Teachers have fun while demanding for wage Hike
Palo sebo and basagang palayok are two games that are often linked to happy fiestas. But the 100 teachers who enthusiastically played these games at Plaza Miranda, Quiapo yesterday were not at all pleased with their current working conditions and used the games as a symbol of their plight.
The unique, festive demonstration is part of the month-long ‘Protest de Mayo’ staged by the Teacher’s Dignity Coalition (TDC). The group is calling for the Aquino administration to raise teachers’ salaries by Php10,000 nationwide. TDC said that the protests will continue until 2 June when classes resume.
Yesterday’s demonstration was also done in protest against the Aquino administration’s performance-based bonus, a part of the performance-based incentive system (PBIS) which they called ‘deceptive, unfair and divisive.’ The PBIS was introduced by President Aquino in 2012 as a way for government employees to perform better at meeting goals in their workplace.
The palo sebo and basagang palayok were used as a way to show everyone how the government is treating public school teachers and for teachers to show ‘their sacrifices for the country despite the inadequate compensation from the government,’ said TDC.
Coalition National Chairperson Benjo Basas explained that the palo sebo showed how ‘It promises a cash prize, but teachers and employees need to fight and pull others down in order to be on top.’ The basagang palayok meanwhile meant ‘the player is blindfolded, and like the P10,000 salary increase demand, the prize is uncertain and the players must make all the effort and pass the obstacles.’
Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro had already said he supported public school teachers’ demand for a wage hike. But he said that this can only be granted ‘As long as there is adequate funding.’
DepEd however said would condemn any action that will delay the ‘delivery of basic services’ to pupils.