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[ 7 May 2015 | One Comment ]

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.

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[ 6 May 2015 | 19 Comments ]

Rep. Tinio today filed House Bill 5735, or the “Student Discipline and Teacher Protection Act.”

“While child protection is indispensable, teacher protection is also a must. To this end, this bill seeks to lay down institutionalized support mechanisms for teachers and school personnel in matters of classroom management and student discipline. The first is a mandate n DepEd to issue and implement a student manual. DepEd is also proposed to provide pre-service and in-service training for DepEd personnel on child behavior and psychology, classroom management techniques, positive discipline, and other related fields.

“Also proposed are measures to protect teachers and school personnel in cases related to student discipline and classroom management, including legal assistance and representation by counsel and union representatives. Furthermore, confidentiality of proceedings and the identity of all parties are directed.”

(From the Explanatory Note)

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[ 13 Feb 2015 | No Comment ]

PRESS RELEASE

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.” #

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[ 4 Feb 2015 | No Comment ]

PRIVILEGE SPEECH

REP. ANTONIO L. TINIO

ON THE FILIPINO-AMERICAN WAR AND US AGGRESSION AND INTERVENTION

4 FEBRUARY 2015

 

One hundred and sixteen years ago today, the Filipino people began their revolutionary struggle against US imperialism with the outbreak of the Filipino-American War.  On February 4, 1899, patrolling American troops in Sociego Street, Sta. Mesa, Manila provoked the formal start of hostilities by firing at Filipino soldiers, thus stealing the independence hard-won, after three centuries under Spanish colonial rule, by Filipinos led by the revolutionary Katipunan.

The years spanning the Filipino-American War are one of the most terrible stretches of time in our history, but also one that bore witness to the burning and defiant patriotism that drove the masses to continue fighting for their independence despite overwhelming odds—a patriotism still burning to this day.

Some historical treatises estimate that over 5,000 battles raged across the country in the duration of the Filipino-American War.  American official estimates after only two years of fighting stood at 600,000 Filipino casualties in Luzon alone.  Two years later, this count reached nearly a million Filipinos dead due to combat and the after-effects of the Americans’ deliberate strategy of dislocation and destruction.  Only 15,000 to 20,000 of these casualties were combatants.

In other words, American aggression over a century ago killed more Filipinos in just the first three years of their war of conquest and occupation than in the preceding three centuries of Spanish colonial rule.  It murdered over 15% of the population of eight million in just the first five years.

Hundreds of thousands more would be killed in subsequent battles and as a result of the waves of “pacification campaigns” in Luzon and the Visayas from 1904 onwards.  A further 100,000 of our Muslim brothers and sisters in Mindanao would be killed in their resistance from 1903 to 1913.

I could go on and list the atrocities committed against the Filipino people during the 17 years of the Filipino-American War just to elaborate the depth of the barbarity of American occupation and to illustrate how far US imperialism went to crush the nationalist resolve of Filipinos.  But the massacres ordered by military and civilian officials on Filipino guerillas and non-combatants alike, the water cure, reconcentration, and scorched earth tactics, and such other war crimes are all well-documented, even by US congressional records.

Consequently, its accountability for reparation to the Filipino people, which covers apology, acknowledgment of the facts, and acceptance of responsibility, is well-grounded under international law.

I have filed House Resolution 130 in this Congress demanding from the US government an apology for the atrocities committed by its military forces against the Filipino people during the Filipino-American War and the imposition of US colonial rule.  It cites the urgency and necessity for such acknowledgment in light of the Aquino administration’s initiatives to expand the presence of US military forces and facilities on Philippine soil.

I also filed House Bill 448 which seeks to declare today, February 4, as a special working holiday commemorating the “Philippine-American War Day” or “Araw ng Digmaang Pilipino-Amerikano.”  I noted there that “remembrance of the patriotism and self-sacrifice of our heroes and martyrs will reconcile us with our past, clarify our present, and point our way to the future.”

We honor today the Filipino patriotism, struggle, and resilience against American aggression, not just during the long years of the Filipino-American War but also thereafter.  Our history teaches us that American imperialism, which was bent during the 19th century on expanding its economic and military might by dominating the territorial spoils of Spain, has never left our land even after it “ended” its occupation.  It has persisted until now, and even seeks to further entrench itself in the name of political, military, and economic positioning and domination.  We see this in the Aquino administration’s agreement known as the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.  We see this even now in the hand of the US military in the Mamasapano operation.

But history also teaches us—as in any war, those who deem themselves oppressed and dominated, especially a people with a revolutionary legacy such as ours, will not lay idly down, but will definitely fight back.

I give this speech to commemorate our ancestors who fought gallantly, heroically over a century ago for Philippine independence, for a truly independent Filipino nation against US imperialism.  We owe to their memory to keep the struggle for genuine independence alive.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.