impact the national budget, and what will be the sources of revenue for the increase of — assuming — of the proposed wage increase on the part of government employees," he said.
Meanwhile, Lacierda said that the opening of classes was generally peaceful and orderly.
He cited the deployment of over 18,500 police personnel for more than 7,400 police assistance desks established nationwide.
"This is over and above the regular mobile and foot patrols that will be likewise focused on the different schools and campuses. The PNP (Philippine National Police) has earlier set the operational guidelines and procedures to ensure a safe, secured, and peaceful opening of classes up to the succeeding weeks," he said. (SDR/Sunnex)