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[ 5 Sep 2017 | Comments Off on Solon scores reduction in Performance-Based Bonus for government employees ]

PRESS RELEASE

05 September 2017

ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio scored the decrease in the funding for Performance-Based Bonuses (PBB) given to government employees at the plenary debates Monday for the 2018 budget of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). From P16 Billion in the 2017 General Appropriations Act, funding for PBB will go down to P11 Billion under the 2018 General Appropriations Bill.

The decrease is due to the issuance of DBM Memorandum Circular No. 2017-1, or the “Guidelines for the Grant of Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) for Fiscal Year 2017 under Executive Order No. 80, s. 2012 and Executive Order No. 201, s. 2016.” The guidelines reduced the PBB starting 2017 to a range of 50% of the employee’s salary up to 65%. The benefit was a range of 1 month salary up to 2 months salary of the employee per Executive Orders 80 and 201.

“Can a mere Memorandum Circular of the DBM supersede an Executive Order issued by the President? We say that it cannot. This drastic reduction of the PBB therefore has a very questionable legal basis,” stressed Tinio. “Second, I raise this issue because this results to a diminution of a benefit already given to and relied upon by many government employees.”

The solon cited as example a government employee receiving Salary Grade 1, the minimum pay grade in government. “Ano ang maasahan ng ay pinakamababang sweldo sa gubyerno, yung mga nasa Salary Grade 1 o around P10,000 kada buwan? Magkano na ngayon ang maasahan nila? E dapat sana from P10,000 to P20,000 na PBB. Dahil sa memorandum, P5,000 na lang to P6,500.”

The solon stressed that they actually are against a system of performance-based incentives including the PBB for being divisive and discriminatory and because it is not given to all employees, among other reasons. However, government should not take away the benefits of government employees especially those receiving meager salaries.

Rep. Karlo Nograles, House appropriations chair and sponsor of the budget bill, said that DBM is currently evaluating whether or not the PBB is effective and should be discontinued or enhanced.

“Kung ang layunin ng DBM ay i-abolish na ang PBB dahil hindi lahat ay nakikinabang dito at para magbigay-daan sa isang sistema ng benepisyo na tunay na pakikinabangan ng lahat, siyempre susuportahan po natin yan,” Tinio answered. “However, tutol po tayo sa malaking pagbawas ng benepisyo ng PBB para sa kasalukuyang taon, 2017 at para sa susunod na taon. Ibig sabihin nito, sa halip na mas marami ang makinabang sa susunod na taon ay lalo pang mababawasan ang benepisyong ito.”

The solon ended by urging the DBM to follow what is provided by EOs 80 and 201 and not drastically reduce the PBB. He also called upon the Committee on Appropriations and Congress to listen to the demands of government employees for salary increase and a better incentive system that will cater every government employee without being divisive and discriminatory. ###

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[ 30 Aug 2017 | Comments Off on ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio on the proposed national ID system ]

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio on the proposed national ID system:

The proposed national ID system, currently being deliberated in Congress as one of the priority measures of the Duterte administration, will move the Philippines one step closer to becoming a police state.

House Bill 6221 mandates the establishment of a Filipino Identification System (to be known as FilSys) and requires all Filipino citizens to provide personal information to the government in exchange for the so-called Filipino ID Card.

Proponents of FilSys in Malacañang and Congress claim that the national ID system is intended mainly to facilitate public and private transactions and the delivery of public services.

What they fail to mention is that the proposed legislation empowers the government to collect and retain from each and every Filipino citizen their personal information of unprecedented scope and intrusiveness. The information includes, not just the basic personal data (name, birthdate, address, etc.), but also “sensitive personal information,” including biometrics, “race or ethnic origin, marital status, age, color [sic], and religious, philosophical or political affiliations;” “current health, education and genetic records;” and “record of any proceeding on any offense committed or alleged to have been committed.”

This proposed legislation will grossly undermine the right to privacy, (defined as “the right to be left alone”), and give the government a powerful tool of surveillance, control, and repression over all citizens.

Given the deteriorating human rights situation under the Duterte administration, the proliferation of extrajudicial killings, martial law in Mindanao, and total war in the countryside, we will vigorously oppose the passage of the national ID bill and urge the public to do the same. #

 

AT ML

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[ 29 Aug 2017 | Comments Off on Duterte’s accusations against Taguiwalo baseless, malicious -solons ]

PRESS RELEASE

29 August 2017

 

ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio and France Castro scored President Duterte who recently said that bulk of the money from Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps was given to the New People’s Army (NPA).

 

“President Duterte is only covering up his own refusal to stand by Judy in the Commission on Appointments, the reforms she started in the DSWD, and her progressive stance against pork, patronage, and anti-poor new taxes.  At the same time, he is spreading lies and malicious accusations against one who, up to her rejection by the CA, had been one of the few rays of hope that the poor and marginalized had in his cabinet,” said Tinio. “This refusal shows his insincerity in ridding the country of corruption and poverty.  He will eventually fail to deliver his promises of change.”

 

“We challenge him to substantiate with hard evidence his claims that the DSWD under former Secretary Taguiwalo gave Pantawid funds for the NPA,” added Castro.  “We also demand that he retract these insinuations immediately.”

 

The solons noted that Duterte, as President and long-time local government official, should know that funds for 4Ps are directly coursed through the Landbank and its conduits which directly pay the Pantawid beneficiaries themselves. These transactions are recorded and COA regularly audits this program.

 

“This is also an effort to demonize the progressive people’s movement where Judy comes from and fully dedicates her work to.  Sadly, the President’s line echoes the military’s line which maliciously tags progressives as rebel supporters or NPAs themselves,” ended the solons.  “This is dangerous as it fuels the targeting by the fascist military and state agents of activists who raise and struggle for the legitimate issues of the people as so-called ‘enemies of the state’.” ##

judy

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[ 23 Aug 2017 | Comments Off on Rep. Castro on the DepEd’s mandatory drug testing of central and regional office employees and on a survey questionnaire of a private organization being distributed in public schools via DepEd ]

Interpellation of ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro on the 2018 DepEd budget
22 August 2017

On DepEd’s mandatory drug testing of central and regional office employees

— Castro noted that Secretary Briones issued DepEd Order 37, series of 2017 directing a “mandatory, random and suspicionless drug testing of all incumbent officials and employees in the Central, Regional and Division Offices”

— However, the solon said that subjecting all employees to a drug test goes beyond the law, citing Section 36 (d), Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, which stresses the randomness of the procedure: “Officers and employees of public and private offices, whether domestic or overseas, shall be subjected to undergo a random drug test as contained in the company’s work rules and regulations, which shall be borne by the employer, for purposes of reducing the risk in the workplace.”

— She also underscored fears that drug testing of a random sample of 60,000 junior and senior high school students as directed by the secretary’s DepEd Order 40 will be used to give way for tokhang in schools and tokhang involving students.  “How can the Department assure the public that any data will be handled with the highest confidentiality and not end up used for tokhang which has already claimed the lives of thousands including minors like 5-year-old Danica Garcia last year and 17-year-old Kian De los Santos just recently?  How can the Department assure that any student who tested positive will be in no way treated as a criminal?”

— “Sa mga nangyayari ngayon, nakikita natin na wala nang halaga ang due process—mapagkamalan ka lang, i-nguso ka lang, patay na.  Kaya takot tayo, ang mga magulang, estudyante, komunidad, na dahil sa drug testing na ito, mas marami pang mamamatay sa so-called war on drugs ng administrasyon.”

On the funding for the non-monetary benefits of teachers under collective negotiation agreements with the DepEd

— “Tatlo na po ang unyon na may CNAs with their respective Regional Offices of the DepEd, namely, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) National Capital Region Union, ACT Region VI Union, and ACT Region XI.  May mga nakapaloob na non-monetary benefits sa CNAs na ito na sa tingin natin ay kailangan sa ating mga eskwelahan kaya karapat-dapat na mapondohan.”

— Castro enumerated these benefits which the DepEd through the ROs agreed to provide in the schools within their respective jurisdictions: “Halimbawa po, yung internet connection, office supplies, bulletin boards, faculty rooms, water and water dispenser, first aid kits, lapel microphones, plaques of appreciation for retirees, annual medical and dental examinations, sports programs, and legal service.  Kung ito-total po natin itong mga napagkasunduan sa tatlong rehiyon, aabot sa mga P1.1 bilyon.  Agree po ba ang ating Secretary na makagawa ng solusyon para mapondohan sa 2018 itong non-monetary benefits na ito?”

 

— The Secretary did not give a reply to said question.

On a survey questionnaire of a private organization being distributed in public schools via DepEd

— Castro raised to the attention of Secretary Briones her Department Order 66, series of 2017 (dated April 6) which directs the dissemination and filling up of a survey form with obvious positions against the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, for a ceasefire and against the forging of negotiated peace settlements such as the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) sought by the peace talks, and favoring constitutional amendments.

— The following are the questions in the survey form:

1. Sang-ayon po ba kayo na permanente nang itigil ang labanan sa pagitan ng mga sundalo ng gobyerno at ng mga armadong rebolusyonaryo para mailaan na ang bilyon-bilyong pisong pondo na nauubos sa giyera ng mga Filipino laban sa kapwa

Filipino para magamit natin ito sa higit na makabuluhang mga serbisyo–publiko tulad ng edukasyon, kalusugan, pabahay, pagsugpo ng kahirapan, pagpapalakas ng kababaihan, pagpapa-unlad ng kanayunan, depensang panglabas at iba pa?

2. Sang-ayon po ba kayo na dito na sa Pilipinas ipagpatuloy ang peace talks imbes na sa ibang bansa at gawing hayagan at partisipatibo ang proseso nito para makalahok ang lahat ng sektor ng Sambayanang Filipino at ang mga mambabatas natin sa pagbalangkas, pagpapa-apruba at pagpapatupad ng mga kasunduan?

3. Sang-ayon po ba kayo na amyendahan na sa lalong madaling panahon ang mga probisyon ng konstitusyon at mga batas na balakid at hadlang sa pagsasakatuparan ng mga kasunduan at mapagkakasunduan sa pagitan ng gobyerno at ng mga armadong rebolusyonaryo?

— The memorandum, signed by Briones, also directed several “peace activities” and created a body between DepEd and Yes for Peace-Bayanihan sa Bayan, a private organization with a campaign for the above positions.

— The solon noted that the questions, which are asked of students in Grades 4 to 11, are obviously leading, misleading and miseducating, and will be used to legitimize the organization’s positions.  “Kailangan nating isapubliko ang ating posisyon na ang ganitong mga issuance ay dapat ibasura.”

— The Secretary said that they are not aware of the memorandum but promised to remove it “if it exists.”  (see attached screenshot below)

peace memo survey