Frederick Siao, Iligan’s first district representative, has urged Philippine Congress to increase Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs) tax in order to increase teacher pay.
According to him increasing POGO tax can help the Philippine Congress come up with the PhP (Philippine Pesos)126 billion needed annually to fund the sought P10,000 in pay hike being sought by public school teachers.
Philippines Congressmen are reportedly eyeing the booming gaming industry to fund a more significant salary increase for public school teachers.
Siao, while presenting the idea before Philippine Congress explained that taxing POGO could end the challenge of where they could find roughly P126 billion needed annually to satisfy the teacher’s demands.
Public school teachers have recently been unrelenting in their push for a teacher pay hike of P10,000 per month.
Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero has also seconded Siao motion stating Congress could approve a more significant pay hike for teachers if there is an additional funding source.
Deputy Speaker stated:
I will support tapping POGOs as a source. They should pay taxes, which Congress could allocate for social services like education and personnel benefits.
Mikee and Siao are among the members of the House of Representatives who have supported the filed bills to increase the monthly salary of teachers in the public sector from PhP20,754 to PhP30,000, or by almost PhP10,000.
The proposed teacher pay
The proposed new round of teacher pay adjustment in the administration would give them an additional PhP6,246 over four years, from 2020 to 2023.
According to Siao, an estimated P9 billion a month would be needed, which would translate to a total funding requirement of P126 billion a year, including the mandatory additional midyear benefit of a one-month salary and another month as yearend bonus.
He noted that the PhP10,000 increase in teacher pay was possible.
POGOs are expanding aggressively; they are reportedly gulping up available residential and office space, forcing rental prices up.
POGOs, which have become prevalent only these past couple of years, and have been described as these vast drivers of economic activity.
A senior lawmaker recently claimed the gaming corps rakes in at least PhP300 billion in gross income annually.