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[ 27 Jun 2016 | No Comment ]
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PRESS RELEASE

27 June 2016

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio (09209220817)

 

Citing testimonies of faculty in public and private colleges and senior high school teachers, ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio L. Tinio revealed that, far from being the “best school opening ever,” the start of School Year 2016-2017 highlighted the fact that the K to 12 Program of the Aquino administration resulted in mass termination and displacement, diminution of salaries and benefits, and widespread contractualization of teachers and other school employees.

Tinio said that, at a recent consultation with his office, representatives of public and private colleges and universities confirmed the mass removal of faculty, contractualization, and government’s failure to deliver its promised assistance to affected employees.

Faculty of Miriam College reported that 21 tenured professors in General Education were forced to resign under its Early Separation Program, touted by the school as “voluntary.”  It is now implementing a Mandatory Separation Program for its GE instructors and professors.  Meanwhile, the University of Santo Tomas laid off a number of its part-time and fixed-term faculty, allegedly due to “end of contract,” then told them to reapply in its SHS program.  The school also still hired new faculty for college, belying the school’s claim of lack of enrollment and confirming the teachers’ view that the school removed them only to prevent them from getting tenured and to cut on labor costs.  The UST faculty fear more layoffs in the coming two to three years.

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Tinio also revealed that the dismissed faculty cannot avail of the scholarship or livelihood assistance under the Augmented Measures Program from DOLE, belying the recent statement of outgoing Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz who claimed that DOLE will help teachers displaced by K to 12.  The faculty that Tinio consulted said that DOLE requires proof that the teachers were dismissed by reason of K to 12, a fact not admitted by school administrations which issue certifications stating “end of contract” as ground for dismissal.  As result, DOLE has yet to sufficiently protect the estimated 23,000 K to 12 affected employees.  Per Baldoz, DOLE has already given scholarship grants to a little more than 4,000 teachers.

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Tinio added that faculty and teachers are now experiencing drastically reduced pay, with DepEd hiring some of the dismissed teachers as Teacher I, a position paid only P19,077 a month.  Some of them were previously earning monthly salaries of around P40,000, and/or have masteral or doctoral degrees with long years of service.  This is contrary to what Secretary Armin Luistro promised during public congressional hearings—that these displaced teachers will be hired as Master Teachers (minimum of P33,452).

Private SHSs, on the other hand, are reported to hire most, if not all, of SHS teachers as low-paid contractuals.  For instance, all teachers of CEU Integrated School were made to sign one-page contracts stating that they will only be hired for three years, as contractual and non-tenured.  The contracts can be terminated at the end of the three years, or earlier if the teacher is rated lower than Very Satisfactory.

“K to 12 brought into our schools the practice of ‘endo’ used by employers like factories or malls, which hire laborers for fixed short terms such as six months, with little or no benefits, then repeatedly rehired to cut on labor costs,” Tinio lamented.  “With these reports coming directly from our affected faculty, we have seen that K to 12 is an assault on job security, the right to decent salary and benefits, and other rights of labor.  This is ironic because while Duterte vowed to put an end to contractualization, it is now becoming widespread in the education sector.”

Tinio said that his group and the affected faculty will be seeking dialogues with the incoming secretaries of education, labor, and higher education in the coming days to demand them to address these issues.  They will also be pursuing measures against the Aquino government to exact accountability for its failure to deliver its promises to the K to 12-affected employees.

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Tinio also urged the incoming Duterte administration to review the implementation of Aquino’s K to 12 by going down to the field and surveying the actual conditions in public and private senior high schools.  “We invite President-elect Duterte and his appointed secretaries to sit down with the affected stakeholders, including parents, teachers, and students who can attest to the disaster that is K to 12.” ###

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[ 13 Apr 2016 | No Comment ]

Solon hails signing into law of poll service reform law

Implement higher pay and legal protection for BEIs, COMELEC urged

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio welcomed the signing of Republic Act 10756 or the Election Service Reform ACT (ESRA) by Pres. Aquino last April 8.

Tinio, the principal author of the law, challenged the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to immediately implement its provisions on non-compulsory election service for teachers, higher compensation package, improved benefits, and medical and legal assistance for election volunteers.

“This is a historic victory for public school teachers,” said Tinio, who first filed the bill in 2011.

“RA 10756 is dedicated to Filomena Tatlonghari, Nellie Banaag, and other teachers who gave their lives while protecting our votes,” said Tinio, referring to teachers who were killed in while serving as election workers in previous elections.  “We successfully pushed for this law also in the name of countless teachers who face tremendous risks in the line of duty every election season.”

RA 10756, with the full title An Act Rendering Election Service Non-Compulsory for Public School Teachers, Authorizing the Appointment of Other Qualified Citizens, Providing for Compensation and Other Benefits, makes election service voluntary for public school teachers and other citizens, assures increased honoraria and allowances for poll workers, and mandates benefits such as medical and legal assistance, among others.

“We now urge COMELEC, DepEd, and other concerned agencies such as the Public Attorney’s Office to implement the law to its fullest extent in time for the 2016 elections, especially the higher compensation and various benefits for our BEIs, Department of Education (DepEd) supervisors, and support staff,” stressed Tinio.

Honoraria for BEI chairpersons and members are now P6,000 and P5,000, respectively (from P3,000 in 2013); P4,000 for DepEd supervisors (from P3,000); and P2,000 for support staff (from P1,500).  These poll workers will also be given a travel allowance of P1,000 (from P500).  Teachers shall also be entitled to service credits of five days (from three days) while other poll workers shall be granted leave credits of five days.

COMELEC is mandated to give to poll workers their honoraria and allowances not later than 15 days from May 9.  Persons responsible for any delayed payment shall be liable for an election offense.

BEIs who died in the performance of election duties shall be granted P500,000 (from P200,000) while those who seek medical attention shall be entitled to such assistance as may be determined by COMELEC as sufficient for medical and hospitalization.

The law also gives poll workers the right to engage government and private lawyers should they be sued in connection to their poll duties, with costs reimbursable from COMELEC.

To guarantee the payment of all these benefits, COMELEC is tasked to establish a trust fund.###

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[ 24 Feb 2016 | No Comment ]

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio scored the latest case of harassment against displaced lumad in Davao City, saying that government inaction to address past violence enables further human rights violations against indigenous peoples.
“We condemn, in the strongest terms, this brazen attack on the lumad refugees in Haran. The arsonists violated the sanctuary provided by the UCCP to a group already forced to flee from their communities by relentless military operations,” said Tinio.
Tinio challenged national and local government authorities to immediately bring the perpetrators to justice.  “Impunity must not be allowed to prevail, especially since the plight of the lumad refugees in Haran has already been brought to the attention of the United Nations.”  The legislator pointed out that UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons Cheloka Beyani visited the lumad in Haran last July and called for their protection against militarization.
According to an Urgent Alert sent by the Save Our Schools Network-Mindanao, unidentified men burned the Lumad evacuation camp in the Haran Mission House of the United Church of Christ of the Philippines at around 2:00 Wednesday morning, Davao City.
Five were wounded in the recent arson, including two children.  Initial investigation cited that the fire was intentional.
Controversy erupted in July last year when North Cotabato Rep. Nancy Catamco, with the assistance of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and individuals associated with the paramilitary group known as Alamara, attempted to forcibly eject the lumad from the Haran compound.  “The harassment of the lumad seeking refuge in Haran continues unabated,” said Tinio.
Due to the attacks by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and AFP-backed paramilitaries in their upland, mine-rich communities, hundreds of indigenous peoples have sought shelter in the UCCP compound since early last year. ###

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[ 4 Feb 2016 | No Comment ]

PRESS RELEASE

4 February 2016

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

Tinio blasts Trillanes for failure to pass pay hike bill as Congress goes on break

 

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio L. Tinio is laying the blame squarely on Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for the failure of Congress to pass the proposed law granting a new round of salary increases for state workers before it went on a four-month long recess yesterday.

 

Tinio blasted Trillanes for leaving the country in the midst of a deadlock between the chambers of Congress on the final version of the pay hike bill and as the legislature was counting down the days before going on an extended break due to the upcoming national and local elections.

 

Trillanes reportedly left for the United States “on official mission” last week.

 

Tinio pointed out that Trillanes is the chairperson of the Senate Civil Service Committee in charge of the proposed new Salary Standardization Law (SSL 4), and as such, headed the Senate delegation to the Bicameral Conference Committee tasked with reconciling the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.

 

“What sort of elected official goes on a trip abroad in the middle of contentious bicameral talks, making it virtually impossible for Congress to pass the bill before the recess? This is gross dereliction of duty on his part. His twisted priorities and self-indulgence means that 1.5 million government employees will not receive the salary hikes and bonuses that they desperately need,” said Tinio. “SSL 4 would have provided pay hikes from January onwards. As it stands, Congress can only work on final approval of SSL 4 when it resumes session on May 23. In the meantime, public sector employees get nothing, thanks to the good Senator.”

 

The bicameral conference between the two chambers of Congress was deadlocked after the Senate panel led by Trillanes insisted on a provision that would index the pension of military retirees to the salary increases provided in SSL 4. The House panel objected because of lack of funding. The Senate proposal would cost taxpayers an additional P18 billion for the first year of implementation. “The responsible thing to do would have been to settle the issue before leaving. But as far as Senator Trillanes is concerned, it appears that a so-called ‘international forum’ in the United States is more important than addressing the day-to-day needs of the country’s civil servants, who last received a salary adjustment in 2012.”

 

Tinio noted that P58 billion has been set aside in the 2016 national budget for salary increases and bonuses and incentives of the country’s 1.5 million government employees. However, the increases cannot be implemented without the enactment of SSL 4.

 

Tinio also criticized Senate President Franklin Drilon for authorizing Trillanes’ departure and failing to resolve the impasse before the recess. “Is the Senate a collegial body where rule by majority prevails, or is it an exclusive club where the welfare of millions of Filipinos can be held hostage by the whims of one Senator?” ###