Pagbati sa lahat ng mga guro ngayong National Teachers Month at sa World Teachers Day mula sa ACT Teachers Party-List!
Patuloy nating ipaglaban ang mga karapatan ng bawat guro at ng mamamayan!
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Rep. Castro: “Sa bahagi ng ACT Teachers Party-List, tingin namin na ang panukala ng DOF na tax reform ay anti-teacher, anti-people. Tatanggalan nito ng VAT exemption unang-una ay ang mga senior citizen at mga PWD kaya mariin naming tinututulan ang panukalang ito. Isa pa, tama si Speaker na walang binanggit na solusyon sa inefficiency sa tax collection.”
Rep. Zarate: “Tayo sa Bayan Muna, author ng HB333, ay mariing tumututol sa panukala ng DOF. Napaka-arbitrary ng pagdedesisyon na kumikita ng bababa sa P250,000 lamang ang exempted sa pagbubuwis. Saan nagmumula ang posisyong ito? Samantalang ang cost of living ng isang pamilya (sa loob ng isang taon) ay mahigit P300,000 na. Bilang karagdagan pa, sa pakete ng DOF, binabaan nga nila ang income tax pero nag-impose naman ng excise tax. Matagal nang pinag-uusapan ang added tax sa sigarilyo, inumin pero huwag sa diesel at gasolina dahil domino effect ang mangyayari ‘pag nadagdagan ang diesel ng P6. Cascade effect yan sa mamamayan. Read more…
I. DLL. Rep. Castro asked for updates on the teachers’ concerns regarding the Daily Lesson Log.
- DepEd’s Response: They are presently conducting a comprehensive study of the issue.
II. Admin and Clerical Tasks. Rep. Castro asked for the issuance of guidelines and memoranda to remove all administrative and clerical tasks assigned to teachers which are not teaching-related in order for our teachers to focus in in providing quality education.
- DepEd’s Response: They had already created non-teaching items in certain divisions and districts to answer this concern of the teachers. These non-teaching items will form part of the support items that will be in charge of the programs and projects mentioned. This is to prevent giving additional load or to give additional tasks to our teachers. The guidelines will be issued after all items are created. Said items will form part of this proposed 2017 budget.
III. Lack of Substitute Teachers. Rep Castro reiterated her concern over the lack of employed substitute teachers . She asked for the utilization of the 2015-2016 budget for the allotted for the employment of substitute teachers.
- DepEd’s Response: There are items in the budget for substitute teachers lodged under the Elementary School and High School budget. In fact, the 2015 budget has 2.1 billion allocation intended for the payment of the substitute teachers and in 2017, DepEd proposed 2.4 billion for the payment of the substitute teachers. In their record, there is 65% allocation that is being utilized for the substitute teacher in 2015 however 35% is not being utilized because it varies one region to another it reflects that some regions have different needs with another region.
Rep. Castro then asked for a copy of the utilization report for further investigation of the unutilized fund.
Rep. Castro called for the issuance of guidelines to ensure that substitute teachers are hired in place of teachers on their maternity leave.
IV. Agency Fee. Rep. Castro asked for updates regarding the issuance of the Memo on the Agency fee of the ACT-NCR Union.
- DepEd’s response: They are finalizing the memo and will be releasing it on Friday, September 30, 2016.
V. Disallowance of ALS Teachers’ Allowances. Rep.Castro raised the issue of the inconsistency of the DepEd Memo Order No. 59 which provides for the honorarium and transportation allowance for the mobile teachers with the COA Memorandum.
- DepEd’s response: Their Under Secretary for Legal Affairs said that they will meet the stakeholders concerned today, September 28, 2016 regarding this issue.
VI. Unpaid Salaries. Rep. France Castro raised the issue of the 131 newly-hired teachers in the Division of Pasig who had been deprived of their May 15-30, 2013 salaries.
- DepEd’s response: DepEd central office has raised this issue to the prinicipla and the payment is now being processed.
ON SALARY INCREASE FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS AND ALL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
- On top of the P63.24 billion already embedded in the PS of agencies for the salary increase of their respective personnel, there is a P39.59 billion Lump Sum for Compensation Adjustment of military and uniformed personnel. In all, over P103 billion salary increase. The P63.24 billion implements the second tranche of EO 201.
- However, Rep. Tinio reiterated the widespread sentiment of government employees—public school teachers, nurses, utility personnel, and others—that the increases in EO 201 are insufficient. For ordinary employees, salary increases amount to around only P500 per month before tax.
- Tinio stressed that if the administration wants to give additional salary increases, it must be approved by Congress as a law that will amend the Salary Standardization Law 3. DBM reported that there is already a draft Joint Resolution submitted to President Duterte for his signature. This will supersede EO 201.
- Tinio said that he hopes that the administration will consider (1) the said sentiment and grant salary increases for government employees greater than those granted under EO 201 and (2) that teachers, non-teaching personnel, nurses, and other government employees, like soldiers and police, also deserve substantial salary increases.
ON CONTRACTUALIZATION AND ENDO IN GOVERNMENT
- Tinio reminded DBM and Congress in plenary of the rampant abuse, if not outright violation, by government agencies of the laws and rules limiting the hiring of personnel on job orders and contracts of service, which can only be done for tasks that cannot be performed by regular personnel and not for regular functions of the agencies. Personnel hired under JOs and COSs have reached 595,162 in 2016, from 337,948 in 2014, or nearly double in just 2 years.
- He cited DOH, which hired 10,469 doctors, nurses, midwives, medical technologists, dentists, and other health personnel (48% of total workforce, as of 2015)—persons implementing the regular programs of DOH but are paid as low as P14,931, who are not considered as government employees and without benefits and security of tenure. Also cited is the practice of DSWD which hired 14,975 JOs and COSs, or 55% of its total workforce, and the thousands of professors who have spent the best years of their academic lives in state universities and colleges as JOs.
- Tinio scored the dereliction of government in protecting these thousands of workers in government by (1) issuing policy regulations that further limit the practice of hiring on JOs an COSs and (2) implementing policies already in place (like as the CSC Omnibus Rules on Appointments and Other Personnel Actions).
- Tinio urged the adoption by Congress of provisions in the budget law of General Provisions that will regulate the hiring by agencies on JOs and COSs. He vowed that he will propose amendments to this effect at the proper time (period of amendments).
- He also argued for the creation of new items that will pave the way for the regularization of these personnel, like what happened recently for SUCs through the creation of teaching positions in the 2016 budget—granted after a campaign in the sector and his efforts during past budget deliberations.
ON BUDGET CUTS IN URGENT SOCIAL SERVICES
- He also relayed that because he raised the issue of budget cuts, DepEd committed to increase some of these programs to about P800 million but this amount will have to be taken from other programs in DepEd due to legal restrictions. Essentially, budget cuts for needed services will result from the mechanical adoption by DBM of a formula. Kulang na nga, babawasan pa.
- He cited DepEd Undersecretary for Finance’s response during the pre-plenary conference that this was due to the DBM’s budget planning process: it mandated agencies to use their 2015 budgets, adjust them to inflation, then use the product as the 2017 budget proposal. Rep. Tinio said that this formula has resulted to undue and reprehensible budget cuts for services urgently needed by the people, like education.
- Tinio slammed the P2.635-billion cuts in MOOE for certain DepEd programs, projects, and activities, including Textbooks/Instructional Materials, Basic Education Madrasah Program, Basic Education Curriculum, Indigenous Peoples Education Program, Support to Multi-grade Schools, Every Child A Reader Program, Physical fitness and school sports competitions, including “Palarong Pambansa,” National Science Teaching Instrumentation, and Special Education for Persons with Disability.
- Tinio also scored the P1.5-million cuts in the MOOE of public hospitals, which the Makabayan bloc already criticized in the early days of the 2017 budget deliberations. He stressed that the motive behind this is to force public hospitals to recover lost budgets by charging fees from patients. This is an unacceptable policy of privatization of health services, which should be free if not accessible especially for poor Filipinos.