MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has assured teachers that their awaited pay increase will be given this year.
Duterte made the promise when he arrived in Davao City on Sunday from his five-day visit to Russia.
However, he clarified that the pay hike will not be doubled and may only be about 35 percent.
“It’s coming, their increases. But not doubled. Mas marami ang teachers (There are a lot more teachers). Pero nandiyan po, dadating yan this year (But it is there, it’s coming this year),” he said.
“I think it’s about — the last time they were discussing was about 35 (percent) but it could be more. I do not know,” he added.
When asked when the salary increase for teachers will be implemented, Duterte replied with: “You know government is such a very complex animal. And you cannot just… If I give you the timeline tapos I could not make it on the deadline, I have to explain more than what is expected of government.”
“Mas mabuti na lang ‘yan kung nandiyan na, sinasabi ko nandiyan na ‘yan. Basta sinabi ko may increase din sila, (It is better to say it is forthcoming. I said they would get increase)” he added.
The clamor for teachers’ pay increase came after the Duterte government hiked the salaries for soldiers, police officers and other uniformed personnel last year.
Teachers’ groups have been asking the government for salary increase, ranging from P10,000 to P30,000, saying their present pay is no longer enough to sustain their needs. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Janice Ingente)
After its postponement on January 22, the one-on-one interview with President Rodrigo Duterte will push through on Tuesday (January 28), said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Monday.
The January 22 schedule for the one-on-one interview was postponed due to “pressing family matters”.
“Due to pressing matters, the tête-à-tête Part 2 of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo has been moved to January 28, 2020 at the Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace at 5:00 p.m.,” a previous media advisory read.
This will be the President’s second têtê-a-têtê. The first televised interview was held last September 2018.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang confirmed Friday that the Philippines has started the process of terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to end the deal if it does not reverse the cancellation of Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa’s visa.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the president issued the termination order Thursday night despite giving a month for the US to restore the senator’s visa.
Panelo said the order has already been relayed to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. as well as Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez.
“I just talked with Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin, and he said that he will start with the process and he called up already the vice chair and they talked, and Ambassador Romualdez has already been informed, I was also talking to him earlier,” he said.
In a tweet on Friday, Locsin confirmed he and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana have taken the first step in ending the 1998 deal with the US government.
Locsin sits as the chairperson of the Commission on Visiting Forces while Lorenzana serves as vice chairman.
“Del Lorenzana and I- as Vice and Chair of USVFA – are starting the process of terminating it by first contacting the Senate because it is a treaty on our side, an executive agreement on the US side. I’m leaving for Washington on a totally unrelated matter,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
Lorenzana, for his part, refrained from commenting into Duterte’s latest pronouncement.
“Will study it first,” he said in a message to reporters. “No comment muna. Too soon to comment.”
The VFA is a bilateral accord between Washington and Manila that came into force in 1999. It outlines the guidelines about the treatment of their troops when visiting the US or the Philippines. It includes provisions on visa and passport policies for US troops and the American government’s right to retain jurisdiction over its personnel, among others.
The deal may be terminated by either of the two countries by writing to the other party signifying their intent to end the agreement. Its expiration will come 180 days from the date of notification. – RRD (with details from Correspondents Rosalie Coz & Lea Ylagan)
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said he has decided to reject the invitation of United States President Donald Trump to attend the US-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit to be held in Las Vegas this March.
Duterte announced his decision during an interview with Russian International Television Network RT.
“I just received an invitation to go to the United States together with the ASEAN leaders. I haven’t been to the States. I was invited by [former US President Barack] Obama a while back. But I did not go,” he said in a video posted on Thursday.
When asked if he will attend the upcoming summit between the US and ASEAN, Duterte replied with: “No, no.”
During the interview, the president recalled the time when Obama criticized him and his campaign against illegal drugs.
“One time when I was being criticized by Obama in a press conference, he should have realized that I’m also the head of a sovereign state. He should have criticized me in the proper venue,” he said, referring to a September 2016 press conference where Obama urged Duterte to conduct his campaign “the right way.”
The president said Obama’s move to castigate him in a press briefing got him “so mad” and prompted him to curse the former president.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said that the chief executive is “still pondering” on whether he would accept Trump’s invitation as he is mindful of the possibility of getting barred from entering the US since he doesn’t have a visa, and making some American senators “unhappy” seeing him there. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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