June 21, 2012:
DepEd proclaimed , there is no stopping the implementation of the K to 12 being pilot tested this school year – not even its legality or the perennial problems faced by students Education Secretary Armin Luistro said DepEd “I have been saying this before, if we will not start the program now, when?”
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
MANILA — Two party-list lawmakers seek to double the compensation for teachers who will serve as board of election inspectors (BEIs) in the May 2013 midterm polls.
Party-list Representatives Antonio Tinio (ACT Teachers) and Luzviminda Ilagan (Gabriela Women’s Party) sought a P6,000 pay, from last year’s P3,000, for public school teachers rendering poll-related duties.
“The compensation should be at least P6,000 considering the higher workload of teachers due to the clustering of precincts. This means that they have to process up to five times more voters on elections day,” Tinio pointed out.
Precincts were clustered in the 2010 polls, when the Commission on Elections first implemented the use of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.
Voters per clustered precinct reached up to 1,000 individuals. A team of three BEIs was assigned per clustered precinct.
Ilagan, meanwhile, cited threats on the lives of teachers performing poll duties.
“I agree they should be given bigger honorarium. It is a difficult and dangerous task. They are even blamed when things go wrong for the candidates,” she said.
“But I also think poll service should be optional,” the party-list lawmaker added. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)
Sunday, June 17, 2012
THE Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) is pressing lawmakers to pass House Bill 4096, which pushes for making election service voluntary for public school teachers and other citizens.
ACT Secretary General France Castro said there is a need to pass the bill to remove the burden of serving as Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) to public school teachers only.
Section 13 of Republic Act 6646 provides that all BEIs shall be public school teachers that will be compensated by teachers in private schools, employees in the civil service, or other citizens of known probity and competence who are registered voters of the city or municipality may be appointed for election duty.
“Election is the responsibility of all the citizenry that is why we are asking to just make it voluntary for teachers to serve as BEIs,” said Castro.
House Bill 4096 was filed by ACT Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio.
If the bill is not passed, ACT said it is hoping that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) would at least give them a higher honorarium for their poll-related duties.
Castro said higher pays are necessary since the work load of teachers serving as BEIs has more than doubled due to the use of the automated election system (AES).
Back in the May 2010 polls, the Comelec had clustered three to five polling precincts in order to maximize the use of the PCOS machines.
“We have a problem with the PCOS since three precincts were clustered into one but instead of nine teachers, we remain three in the BEI. We hope they will increase our honoraria,” said Castro.
In the May 2010 polls, all 240,000 teachers, who had served as BEIs, were paid P3,000 honoraria in exchange for their three-day election services.
Last week, the Supreme Court (SC) allowed the Comelec to re-use the PCOS machines by approving the latter’s exercising the “option to purchase” clause with Smartmatic – Total Information Management (TIM) Corporation.(HDT/Sunnex)
13 June 2012
Reference: Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)
ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio filed today House Resolution 2502 entitled “Resolution Calling on President C. Aquino III to Immediately Increase the Monthly Honorarium of Volunteer Kindergarten Teachers from P3,000.00 to P6,000.00.”
Tinio says that the proposed doubled honorarium is a result of consultations with volunteer teachers, who have been clamoring for fair compensation since SY 2011-2012, when the Department of Education (DepEd) implemented the universal Kindergarten education program (UKEP).
“We urge President Aquino,” Tinio says, “to redirect the funds available at his disposal, including various discretionary funds which practically serve as his pork barrel, in favor of the front-liners of his education reform program.”
In previous statements, Tinio linked the depressed conditions of volunteer teachers, who are paid honoraria amounting to only one-fourth of the minimum wage, to the disaster that was the UKEP during SY 2011-2012. “The Program is self-defeating because it floods the education system with overworked yet underpaid teachers.”
Being on honorarium basis, volunteer teachers in some divisions, including Rizal, Bulacan, Urdaneta City, and Palawan, endure long months without receiving the P3,000 pay (P1,500 in some cases). Some complain of delays of up to seven months.
Tinio still believes that the hiring of qualified volunteer Kindergarten teachers as regular teachers under DepEd’s plantilla is the only way towards an effective UKEP. However, “pending such regularization, a substantial increase in their monthly compensation is urgently needed to alleviate their economic hardship” (clause 11 of HR 2502).
We also urge the President to implement the proposed P6,000-per class monthly honorarium until next school year. The implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 10157 or the Kindergarten Education Act (DepEd Order 32, series of 2012) states that the hiring of volunteer teachers is a transitory measure to be implemented until SY 2013-2014.