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[ 27 Jun 2012 | Comments Off on Teacher’s party list supports setting up of school in Spratlys Vows to send assistance for Pag-asa school ]

News Release


June 27, 2012
Reference: ACT Teachers party list Rep. Antonio Tinio

ACT Teachers party list Rep. Antonio Tinio today expressed his support for the opening of an elementary school at Pag-asa Island which is part of the disputed Spratlys territory in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
“It is indeed a welcome development to hear that a schoolhouse has been set up in Kalayaan town in Pag-asa, this would be a tremendous help in advancing the education of the children in the disputed territory. The families of students also would not have to be separated so that their children can go to school.
Pag-asa lies 527 kilometers (285 nautical miles) west of Palawan. A boat trip to the island could take the entire day, depending on the sea condition. Read more…

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[ 27 Jun 2012 | Comments Off on $1 Billion To IMF Needs Congress’ Approval ]

June 25, 2012, 8:39pm

MANILA, Philippines — The government’s plan to lend $1 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) continues to draw criticism in the House of Representatives, with one lawmaker describing the move as “plain crazy” and must first be sanctioned by Congress.

Representatives Teddy Casiño (Bayan Muna) and Antonio Tinio (ACT Partylist) chided the Aquino administration for its decision to draw $1 billion from government’s dollar reserves as the Philippines’ contribution to the IMF’s $400 billion bail plan for European countries on the verge of economic collapse.

“The Aquino government’s plan to lend $1 billion to the IMF is plain crazy,” said Casiño, pointing out that there is no logic in granting the loan when the national debt “just breached the P5-trillion level early this year.”

This report, he said, shows that Filipinos are “more in debt than ever.” “Why on earth lend money when we ourselves need it?” asked Casiño.

He pointed to the fact that more than 700,000 micro, small and medium enterprises in the country are denied access to proper credit facilities.

“This plan is not sanctioned by Congress and has never been discussed in our budget deliberations. Only Congress has the power to allocate such a huge amount for this purpose,” Casiño added.

Tinio shared the same view, saying it would be insensitive on the part of government to pursue its plan when the education sector is in dire need of cash to improve its facilities and train teachers.

“Why would our President extend loans to countries whose Kinder teachers are paid around five times more than ours receive, whose class sizes are sometimes 15 to a teacher?” he asked.

Tinio added: “The pledge could have answered the budgetary requirements for increasing the salaries of public school teachers from Salary Grade 11 to 15—about P40 B for some 520,000 teachers already in DepEd’s payroll.”

The Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions-Southern Tagalog (RCTU-ST) also condemned the Aquino administration’s $1-billion pledge, describing it as “showing off” and “dreamy.”

RCTU-ST Spokesman Fortunato Magtanggol said the announcement made by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Armando Tetangco Jr. during the Group of 20 meeting was a shocker.

“This pretentious move by the Aquino government is a clear display of incompetence; a slur in the face of millions of Filipinos dying from hunger,” said Magtanggol.

“While the Aquino administration declared an end to the Philippines’ borrower status to the IMF (as a result of implementing lopsided economic reforms), the BSP recently admitted that the country’s foreign debts increased to $62.9 billion as of the end of the first quarter (due to the increase in foreign investments, initiated by the same economic reforms).” he added.

Earlier, Reps. Ben Evardone (LP, Eastern Samar) and Teodorico Haresco (Ang Kasangga Partylist) defended the government’s decision.

Evardone, chairman of the House Committee on Public Information, said the move is not only aimed at helping the IMF save some European economies, but also to show the world that the Philippine economy is healthy.

“That loan will send a positive signal to international investors that the Philippine economy is stable. The mere fact that we have graduated (to) a creditor nation is already a milestone,” Evardone said.

“With a healthy economy, the government can focus in allocating more resources for infrastructure and social services,” he said.

On the other hand, Haresco welcomed the decision as he noted that Aquino has “put the country on the global financial radar.”

“P-Noy showed to the rest of the world solidarity and amity with the developed world,” Haresco said. –with a report from Chito A. Chavez


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[ 26 Jun 2012 | Comments Off on Legislator scores Aquino’s ‘neglect’ of teachers ]
A LEGISLATOR representing the education sector slammed President Aquino for prioritizing “poor” economies in Europe instead of the salary upgrading of the teachers in the wake of his administration pledge to contribute $1 billion to the International Monetary Fund’s emergency pool.

“Mr. Aquino again displayed the utmost insensitivity to the education sector.  Our country pays its kindergarten teachers P3,000 a month, and its class sizes sometimes bulge to 70 students per classroom. Our public-school teachers are themselves drowning in debt because their salaries cannot keep up with the rising costs of living. Why would our President extend loans to countries whose kinder teachers are paid around five times more than ours receive, whose class sizes are sometimes 15 to a teacher?” Party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers asked.

Based on the latest Reference Exchange Rate issued by the Bangko Sentral, the pledge amounts to P42.26 billion.

Tinio says that the contribution to the kitty, allegedly for crisis prevention and resolution and to meet the potential financing needs of IMF members, works as a loan for countries mostly in Europe, currently experiencing economic crisis.

Tinio said the P42.26 billion could have translated into a 16.3-percent increase in the ceiling set by the Department of Budget and Management for the Department of Education’s appropriations in 2013.

“It could have funded additional resources to run his K+12 program effectively and with respect to the rights and welfare of teachers and students.  Aquino gave up sufficient allocations for the Universal Kindergarten Education, including P4,453,070,980 for the regularization and bonuses of 20,000 Kinder teachers and about P23.6  billion for 34,500 classrooms nationwide,” said Tinio.



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Reference:   Ms. France Castro, Secretary General, Cellphone No. 09178502124
Media Liaison – Zenie Lao, Cellphone No. 09198198903

“Of all government employees, the teachers have lagged behind in salaries, incentives and training by judges, fiscals, firemen and employees of government financial institutions. Any major education reform should start with ensuring the welfare of educators,” said Angara, who has been a staunch advocate of education reforms.
“We, teachers under the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) welcome Senator Angara’s call to prioritize teachers’ wages and benefits in pursuing relevant reforms in education.  There is already a counterpart bill (HB 2142) filed at the Lower House by Rep. Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers Partylist,” Ms. France Castro, Secretary-general of Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said.
Despite gaining the support of more than 180 Members of the House of Representatives, Tinio’s House Bill 2142, or the Public School Teachers’ Salary Upgrading Act, has been lying dormant with the House Committee on Appropriations—waiting for DBM’s comments—since September 20, 2010.
Teachers were also dismayed that PNoy prioritized the status of ‘poor’ economies in Europe first and not provide for the salary upgrading of teachers, which they have long been demanding.  The $1B pledge could have answered the budgetary requirements for increasing the salaries of public school teachers from Salary Grade 11 to 15—about P40 B for some 520,000 teachers already in DepEd’s payroll.
ACT enjoins all lawmakers who believe that teachers must receive adequate salaries and benefits to support our initiatives to propel into concrete actions our vision in advancing the rights and welfare of teachers. “Discuss urgently the concerned bills for upgrading teachers’ salaries both in the Lower and Upper House.” Ms France Castro pointed out.#####