28 FEBRUARY–Despite the recent Supreme Court decision declaring all forms of pork–and the formal and informal practices in accessing it–unconstitutional, pork is still cooked and served among the President and legislators. Rep. Tinio today gave a presentation on how pork still exists contrary to peddled opinion by the Aquino administration.
The presentation detailed how P14.6 billion of presidential pork was created a few days after the SC decision was issued, through the enactment of R.A. 10634, or the Supplemental Budget 2013. Said law added P11.2 billion to the Calamity Fund and P4.4 billion to DSWD’s Quick Response Fund, both under the 2013 budget. Congress enacted the P14.6-billion augmentation as a huge lump sum under the discretion of the President, without the benefit of an itemized proposal or details on what projects will be funded, as per required by law.
The presentation also revealed where the barrels of illicit pork for Members of the House and Senators are hidden in the 2014 budget. Rep. Tinio detailed some of the formal and informal practices in accessing either “House Pork” or “Senate Pork.”
Other speakers at the forum were former National Treasurer Leonor “Liling” Briones and BAYAN Secretary General Renato Reyes, Jr., who gave briefs on the 2014 budget and on the Disbursement Acceleration Program, respectively.
Click here for the presentation.
Read InterAksyon.com‘s “PORK ALIVE & KICKING? Solons told to go paperless when requesting for projects”
25 FEBRUARY 2014–ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio today presented to the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms an unnumbered substitute bill for the Election Service Reform Act of 2014. This is the product of the Technical Working Group he headed to consolidate several bills including our House Bill 444. Members of the TWG included the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (through Secretary General Ms. France Castro) and the QC Public School Teachers Association (through President Dr. Priscilla Ampuan).
If enacted, the measure will lighten the burden of public school teachers who have long clamored for release from the often dangerous mandatory election service.
Salient provisions of the bill:
1. Section 4. Refusal from rendering election service on grounds such as health, age, or security concerns
2. Section 5. Honoraria of P6,000 for BEI Chair, P5,000 for BEI members, P4,000 for DepEd Supervisor, and P2,000 for support staff; travel allowance of P1,000; review of the amounts by COMELEC every 3 years
3. Section 6. Death benefis and medical assistance
4. Section 7. Legal assistance
5. Section 8. Indemnification
6. Section 9. Establishment and administration of a special trust fund for medical assistance, death benefits, legal assistance, and indemnification
The TWG will have another meeting to fine-tune a few provisions, after which the Committee will approve it to elevate it to the Lower House as a whole for approval on Second and Third Reading.
Click here to read the full text of the substitute bill for the Election Service Reform Act of 2014 (as of Feb. 24, 2014). ###
Bulacan State University’s part-time faculty far outnumber its regular faculty by 746 to nearly 200. While the ratio of full-timers to part-timers in all 110 state universities and colleges nationwide is 80% to 20%, the reverse holds true in BulSU. The non-tenured faculty are hired through “contracts of service” which declare the non-existence of an employer-employee relationship between them and the University (in other words, they are not government employees).
This translates to inadequate yet delayed salaries, lack of social security benefits such as GSIS, and a denial of full union rights, among others–despite the reality that the part-timers have the same teaching load as their regular counterparts. This goes on year in and year out, as they are rehired as part-timers, under the same contracts of service with the same terms and conditions. Benefits such as the 13th month pay previously granted by the University administration were disallowed by the Commission on Audit.
This sad plight of “permanent part-timers” exists, in varying degrees, in other SUCs throughout the country, due to the government’s decades-long policy of a freeze in the hiring of faculty in SUCs notwithstanding the annually increasing demand caused by higher enrollment. The past and current administrations choose to exploit thousands of professionals for their teaching services for the sake of “austerity” and greater reliance on privately-provided education.
Since its first term in Congress, ACT Teachers Party-List, through Rep. Tinio, has been struggling for the regularization of faculty in SUCs. Rep. Tinio filed HB 442, An Act Prohibiting the Hiring of Teachers in the Public Sector through Contracts of Service and Job Orders. He also succeeded, since 2012, in introducing a law mandating SUCs to give priority to qualified contractual and part-time faculty in hiring and filling up of new teaching items. He steadfastly argued, during budget deliberations, against the said freeze hiring and for the creation of sufficient new teaching items for SUCs, salary increases for teaching and non-teaching personnel, the abolition of presidential and congressional pork and the realignment of these funds to basic social services including education, and others.
In the coming weeks, and in advance of the budget deliberations of Congress, ACT Teachers, in cooperation with BulSU faculty and those in other SUCs, will be bringing these issues to the Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Budget and Management, through dialogues with Chairperson Patricia Licuanan and Secretary Florencio Abad.
Click here for related bills: