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Solon hails signing into law of poll service reform law
Implement higher pay and legal protection for BEIs, COMELEC urged
ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio welcomed the signing of Republic Act 10756 or the Election Service Reform ACT (ESRA) by Pres. Aquino last April 8.
Tinio, the principal author of the law, challenged the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to immediately implement its provisions on non-compulsory election service for teachers, higher compensation package, improved benefits, and medical and legal assistance for election volunteers.
“This is a historic victory for public school teachers,” said Tinio, who first filed the bill in 2011.
“RA 10756 is dedicated to Filomena Tatlonghari, Nellie Banaag, and other teachers who gave their lives while protecting our votes,” said Tinio, referring to teachers who were killed in while serving as election workers in previous elections. “We successfully pushed for this law also in the name of countless teachers who face tremendous risks in the line of duty every election season.”
RA 10756, with the full title An Act Rendering Election Service Non-Compulsory for Public School Teachers, Authorizing the Appointment of Other Qualified Citizens, Providing for Compensation and Other Benefits, makes election service voluntary for public school teachers and other citizens, assures increased honoraria and allowances for poll workers, and mandates benefits such as medical and legal assistance, among others.
“We now urge COMELEC, DepEd, and other concerned agencies such as the Public Attorney’s Office to implement the law to its fullest extent in time for the 2016 elections, especially the higher compensation and various benefits for our BEIs, Department of Education (DepEd) supervisors, and support staff,” stressed Tinio.
Honoraria for BEI chairpersons and members are now P6,000 and P5,000, respectively (from P3,000 in 2013); P4,000 for DepEd supervisors (from P3,000); and P2,000 for support staff (from P1,500). These poll workers will also be given a travel allowance of P1,000 (from P500). Teachers shall also be entitled to service credits of five days (from three days) while other poll workers shall be granted leave credits of five days.
COMELEC is mandated to give to poll workers their honoraria and allowances not later than 15 days from May 9. Persons responsible for any delayed payment shall be liable for an election offense.
BEIs who died in the performance of election duties shall be granted P500,000 (from P200,000) while those who seek medical attention shall be entitled to such assistance as may be determined by COMELEC as sufficient for medical and hospitalization.
The law also gives poll workers the right to engage government and private lawyers should they be sued in connection to their poll duties, with costs reimbursable from COMELEC.
To guarantee the payment of all these benefits, COMELEC is tasked to establish a trust fund.###
Republic of the Philippines
Congress of the Philippines
Third Regular Session
Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-seventh day of July, two thousand fifteen.
[REPUBLIC ACT NO. 10743]
AN ACT DECLARING THE FIFTH DAY OF OCTOBER OF EVERY YEAR AS THE NATIONAL TEACHERS’ DAY
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
SECTION 1. National Teachers’ Day. – The fifth day of October of every year is hereby declared as the “National Teachers’ Day”.
To ensure a meaningful observance of this special working holiday, all heads of government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned and -controlled corporations especially those that are directly dealing with the teachers, including local government units, and employers in the private sector, shall encourage and afford sufficient time and opportunities for their employees to engage and participate in any activity conducted within the premises of their offices or establishments in celebration of the “National Teachers’ Day”.
SEC. 2. Lead Agency. – Pursuant to the observance of the National Teachers’ Day, the annual program of activities shall be prepared and implemented with the Department of Education as the lead agency.
SEC. 3. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect fifteen 15 days after its complete publication in theOfficial Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation, whichever comes earlier.
|(Sgd.) FELICIANO BELMONTE JR.
Speaker of the House
|(Sgd.) FRANKLIN M. DRILON
President of the Senate
Senate Bill No. 510, which was approved by the Senate on May 18, 2015, was adopted by the House of Representatives as an amendment to House Bill No. 4148 on November 25, 2015.
|(Sgd.) MARILYN B. BARUA-YAP
House of Representatives
|(Sgd.) OSCAR G. YABES
Secretary of the Senate
Approved: JAN 29 2016
(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines
Click this link to view the enacted laws (Republic Acts) and proposed legislative measures (House Bills) filed by ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio L. Tinio during the Second Regular Session of the 16th Congress (July 2014 to June 2015).
Please stand by for our legislative accomplishments during the First Regular Session of the 16th Congress (July 2013 to June 2014) and the status update of our other pending bills.
(Notes on the legislative process:
Republic Acts are already approved by both Senate and the House of Representatives then signed by the President. Other pending bills are those still languishing at the various committees to which they were referred, either not yet acted upon by the committee, still deliberated on by the committee, or approved by the committee but not yet deliberated on or approved by the entire House of Representatives.
Rep. Tinio either files our own bills or supports bills filed by other congressmen/women through co-authorship and/or arguing for their passage at the committee and plenary levels. We study the bills we file and fight for inside Congress to ensure that they serve the interests of the marginalized sectors of the people. On the other hand, we fight against the passage of laws that will further injure the people’s welfare.)
On March 5, 2015, Rep. Antonio Tinio filed House Bill 5533, entitled An Act Lowering the Optional Retirement Age of Public School Teachers from Sixty (60) Years Old to Fifty-Five (55) Years Old.
“Earlier retirement is one of the demands resoundingly voiced during formal and informal consultations with public school teachers conducted by this Representation. Teachers protest that, with the hazards and level of stress accompanying their duties, compulsory retirement at the late stage of 65 years old will not allow them to fully enjoy their retirement years. Teachers usually leave the profession not with satisfied smiles but assaulted by various illnesses; whatever retirement benefits they receive will be spent not for their rest or their own businesses but solely for medical bills.
“Teaching in our country’s public schools is indeed a challenging occupation, with duties claiming much from teachers not just physically, but emotionally and psychologically as well. The Philippines ranks among the countries with the most dismal statistics descriptive of teachers’ working conditions, with average pupil-teacher ratios from 31 students (primary level) to 39 students to each teacher (secondary level), and average class sizes of 42.4 (primary) and 43.7 (secondary). (UNESCO, 2012) Officially, instruction time is six hours each day, but actually goes up to more than eight including advisory loads. Teachers work in 40 out 54 weeks per year, but they have duties during vacation months, and beyond the classroom and even the school premises.
“Indeed, when compared to figures worldwide, it is harder to be a public school teacher in the Philippines than in most countries. However, teachers retire five years later in the Philippines than in most countries. Retirement age is 60 in most North American, European, and Asian countries.
“Respect and humane consideration demand that a person of 55 years—a few years shy of being a senior citizen—should not be required to perform the arduous functions expected of a public school teacher in the Philippines. At such stage of their lives, public school teachers should at least be given the choice if they wish to rest from the profession and enjoy more good and healthy years ahead.”
(From the Explanatory Note)
Rep. Tinio also chairs the Technical Working Committee that is currently finalizing other proposed legislation for lowered mandatory and optional retirement ages.