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[ 21 Aug 2015 | No Comment ]



Alamin ang resulta ng pakikipagdiyalogo ng Alliance of Concernced Teachers (ACT) sa DBM sa usapin ng PBB, PEI at salary increase sa 2016 sa pakikiisa ng mahigit 400  miyembro ng ACT mula sa Maynila, Quezon City at iba pang lugar.

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[ 13 Aug 2015 | No Comment ]

May maaasahan ba tayong salary increase sa 2016? Panuorin si ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio sa kanyang pagtatanong sa DBM tungkol sa proposed budget sa 2016.

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[ 13 Aug 2015 | No Comment ]


12 August 2015
Reference: ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)

Government workers on job orders (JOs) and contracts of service (COSs) grew by 64% in just two years, ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio L. Tinio revealed, resulting in gross violations of labor rights and heightened politicization of the civil service.

At the hearings for the 2016 CSC and COA budgets, Tinio expressed alarm that the practice of hiring ofJOs and COSs has become rampant under Aquino’s watch.  Per CSC data, job order workers ballooned to 337,948 in 2014 from 206,120 in 2012, or a 64% increase in just two years. The lawmaker noted that they now comprise 20% of the country’s 1.7 million government work force. He added that such contractual workers may be found in national government agencies, government-owned and -controlled corporations, and state universities and colleges, as well as local government units, and include public school teachers, college professors, and doctors and nurses in public hospitals.

He scored the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and Commission on Audit (COA) for failing to to issue rules and guidelines on the hiring of contractual personnel. “Their failure to issue such guidelines has enabled both the national and local governments to turn to highly exploitative contractual labor arrangements for their staffing needs, undermining the very essence of a professional civil service.”

“These civil servants perform the duties of regular employees but have no employer-employee relationship with government, have no security of tenure, and are paid far less than their regular counterparts,” lamented Tinio.  “They serve the public everyday without social security benefits like GSIS, without the assurance that they will still have work tomorrow or the following month.”

“We are much alarmed that, in just two years, the Aquino administration more than doubled the number of state workers under exploited conditions.  With this practice, it created a civil service made up not of adequately paid professionals but of individuals serving at the pleasure of politicians and agency heads.”

“The practice of hiring on contractuals has resulted in the further entrenchment of patronage politics and corrupt practices such as the proliferation of ghost employees in government offices,” stressed Tinio.

Tinio said that government is failing in its constitutional mandate to protect the labor rights of government workers and to ensure a civil service insulated from politics.

Tinio called on the CSC and COA to immediately issue guidelines to limit the use of job orders and contracts of service by government offices. “This should include a clear prohibition on the use of job orders to hire personnel who will be performing the duties of regular employees.”

Tinio added that he will argue for more funds for the creation of new positions, on top of the 87,000 already set aside in the 2016 budget. ###

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[ 11 Aug 2015 | No Comment ]

11 August 2015
Reference: ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)

Issues raised by ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio at the 2016 budget presentation, 10 August 2015

1.       Salary increases for government employees

“The Aquino administration should no longer drag its heels in effecting a new round of salary increases for around 1.4 million employees in government,” said Tinio.  “Going by the mandate in SSL 3, it is already delayed by in granting pay hikes to government workers and giving economic relief especially to low- and middle-level employees.”

Section 1 (e) of the current Salary Standardization Law 3 (SSL 3) mandates a review of the pay structure for government workers “every three (3) years, taking into account…the possible erosion in the purchasing power due to inflation, and other factors.”  This means that Aquino should have come up with a new pay structure and granted pay hikes three years after the implementation of SSL3, or this year.

Tinio noted that, while there is a P50.664 Billion in the 2016 budget under the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund for “Lump Sum for Compensation Adjustment,” the Aquino administration still has not presented to Congress its concrete proposal for a new compensation structure to replace the SSL 3.

Upon Tinio’s inquiry, Secretary Florencio Abad said that the administration will present its “executive proposal” for a revised Salary Standardization Law but the budget chief failed to say categorically when this will happen.

Considering that the Aquino government should have granted pay hikes this year, Tinio added that any pay hikes should be implemented beginning January 2016 and not in July, as usually done in the past salary adjustments.

2.       Tax relief

Tinio also urged the immediate passage of a bill to lessen income taxes especially for low- and middle-income earners, but opposed strongly a 14% VAT, which the Aquino administration is considering to offset the effects of lower revenues.

“Sadly, we did not hear any resounding support for income tax reform from the finance and budget managers of the Aquino administration, despite the people’s dire need for immediate and substantial income tax relief.  Here we are talking about possible salary increases but in case there will be any, it will not be felt by the people.  Their additional income will only be eaten up by higher taxes anyway.”

Members of the Aquino cabinet before Congress did not give any assurance that income tax reforms will be instituted before Aquino’s term ends.  Said Abad, “I have not been in a formal discussion in the cabinet where the CTRP [comprehensive tax reform program] has been discussed.  In fact, the only opportunity was cancelled.”

Abad was quoted in media reports saying, “I don’t know if President Aquino will approve it because it will be difficult to talk about taxes during an election season.”

3.       Congressional insertions in the 2015 budget, or the amendments introduced by Congress to the budget proposed by the Aquino administration for 2015

Finally, Tinio revealed that a total of P4.826 Billion in the 2015 budget were congressional insertions, citing National Budget Circular 556 Abad issued in 5 January 2015.

An annex to NBC 556 is a “Negative List,” or the items in the 2015 budget which are “For Later Release” (FLR) via Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) “subject to compliance with required documents/clearances.”  Several items amounting to a total of P4.826 Billion are labeled as “Congressional insertion,” “Congressional initiative,” “Initiative from the Senate,” and “House of Representatives’ Initiative,” mostly with the remark “No details submitted.”

Most of the congressional insertions are infrastructure projects and programs having individuals as beneficiaries, similar to the “hard” and “soft” projects funded by PDAF or congressional pork.  A total of P1.651 Billion in DSWD are congressional insertions for “Protective services for individuals and families in especially difficult circumstances,” “Social Pension for Indigent Citizens,” and “Comprehensive Project for Street Children, Street Families, and IPs.”

When pressed, Abad said that the documents required for release of the funds covered by the insertions are documents such as lists of beneficiaries.

“These insertions smell strongly of pork given that these funds are lump sums at the time when the 2015 budget was passed and these programs and projects are similar to the hard and soft projects under the unconstitutional PDAF.  DSWD’s doleout for ‘individuals and families in especially difficult circumstances’ in fact is one of the programs to which the PDAF was realigned back in 2014, after the Supreme Court’s decision,” revealed Tinio.

“We now have another proof, as admitted by the DBM itself through its circular, that the 2015 budget is far from the ‘pork-less’, as touted by the Aquino administration.  We will continue to criticize the phenomenon of congressional insertions, and the billions of discretionary lump sums as we deliberate the 2016 national budget,” ended Tinio. ###