Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno
MANILA, Philippines – Present mechanisms such as the salary standardization and TRAIN Law, which add to the take-home pay of teachers, are already sufficient according to Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.
This is despite earlier pronouncements of Malacañang about doubling the income of teachers in the Philippines.
Diokno said, at present, the P19,000 entry-level salary is enough for an entry-level instructor in a public school.
This is comparatively higher than the P13,000 wage of teachers in private schools.
“We let that the Salary Standardization Law run its course plus the combination of the TRAIN which, as I said, was unanticipated even at the time the Salary Standardization Law was designed. And then we evaluate where we are by January next year for possible budget proposal in 2020,” Diokno said.
Under the Salary Standardization Law approved by President Aquino in 2015, an increase in the income of teachers is expected until 2019.
While under TRAIN Law, there is an additional take-home pay of up to P3,000 for teachers due to tax exemptions.
Corazon Miguel, a public school instructor for 21 years was dismayed over the agency’s statement.
“There are teachers who go abroad. Why do they want to teach in other countries? Because the salary is enticing,” Miguel said.
In a statement, Teachers’ Dignity Coalition said school teachers should get the biggest chunk of the national budget.
This should also be a priority as it is in the Constitution.
Despite this, ACT Teachers Partylist hopes that DBM will still give way to the clamor for additional income.
“Despite Sec. Diokno’s pronouncements that the salary increase of teachers is not a priority, our president is not named ‘Diokno’. So we expect him to comply and we await a concrete proposal,” ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said. – Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue
DOF eyes tax hike on tobacco and liquor
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Finance (DOF) is pushing for a tax hike on tobacco and liquor products.
According to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, the proposal is to increase government revenue and to protect the health of the public.
Since the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, the price of each packet of cigarette increased up to P32.50.
Aside from tobacco and liquor products, DOF also wants increase taxes on mining, coal and casino services. – UNTV News &Rescue
Zarate files bill seeking to repeal TRAIN law
Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Zarate
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Opposition congressman Carlos Zarate of the Makabayan bloc in Congress is determined to repeal the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
On Thursday, May 10, Zarate filed House Bill Number 7653 which seeks the return of the country’s taxation system to the original National Internal Revenue Code.
The Makabayan congressman argued that the country’s inflation rate has already soared to 4.5% in just the first quarter of the year since the implementation of TRAIN law. Zarate added that if TRAIN continued, the prices of basic commodities would increase and would further burden the people especially the poor.
He said that instead of increasing the taxes, the government should strengthen its revenue collection arm.
“Dapat maging efficient muna ang collection ng collecting agencies natin – BOC and BIR – sa halip na patawan ng bagong buwis ang ating mga mamamayan,” Zarate said.
(Collection agencies – BOC and BIR – should first improve their efficiency in collecting instead of imposing additional taxes on people.) — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue
Economists: April inflation seen accelerating
MANILA, Philippines – Economists have recorded an increase in the prices of several commodities in April and one reason is the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
They noted much faster movement in prices of rice, canned goods, paper products, sugar-sweetened beverages and services and products that use oil.
Economists have also observed oil price hikes for three consecutive weeks.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) expects a four percent inflation rate during the first quarter of 2018
But the economists said the target has already been exceeded last month by 4.6-percent.
They also believe the inflation rate will continue to surge this year. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue