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[ 17 Mar 2015 | No Comment ]

10 Reasons Why The K to 12 Program Should Be Suspended: 

United by our commitment to serve the public through ensuring quality education for everyone, we, teachers, parents, students, administrators, professionals, and concerned citizens of the Philippines, call upon the second Aquino regime to IMMEDIATELY SUSPEND THE K TO 12 PROGRAM, BASED ON THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

1. The government is not prepared to implement a 12-year Basic Education Cycle mandated by K to 12, as manifested by the actual insufficiency of classrooms, libraries, toilets, and other facilities; textbooks, modules, and other instructional materials; teachers, non-teaching staff, maintenance staff and other education sector personnel in the old 10-year Basic Education Cycle.

2. The government’s actual education budget in recent decades never reached 4% of the GDP, while the global standard is pegged at 6% of the GDP, hence, the K to 12 program will be underfunded with predictably disastrous consequences.

3. The almost simultaneous implementation of three big educational reforms – Mother-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) in the primary level, the creation of a two-year senior high school at the secondary level, and the introduction of a trimmed down new General Education Curriculum (GEC) at the tertiary level – is very problematic and prone to ineffective and inefficient implementation as the government’s limited resources and personnel will be very stretched.

4. As proven by subpar National Achievement Test (NAT) results in recent years, the over-all quality of education in the Philippines is bad and stagnant if not declining, thus, to improve the quality of education, the government must prioritize the improvement of facilities and teacher training, and increasing the salaries of teachers and non-teaching personnel especially those in public schools, from the measly Php23,044 (Instructor 1 in state colleges and universities), Php18,549 (Teacher 1 in DepEd schools), Php9,000 (typical entry-level salary of non-teaching staff) to Php26,878; Php25,000; and Php16,000 respectively, considering that a PMA cadet’s monthly salary is Php27,425.

5. The enactment of CHED Memo No. 20, Series of 2013 which has trimmed down the college General Education Curriculum (GEC) and eventually cascaded subjects from college to senior high school, has led to the removal of vital subjects such as Filipino, Literature, and Philippine Government and Constitution.

6. Many courses – such as Housekeeping and Caregiving – in the senior high school curriculum are shockingly suitable only to overseas jobs, and/or beneficial only to foreign businesses – such as Medical Transcription and Contact Center Services, thus the K to 12 Program has no nationalist and pro-Filipino orientation, contrary to the requirements of Article XIV, Sections 2 and 3 of the Philippine Constitution.

7. Generally, the anti-tertiary education mantra of the K to 12 program will manufacture young and docile laborers who will be forced to accept and be permanently chained to low-paying and contractual jobs, at a time when even many college graduates are unable to find good jobs.

8. The K to 12 program is a prelude to the planned amalgamation/merging of state universities and colleges (SUCs) under the government’s Roadmap for Public Higher Education Reform (RPHER) which may result to the possible reduction of the number of SUCs, local universities and colleges (LUCs), and even the closure of small private colleges and universities. At the outset, it will lead to the massive displacement of around 100,000 professors, teachers and non-teaching personnel by 2016 when no one will enroll in the tertiary level; and beyond, once the slimmer GEC has become permanent, and in a number of colleges and universities, this scheme will also lead to the massive contractualization of both teaching and non-teaching staff, thereby weakening if not busting many unions.

9. Considering that more than 20 million Filipinos are poor as per official government statistics (close to 40 million as per World Bank data), adding two more years in high school will certainly be financially burdensome for many families at this point, hence it is an indirect assault to our people’s right to education. In some SUCs, the proposed annual fees for senior high school will reach a whopping 16,000 pesos – a 1,600% increase in the lowest college tuition rate in the country, on top of other school-related expenses!

10. No massive and genuinely democratic consultations with teachers, parents, students, and other stakeholders, were held when the K to 12 Program was being crafted, and before it was implemented; and the government did not conduct a nationwide assessment of the old 10-year Basic Education Cycle and the previous primary and secondary education curricula, hence the sudden shift to a 12-year Basic Education Cycle is all the more whimsical and at this point, baseless.






Activities »

[ 24 Feb 2015 | No Comment ]

The TWG for House Bill 443, The Public School Class Size Law, had its first meeting today, 24 February 2015.

If passed into law, HB 443 will regulate class sizes, give additional compensation to teachers handling classes of more than the standard size (35, except for Kinder classes which is proposed to be at 15), and push DepEd to implement measures to ease the problem of bloated large classes.

Rep. Antonio Tinio at the TWG for House Bill 443, The Public School Class Size Law With Presiding TWG Chair Rep. Magnolia Antonino-Nadres (Nueva Ecija, 4th District)

Rep. Antonio Tinio at the TWG for House Bill 443, The Public School Class Size Law With Presiding TWG Chair Rep. Magnolia Antonino-Nadres (Nueva Ecija, 4th District)

“DepEd’s policy is to assign to teachers oversized classes, instead of assigning to them separate, smaller classes but with more than six hours of teaching time.  This is because DepEd has no obligation to give overload pay to teachers handling oversized classes.  This is precisely the legal loophole, used to abuse teachers and which jeopardizes the quality of education, that this class size bill aims to plug.”

Rep. Antonio Tinio at the TWG for House Bill 443
With Presiding TWG Chair Rep. Magnolia Antonino-Nadres (Nueva Ecija, 4th District) and Resource Persons Teacher Joy Martinez (ACT NCR Union Secretary) and Teacher Cristy Manalo (PPSTA Board Member)

Amendments entered at today’s TWG:
1. Standard size for Kinder classes: 15-25
2. Should it be deemed necessary, DepEd may decrease the standard class sizes (not increase)
3. To address concerns as regards feasibility in the law’s implementation and the budget needed, an amendment that the Secretary come up with measures/plan for a staggered implementation, to be executed within a specified time
5. The new formula for large class honorarium: 3% of hourly rate per excess student based on the number of students at the end of the school year (from the original formulation in the bill which was 1% of hourly rate per excess student)

Resource Persons Teacher Joy Martinez (ACT NCR Union Secretary) and Teacher Cristy Manalo (PPSTA Board Member)

Resource Persons Teacher Joy Martinez (ACT NCR Union Secretary) and Teacher Cristy Manalo (PPSTA Board Member)

The TWG will meet again on March 11.

Activities, Features, Headline »

[ 16 Feb 2015 | No Comment ]

I join the Honorable Senior Deputy Minority Leader [Bayan Muna] Congressman Neri Colmenares in condemning and denouncing the decision pertaining to the investigation into the Mamasapano encounter.

Mr. Speaker, malinaw na malinaw po ang kaisahan ng dalawang komite [House Committees on Public Safety and Order at Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity] na nag-imbestiga noong isang linggo na ipagpapatuloy bukas at sa Miyerkules ang mga hearing.  Totoo na naging magulo ang kondukta ng hearing dito sa House.  Pero totoo rin na sa kabila nito ay maraming mga mahahalagang impormasyon at mabibigat na tanong na dapat maitanong na lumabas sa hearing na iyon, lalong lalo na sa papel ni Presidente Aquino mismo sa pangyayari sa Mamasapano.

Isang nakabitin na tanong, Mr. Speaker, ay ang usapin ng pag-uusap ni General Purisima at ni Pangulong Aquino sa meeting nila sa Bahay Pangarap [noong January 9, 2015].  Pinatatanong ng komite kay General Purisima: Ano ba ang pinag-usapan ninyo ni Pangulong Aquino?  At kung matatandaan po ninyo, Mr. Speaker, binigyan ng komite si General Purisima ng hanggang bukas para ilinaw kay Pangulong Aquino kung mailalahad ba niya ang napag-usapan nila o magtatago sa executive privilege si Pangulong Aquino.

Mahahalagang tanong po iyan, Mr. Speaker, ngunit dahil kinansela ang hearing, hindi natin maririnig ang sagot.  Kaya ngayon, ang mga nakabiting tanong ay itatanong ko na nang diretso kay Pangulong Aquino–Pangulong Aquino, sasagutin mo ba ang mga tanong na ito, ilalahad mo ba ang buong impormasyon kaugnay sa iyong kapananagutan sa Mamasapano?  Ano ang mga pinag-usapan niyo ni General Purisima sa Bahay Pangarap?  Sasagutin mo ba ito, o magtatago ka sa executive privilege?

Hindi lang ito, hindi lang ang pagkakaturol sa papel at responsibilidad ni President Aquino ang nabitin ngayong natigil na ang nasabing House investigation.  Ngayon, nasa balita na, sa headline ng Philippine Daily Inquirer ang papel ng US dito sa operasyon sa Mamasapano.  “US behind Oplan Exodus”–Iyan po ang malinaw na report ng Philippine Daily Inquirer ngayon at ayon sa isang source na opisyal mismo ng SAF.  Ang opisyal na ito mismo ang nagkumpirma sa napakalalim na involvement ng US mismo sa operasyon sa Mamasapano, sa pagbigay ng intelligence information, sa paglabas ng pondo para mabili ang intelligence information, sa pag-command mismo ng operasyon.  Binanggit ang pangalan ng Amerikano, a certain Allan Konz, na nasa tactical command post daw sa Shariff Aguak at nagbibigay ng instructions sa mga tropa ng Special Action Force sa mga sandaling iyon.

Mr. Speaker, obligasyon ng Kongresong ito na alamin ang katotohan ng mga ulat na ito, Mr. Speaker.  Ngunit dahil sa desisyon ng pamunuan ng House, natigil ang imbestigasyon.  Tila binubusalan ang Kongresong ito.  Hindi po tayo makakapayag, dahil ang tanging nakikinabang dito ay ang Pangulong Aquino.

Malinaw po ang sinasabi ng Konstitusyon, na isang independent and co-equal branch ang Kongresong ito, ngunit bakit tila pumapayag ang institusyong ito na mabusalan ang pagsisikap natin na ilantad ang katotohanan hinggil sa partisipasyon ng US at panghihimasok sa mga internal na usapin, law enforcement operations sa ating bayan.  Bakit hinahadlangan na matunton ng Kongresong ito ang buong partisipasyon at responsibilidad ni Pangulong Aquino sa isang operasyon na nagdulot sa pagkamatay ng napakaraming Pilipino sa ngalan ng US war on terror?  Kaya kaisa po ako kay Representative Colmenares sa panawagan para ituloy ang imbestigasyon.

Maaraming salamat po. ###

Activities, Headline, House Bills »

[ 13 Feb 2015 | No Comment ]


13 February 2015

Reference: ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)

House author urges immediate issuance of rules for law exempting bonuses from tax

The principal author of the bill exempting bonuses from tax has lauded its signing into law by President Aquino and called for its immediate implementation.

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio, principal author of Republic Act 10653 in the House of Representatives, urged the Aquino administration, through its finance and tax chiefs, to immediately issue implementing rules for the new law, which increases the ceiling on tax-exempt bonuses from P30,000 to P82,000.

Tinio said that its benefits need to be felt by the people, especially low- and middle-income earners, as soon as possible.  He explained that the law will  “enable lower- and middle-income earners to take home to their families more of their hard-earned money.”

“We hope that the Department of Finance will not drag its feet in issuing the implementing rules,” said Tinio, noting that the DOF and Bureau of Internal Revenue had vehemently opposed the measure.

“The DOF and BIR should no longer complain about revenue loss.  There will be no revenue loss in the long run because we’ll only be giving the people more of the income that they rightfully earn, and in turn, they will have more to spend for their families.  Greater spending power for the majority of the people will be good for the economy as a whole.” #