[ 27 Jul 2017 | No Comment ]

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ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro condemned the removal in the Duterte administration’s proposed 2018 budget of funds for free higher education.
“The 2018 budget omitted provisions that will provide free tuition for all undergraduate and medical students from SUCs. In fact, there is a ₱6.29 Billion budget cut for the CHED,” Tinio said.
In the 2017 General Appropriations Act, ₱8 Billion for free tuition and other school fees are included in the CHED budget as the Higher Education Support Program, covered by Special Provision 2. CHED is also allocated …

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[ 26 Jul 2017 | No Comment ]

PRESS STATEMENT

26 July 2017

 

ACT Teachers Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro on the approval of House Bill 5707 or the Government Rightsizing Bill

 

We condemn the approval of HB 5707 for the rightsizing of national government agencies as this will be no different from the rationalization schemes of past administrations which caused untold damages to government workers and to public service.  Instead of answering the just demand of government employees and workers for salary increase and regularization, government through rightsizing will only effect massive layoffs, retrenchment, and displacement, and worsen contractualization.  The proponents including the DBM admitted that 16% of the 1.6 million total government positions—or 255,295 state workers—will be affected in the first year alone.

 

Rightsizing will further deteriorate public services since necessary personnel complement in frontline offices will be thinned.  Those who will remain in government service, including teaching and medical positions which allegedly “will not be affected,” will not be spared as they will be forced to shoulder heavier workloads.  Government agencies will hire more and more personnel on contracts of service (COS) and job orders (JO) who will not be considered as government employees and will not be paid the salaries and job security as such.  After the previous rationalization programs and the imposition of freeze hiring, we have seen an unprecedented increase in JO and COS workers.  Their number has already reached 595,192 by 2016, and this will increase even more with DBM-CSC-COA Joint Circular # 1, or the new rules and regulations governing the hiring on COSs and JOs.

 

Lastly, rightsizing is part of the continuing neoliberal policy framework of cutbacks on government social spending and attacks on jobs and job security and public sector union rights.

 

Instead of firing people, what the Duterte administration has to do to are to adequately fund its programs, fill up vacancies, and create more plantilla positions.  Instead of removing regular employees, it should give tenure to non-regular employees and provide for their benefits.

 

We call on all government workers and employees and the rest of the people to express outrage against this latest addition of anti-people measures and policies of the Duterte administration. ###

 

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Activities »

[ 22 Jul 2017 | No Comment ]

Walang sapat na batayan ayon sa konstitusyon ang ekstensyon ng martial law and suspension of writ of habeas corpus. Malinaw po na umiiral nang buo at 100%, walang bawas walang kulang, ang gobyernong sibilyan, maging antas nasyunal o lokal sa kabuuan ng Mindanao. Kaya kailangan po itaguyod ng Kongresong ito ang prinsipyo ng civilian supremacy over the military.

 

Pangalawa po, bumoto ako ng NO, alang-alang sa mahigit kalahating milyong mga kababayan natin na karamihan ay Muslim na napilitang lumikas at ngayon ay nasa gitna ng humanitarian crisis. Totoo pong dapat labanan at sugpuin ang terrorist acts ng Abu Sayyaf at ng iba pa sa Marawi pero kailangan rin natin kilalanin na kaya po may humanitarian crisis ay dahil po sa  all-out war approach ng Duterte administration sa ilalim ng martial law — ang pagbobomba o aerial bombardment, ang pangunahing dahilan kung bakit tayo may humanitarian crisis.

 

Huling punto po, hindi po solusyon ang martial law sa armed rebellion sa Mindanao. Yan na  po ang itinuro ng ating kasaysayan. Only a political solution, kailangan pong tugunan ang kahirapan, trabaho, edukasyon, kalusugan, katarungan. Hindi po martial law ang kailangan ng Mindanao kaya po bumoto ako ng no. ###

 

AT ML

Activities »

[ 22 Jul 2017 | No Comment ]

ACT Teachers Party-List Representative France Castro’s NO Vote Speech Against the Proposal to Extend Martial Law in Mindanao

Mga kapwa ko Kinatawan, ako ay bumoto LABAN sa pagpapalawig pa ng martial law at suspensyon ng pribilehiyo ng writ of habeas corpus sa Mindanao. Hindi na dapat pang tumagal ang batas militar—na dalawang buwan nang nagpapahirap sa ating mga kababayan.

 
Simula’t simula pa lang ay nirehistro na namin sa Makabayan na ang martial law ay walang batayan. Hanggang sa ngayon ay walang napapatunayang aktwal na rebelyon sa buong Mindanao. Rebelyon at invasion lamang ang pinapayagan ng Kostitusyon na maging dahilan ng pagpataw at pag-extend ng martial law—hindi lawless violence, drugs, o iba pang criminal activities, o ang di nilinaw na terminong “peace spoilers.” Hindi pa rin napapatunayan ang isa pang hinihingi ng Konstitusyon na “public safety requires it” o “kapag kinakailangan ng kaligtasan pambayan.”

 

 

Isa pa, malawak at mabigat na ang pinsalang dinulot ng martial law sa inosenteng mamamayan ng Mindanao. Ang tinutukoy sa request ng Presidente na matinding pagkasira ng Marawi ay dahil sa marahas na military operations at walang patlang na aerial bombings sa mga sibilyan na komunidad. Ayon mismo sa datos ng gobyerno, lagpas kalahating milyon nang inosenteng Moro, Lumad, at Kristiyano nating kapatid ang internally displaced o sapilitang bumakwit—Halos kalahati nito ay di bababa sa 15 taong gulang. Winawasiwas ang kamay na bakal ng batas militar laban sa buhay at kabuhayan ng ating mga kababayang sibilyan, sinunog ang mga eskwelahan, at pinutol ang pampublikong serbisyo at pribadong bisnes. Libu-libo sa ating mga kababayan ang naging biktima na ng human rights violations.

 
Sa kasong ito, ang piniling lunas ay naging mas masahol pa sa sakit na sinasabing kailangang lutasin. Hindi nasulusyunan ng martial law ang problemang dulot ng extremist groups sa Marawi, bagkus ay nagdulot lamang ito ng mas marami pang suliranin dala ng paghihigpit sa paggalaw ng mga mamamayan, maging sa pagbibigay ng batayang serbisyo. Ika nga, hinuhuli mo lang ang daga, sinunog mo na ang buong bahay.
Pinangakuan ng gobyernong ang mamamayang Pilipino ng kapayapaang nakabatay sa hustisyang panlipunan. Umaasa pa rin ang sambayanang ating kinakatawan na ating kakamtin ang kapayapaan, iiwasan ang pagdanak pa ng dugo at pagkadawit sa kaguluhan ng daang libong mga sibilyan.

 
Sa mga kadahilanang nabanggit, inuulit ko na ang representasyong ito ay bumoboto LABAN sa pagpapalawig pa ng martial law at suspension ng pribilehiyo ng writ of habeas corpus sa Mindanao.

 
Maraming salamat, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Senate President.###

 

FC ML

Activities »

[ 12 Jul 2017 | No Comment ]

PRESS RELEASE

11 July 2017

 

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio, House Ways and Means Committee member, on BIR failure to implement excise tax stamps for alcoholic beverages:

We deplore the abject failure of the BIR to implement a system of excise tax stamps for alcoholic beverages. It’s been five years since the enactment of the sin tax law, which mandates that such stamps are affixed on every bottle of locally-produced distilled or fermented beverages, as proof of payment of excise tax. Up to now, not a single bottle sold in the country has the required stamp. This means that the consumer paying the higher price has no assurance that the sin tax actually went to government.

In contrast, such a system has long been in place for tobacco products. Of late, the case of Mighty Corp. has focused attention on the use of counterfeit excise tax stamps for tax evasion purposes, and rightly so.

However, there’s no excuse for the BIR to in effect give perversely preferential treatment to local alcoholic beverage manufacturers by dragging its feet and giving them a free pass on the excise tax stamp requirement.

BIR assures us that they have personnel assigned to every plant and warehouse, making sure that the sin taxes on alcohol are being collected properly. In other words, take our word for it. Obviously, this is not the intent of the law, which is precisely to eliminate opportunities for corruption, negotiation, misreporting, and the like. For as long as stamping of alcoholic beverages is not being implemented, that massive loophole is there to be exploited.

In my view, Congress should not entertain proposals for new taxes for as long as the BIR cannot properly implement existing tax laws. #