Duterte announces salary increase for teachers this yeart

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DAVAO CITY (January 13)— President Rodrigo  Duterte on Thursday, January 10, said he is open to forging a deal aimed at raising teachers’ pay this year similar to the adjustment he gave to the members of the country’s security forces.

In a speech during the groundbreaking of the Gen. Gregorio del Pilar National High School here in Bulacan, the President said he spoke with Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno about the country’s finances to know if the government could afford raising teachers’ salaries.

Duterte  explained that he prioritized increasing the pay of military and police personnel after anticipating attacks from Islamist militants in Mindanao.

He told the teachers gathered in the event that he can accommodate their representatives in Malacañan for talks on adjusting their pay.

” I am willing to strike a deal in the presence of Secretary Briones sa mga maestra. You can choose the date, January, bilisan lang ninyo then we can make an agreement or manifesto or choose whatever kind of document itself. Kayo ang isusunod ko this year,” he told the teachers.

In his message for the groundbreaking of a new high school building, the President said, “I am glad to join you today as we break ground on two secondary school facilities that will soon rise here in the Province of Bulacan.”

“Once completed, these buildings will serve as a testament to our commitment to invest in the potential of our youth. These structures will promote their well-being, nurture their dreams, and become a breeding ground for future leaders of our country, ” he added.

He further cited that education is the most valuable gift that the present administration can leave behind to the succeeding generations of Filipinos.

“This is why I have been firm in my stand that no Filipino youth should ever be denied access to high-quality education, whatever circumstances they may be in,” the President underscored.

The construction of the new secondary school will decongest other high schools in other parts of Bulakan and at the same time reduce the financial burden of parents who send their children to other schools far from their area of residence.

The project, with an allocation of P161.4 million, will be built in a 6,676 sq.m. area. DepEd has allocated the money for the fiscal year 2018.

Under the project, to be implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), two four-storey unit buildings (24 classrooms each) as well as a one four-storey unit building (12 classrooms) will be built.

DPWH is expected to implement the project in less than a year and it is expected to be completed in November 2019.

Also, a miniature model of the proposed Pandi National High School project was unveiled and presented to President Duterte during the event.

The P190.9-million project is aimed at decongesting the Virginia Ramirez-Cruz High School and address the classroom backlog in Pandi, Bulacan. School officials project that there will be an estimated 5,600 enrollees for the school year 2019 to 2020. The new school building is an extension of the Virginia Ramirez-Cruz High School.

Four four-storey building units (20-classrooms each) will be built in the 19,296 sq.m. area purchased by DepEd.

The DPWH will implement the project starting this month, and it is expected to be completed in October 2019.-PND

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