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[ 14 Dec 2011 | No Comment ]

PRESS RELEASE
December 14, 2011

 

A teachers’ solon today assailed the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for not yet releasing the funds for the Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) program, resulting to the delay in release of P10,000 bonus for public school teachers.

“What is taking too long for the DBM to give the funds to the DepEd? The news is infuriating, most especially whenever we remember how the Malacanang bragged that they will shoulder the entire amount of P10,000 Christmas bonus,” said ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio. “But then again, walang pagbabago sa administrasyon ni Presidente Aquino—public school teachers remain belittled in terms of just compensation,” he added.

Tinio also pointed out that the delay could cause further demoralization in the ranks of public school teachers. “They are the most overworked yet underpaid personnel in the government bureaucracy,” he noted. “And in the past three years, teachers had to wait until January of the following year before they could get the full amount of the so-called bonus,” stressed Tinio.

The very idea of “Christmas bonus” is defeated in this case, the ACT Teachers solon said.

In an Inquirer report today, Department of Education Communications Director Tina Ganzon confirmed the delay in release of Christmas bonus for public school teachers and assured that “the money may arrive on Thursday, but will still have to undergo processing before it is released.”

Tinio called on the DBM to immediately release the funds intended for the public school teachers’ Christmas bonus. “There is no point in delaying the Christmas bonus for our public school teachers. They selflessly sacrifice themselves to educate our youth and more than anyone else in the government bureaucracy, they certainly deserve an extra monetary compensation,” he ended.#

 

Reference:

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

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[ 8 Dec 2011 | No Comment ]

PRESS RELEASE

December 7, 2011

 

ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio today scored Malacañang for the violent dispersal by the police of thousands of protesters attempting to assemble at Mendiola.

Tinio pointed out that police actions against the protesters were the most violent yet under the Aquino administration. “Has President Aquino resurrected Gloria Arroyo’s reviled ‘Calibrated Preemptive Response’ policy? The police brutality we’ve witnessed in the past two days right outside the gates of Malacañang reminds us of the violent suppression of peaceful protests under the previous regime.”

“For two consecutive days, the police have used excessive force on unarmed citizens, using firehoses and truncheons to prevent them from gathering at Mendiola. Pres. Aquino likes to claim moral ascendancy over the previous administration, yet it seems that his administration is no different from that of Gloria Arroyo in its disregard for basic civil liberties,” said Tinio.

Three students were reportedly injured in yesterday’s bloody dispersal. They are RG Tesa and Kate Castrence, both students of the University of the Philippines-Diliman and Nikki Gamara of University of the Philippines-Manila. Five other students were arrested and detained at the Manila Police Department Headquarters.

Since Tuesday, thousands of protesters composed of students, youth, workers, women, urban poor, teachers and education workers, government personnel, and other sectors, have been gathering in the vicinity of the historic Mendiola bridge to express their discontent at the government’s failure to address the country’s worsening social crisis. Dubbed “Campout in Mendiola: People’s Camp Against Budget Cuts and Crisis,” the protest action seeks to expose the country’s most pressing issues, such as the Aquino administration’s budget cuts to basic social services, widespread demolition of urban poor communities, human rights violations and lack of genuine land reform.

“What has transpired in the last few days is all the more outrageous it happened during the observance of international human rights week.”

The ACT Teachers solon will file a House resolution calling for an investigation into the violent police actions of the last few days. #

 

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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[ 5 Dec 2011 | No Comment ]

PRESS RELEASE

December 5, 2011


A party-list lawmaker today slammed a memorandum circular issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) which taxes voluntary GSIS, SSS, Medicare, and PAG-IBIG contributions, arguing that it violates provisions in existing tax laws.

ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio said that Revenue Memorandum Circular 27-2011 (RMC 27-2011) issued by BIR Commissioner Kim Henares on July 1, 2011 violates Philippine Constitution provisions and runs counter to the National Internal Revenue Code, or Republic Act 8424 (NIRC, or the Tax Reform Act of 1997).

He cited Article VI Sec. 28 of the 1987 Constitution provision that is violated by the said memorandum circular. “The Constitution guarantees that taxation must be uniform and equitable and that Congress is mandated to evolve a progressive type of taxation,” he said. “But with RMC 27-2011, it effectively increases the burden for individual taxpayers over those corporate taxpayers who apparently realize more income,” added Tinio.

“Under the BIR circular, corporate taxpayers are not affected.  Worse, our (existing) tax laws already accorded corporate taxpayers more chances to reduce their taxable income through exemptions and deductions not available to individual taxpayers. The BIR seeks to further make corporate taxpayers better off than the common laborer or employee,” Tinio argued.

“We welcome President Aquino’s vow to improve tax administration and efficiency in the collection of taxes, but never at the expense of the poor Filipinos,” said Tinio. “Why not impose more taxes on those corporate taxpayers who have a much higher ability to pay?” he added.

He criticized the Aquino administration for making social insurance systems more inaccessible and prohibitive. “Individual income earners, made up mostly of ordinary Filipino wage earners, are the ones who bear the brunt of everyday consumption taxes like the Value Added Tax (VAT) and sin taxes. Adding another tax responsibility to the ordinary Filipino wage earners will make them think twice about paying these voluntary contributions,” said Tinio.

It can be recalled that RMC 27-2011 issued by the BIR mandated the revoking of its previous rulings which excluded from the taxable income contributions to social insurance systems (Pag-Ibig 2, SSS, Life Insurance, Pre-Need Plan in the excess of the mandatory monthly contribution, GSIS Optional Insurance Premium, GSIS Educational Plan Premium, and GSIS Unlimited Optional Insurance Premium). A BIR official reasoned that the said policy was implemented ‘in view of abuses in granting income tax exemptions’ to the abovementioned social insurance systems.

Tinio challenged the Aquino administration to put forth pro-people directives in establishing a stable if not excellent fiscal situation.  “Impose greater taxes to corporate taxpayers and high-income individuals and ease burdensome tax responsibilities to those poor, ordinary Filipino wage earners,” he ended.

The ACT Teachers solon has filed a resolution calling for a House inquiry into the legal bases of the BIR memorandum circular.#

 

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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[ 5 Dec 2011 | 7 Comments ]

PRESS RELEASE

December 5, 2011

 

ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio is calling on Malacañang to extend the Php 10,000 extra year-end bonus to locally funded and kindergarten teachers.

President Benigno Aquino III recently announced that Malacañang will give national government employees a Performance Enhancement Incentive (PEI) of Php 10,000, to be released on December 15. The Department of Budget and Management has set aside Php 11.68 billion to fund the bonus.

“Aside from the over five hundred thousand nationally paid teachers employed by the Department of Education, there are approximately 49,000 locally funded teachers employed by Local Government Units (LGUs) and over 30,000 volunteer kindergarten teachers working alongside them in our public schools,” said Tinio. “These teachers deserve the same bonus as their nationally paid counterparts.”

Tinio explained that, according to a pronouncement by the DBM, the PEI of local government employees will depend on the financial capability of LGUs, and is subject to the 45% to 55% budgetary ceiling on personnel compensation prescribed in the Local Government Code. “Concretely, this means that many LGUs, particularly those with limited financial resources, will not be able to give their employees the full amount of Php 10,000 as PEI.”

“Contractual teachers employed by the local governments should receive the same amount of Performance Enhancement Incentive as their nationally-paid counterparts. It’s only fair, considering that they work side-by-side in our public schools, are similarly qualified, and perform the same functions,” he added.

The party-list representative urged Malacañang to shoulder the cost of paying their PEI in full. “This is one way in which the national government can acknowledge some responsibility for the welfare of locally funded teachers. After all, they are indispensable in the delivery of education, which the national government is mandated to provide.”

The ACT Teachers legislator likewise called for the full payment of PEI to the 30,000 volunteer kindergarten teachers employed by the DepEd. “At this point, it’s not clear whether or not they are included in the grant of PEI. They must be included because the Universal Kindergarten program, which the DepEd began implementing this year, relies heavily on them.”

Lastly, Tinio emphasized that the locally funded contractual teachers and kindergarten volunteers are among the most exploited in the teaching profession, having no job security and receiving lower compensation. “Granting them the full bonus is one way to ameliorate their plight.” #

 

References:

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

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