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[ 10 Feb 2013 | 6 Comments ]

January 2013

The Superintendent
Department of Education

Dear Superintendent

Greetings from ACT Teachers Party-List!
Since taking office in Congress as party-list representative for ACT Teachers in 2010, I have made the plight of the growing number of contractual and volunteer teachers in our public schools one of my priority concerns. According to recent data from the Department of Education, there are over 49,000 locally-paid contractual teachers and over 23,000 volunteer kindergarten teachers nationwide. They receive substandard pay, are denied benefits, and enjoy no security of tenure, even though the vast majority possess the same qualifications and perform the same work as nationally-paid teachers. The only solution to their plight is their regularization as teachers employed by DepEd.
In this regard, I first introduced Special Provision No. 8 (“Regularization of Contractual and Volunteer Teachers”) under the budget of the DepEd in the General Appropriations Act for the Fiscal Year 2012 (R.A. 10155). I have successfully introduced a similar provision in the General Appropriations Act for the Fiscal Year 2013 (R.A. 10352).
For your information and guidance, please note that Special Provision No. 9 (“Priority in the Hiring of Teachers”) of the DepEd budget in the 2013 GAA mandates all appointing officers of the Department of Education to prioritize the hiring of qualified contractual and volunteer teachers:
9. Priority in the Hiring of Teachers. In the hiring of new teachers, whether to fill unfilled or newly created positions, priority shall be given to qualified contractual and volunteer teachers, whether employed by the DepEd or the local government units: PROVIDED, That the number of years of actual teaching experience shall be given sufficient weight in the hiring of these qualified contractual and volunteer teachers. [R.A. 10352, Official Gazette, p. 116]
Needless to say, this special provision has the full force and effect of law, and supersedes any DepEd order, memorandum, or policy not consistent with its letter and spirit.
As the DepEd embarks on the hiring teachers for at least 61,510 new teaching items for School Year 2013-2014, we hope that Special Provision No. 9 will make a difference in the lives of long-suffering contractual and volunteer teachers.
We hope that your office can provide us with updates on the implementation of Special Provision No. 9.

Para sa guro at bayan,


Headline »

[ 5 Feb 2013 | No Comment ]


February 5, 2013

Reference: ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio (0920-9220817)


Interviewed at the sidelines of the 2013 Philippine Development Forum in Davao City, Aquino said the volunteers would not only guard the reef but also help in its rehabilitation and ensure that there will be no sea vessel that will run aground on it.“They are not just gonna compensate us in terms of paying the necessary fines, but they are also envisioning how to assist the rehabilitation of Tubbataha to include posting parang peace corps volunteers to the area to accelerate the rehabilitation of the reef,” the president said. [“Aquino: US may post ‘peace corps-like’volunteers to guard Tubbataha,”GMA News website]

We are appalled at a news report that the President of the Republic of the Philippines is even so much as entertaining the suggestion of US Ambassador Henry Thomas that the US government will deploy ‘Peace Corps-type’ volunteers to help guard and rehabilitate the Tubbataha Reef.

President Aquino should be the first to uphold our nation’s dignity as a sovereign nation fully capable of enforcing our own laws on our own territory without the assistance of foreigners. That he would entertain such a suggestion from a foreign ambassador, to the extent of divulging it to the media in a positive light, is a slap in the face of all Filipinos and demeans the sacrifices made daily by the Filipino men and women who have ably protected Tubbataha for years.

As for Ambassador Thomas, his suggestion is truly adding insult to injury. After the damage to Tubbataha caused by their warship due to the American crew’s disregard for our laws and law enforcers, he now has the temerity to propose that American volunteers assist in the enforcement of our own laws on our own territory! He should be reminded that the Philippines is no longer a direct colony of the US.

We call on the public to be vigilant and to ensure that our national leaders will not allow the shipwreck in Tubbataha to be exploited to further compromise our sovereignty in the enforcement of our laws and the protection of our patrimony.

Truly, this shipwreck in Tubbataha is exposing the abject subservience to  the US government and US interests prevailing among the highest officials of our land. We call for the scrapping of the Visiting Forces Agreement and the abrogation of the Mutual Defense Treaty as the initial, necessary steps towards a truly independent foreign policy.

[A version of this statement was delivered by Rep Tinio as a privilege speech on the floor of the House of Representatives this afternoon.]


Headline »

[ 5 Feb 2013 | No Comment ]

News Release

February 3, 2013

Reference: ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio



ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio called on the Commission on Elections to increase the honoraria for election day service of teachers who will serve as election workers in the 2013 polls.


“The nationwide mock-election conducted on Saturday exposed numerous glitches in the automated system to be deployed by COMELEC,” said Tinio. “While Chairman Sixto Brillantes claims these are minor and will be ironed out by Election Day, experience in the previous automated election shows that such glitches are inevitable. When all is said and done, the success of elections always depends on the teachers who operate the machines and take the appropriate steps when problems arise.”


Observers reported a number of problems during the mock elections, which made use of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines provided by Venezuelan firm Smartmatic. These included machines that failed to start, machines that rejected the ballots, failure to wirelessly transmit results, as well as conflicts in the voters’ list.


Tinio noted that there will be around 228,000 public school teachers who will be deployed on the Boards of Election Inspectors in over 79,000 clustered voting precincts nationwide. The teachers will serve the country’s 48 million registered voters.


The party-list representative added that the honorarium of P4,000 for election day service to be paid to teachers has not been increased since it was set in 2004, and called for an increase of at least P2,000. “The mock polls proved once again that, despite poll automation, elections will not be possible without the teachers that make them work. They deserve proper compensation. We urge COMELEC to increase the honorarium to at least P6,000.”


According to Tinio, the proposed increase would require an additional P456 million. He pointed out that the COMELEC had more than enough funds to cover the increase, noting that the Department of Budget and Management released an additional P4.14 billion to the COMELEC last month. The augmentation was sourced from previous years’ savings and is intended for activities related to the 2013 polls. “The compensation hike can very well be sourced from this additional release.”


“Our society requires teachers to make huge sacrifices during elections. The least our government can do is to reward them adequately,” said Tinio. #


Headline »

[ 31 Jan 2013 | No Comment ]

Press Release

Reference: Mr. Benjamin Valbuena, Chairperson, ACT, cellpone no. 09162294515
Media Liaison – Zenie Lao, Cellphone No. 09198198903, 09174998608

“The filing of Public Disorder charges against Typhoon Pablo’s’ victims and their supporters which includes ACT Teachers’ Partylist 3rd Nominee Prof.Mae Fe Ancheta-Templa is simply insane, Mr.Benjie Valbuena , President of Alliance of Concerned Teachers said.

To demand action from your government who cannot provide the necessities for survival in times of crisis is not a crime. In the first place, the devastating effects of flooding in Compostela Valley was due to the government’s remiss in curbing exploitation of our natural resources in connivance with big business and their imperialist masters.

Pnoy should remember that in times of disasters, teachers are in the frontlines so to speak as part of the basic machinery in responding to crises. He must instead rebuild communities to include our schools and provide material and financial support to victims of calamities.

“This is a clear act of desperation of Pnoy and his cohorts to cover-up their inability to respond to disaster situations like Pablo and Habagat in recent times. However, what we cannot fathom is why they should criminalize the acts of people who showed compassion by collecting support and providing moral support to the victims of Typhoon Pablo,” Mr.Benjie Valbuena added.#####