Palace wants to see how teachers’ pay-hike bill will affect budget

MALACAÑANG said it wants to assess the multibillion-peso budgetary implications of the House-approved teachers’ pay-hike bill before committing to endorse its enactment.

Communications Secretary Herminio B. Coloma Jr. on Sunday said the Aquino administration joins the nation in paying tribute to tutors on the observance of World Teachers’ Day and National Teachers’ Month, as President Aquino had done in issuing Proclamation 242 in 2011.

“Patuloy pong sinisikap ng pamahalaan na mapahusay at mabigyan ng karampatang suporta ang ating mga guro,” he said, noting that under the proposed 2015 national budget, the government already allocated  P92.3 billion for hiring 39,000 new teachers, the construction of additional classrooms, as well as educational materials for public-school teachers.

Coloma confirmed the government also set aside P2 billion for the training of public-school teachers in preparation for the nationwide implementation of the K to 12 Program.

“Halos doble na ang budget na inilalaan ng pamahalaan para sa sektor ng edukasyon kung ihahambing sa pagsisimula ng panunungkulan ng administrasyon ni Pangulong Aquino,” he said.

Coloma said that for the current school year, over P309 billion will be spent by the government for the education sector, compared to the P174-million allocation in 2010, in line with President Aquino’s belief that the people are the country’s most valuable asset.

But when asked about a separate House proposal to grant an additional P10,000 compensation  to public- school teachers, Coloma could not readily commit Palace support for it.

’Yan pong usapin na ’yan ay kinakailangang isaalang-alang ang budgetary considerations dahil nandiyan na po tayo sa panahon ng pagde-deliberate sa 2015 national budget,” he said.

Noting that the measure had already been approved by the House of Representatives on second reading and is expected to be subsequently transmitted to the Senate, Coloma said Executive officials still need to assess if the budget can bear the extra expense.

“Kailangan lang pong alamin natin kung ano ang mga budgetary parameters ng panukalang ‘yan,” he said. “Ang aking batid ay kapag mayroong panukalang batas na mayroong budgetary considerations, katulad nga niyan, isa sa mga standard na procedure na sinusunod ng ating Kongreso ay inaalam ’yung budgetary implications niyan, tinatanong sa ating Department of Budget and Management dahil mayroon silang patakaran na hindi sila magpapasa ng batas na hindi tiyak ’yung pagkukunan ng pondo.”

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