Articles Archive for May 2010
May 13, 2010
The ACT TEACHERS Partylist today urged the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to give teachers who served on the Boards of Election Inspectors in the May 10 elections additional compensation.
“The public school teachers who served as BEIs are rightly being hailed as heroes for their performance on May 10. We praise their professionalism, patience, and sense of patriot duty. In this regard, we call on the COMELEC to give teachers an additional Php 2,000 in recognition of the sacrifices they made to ensure the success of the country’s first automated elections,” said ACT TEACHERS national president and first nominee Antonio Tinio.
Tinio pointed out that the additional pay is justified because teachers had to put in extra days of work as a result of the massive recall of wrongly configured Compact Flash cards and retesting of PCOS machines in the days leading up to election day. “Not to mention the extension of voting hours by one hour and the difficult work they had to put in on election day as a result of the clustering of precincts, where you had 3 BEIs attending to up to 1,000 voters.”
Tinio explained that with approximately 220,000 BEIs nationwide, their call for additional pay of Php 2,000 would cost the government Php 440 million. “It’s a substantial amount but our teachers deserve it. COMELEC has spent over Php 7 billion on the machines, but far too little for the people who made them work.”
BEIs not yet paid for their services
In a related development, ACT TEACHERS voiced the disappointment of BEIs, many of whom have yet to be paid for the services they rendered for the elections. “We’ve received reports that teachers in Manila, Malabon, Navotas, as well as in Baguio, Mindoro, Bacolod, Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor have not yet received their election service honoraria,” said Tinio. “Considering the sacrifices they’ve made, the least the government can do is to ensure prompt payment. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many places nationwide.” #
18 April 2010
(A Statement of Concern from the ACT Teachers Party List – Ateneo de Manila University Chapter)
The ACT Teachers Party List (Ateneo de Manila University Chapter) joins the University community in expressing its concern over the manner upon which the University administration handled the resignation of Manuel V. Pangilinan as Chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees.
Mr. Pangilinan had acknowledged and apologized for the multiple acts of plagiarism that he committed in connection with the speech that he delivered during the recent commencement exercises of the University. He resigned as a consequence of his admission to this very serious academic offense.
The University community’s integrity is now under grave threat because of the circumstances emanating from Mr. Pangilinan’s resignation. The University thrives on its adherence to academic excellence, intellectual honesty and fair application of academic rules. These basic principles are among the most important ones that members of the University community seek to inculcate to its students. The University does not and should never tolerate plagiarism, in any form, from any individual, as it grossly violates the very principles upon which the foundation of the functions of the University rests. If the Chairman of the Board of Trustees – the highest policy making body of the University – had himself admitted to have committed such a serious offence, then he himself is guilty of such academic transgression and should be made to account for such a wrongdoing. Disregarding this fact is a gross disrespect to the very core value of academic existence.
More disturbing is the Ateneo de Manila University administration’s dilly dallying on the issue with its attempts to rationalize its initial decision of non-acceptance of the Mr.Pangilinan’s resignation. The Board of Trustees’ initial official reaction of not accepting the resignation of Mr. Pangilinan was done without consulting the students, faculty and alumni. Only after a huge clamor from the University Community did Mr. Pangilinan made his offer to resign irrevocable, and only then did the University administration accede to public pressure and accept the resignation. It appears as if the numerous financial grants and assistance that Mr. Pangilinan gave to the University for years, became the basis for exonerating intellectual dishonesty and pardoning fraud and deceit. We believe these acts are inimical to our academic life. Financial gain and commercial reward should never have been given primacy over academic principles and moral high ground.
The ACT Teachers Party List (Ateneo de Manila University Chapter) joins the University community in its quest to remain vigilant in ensuring that these events never happen again. It calls for the University administration not to hide behind the cloak of the principles of Catholic generosity, compassion and kindness in rationalizing its failed attempts to contain the problem. We urge the University administration to henceforth ensure that genuine consultation should always take place in all levels of decision making of University governance, and manifest that it indeed puts primacy to the principles of intellectual honesty and academic integrity rather than financial gain and monetary reward.#
April 5, 2010
Teachers held a protest action in front of the Pasay City Hall of Justice this morning while Antonio Tinio, national president and first nominee of ACT TEACHERS Partylist, was arraigned for four counts of libel before the Pasay Regional Trial Court 119.
Tinio entered a plea of not guilty on four charges of libel filed against him by Government Service Insurance System President and General Manager Winston Garcia. The charges stem from statements allegedly made by Tinio criticizing Garcia’s use of GSIS funds in a bid to take corporate control of Meralco, as well as for investing in the US stock market at the height of the sub-prime mortgage crisis.
“We assert the right of ordinary citizens to criticize the public acts of a public official like Winston Garcia,” said Tinio. “The libel cases he has filed against me are an attempt to suppress freedom of expression.”
Tinio pointed out that his statements against GSIS and Garcia express the legitimate complaints of teachers and other public sector employees against the pension fund’s unjust policies. “Teachers and other employees all over the country are being vicitimized by the negligent record-keeping of GSIS. They are subjected to unwarranted deductions as well as surcharges and penalties. It’s no wonder that the GSIS is the single most hated government office among the ranks of teachers and employees.”
Tinio estimates that the GSIS has made at least Php 2 billion in illegal deductions from the benefits of public school teachers and non-teaching personnel of the Department of Education alone. “That’s a very conservative estimate.”
Tinio added that ACT TEACHERS Partylist will lead a nationally-coordinated day of protest against the GSIS on April 28. “Protest actions at GSIS offices in major cities throughout the country will take place. We are calling on GSIS to immediately refund all unwarranted deductions to its members. We’re also calling for the ouster of Garcia.”
ACT TEACHERS Partylist challenged the presidential candidates running in the May 10 elections to install a new GSIS management that will institute genuine reforms in the state pension fund. “Not a single presidential candidate has taken a stand on the GSIS. We challenge them to do so, for the sake of the millions of public school teachers and other government employees and their families.” #
April 27, 2010
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers will lead a motorcade and march of public school teachers and employees to Mendiola on Wednesday, April 28, to demand the refund of illegal deductions made by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) from the benefits of its members.
Several hundred teachers are expected to join the protest action in Metro Manila tomorrow. They will assemble at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City at 7 a.m., motorcade to UST in Manila, and start the march to Mendiola at 9 a.m.. There they will hold a program until 11 a.m. The protesters will burn a large image of GSIS President and General Manager Winston Garcia and Pres. Gloria Arroyo to symbolize their protest.
ACT will also lead a protest action in Davao City on April 28 and in Butuan City on April 29.
“Teachers and other government employees throughout the country are seething with anger at the GSIS,” said ACT national chairperson Antonio Tinio. “For nearly one decade, they have suffered from the unjust policies imposed by its politically-influential President and General Manager, Winston Garcia.”
Tinio noted that all over the country, public school teachers complain that the GSIS has deprived them of benefits to which they are entitled. “They complain of huge deductions on the maturity of their GSIS insurance policy, of being charged with unexplained premiums in arrears, of not receiving annual dividends from GSIS, of being denied survivorship benefits, of GSIS failure to deduct loan payments, resulting in huge interests on loans, of retirees subjected to huge deductions on their benefits. The list goes on.”
ACT condemned the role of Malacañang in prolonging the agony of teachers in relation to the GSIS. “Time and again, Pres. Arroyo has continued to express confidence in the leadership of Garcia at GSIS in spite of the widespread misery his so-called reforms has caused to the fund’s 1.5 million members. The Arroyo-Garcia tandem is at the root of our problems with the GSIS,” said Tinio.
ACT urged the presidential and other candidates running in the May 10 elections to take up the cudgels for public school teachers suffering from the unjust policies of GSIS. “We ask the president-elect to act on our demands,” said Tinio.
ACT ‘s demands are as follows:
- The immediate refund of all unwarranted deductions made by GSIS against members’ benefits.
- The ouster of Winston Garcia as President and General Manager and the filing of administrative, criminal and civil charges against him for violating key provisions of the GSIS law.
- The scrapping of the Premium-Based Policy, the Claims and Loans Interdependency Program, and other policies introduced by Garcia which have deprived GSIS members of the full enjoyment of benefits to which they are entitled.
- The introduction of genuine reforms that will strengthen the role of GSIS as the social security fund of government employees. #
Reference: Antonio L. Tinio (0920-9220817)