Articles Archive for July 2010
JULY 26, 2010
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) was shocked to hear that three teachers, including Mark Francisco of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), were assassinated earlier in July.
Antonio Tinio, National Chairperson of ACT and newly elected ACT representative in the Philippine Congress, reported to CUPE that the killings are linked to the failure of the previous administration to prosecute and punish human rights violators.
The following is a letter written on July 26 by Paul Moist, CUPE National President, to H. E. Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines calling for an end to human rights abuses and an end to extra-judicial killings in the Philippines.
Dear President Aquino,
How unfortunate to have to write at the time of your inauguration regarding the recent killing of three teachers. The Canadian Union of Public Employees is shocked and saddened to hear this news from our colleagues at the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), that three teachers, including ACT member Mark Francisco were assassinated earlier in July.
Antonio Tinio, the National Chairperson of ACT and newly elected ACT-Party Representative in the Philippine Congress reported to us that the killings are linked to the failure of the previous administration to prosecute and punish human rights violators. We support the ACT’s demand for justice for their fellow teachers and their call for your new government to take decisive action to stop the killings and end impunity.
We are aware that over 1,000 activists and journalists were murdered in extra-judicial killings under the Arroyo government and that to date no one has been convicted. The killings had abated under international pressure for a two-year period, but have started again since the May 2010 national and local elections.
CUPE members hosted two Filipino public sector union representatives in a speaking tour across Canada in the spring of 2009, and earlier this year, members of our union were hosted by ACT and COURAGE in the Philippines. We are committed to building our relationship with these unions and to support their call for an end to human rights abuses and an end to extra-judicial killings in your country.
We call on the Philippine government to:
- Ensure an impartial investigation on the extra-judicial killing of Mark Francisco and other activists since the election;
- Demilitarize the area pending investigation and disarm military-backed vigilantes;
- Extend protection and assistance to the families of the murdered activists; and
- Review the government’s counter-insurgence program as per the recommendations of UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions Philip Alston.
CUPE National President
cc: Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, OPAPP; Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin, Secretary, Department of National Defense; Atty. Leila M. De Lima, Secretary, Department of Justice; Actign Chairperson Cecilia Rachel V. Quisumbing, Commission on Human Rights; A. Tinio, National Chaiperson of ACT; and CUPE Local 4600.
What you can do
CUPE members are encouraged to take action by sending an email or letter to the President of the Republic of the Philippines. Demand an end to human rights abuses and an end to extra-judicial killings in the Philippines.
Mr. H. E. Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Republic of the Philippines
JP Laurel St., San Miquel
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3936
June 14, 2010
Budget cuts in education due to an increasing debt payments are at the root of the worsening education crisis. This message was highlighted by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers as it led a protest march and rally in Mendiola on the day before the opening of the new school year.
ACT national chairperson Antonio Tinio pointed out that in spite of the critical shortage of resources in basic education, the Arroyo administration has imposed cuts in this year’s budget of the Department of Education. “The 2010 Deped budget is lower than last year’s. Malacañang imposed a Php 1.62 billion reduction, from Php 174.46 billion in 2009 to Php 172.84 this year. This is the last thing our ailing public education system needs.”
Tinio noted that for the incoming school year 2010-2011, there will be a shortage of 54,060 teachers, 4,538 principals, and 6,473 headteachers; 61,343 classrooms, 816,291 seats, and 113,051 water and sanitation facilities. The Department of Education will also need an additional Php 400 million to address the textbook shortage.
Tinio noted that while there was an increase in the budget for salaries and benefits of teachers (Personal Services), this was offset by significant cuts in Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) and Capital Outlay (CO) in particular, which includes the budget for classroom construction and the acquisition of new school equipment.
|Expense Type||FY 2009 GAA (in billions)||FY 2010 GAA (in billions)||Increase/Decrease from Previous FY|
|Personal Services (PS)||137.864||140.794||2%|
|Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE)||22.767||22.038||-3%|
|Capital Outlay (CO)||13.837||10.050||-28%|
Sources: General Appropriations Act 2010; Department of Education, FY 2010 Budget Proposal“
The Arroyo government allocated Php 3.78 billion less for Capital Outlay this year. That’s equivalent to 6,311 additional classrooms that could have been built. Malacañang also cut Php 729 million from the daily operations fund of schools,” said Tinio.
Tinio noted that a huge portion of the national government’s funds continues to be allocated to debt payment. “The appropriation for debt servicing or the payment of interest on debt alone has grown by a staggering Php 68.5 billion from 2008 to 2010. The Arroyo administration’s prioritization of debt payment above everything else throughout its 9 years in office has been the main cause of the worsening crisis in education.”
|Debt Payments||2008 (in billions)||2009 (in billions)||2010 (in billions)|
Source: DBM, Budget of Expenditure and Sources of Financing 2010
Tinio challenged the incoming administration of President-elect Noynoy Aquino to “The only way out of the education crisis is through the adoption of bold new measures. President-elect Aquino must turn his back on the current policy of debt payment above all else, which has had devastating consequences for our public education system. We urge him to implement a policy of reducing debt payments and rechanneling of funds to education and other social services.” #
Reference: Antonio L. Tinio (0920-922-0817)