Mr. Speaker, I voted “NO” to House Bill 3423 because this Representation will not be a party to this travesty of checks and balances that took place this evening. Yet again, this Congress has debased itself by giving blanket authority to the President to spend P14.6 billion on a rehabilitation plan sight unseen. This Congress has not seen even one paragraph of this rehabilitation plan, Mr. Speaker. And yet, by voting to approve this supplemental budget bill, this institution has given all authority to the President, Mr. Speaker.
Ang tungkulin ng Kongreso ay bantayan ang Ehekutibo, lalung-lalo na sa paggugol sa pondo ng taumbayan.
Anong klaseng pagbababantay ito? Mayroon bang miyembro rito na makapagsasabi kung tatanungin kayo ng inyong constituents pagbalik ninyo sa inyong mga distrito, “Ano ba ang laman, ano ba ang hitsura ng rehabilitation plan para sa kalamidad na inaprubahan ninyo?” May masasagot ba kayo? Ang masasagot lang niyo dito: “Bahala na ang Presidente.” Kung tatanungin sa inyo ng inyong constituents, magkano ba sa P14.6 billion ang ilalaan para sa lugar ninyo na natamaan ng kalamidad? Masasagot ba ninyo? Ang sagot niyo lang: “Bahala na ang Presidente!”
Anong klaseng Kongreso ito? Nasaan ang so-called “power of the purse” kung bahala na lang pala ang Presidente? Ang sagot po—sinuko ng Kongresong ito ang kanyang kapangyarihan na magbantay sa Presidente. Kaya malinaw po—presidential pork ang P14.6 billion supplemental budget na ito. Katulad ng nabanggit ng ibang kasamahan ko, kahit na nga yung napaka-limitadong kondisyon sa paglalaan ng P14.6 billion, yung phrase “consider the recommendation of the NDRRMC” na nasa orihinal na bill, pinatanggal pa ngayong gabi at inaprubahan pa ng Kongresong ito.
Kaya purong-purong Presidente na lamang ang magpapasya—hindi na kailangang sundin ang tinatakda ng batas na proseso na pangungunahan ng NDRRMC mula sa baba, mula sa mga LGU pataas, magmumula ang mga rekomendasyon, pinatanggal pa iyan, Mr. Speaker.
Sa aking interpellation, ni-raise ko rin ang isyu ng constitutionality. Sinabi natin na labag sa batas ang proseso na sinunod. Ang tinatakda ng batas sa supplemental budget, Presidente ang dapat maghapag ng detalyadong proposal sa Kongreso at dito ibabatay ang supplemental bill na ating pag-uusapan at ipapasa. Inamin mismo ng Sponsor [Davao City Representative and Appropriations Committee Chair Isidro Ungab], walang proposal na binigay ang Presidente. Ang kongresong ito lamang ang gumawa ng sarili niyang supplemental budget. Labag na po iyan.
Sinabi rin natin, malinaw rin na paglabag: augmentation ng existing calamity fund. Again, another Constitutional provision na nilabag, Mr. Speaker. Dagdag na kahihiyan ng Kongresong ito, we are irresponsible enough to pass a supplemental measure that is so obviously constitutionally infirm, Mr. Speaker.
Panghuli, bakit po natin nire-raise ang mga issues na ito? Dahil nagmumula po ito sa ating kagustuhan na matiyak na ang bawat sentimo ng pondo ng taumbayan ay tunay na makararating sa mga nangangailangan nating kababayan. Ngunit, sa pag-apruba natin ng lump sum, lahat sa Calamity Fund, hindi na natin magagawa ang tungkuling iyan. Ano ba itong Calamity Fund? Kung nagkaroon ng special audit sa PDAF at nakita ang maraming mga anomalya, makatitiyak ako na kung magkaroon ng special audit sa Calamity Fund sa mga nakaraang taon hanggang sa kasalukuyan, saksakan ng dami ng mga iregularidad at korapsyon ang makikita din natin dito, Mr. Speaker.
Sa mga kadahilanang ito, Mr. Speaker, bumoto ako ng “NO.” Maraming salamat.
Activities, Features, Headline, News »
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!