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.
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Not even a supertyphoon can stop her from teaching.
When Ma’am Maria Luz Buclatan reached out, after surviving Yolanda, through the survivors page of online news network Rappler, her only wish was to return to her students at Commonwealth Elementary School, QC. The disaster left her with neither opportunity nor means to get back by C-130 or commercial plane.
ACT Teachers national and local staff quickly got in touch with the maestra, and arranged for her to be able to leave Tacloban as soon as her brother’s condition enables them to travel. He was hospitalized due to an accident after the typhoon.
Maestra Maria Luz, 59, is a Teacher III with 23 years of teaching in her belt. Also a Girl Scout District Coordinator, she was in Dulag on family matters when Typhoon Yolanda struck the provinces of Leyte and Samar.
Our deepest thanks to Rappler. (Here’s how you can help bridge the gap between someone searching for their family in the affected areas or a survivor trying to reach out.)
BALSA ACT also continues its relief efforts, both at the National Headquarters of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers in Vasra, Q.C., and at our Teachers’ Building at Tacloban, which now functions as center of relief efforts for Eastern Visayas by ACT and local progressive organizations. Regional coordinator, Dr. Efleda Bautista, herself a Yolanda survivor, oversees operations there.
BALSA ACT, with the networks of Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan (BALSA), Tulong Kabataan, Citizens Disaster Response Center, and other organizations, has released directly to the ravaged towns of Samar, Leyte, Cebu, and other areas around 1,000 food packs as well as mission, including medical teams, to aid in the relief effort. ###
By: Rachel C. Barawid, Sara Grace C. Fojas, Ronald S. Lim and Ina Hernando-Malipot
“Hindi natapos ‘yung role ko as a teacher. Kahit tumigil ako ng pagtuturo sa mga eskuwelahan eh nagpapatuloy pa rin ang ‘pag gampan ko sa papel bilang guro.”
(Photo credit: KJ Rosales and Manila Bulletin)
Every day, we hear stories of teachers sacrificing and risking their lives for their students, and even going beyond their duty in the classroom to quietly serve their communities.
Indeed, teaching is the noblest of professions. Certainly, behind every doctor, engineer, lawyer, architect, journalist, public official, and world leader is a brilliant teacher who continues to shape future generations with passion and dedication.
In the country though, we seldom hear of teachers being appreciated and justly compensated for their hard work and immeasurable contributions. But thanks to efforts being initiated by teacher groups such as the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and ACT Teachers Party-List, the plight and needs of the Filipino teachers are slowly being addressed.
At the forefront of championing teachers’ rights and welfare is ACT Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio. A former instructor at the Department of English and Comparative Literature and at the Department of Filipino of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Tinio knows too well the predicament of public school teachers and the state of the Philippine education system.
Even before he became a public official, Tinio has already been advocating for the rights and needs of teachers and education workers as well as for the people’s right to quality public education. In 1994, he helped establish the Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy, a national organization committed to the struggle for genuine sovereignty and democracy in the Philippines. Later, he served as National Campaign coordinator and chairperson of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), the largest non-traditional organization of teachers and education workers in the country.
Tinio was among those instrumental in the increase of teachers’ salaries by P9,000, and in pushing for greater government subsidies for education. In Congress, he continues to serve as the voice of the teachers — filing bills and resolutions for their promotion and protection, including substantial salary increases and adequate benefits, refund of illegal deductions made by the Government Service Insurance System, and their regularization, among others.
While majority of his programs and bills are on education, the solon is just as passionate in fighting for corruption and pushing for national reforms. Tinio brings an educator’s perspective in the House Committees on Agrarian Reform, Appropriations, Banks and Financial Intermediaries, Foreign Affairs, Government Enterprises and Privatization, Government Reorganization, Information and Communications Technology, Public Information Rules, Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, and Women and Gender Equality.
In this 60 Minutes interview, we didn’t only get to hear Congressman Tinio’s apprehensions about the K to 12 Law and his stand on the many issues and challenges in the education sector, but we also saw how he has become the teachers’ shining symbol of hope and inspiration.
Read the full feature article from the Manila Bulletin here.
To all ACT Teachers and Alliance of Concerned Teachers members and concerned citizens,
Our Yolanda-stricken kababayans are in dire need of the following items: rice, cooking oil, salt, sugar, mongo, dried fish, biscuits, and sardines. You can drop them at the National Headquarters of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Mines cor. Dipolog Streets, Barangay Vasra, Quezon City (4539116 or 4262238). For pick-up of donations, please contact Zeni (09174998608 09198198903) or Kris (09155719601). Task Force BALSA ACT is also calling for volunteers to help with the repacking goods.
Waray bayaay ha aton mga kababayan! Damo nga salamat!