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[ 26 Jul 2016 | No Comment ]

25 July 2016

We laud the many pro-people policy pronouncements made by Pres. Duterte in his inaugural SONA, foremost of which is his unprecedented declaration of a unilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA and commitment to a just and lasting peace within his term.

Many of his pronouncements coincide with the demands that we in the progressive movement have been clamoring for over the years, such as the lowering of income tax, no demolition of informal settlers without relocation, review of mining permits, and emphasis on industrialization to generate jobs.

We are committed to supporting such initiatives in Congress to ensure that promised change under the Duterte administration will benefit the poor and marginalized. ###

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[ 25 Jul 2016 | No Comment ]

24 July 2016 

References: ACT Teachers Reps. Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817) and France Castro (09204166441)

SONA 2016 #TheChangeWeWant
Solons forward educators’ wishlist for SONA
ACT Teachers Party-List Reps. Antonio L. Tinio and France Castro call on President Rodrigo Duterte to tackle issues concerning the education sector including insufficient salaries, high taxation and the K-12 program.
“President Duterte has been vocal about increasing the salaries of members of the PNP and AFP.  But we hope that he will also keep in mind the long struggle of teachers for decent living salaries.  We urge him to reverse his predecessors’ example of giving mere concessions and piecemeal increases to teachers,” said the solons.
Teachers will march together with the other basic sectors to demand salary increase for teachers and all government employees. They are calling for the passage of House Bill 56, which Tinio and Castro filed to increase the minimum monthly salaries of public school teachers to P25,000 and non-teaching personnel to P16,000.
Teachers’ groups and unions are vigilant and expect the Duterte administration to stay true to its slogan “Change is Coming.”  Teachers along with low- and middle-income earners in the public and private sectors are heavily burdened by high taxes for so long.  To address this, the solons also filed HB 57 to lower income taxes, exempting those earning below P396,000 a year.  They also urge against increased VAT and additional taxes.
“We hope that President Duterte will voice out a plan to provide free and quality education and other social services,” Castro said.

Teachers and non-teaching personnel call on the President and his alter ego Education Secretary Leonor Briones to stop the implementation of the K to 12 program which puts upon additional burden on our teachers, students and their parents, noted Castro.

“This program only delivers profit to private schools through the voucher system. The haphazardly implemented curriculum removes Filipino and History subjects in high school.  The remaining subjects for our children are massage, nail and beauty care, housekeeping, and such others which aim to train them, as early as Grade 7, as semi-skilled and export-ready workers.”
For his part, Tinio condemns the retrenchment and displacement of faculty members of private colleges as the response of the school administrators to K-12.  Contractualization of instructors and lecturers are also now the norm.

Tinio said, “What we want to teach and what we want the youth to learn are the knowledge and skills that will answer the needs of our local economy and will contribute to the development of our nation”.

“Together, let us call for quality education directed towards national industrialization, which can provide decent wages and truly uplift the lives of Filipinos.”

On Monday, teachers and students with other sectors of society will forward to the Duterte administration the just demands of the people.

Tinio concluded that: “While we support the president in his progressive moves in busting corrupt officials and opening up the peace process, we believe it is time for him to address substantively the people’s and the educators’ agenda.” ###

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[ 20 Jul 2016 | No Comment ]

19 July 2016
Reference: ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio (09209220817)

At the urging of ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio L. Tinio and Filipino advocates led by Tanggol Wika and anti-K to 12 petitioners, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chief Patricia Licuanan issued a Memorandum yesterday titled “Clarification on the Implementation of CMO No. 20 Series of 2013 Entitled ‘General Education Curriculum Holistic Understandings Intellectual and Civic Competencies'”.  The memorandum reverses CHED Memorandum Order 20, series of 2013 removing Filipino subjects from the college Revised General Education Curriculum and orders all public and private higher education institutions (HEIs) to require six to nine units of Filipino.

CHED issued the clarification as one of its commitments at a dialogue which Tinio held on July 13 between Licuanan, CHED Commissioner Cynthia Bautista, and representatives of faculty and non-teaching personnel of HEIs.

Tinio and the other participants revealed that, despite a restraining order issued by the Supreme Court in April 2015 preventing CHED and HEIs from implementing the removal of Filipino in the new GEC, among others, Filipino teachers in college were among those retrenched prior to the opening of the 2016-2017 academic year based on projected low freshmen enrollment.  Several HEIs also closed Filipino departments and programs, resulting to the loss of jobs of thousands of faculty.

They scored CHED for its failure to implement the restraining order, something that would have prevented the mass layoffs and closure.

Participants in the dialogue include several retrenched faculty and the groups Stop K to 12 Coalition and Tanggol Wika, which petitioned the SC to declare unconstitutional CMO 20 insofar as it removes Filipino, Panitikan, and Philippine Constitution and Government in the college curriculum.

“Despite this belated implementation of the TRO, we laud the return of our national language in our colleges and universities,” said Tinio.  “Tagumpay ito para sa mamamayan, para sa pagpapayabong at pagpapalawak ng kulturang Filipino, isang handog lalo na’t paparating na ang Buwan ng Wika sa Agosto.”

Tinio strongly urged CHED to be proactive in the implementation of its order and ensure that HEIs will indeed return the teaching of Filipino subjects.  Closed departments and programs, he added, should be reopened.

For Tinio and the other anti-CMO 20 petitioners, the fight to fully return Filipino, Panitikan, and Philippine Constitution and Government in the college curriculum still continues, with the SC set to finally resolve their petition in July or August.

Participants in the CHED dialogue also included the Council of Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities of the Philippines who raised the mass dismissal of faculty and staff in colleges and universities to the attention of CHED and Department of Labor and Employment representatives as well as other labor implications of K to 12.

CHED and DOLE committed to amend their guidelines on the scholarships, grants, the Adjustment Measures Program, and other assistance programs for displaced faculty, to extend aid to those no longer attached to any HEI, streamline the procedure, among others.  They also promised to make necessary inter-agency interventions (with the DepEd and TESDa) to address the labor implications of K to 12. ###

CHED Memoramdum  clarifying  the Implementation of Filipino Subjects in College Curriculum.  Please see link below.


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[ 20 Jul 2016 | No Comment ]

19 July 2016
Reference: ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio (09209220817)

This is attributable to the failure of the Aquino administration to build a strong case for plunder against former President Arroyo, despite being in power for six years. As a result, she will not be held accountable for plunder even as she continues to enjoy impunity for her role in the extrajudicial killings of hundreds of activists during her term as president. Justice remains elusive for the Filipino people. ###