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[ 28 Oct 2011 | 6 Comments ]

Reaction of ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio on Malacanang’s decision allowing Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to seek medical treatment abroad:

“President Aquino should not allow Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) to travel. The very itinerary that she has submitted, which will take her through Singapore, Spain, Germany, Italy and the United States in a month-long trip casts a doubt on her alleged purpose of seeking medical treatment. While we respect her right to seek life-saving medical treatment abroad, this has to be balanced with our ongoing quest for justice and accountability. Is there really an urgent medical necessity if she appears to be fit enough to go on a virtual round-the-world tour? Such a schedule would be taxing even for a healthy person. Perhaps GMA is not being entirely transparent about the purpose of this trip. Given the implausible nature of her request and the gravity of the charges against her, Malacanang would do well to deny it.”#

 

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[ 20 Oct 2011 | One Comment ]

PRESS RELEASE

October 20, 2011


In view of the recent killing of anti-mining advocate and Italian missionary Father Fausto Tentorio, ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio today pointed out that President Aquino’s approval of a military proposal to deploy special militia to provide security for mining firms only perpetuates the growing number of extra-judicial killings (EJK) among activists in the country.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) earlier proposed that mining firms should ‘fund and organize’ so-called Special CAFGU Active Auxiliary (SCAA) units to protect them from rebel attacks.

CAFGUs (Civilian Armed Forces Geographic Units)  are civilian militias employed, organized, and armed by the AFP while the SCAA units shall be employed by the private mining companies.

According to the AFP, these privately-funded special militias shall include ten (10) militiamen so as to enhance security in business areas, particularly private mining firms. The SCAA units shall be directed by one non-commissioned officer or enlisted personnel to ensure that no human rights violation will be committed by the militiamen.

“With President Aquino approving such a proposal, extra-judicial killings of activists will continue to take place,” said Tinio.

He noted that the President was turning a blind eye to the track record of human rights violations involving paramilitaries. “It is a known fact that paramilitaries are consistently reported as perpetrators of various human rights violations, most especially in far-flung areas. Have we forgotten that the Ampatuan massacre was committed using special militias armed by the government itself?” stressed Tinio.

“Fr. Tentorio, or ‘Fr. Pops’ to the local peoples and deprived farmers he dearly served for nearly 30 years, remained firm in his anti-mining and anti-militarization advocacies until his very last breath. It is not very difficult to think that his murder could be linked with PNoy’s heightened counter-insurgency policy in rural areas, where staunch human rights advocates like Fr. Tentorio are becoming victims of extrajudicial killings as they are maliciously accused as sympathizers of the New People’s Army,” he added.

The ACT Teachers solon called on Aquino administration to scrap his policy of allowing special militias to secure mining companies.#

 

References:

ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (0920-922-0817)

Julie Anne D. Tapit, Media Officer (0915-762-6522)

 

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[ 18 Oct 2011 | 11 Comments ]

PRESS RELEASE

October 18, 2011


The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) has committed to implementing reforms that will make the licensing examination for teachers more accessible to the Deaf.

In a dialogue with various organizations of the Deaf last Tuesday, PRC Chairperson Teresita R. Manzala vowed that such reforms would be in place when the Licensure Examination for Teachers is administered in March 2012.

The dialogue was facilitated by ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio. The participants included leaders of the Philippine Federation of the Deaf led by its President, Rey Lee; Philippine Deaf Resource Center Executive Director Dr. Liza Martinez; Dean Nikki Perez of the School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde; and Raphael Domingo of the Philippine Coalition-UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

PRC Chairperson Manzala was joined by Board for Professional Teachers Chairperson Dr. Faith M. Bachiller, and Director Amelia T. Empaynado of the Licensure Office.

The deaf activists and advocates raised concerns regarding the accessibility of the LET for deaf education graduates. According to them, Deaf education graduates find it difficult to pass the LET due to lack of sensitivity to the particular needs of Deaf takers. They pointed out the acute shortage of deaf teachers in the public school system’s Special Education centers, which can be filled if measures for the “reasonable accommodation” of deaf LET takers are taken by the PRC.

The PRC vowed to implement “transitional measures” for the upcoming LET in March 2012, such as allowing accredited interpreters to explain examination instructions in sign language and making changes to the physical arrangements to accommodate deaf exam takers. The Board of Professional Teachers will also work in close consultation with the Deaf community to craft better policies, including the drafting of a new PRC resolution regarding accessibility for the Deaf.

“We commend the PRC for their openness to the concerns of the Deaf. We thank PRC Chairperson Manzala for her personal commitment that reforms will be implemented by March 2012,” said Rep. Tinio. #

 

References:

ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (0920-922-0817)

Julie Anne D. Tapit, Media Officer (0915-762-6522)

 

 

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[ 12 Oct 2011 | One Comment ]

“Chalk allowance” increased; regularization of contractual, volunteer and part-time faculty OKd

 

PRESS RELEASE

October 12, 2011

 

The House of Representatives yesterday adopted ACT Teachers Party-List’s proposed amendments for the 2012 national budget, particularly for the Department of Education (DepEd) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).

The amendments included the raising of the cash allowance (popularly known as “chalk allowance”) of public school teachers from P700 to P1,000 per year. Special Provision No. 4 under the DepEd budget states that “Cash allowance to teachers for the purchase of chalks, erasers, forms, and other classroom supplies and materials shall be paid only to classroom teachers at One Thousand Pesos (P1,000) per teacher per school year.”

“Although we originally proposed forP2,000 cash allowance for classroom teachers, the increased amount is a clear indicator of a success brought about by the persistent lobbying of ACT Teachers backed by the enormous support from the mass movement of public school teachers outside Congress,” said ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio.

Also included in the amended portions of the 2012 national budget is Special Provision No. 8, which mandates the regularization of qualified contractual and volunteer teachers: “In the hiring of new teachers, whether to fill unfilled or newly created positions, priority shall be given to qualified contractual and volunteer teachers, whether employed by the Deped or the local government units.”

“This special provision will be of big help to an overwhelming number of public school teachers. DepEd’s data reveals that at present, there are currently 49,530 locally funded teachers and 19,063 volunteer Kindergarten teachers working in our public schools. Evidently, these teachers are the most exploited professionals in the government bureaucracy, as they usually work on a contractual basis with no job security, receive compensation below minimum wage, and being denied of  the benefits and protections, such as GSIS and PhilHealth coverage, extended to regular employees,” said Tinio.

ACT Teachers’ proposal to regularize qualified part-time faculty in state colleges and universities was also included in the 2012 budget: “In the hiring of new faculty, whether to fill unfilled or newly created positions, priority shall be given to qualified contractual or part-time faculty.”

“Precariously-employed contractual and part-time faculty comprise 47.01% of the total teaching force in SUCs. This stark reality compromises the central role of public higher education institutions in the country,” stressed Tinio.#

 

References:

ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (0920-922-0817)

Julie Anne D. Tapit, Media Officer (0915-762-6522)