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Headline, News »

[ 10 Oct 2011 | No Comment ]

PRESS RELEASE

October 10, 2011


ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio today urged President Benigno Aquino III to provide general, omnibus, and unconditional amnesty for all political prisoners in the country.

Tinio pushed for the said amnesty after Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda’s stated that there is no single political prisoner under Aquino administration. “This is apparently a cause for alarm, since the Aquino government seems to turn a blind eye on the existence of political prisoners under his administration.”

He added that in fact, there are currently 354 political prisoners who remain languishing in jails due to trumped up charges for common crimes.

“One of these cases is that of Ms. Charity Dino, a public school teacher-turned peasant organizer, who was arrested together with two farmers, namely Billy Batrina and Sonny Rogelio, by the 730th Combat Group of the Philippine Air Force and 301st Intelligence Group (Palico, Nasugbu) last November 23, 2009. The group was later dubbed as the ‘Talisay 3’,” said Tinio.

Tinio added that the three were peasant organizers for the Samahan ng Magbubukid ng Batangas (SAMBAT) and were busy preparing for activities for the Week of the Poor when the military elements arrested them. “Interviews from the Talisay 3 by international human rights monitors reveal that they were questioned and tortured before being turned over to the Batangas Provincial Jail. The military forced them to admit that they are members of the New People’s Army,” said Tinio.

The Talisay 3 were subjected to an “inquest” on the next day for fabricated charges of illegal possession of firearms, explosives, and drugs.

“Common crimes, often non-bailable ones, are continuously hurled against political dissidents even in the ‘matuwid na daan’ of President Aquino,” slammed Tinio.

Meanwhile, Tinio has co-authored House Resolution 555, which sought for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners and dropping of charges against activists and political dissenters as a gesture of justice and goodwill.

The ACT Teachers solon called on the Aquino administration to dismiss the trumped up charges filed against the Talisay 3, and eventually declare a general, omnibus, and unconditional amnesty for all political prisoners in the country. “If President Aquino fails to do so, then it is clear that he continues to uphold the grim legacy of former President Arroyo—that is, the rampant criminalization of legitimate political dissent in our country,” ended Tinio.#

 

References:

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

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

 

Features »

[ 6 Oct 2011 | One Comment ]
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October 5, 2011

 

The Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy joins the rest of the world in celebrating World Teachers Day as we up the ante of our struggle for rights and welfare as well as our noble efforts at defending the right to education.

The very recent and crucial resurgence of the teachers’ movement represents a major contribution not only to the education sector. It has also influenced and learned from the democratic and patriotic forces in Philippine society whose organized efforts at effecting genuine change in the country make our wager for education part and parcel of the people’s bid for national sovereignty and genuine democracy.

We have persistently challenged the anti-people and pro-imperialist policies inflicted by the past Macapagal-Arroyo and the current Aquino regimes with our demands for good governance and greater state subsidy for social services. We have forged a strong unity among teachers nationwide to join in the struggle of the basic sectors in society in order to strengthen our most urgent call for greater education budget.

Now, more than ever, our sector is empowered by the strength of the organized youth, farmers and workers encompassing all regions of the country. We underscore this unity because imperialist globalization continues to mask itself as a process of democratization that offers boundless possibilities for the so-called renewal of education in order to meet “global demands.”

We strongly reject prescriptions that are poised to market our students as either globally competitive professionals or manual labourers both in the service of the “global village” that knows only one rule: the accumulation of profit at the expense of turning people into commodities to be bought or sold at the cheapest price that management dictates.

Our struggle for a nationalist education is an alternative to the current form of education that only serves foreign interests at the expense of economic, social and cultural development. Our bid for a scientific education is aimed precisely at challenging all mystifications created by and for the ruling class whose narrow interests are raised to the level of the state’s national agenda through their positions in the different branches of government and the filtering of mainstream media. Our fight for a mass oriented education is an alternative to an educational system that is exclusionary because commercialized. A national, scientific and mass education is our response to a pedagogy that is predominantly fascist on account of an institution that is shaped by imperialist interests that necessitate the repression of knowledge and practice that serve the interests of the basic sectors who comprise the majority.

We, in CONTEND, recognize that our struggle for the future of education must also immediately bear fruit for our hardworking teachers. Our struggle for free education is not only a guiding principle but one that comes with a blueprint of concrete action that can only strengthen and empower our sector and its alliance with the broader movement for social transformation. Today, on World Teachers Day 2011, we, together with the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, therefore commit ourselves to push for the following demands for greater education budget:

 

 

1. Regularization of all Volunteer /Contractual Teachers!

 

2. 104,000 New Permanent Teacher Items!

 

3. Salary Grade 15 for Teacher 1! Salary Grade 16 for Instructor 1      in the State Colleges and Universities! P6,000 Increase in Base      Pay of non-teaching personnel!

4. Increase Chalk Allowance to P2,000!

5. Increase Base Productivity Pay to P5,000!

6. Increase Clothing Allowance to P6,000

7. P91.5 Billion for Classroom Shortage & Other School Facilities!

8. Adequate Budget for Universal Kindergarten program!

9. Greater State Subsidy for PNU (Philippine Normal University)      and All SUCs (State Universities & Colleges)!

10. 100% Increase in MOOE in All Levels of Education!

 

It is only by addressing the concrete needs of our sector that we as teachers can make education ever more relevant and fruitful for our students and for the perpetual learners that we are. On World Teachers Day, we renew our commitment to contribute and to learn from the global imperialist struggle as well as from the particular struggles that we wage in every school where we educate in order to transform and be transformed.

A Happy and Militant World Teachers’ Day!

In The News »

[ 6 Oct 2011 | One Comment ]

WITH only a starting salary of $9,200 yearly, it is no wonder that university teachers are forced to leave the country to seek greener pastures, legislators said during World Teachers’ Day on Wednesday.

“Our teachers are among the least compensated in the region. Salaries of teachers in Malaysia, Thailand, and Japan almost doubled after 15 years of teaching experience while those in the Philippines receive a meager 10 to 15-percent increase,” Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luzviminda Ilagan, who taught at Ateneo de Davao University for four decades, said.

Citing data from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), the starting salary of Filipino teachers after 15 years only increased to $10,150. Their highest salary amounts to $10,930.

Countries like Korea and Japan provide starting salaries of at least $25,000 which may double or triple depending on years of teaching experience.

Ilagan said “not only is it a dishonor, it is also an injustice for our teachers to teach amid conditions of scarcity and slave-like compensation”.

A legislator also found the opportunity to call on President Benigno Aquino III to address problems in the education sector.

Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio meanwhile joined hundreds of public school teachers to protest the declining state subsidy to the education sector.

Together with the Cebu City teachers, Tinio attended the “Grand World Teachers Day Parade”, which commenced from Cebu Normal University to Fuente Osmena Circle.

“No appreciation would be greater than a higher priority given to education and its workers, not just formally but substantively through a higher budget,” he noted.

Tinio called on his fellow lawmakers to study, deliberate, and debate on the legislation of a new round of salary increases for government employees beginning 2013. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)

 

(Source: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/manila/local-news/2011/10/05/filipino-teachers-among-lowest-paid-asia-lawmaker-says-183346#.Tox4VusYMg4.facebook)

 

Headline, News »

[ 6 Oct 2011 | No Comment ]

PRESS RELEASE

October 5, 2011

 

As the nation marks the World Teachers’ Day, ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio today joined hundreds of public school teachers to protest the declining state subsidy to education sector.

Together with the Cebu City teachers, Tinio attended the “Grand World Teachers Day Parade” which commenced from Cebu Normal University to Fuente Osmena Circle.

“Hundreds of public school teachers in National Capital Region, Davao City, Masbate City, Negros City, Baguio City, Iloilo City, Butuan City, Central Luzon, Bohol, and Cagayan de Oro City today held simultaneous protest actions to urge the Aquino administration to prioritize education sector by allocating a higher, sufficient budget,” said Tinio.

In his privilege speech at the House of Representatives yesterday, Tinio argued that while saying a simple “Thank You” to teachers suggests the sincerest appreciation of their utmost efforts in providing quality education, the government must go beyond words and give teachers what is just and due them.

“The best way of showing gratitude to our teachers would be the upgrading of their salaries. We all know that next year will be the final tranche of salary increases as provided for by the so-called Salary Standardization Law 3. We would not want to repeat the Arroyo administration’s failure to increase the public school teachers’ salaries for six long years which resulted to the teachers’ enormous financial burden during those times,” reminded Tinio.

“No appreciation would be greater than a higher priority given to education and its workers, not just formally but substantively through a higher budget,” he added.

The ACT Teachers solon also reiterated the concrete demands of teachers, which are as follows: regularization of all volunteer/contractual teachers, creation of at least 104,000 new permanent teacher items to address the teacher shortage, Salary Grade 15 for Teacher 1, Salary Grade 16 for Instructor 1 in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and P6,000 Increase in Base Pay of non-teaching personnel, increase of chalk allowance to P2,000, increasing of Base Productivity Pay to P5,000, increase of Clothing Allowance to P6,000, resolving the P91.5 billion for classroom shortage & other school facilities without resorting to Public-Private Partnerships and similar schemes which proved by many other countries to be more costly.

Tinio called on his fellow lawmakers to study, deliberate and debate on the legislation of a new round of salary increases for government employees beginning 2013.#

 

References:

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

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