In The News
By: Rachel C. Barawid, Sara Grace C. Fojas, Ronald S. Lim and Ina Hernando-Malipot
“Hindi natapos ‘yung role ko as a teacher. Kahit tumigil ako ng pagtuturo sa mga eskuwelahan eh nagpapatuloy pa rin ang ‘pag gampan ko sa papel bilang guro.”
(Photo credit: KJ Rosales and Manila Bulletin)
Every day, we hear stories of teachers sacrificing and risking their lives for their students, and even going beyond their duty in the classroom to quietly serve their communities.
Indeed, teaching is the noblest of professions. Certainly, behind every doctor, engineer, lawyer, architect, journalist, public official, and world leader is a brilliant teacher who continues to shape future generations with passion and dedication.
In the country though, we seldom hear of teachers being appreciated and justly compensated for their hard work and immeasurable contributions. But thanks to efforts being initiated by teacher groups such as the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and ACT Teachers Party-List, the plight and needs of the Filipino teachers are slowly being addressed.
At the forefront of championing teachers’ rights and welfare is ACT Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio. A former instructor at the Department of English and Comparative Literature and at the Department of Filipino of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Tinio knows too well the predicament of public school teachers and the state of the Philippine education system.
Even before he became a public official, Tinio has already been advocating for the rights and needs of teachers and education workers as well as for the people’s right to quality public education. In 1994, he helped establish the Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy, a national organization committed to the struggle for genuine sovereignty and democracy in the Philippines. Later, he served as National Campaign coordinator and chairperson of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), the largest non-traditional organization of teachers and education workers in the country.
Tinio was among those instrumental in the increase of teachers’ salaries by P9,000, and in pushing for greater government subsidies for education. In Congress, he continues to serve as the voice of the teachers — filing bills and resolutions for their promotion and protection, including substantial salary increases and adequate benefits, refund of illegal deductions made by the Government Service Insurance System, and their regularization, among others.
While majority of his programs and bills are on education, the solon is just as passionate in fighting for corruption and pushing for national reforms. Tinio brings an educator’s perspective in the House Committees on Agrarian Reform, Appropriations, Banks and Financial Intermediaries, Foreign Affairs, Government Enterprises and Privatization, Government Reorganization, Information and Communications Technology, Public Information Rules, Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, and Women and Gender Equality.
In this 60 Minutes interview, we didn’t only get to hear Congressman Tinio’s apprehensions about the K to 12 Law and his stand on the many issues and challenges in the education sector, but we also saw how he has become the teachers’ shining symbol of hope and inspiration.
Read the full feature article from the Manila Bulletin here.
According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer (posted yesterday night), citing reports from the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Cebu and Davao teachers were told by their superiors to pay for the cash cards and wait for almost two months before they can get their honorarium.
Per the PDI report, “The Department of Education (DepEd) said it made an arrangement with the Commission on Elections (Comelec) so that the teachers could get their election honoraria and allowances on time through their Landbank payroll accounts or through cash cards that would be mailed to them a few days before the elections.”
Read the full report here.
Kindly report to ACT TEACHERS (election hotlines: 09295748870 and 09273289701) if your Division employs a similar practice where poll workers are asked to open and pay for new cash cards and are expecting delayed poll service honorarium. Thank you.
(Click here for the video of the interview.)
With about 1,000 voters per BEI, longer travel, unresolved technical PCOS problems, heightened security risks, and other issues related to election service, teachers and DepEd employees deputized by the COMELEC for the 2013 polls demand:
1. honorarium higher than P4,000, which was reduced by P300 from the honorarium during 2010 elections, to compensate for the heavier workload due to precinct clustering and longer travel to their places of assignment;
2. more effective measures by the PNP and law enforcement agencies to ensure their physical security;
3. legal protection from DepEd extending even after the elections, to cover the defense of poll workers against political harassment through criminal and administrative cases; and
4. increased insurance coverage, even better, and hazard pay.
“Hindi natin matatawaran ang papel ng teachers even in automated elections, kaya dapat lang bigyan sila ng karampatang compensation.” -ACT TEACHERS Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio
Reposted from GMA News Online (http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/301275/news/nation/gsis-to-refund-p126m-to-deped-employees)
GSIS to refund P126M to DepEd employees
The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) will refund a total of P126.47 million to more than 20,500 active and retired employees of the Department of Education (DepEd) beginning April.
Covered by the refund — the second since January — are employees whose cash surrender value (amount paid to the policyholder upon separation from the service) or maturity benefit (benefit payable upon maturity of the endowment policy) were deducted premiums-in-arrears for July 1997 to December 2010.
According to the state-run pension fund, the second tranche of refund represents the payment of premium contributions pertaining to the government share, which were previously deducted from the life insurance benefits of the employees.
Last January, GSIS provided an initial refund of P362.35 million that benefited more than 73,000 DepEd personnel.
This was after the GSIS received the P3.46 billion payment of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) representing half of the total P6.92 billion in unpaid compulsory premium contributions, or the government’s share of more than 800,000 teaching and non-teaching employees of the DepEd from July 1, 1997 to December 31, 2010.
“The settlement formed part of a milestone agreement signed in September last year, among DBM, DepEd and GSIS, which finally addressed the chronic issue on the non-remittance of premiums affecting the right of DepEd workers to avail themselves of their full GSIS benefits while in service and upon their retirement,” said GSIS president and general manager Robert Vergara.
As a result of the second tranche of refund, “more than 14,000 DepEd employees in active service will enjoy a proportionate increase in loanable amounts and potentially, increased retirement benefits,” Vergara said.
GSIS said it would also recalculate the benefits received by 6,530 separated and retired employees and will refund any deducted amount. — KBK, GMA News