Be your own woman
By Farah G. Decano
CARDINAL Antonio Tagle once said, “[i]f you are not useful anymore, you are dropped, you don’t exist. It is not human dignity. It is not a contemplation of human dignity. Even people are measured by profitability.”
That people must bring value to an organization in order to be valued is not only true in business. This is also true in government. It is sad that people have become a mere resource to a desired outcome. Business and government leaders forget the humanity of their employees and constituents.
How do you think user-politicians arrive at decisions in cases of conflicting interests among their constituencies? Surely, they would favor those whose worth are much greater than others. How is worth determined? Simple. Lobbyists, sectors and voters are evaluated based on how they could influence elections.
Who most likely can influence elections? The moneyed, of course. Wealth can promote or destroy anyone’s candidacy. Hence, very likely, the rich have the listening ears of most politicians.
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When Vice President Sara Duterte attended the congressional hearings to justify the Department of Education budget, she informed the congressmen that she was not inclined to raise the salaries of publicschool teachers because it could cause the migration of private school teachers to government schools. Is this a correct basis for rejecting any salary increase? Shouldn’t salaries be based on the ability to pay by the government in order to maintain a humane living standard for its employees, provided the market has the capacity to absorb the increase?
It appears that VP Duterte simply used the likelihood of exodus by teachers from private to public schools in rejecting the salary hike. Never mind that the public teachers live less than comfortably. Her reason has been used every budget season by the previous Secretary of Education. Has her department made any new study on this matter? Can’t private schools really compete with public school wages?
In some private sectors, they entice their employees to stay by sharing profits. Probably, it is time that private schools consider this as an option.
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Looking at market forces, however, there is, indeed, a migration of students from the private sector to public schools. This puts a toll on the revenues of private schools. We do not wish to kill these private endeavors. Many schools have, indeed, closed down. This may mean increase in enrolment of students in public schools that can no longer accommodate new students. I guess what the government must do is to increase its subsidy to students going to private schools. The DepEd already has this existing program.
The next question is – can the government afford an increase in public school teachers’ salaries and an increase in subsidy for students in private schools?
Congress just recently approved within minutes the budget of the Office of the Vice President from P702 Million in 2022 to P2.3 billion in 2023. If government can afford a 1.5 billion peso increase in budget for the Office of the Vice President, surely the government can very well spend the same for the education of our so-called hope of the motherland.
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With VP Sara kowtowing to wealthy private entities, seems she is yet to follow the mold of her father who locked horns with the influential ABS-CBN. I say “yet,” because she does not have much power as vice president as of the moment. She does not wield much authority to go against the bigwigs. But, let us see.
Really, VP Sara. I am sure you can fascinate the public by being more pro-individual rather than pro-capitalist. You need not be thug-ish, too, like your father. I am still hopeful that you will deliver the best public service that the Filipinos deserve.
You can be your own woman.
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