[ 25 Aug 2014 | No Comment ]

Take a look at the people’s initiative bill against pork (summary and full text). If enacted, our bill will dismantle one of the pillars of corruption and traditional politics and will ensure that all our taxes will go to education and other basic social services.

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[ 25 Aug 2014 | No Comment ]

PRESS RELEASE

25 August 2014

Reference: ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)

 

Tinio reveals list of government personnel assigned for solons’ illegal pork

 

LUNETA, MANILA—ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio has released a list of government employees in three national agencies assigned to facilitate the funding requests of members of the House of Representatives for scholarships, medical assistance, and emergency employment.

According to Tinio, the list of so-called “focal persons,” consisting of names and contact numbers of government employees of the Commission on Higher Education, Department of Health, and Department of Labor and Employment, was distributed to House members on April 22, 2014.  ”It’s another proof that President Aquino is secretly and illegally distributing pork to legislators despite the Supreme Court ruling declaring pork as unconstitutional.”

Some P20.7 billion of the funds formerly known as the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in the 2014 General Appropriations Act were realigned to six national government agencies. Of these, CHED got P4.1 billion for its scholarship program, DOH got P3 billion for medical assistance to indigent patients, and DOLE got P1 billion for its emergency employment programs (known as TUPAD and GIP).  The Department of Social Welfare got P4 billion for its Crisis Intervention Program while TESDA got P1 billion for its skills training program. The Department of Public Works and Highways got P7.3 billion for various local infrastructure projects. Officially, these agencies maintain that legislators have no say in the use of these funds.

However, Tinio alleges that the Aquino administration secretly allows these funds to be used as personal discretionary funds of members of the House of Representatives, a practice declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.  ”Specifically, the funds in CHED, DOH, DOLE, TESDA, and DSWD are further subdivided into individual lump sums for House members, with P14 million each from CHED, P10.5 million from DOH, P3.5 million from DOLE and from TESDA, and P14 million from DSWD.  These personal lump sums are to be disbursed at the discretion of each House member, who alone decides to whom and how much of the funds will go.”

“Having been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, allowing members of Congress to access pork is not officially acknowledged.  There are no written policies, guidelines, memoranda, or orders admitting that it goes on.  Hence, Cabinet officials have had to hold face-to-face meetings with House members to explain that they can access their personal discretionary lump sums through so-called focal persons.  These are government employees in their respective agencies who are tasked with facilitating the funding requests of congressmen and congresswomen,” explained Tinio.  “Fortunately, we have been able to document some of these meetings and the unofficial documents that these agencies have given out to House members.”

According to the list released by Tinio, CHED’s focal persons include Director for Student Development and Services Isabel Inlayo, three of her staff, and its 16 regional directors.  Also assigned as contact persons are DOLE’s regional directors (for district representatives) and Nenita Garcia, the Director of Financial Management Service (for party-list representatives).  As for DOH, hospital staff are assigned to accommodate solons’ referred beneficiaries for each of the 136 DOH-retained and specialty hospitals covered by the MAP.  Added Tinio: “These hospital personnel report to DOH Undersecretary Janette Garin, who is in charge of the medical assistance pork, officially known as the Medical Health Care Assistance Program (MCAP), and later renamed as the Medical Assistance Program (MAP).” (Please see attached list.)

Tinio denounced President Aquino for forcing these civil servants to take part in unconstitutional and illegal acts.  ”For the sake of maintaining the system of political patronage, Aquino is suborning these employees to commit acts already declared illegal by the Supreme Court.”

The list is one of the pieces of evidence attached to the fourth impeachment complaint which Tinio filed against Aquino on August 11 along with 15 other complainants including National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera and leaders of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers.  The House leadership refused to refer it to the Justice Committee along with three other valid complaints on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

Also included as evidence is the audio recording of a closed-door meeting held by the House Committee on Appropriations where CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan said “I know it [referral of scholars by solons] was supposed to be illegal, dapat wala na but actually meron pa” and “I am also dealing and accepting the political reality that this is PDAF.”  Another recording is of a meeting between Undersecretary Garin and several House members and their staff where the former assured the latter that “the decision of the Department is to do away with all walk-in patients because in the first place it was made clear to us that these funds are not DOH funds but are actually funds of Congressmen who are there to assist their constituents.”

“It is obvious that both the President and Congress cannot be trusted to respect and obey the law against pork barrel,” said Tinio.  “The Supreme Court already declared as illegal pork the PDAF and any scheme like it where the President dangles funds as a carrot and stick to control Congress. President Aquino is lying to the people and committing illegal acts.”

“It is now up to the people to themselves enact a law that will criminalize the inclusion and approval of discretionary lump sum funds like PDAF and DAP in the national budget.  This is the very reason why thousands of Filipinos today converge here at Luneta—to sign up for the genuine abolition of the pork barrel system.  We want to put an end to a system that allows public funds to be used as though they were the personal funds of public officials.”

One year after it hosted the historic Million People’s March, Luneta will again serve as an anti-pork site, this time for Stand Up, Sign Up!, an activity held by the People’s Initiative Against Pork (PIAP) to gather signatures for the proposed law entitled “An Act Abolishing the Pork Barrel System.”  If enacted, the people’s initiative bill will criminalize the proposal and approval in any budget law of any form of pork barrel funds.  ###

Activities »

[ 29 Jul 2014 | No Comment ]

“We decided to walk out of the fifth SONA of President Aquino because we know that he would just utter lies to further defend the unconstitutional and illegal DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) as well as again try to fool the Filipino people…We have had enough of his promises and lies.  It is now time to impeach the president who has further pushed our countrymen into increasing poverty.”  -Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan

20140728-sona-walkout-JC

Wonder where public funds for salary increases went?  Most of the DAP are from funds supposedly for salaries and benefits of government employees most of whom are public school teachers and non-teaching personnel, which the Aquino administration later dispensed for its allies in the form or bribes and pet projects.

Wonder where public funds for salary increases went? Most of the DAP are from funds supposedly for salaries and benefits of government employees most of whom are public school teachers and non-teaching personnel, which the Aquino administration later dispensed for its allies in the form or bribes and pet projects.

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Makabayan Congressmen and Congresswomen join the protests at Commonwealth Avenue.  The true state of the nation: inadequate salaries and benefits, deprivation of social services, high prices of basic commodities.

 

 

News »

[ 15 Jul 2014 | No Comment ]
PRESS STATEMENT
14 July 2014
Reference: ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio (0920-9220817) 
ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio on President Aquino’s nationally-televised speech in defense of DAP

This is the height of President Aquino’s hubris.  The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that he usurped the Congressional power of the purse through the DAP.  In so publicly and brazenly repudiating the key arguments of the ruling, he seems intent on usurping the Supreme Court’s exclusive role as final arbiter on matters of law as well.  President Aquino’s defiance of the Supreme Court constitutes nothing less than what the Constitution refers to as betrayal of public trust, specifically a tyrannical abuse of power, a clear ground for impeachment.

Ironically, the son and heir of the icons of the anti-dictatorship struggle, Ninoy and Cory, is acting like a full-fledged tyrant, having been found to have usurped Congressional power and now challenging the authority of the Supreme Court.

These actions make him unfit to continue in office.  #

House Bills, In The News »

[ 4 Jun 2014 | No Comment ]

The true abandonment

The Philippine Daily Inquirer 4 June 2014 Editorial

(Read full editorial here: http://opinion.inquirer.net/75280/the-true-abandonment)

‘It seemed that in the DepEd’s view, taking to the streets to call for an increase in pay was tantamount to neglecting the millions of schoolchildren nationwide.  “Let us draw the line at abandoning our children,” it intoned.  “As educators and civil servants, let us always keep the interests of our learners in mind.”

‘That is an unfortunate, if not insulting, statement.  Teachers, especially the public-school variety, are among the most patient, docile people around.  They toil in the most parsimonious conditions, their classrooms, school supplies and general campus facilities the perennial poor relations of vastly better-funded private schools.  They are obliged to manage classes whose volumes are beyond the viable norm, yet they soldier on.  During elections they do double-duty as vote-counters—a perilous task that puts them in the crosshairs of violent competition among political factions—and even have to wait to be compensated for it.

‘And, since 2009, their entry-level pay has been pegged at P18,549—lower even than what fresh graduates initially get in the call-center industry.  That last salary adjustment five years ago raised the teachers’ pay by P6,523, but here’s the cruel catch: It wasn’t given in one go, but in four tranches over four years, from 2009 to 2012.  The adjustment mandated by law as due the public school teachers took years to implement, and the paltry sum still had to be broken down into nearly negligible installments.

‘Which other profession is subjected to indignities like this?  Perhaps other government employees endure the same excruciatingly slow improvements in work benefits, but as opposed to, say, clerks in a mayor’s office, teachers surely deserve greater attention because of the unique work they do:  Their wellbeing translates directly to the wellbeing of the children under their care.  They can’t teach kids properly without proper training on their own, or adequate school facilities, or enough remuneration to sustain them in mind and body.  Certainly they can’t be expected to be motivated to do their jobs well, never mind excel, if their pay remains shockingly low.

How much wage increase are the teachers seeking this time? From P18,549 to P25,000.  Is that too high a figure for such a consequential job as teaching the hope of the motherland? The 1991 Congressional Commission on Education pegged the minimum monthly salary that teachers should be receiving at even a higher figure—P28,000.

‘Malacañang’s response to the teachers’ petition for a pay increase is quite hard to take.  “There was no fund identified as source of the salary hike they are waiting for,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.  The same administration that coughed up billions of pesos under a curious mechanism called the Disbursement Acceleration Program now pleads penury when it comes to sparing a few million pesos for the welfare of some 550,000 hard-up public school teachers across the country.’

 

May pera sa pork at korupsyon, pero wala sa edukasyon!

Increase salaries of public school teachers and non-teaching personnel!  P25,000 minimum monthly salary for teachers, P15,000 for non-teaching personnel!

ENACT HOUSE BILL 245 NOW!