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[ 29 Oct 2014 | No Comment ]

Ginoong Speaker, bumoboto ang ACT Teachers Party-List ng “No” sa badyet na ito.

Ang pera ng taumbayan ay dapat inilalaan sa kapakanan ng mamamayan at bansa sa kabuuan, subalit ang nilalaman ng House Bill 4968 ay mga anti-mamamayang polisiya ng mga nakaraan at kasalukuyang administrasyon na napatunayan nang nagsisilbi lamang sa nakakaangat na iilan.  Ang prosesong pinadaanan ng HB 4968 ay nagpapakita ng layunin ng administrasyon na isentro sa iilang opisyal ang kapangyarihang desisyunan kung saan gagastusin ang pera ng bayan at itago sa mata ng publiko ang pagdadaanan at kauuwian ng kanilang bilyones na binayarang buwis.

Ginoong Speaker, tinatahak ng HB 4968 ang binabanderang “tuwid na daan”—daang diretso tungo sa mas malalim at malawakang kahirapan, sa kawalan ng trabaho, seguridad sa trabaho, at access sa mga batayang serbisyo para sa mamamayan, at sa mas pinabansot na pampublikong institusyon na taga-regulate sana sa mga pribadong sektor.

Ginoong Speaker, walang inaasahang pagtaas ng sahod ang mga empleyado ng pamahalaan, kahit malinaw ang mandato ng ating batas na magpanukala ang Pangulo ng pondo kada taon para sa awtomatikong pagtaas ng sweldo.  Napatunayan sa ating pagtatalakay ng 2015 budget na ang tanging umaayaw sa pagtaas ng sahod ng mga kawani ay walang iba kung hindi ang Pangulo.  Sa aspeto pa lamang ng pagtanggi ng Malakanyang na magpanukala ng pagtaas ng sahod ay malaki na ang kanyang utang sa 1.6 milyong kawani ng gubyerno, kabilang ang mahigit 700,000 na guro at non-teaching personnel sa mga pampublikong paaralan—P12.5 bilyon sa kabuuan sa darating na 2015 o P8,928.57 sa bawat kawani.  Sa tatlong taon matapos ang implementasyon ng SSL3, may utang si Presidente na P30 bilyon, o P21,428.57 sa bawat kawani.

Minamaskara lamang ng nominal na pagtaas sa badyet ng mga ahensya dahil anumang pagtaas ay nakalaan para sa mga programang hindi makatunayan at direktang makakatugon sa mga pangangailangan ng mamamayan.  Sa DepEd ay may P8.437 bilyon para sa GASTPE—mas malaki ng P300 milyon kaysa sa pondo ng kabuuang Support to Services kabilang ang Health and Nutrition Services, cash allowance, promosyon ng mga guro, at pagpapatitulo ng school sites.  Sa DSWD ay may dagdag P64.7 bilyon para sa CCT, pagsunod lamang sa tahakin ng administrasyong Aquino ng pagpapalobo ng doleout—sa abereyds ng 70% o P13 bilyon kada taon—imbis na itatag ng sistemang panlipunang sinisiguro ang sapat na bilang ng trabaho at karampatang sahod.  Sa DOH ay nagbigay ng mumong taas-badyet—5% para sa buong ahensya na mapupunta lamang sa ma-anomalyang PhilHealth at Health Facilities Enhancement Program, bagay na insulto sa harap ng 24% na pagkaltas ng pondo para sa mga pampublikong ospital.

Nagkalat sa DepEd, DOH, DPWH, DOTC, DOT, DA, at iba pang ahensya ang hindi bababa sa P57.2 bilyong siguradong pondo para sa infrastructure projects na ipauubaya sa mga pribadong kumpanya na bubusugin sa Public Private Partnership at mga kontratang titiyakin ang tubo sa halip na murang serbisyo.

Repleksyon ng maling prayoridad, at di tutugunan ng mapanlinlang na pagtaas na ito.  Sa makatuwid, may utang din ang pamahalaang Aquino sa taumbayan sa pagkukulang nitong siguruhin ang murang serbisyo sa edukasyon, kalusugan, pabahay, transportasyon, at iba pa.

Mabigat ang mga utang na ito sa ating mamamayan lalo na sa harap ng dambuhalang pork na itinago sa mga pahina ng badyet na ito.  Ginoong Speaker, di bababa sa P27.38 bilyon na congressional pork o nagbagong anyong PDAF at P958 bilyon na presidential pork o lump sum funds sa ilalim ng diskresyon ng pangulo.  Ginoong Speaker, nagsayang tayo ng oras at rekurso ng bayan sa pag-dedeliberate at pag-aapruba ng badyet na ito—tila magiging panggatong lamang ang makakapal na librong ito para sa Ehekutibo dahil sa mga probisyon ditong maglelegalisa sa unconstitutional na pangungutingting ng Sangay Ehekutibo sa pambansang badyet gaya ng Disbursement Acceleration Program ni Aquino.

Malinaw, Ginoong Speaker, na may pondo para sa pork, at sa katunayan ay ang buong badyet ay magiging pork, pero wala para sa mga pangangailangan ng mamamayan.

Malinaw din na may pondo rin para sa pambayad utang—P789.8 bilyon na doble sa badyet para sa edukasyon.

Sa mga kadahilanang nabanggit, bumoboto ako ng “No” sa House Bill 4968. ###

Headline »

[ 22 Oct 2014 | No Comment ]

On June 26, 2014, an article entitled “Has your congressman/woman signed up for your salary increase?” was published on the official website of ACT Teachers.  The full text of the article read as follows:

 

Check the table below if your District Representative has signed as co-author of House Bill 245 or An Act Increasing the Minimum Monthly Salaries of Public School Teachers to Twenty Five Thousand Pesos (P25,000) and Non-Teaching Personnel to Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P15,000) filed by ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio.

 

This was followed by a table listing the names of district representatives and indicating with a “yes” or “no” whether or not they have co-authored HB 245.

 

The intention of the article was to urge teachers to lobby with districts representatives in order to get their support for HB 245 through co-authorship.

 

In early October, some four months after that article was posted, I got calls from a number of colleagues explaining that teachers in their district were making them account for voting against HB 245.

 

Clearly, there has been a misunderstanding. Somehow, the list on our website was erroneously interpreted by teachers not as a co-authorship list but as a list of those who voted for or against the bill.  This is unfortunate because, firstly, no vote has taken place and secondly, the teachers’ demand for salary increase enjoys widespread support in Congress.

 

In response to this feedback, we immediately took down the post and issued a clarification on our website.

 

I sincerely regret that the manner of presentation of the information on our website may have inadvertently contributed to such a misunderstanding and apologize to colleagues in the House who have been unduly affected by this incident. ###

Activities, Headline, House Bills »

[ 2 Oct 2014 | One Comment ]

On 26 September 2014, the House of Representatives in plenary approved on third and final reading our House Bill 2970, An Act Increasing the Ceiling for the Total Exclusion from Gross Income of 13th Month Pay and Other Benefits to Seventy Thousand Pesos (P70,000), Amending for the Purpose Section 32(B)(7)(E) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as Amended.

HB 4970 seeks to exempt from income tax up to P70,000, from the current P30,000, 13th month pay and other benefits such as productivity incentives and Christmas bonus.  It also mandates the Secretary of the Department of Finance to increase the P70,000 ceiling after a reviewing the effect of inflation rate on the amount at the end of the taxable year.

The bill awaits deliberation and approval by the Senate, then enactment into law upon signing by the President.

Click here for a copy of the engrossed bill.

Features, Headline »

[ 1 Oct 2014 | 5 Comments ]

On June 26, 2014, an article entitled “Has your congressman/woman signed up for your salary increase?” was published on the official website of ACT Teachers.  The full text of the article read as follows:

 

Check the table below if your District Representative has signed as co-author of House Bill 245 or An Act Increasing the Minimum Monthly Salaries of Public School Teachers to Twenty Five Thousand Pesos (P25,000) and Non-Teaching Personnel to Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P15,000) filed by ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio.

 

This was followed by a table listing the names of district representatives and indicating with a “yes” or “no” whether or not they have co-authored HB 245.

 

The intention of the article was to urge teachers to lobby with districts representatives in order to get their support for HB 245 through co-authorship.

 

In early October, some four months after that article was posted, I got calls from a number of colleagues explaining that teachers in their district were making them account for voting against HB 245.

 

Clearly, there has been a misunderstanding. Somehow, the list on our website was erroneously interpreted by teachers not as a co-authorship list but as a list of those who voted for or against the bill.  This is unfortunate because, firstly, no vote has taken place and secondly, the teachers’ demand for salary increase enjoys widespread support in Congress.

 

In response to this feedback, we immediately took down the post and issued a clarification on our website.

 

I sincerely regret that the manner of presentation of the information on our website may have inadvertently contributed to such a misunderstanding and apologize to colleagues in the House who have been unduly affected by this incident. ###