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[ 24 Aug 2016 | No Comment ]

Ika-24 ng Agosto 2016
Sanggunian: Rep. France L. Castro (0920-969-8457)

Rep. Castro siningil sa DBM ang union incentives para sa mga titser

Iginiit ni Rep. France Castro ng ACT Teachers Party-List sa Department of Budget and Management (DBM) ang paglalaan ng pondo para sa Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) incentive para sa mga pampublikong guro kahapon sa unang araw ng pagsalang sa pagdinig ng 2017 Badyet.

Ang CNA incentive ay ang benepisyong makukuha ng mga kawani sa bisa ng naaprubahan at naipapatupad na CNA sa pagitan ng mga kawani at ng ahensyang kinabibilangan nila. Nilinaw ng kongresista na sa kasalukuyan ay nakadepende sa Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) savings ang pondo para sa naturang incentives.

“Sa pamamagitan ng mga Budget Circulars ng DBM, natatali sa kung ano lamang ang matitipid mula sa MOOE ang nagagamit para sa mga incentives ng mga titser. Masaklap ito sa harap ng reyalidad na hindi na nga sumasapat ang MOOE upang punan ang mga pangangailangan sa paaralan,” aniya.

“Sa kasalukuyang tala, walang nagagamit para sa CNA incentive fund dahil tatlong paaralan lamang sa NCR ang nagdeklara ng MOOE savings kaya ang ACT Teachers Party-List ay nananawagang ibasura ang Budget Circular 2014-2 at isama sa 2017 Budget ang item para sa pondo ng CNA incentive,” dagdag ni Castro.

“Isang patunay ang CNA sa pagitan ng ACT-NCR Union at DepEd-NCR na napirmahan noong Mayo 2015. Mahigit isang taon na ang nakalipas mula nang pirmahan ito ngunit wala pa ring sapat na pondo para sa naturang incentives ng 62,800 na gurong kabilang dito,” sinabi ni Castro.

“Imoral na kukuhanin pa sa MOOE ang pondo para sa CNA incentive kung saan napakalaki ng pangangailangan ng mga paaralan na pangunahing tinutugunan nito [MOOE],” ani ng kongresista.

Matapos ang pagtatanong ni Rep. Castro sa 2017 budget presentation sa Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC) ay nangako ang DBM na pag-aaralan ang iba pang mga maaaring pagkuhanan ng pondo para sa CNA incentive.###

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[ 24 Aug 2016 | No Comment ]

24 August 2016
Reference: Rep. France L. Castro (0920-969-8457)

Castro: Rechannel PBB funds to salary increases

Due to the Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) scheme’s divisive and discriminatory character, Rep. Castro urged the rechanneling of 16.7B PBB funds to salary increase during the Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC) presentation of the 2017 Budget on Monday.

ACT Teachers Party-List had so long decried the divisive, deceptive and discriminatory character of this system which purports to improve efficiency of government agencies’ functions. “This system creates an atmosphere of competition among employees instead of harmonious cooperation towards providing quality public service to the people,” Castro said.

Due to the lawmakers’ incessant prodding at the new administration’s decision to continue and even increase the PBB funds, DBM Undersecretary Laura Pascua agreed to give reports assessing PBB’s role in improving the efficiency of government agencies and agreed to review guidelines in granting PBB.

Moreover, Castro explained that PBB discriminates rank-and-file government employees because the amount of bonus for each employee depend on his/her salary.

“The PBB scheme is especially unfair to the public school teachers since the criteria used to measure their performance are the NAT scores of the school, drop-out rate, and liquidation capability and expenditure of the schools’ MOOE. Such parameters do not center on evaluating the quality of teacher factor,” Castro ended.

The PBB is part of ex-DBM Sec. Abad’s Performance-Based Incentive System [PBIS] along with PEI, established through EO No. 80, s. 2012 which adopted the Results-Based Performance Monitoring System (RBPMS)—a major governance reform that puts premium in the improvement of the performance management. The previous administration had allotted huge amount of funds to this scheme (14.6B in 2015 and 13.5B for 2016).###

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[ 18 Aug 2016 | No Comment ]

18 August 2016
Reference: Rep. France L. Castro

Rep. France Castro on DBM Sec. Diokno’s anti-poor statement

Rep. France Castro of ACT Teachers Party-List denounced DBM Sec. Benjamin Diokno’s ‘anti-poor statement’ when he said “there is no urgency” in giving salary increases to teachers and nurses, yesterday in an Anti-Poverty Summit in Davao. Castro is also dismayed after Sec. Diokno announced that only members of AFP and PNP will have a PhP 5,000 allowance and rice allowance every month starting September and assured that uniformed men’s salary increase be granted by January 2017.

“It’s really alarming that the secretary said this in an anti-poverty event considering that quality education and health services are components of the ‘war against poverty’ being waged by the current administration,” Castro said as she asserted that teachers and nurses play important roles in poverty alleviation.

Castro underscored the fact that teachers and nurses along with other government employees are burdened with the perennial increases of the price of basic commodities faced by cops and military.

The lawmaker emphasizes insufficiency of the PhP 19,077 current monthly salary of entry-level teachers amidst the rising cost of living. Researchers found that PhP 1,093 is required to support a family of 6 per day.

“Teachers only have PhP 3,500-6,000 to as net take home pay each month. This dire state of their financial capacity pushes them to get loans and even pawn their ATM accounts. Teachers had historically fallen trapped in this cycle of indebtedness,” Castro stressed.

Castro condemned this notion that the uniformed service ought to be first since all government employees are equally important in nation building.

The lawmaker also reminds Sec. Diokno of constitutional mandate Art. 14, Sec. 5, Par. 5 to “assign the highest budgetary priority to education and ensure that teaching will attract and retain its rightful share of the best available talents through adequate remuneration and other means of job satisfaction and fulfillment.” ###


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[ 20 Jul 2016 | No Comment ]


20 July 2016

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


The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III vowed to fast track two cases against Miriam College filed by two of the teachers it retrenched due to K to 12.  He also committed to check on several schools which retrenched teachers through questionable claims of financial losses due to K to 12 and their compliance with labor laws on salaries and benefits, security of tenure, contractual employment, and others.

The labor chief said these at a dialogue yesterday by ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio at the DOLE central office, Manila, where representatives of faculty and staff of various colleges and universities, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT)-Private Schools, ACT State Universities and Colleges, and the Council of Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities of the Philippines (COTESCUP) briefed him on the labor implications of the K to 12 program. Among those who were able to attend the meeting were the retrenched faculty of Miriam College and San Sebastian College-Recoletos, and concerned professors of San Beda College-Manila, University of Santo Tomas, and Centro Escolar University. Those who were retrenched said the schools alleged “projected losses” due to K to 12 and “viability and long-term sustainability” as reasons for the retrenchment.

Two of the Miriam faculty filed cases of illegal dismissal and denial of wages, and another is set to be filed.

Bello said that he will ask the handling Labor Arbiters to act on these cases as fast as possible.

Other participants also informed Bello of the experiences of other faculty of these schools, University of Santo Tomas, Saint Louis University and other HEIs in CAR, and others who are already laid off due to retrenchment, forced separation or resignation, or non-renewal of contracts, or in danger of being laid off in the coming months until next year.  These teachers are then asked to apply in these schools’ senior high school programs or “re-engagement” under part-time or fixed-term, non-tenure track contracts—with lower pay and no benefits.

Bello said that such practice is illegal since the rehiring means that the teachers are still needed.  Other indications like continued enrollment, these schools’ financial statements, and application for tuition fee increase belie their alleged losses.

With the teachers’ allegations, Bello said that his agency will invite these schools to explain to check on whether there were valid grounds for retrenchment.

The practice of “endo” or end of contract prevalent in the service sector is now also common in the education sector, the teachers told Bello.

Citing DOLE data, COTESCUP also revealed that private schools in basic and tertiary education have a dismal record of compliance with labor standards laws such as minimum wage, benefits, regular employment, and occupational safety and health.

He encouraged teachers to give DOLE facts on layoffs and contractualization due to K to 12 to enable them to investigate.

“We welcome these commitments from Secretary Bello, given this data and the current reality that schools are using K to 12 as the opportunity to violate security of tenure, avoid paying decent wages, and save labor costs by hiring more contractual employees,” said Tinio.  “This is an opportune time for government to assert more regulatory power over private schools while protecting the rights of teaching and non-teaching personnel and ensuring quality education at the same time.”

Bello also committed to streamline the process for its Adjustment Measures Program (AMP), the P500 million fund intended for the financial support, employment facilitation, and training and livelihood of teachers and non-teaching staff in higher education institutions (HEIs) displaced by K to 12.

The dialogue is the latest in a series of engagements with government agencies aimed to inform them of the real situation of education workers under the Aquino administration’s K to 12 Program.  The group’s recent dialogue with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) resulted in a memorandum implementing a restraining order of the Supreme Court against the removal of Filipino in the new General Education Curriculum, thus preventing the further retrenchment of Filipino faculty and closures of Filipino departments.

Tinio and the professors vowed to follow through with other such talks with the Department of Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and the K to 12 inter-agency body composed of these two, CHED, and DOLE, as well as ensure the commitments of these agencies.

Tinio also vowed to pursue in Congress a critical review of the implementation of K to 12, considering its labor implications as raised by their group, among others. ###

Please be informed of the following correction (in bold) to the press release yesterday of Rep. Antonio Tinio.  We request for the necessary corrections and apologize for any inconvenience.

NOTE:  Only faculty from Miriam College and San Sebastian reported instances of retrenchment.  Issues for the other schools are endo, rehiring as contractuals, diminution of benefits, among others.