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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.

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[ 20 Jul 2016 | No Comment ]

19 July 2016
Reference: ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio (09209220817)

At the urging of ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio L. Tinio and Filipino advocates led by Tanggol Wika and anti-K to 12 petitioners, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chief Patricia Licuanan issued a Memorandum yesterday titled “Clarification on the Implementation of CMO No. 20 Series of 2013 Entitled ‘General Education Curriculum Holistic Understandings Intellectual and Civic Competencies'”.  The memorandum reverses CHED Memorandum Order 20, series of 2013 removing Filipino subjects from the college Revised General Education Curriculum and orders all public and private higher education institutions (HEIs) to require six to nine units of Filipino.

CHED issued the clarification as one of its commitments at a dialogue which Tinio held on July 13 between Licuanan, CHED Commissioner Cynthia Bautista, and representatives of faculty and non-teaching personnel of HEIs.

Tinio and the other participants revealed that, despite a restraining order issued by the Supreme Court in April 2015 preventing CHED and HEIs from implementing the removal of Filipino in the new GEC, among others, Filipino teachers in college were among those retrenched prior to the opening of the 2016-2017 academic year based on projected low freshmen enrollment.  Several HEIs also closed Filipino departments and programs, resulting to the loss of jobs of thousands of faculty.

They scored CHED for its failure to implement the restraining order, something that would have prevented the mass layoffs and closure.

Participants in the dialogue include several retrenched faculty and the groups Stop K to 12 Coalition and Tanggol Wika, which petitioned the SC to declare unconstitutional CMO 20 insofar as it removes Filipino, Panitikan, and Philippine Constitution and Government in the college curriculum.

“Despite this belated implementation of the TRO, we laud the return of our national language in our colleges and universities,” said Tinio.  “Tagumpay ito para sa mamamayan, para sa pagpapayabong at pagpapalawak ng kulturang Filipino, isang handog lalo na’t paparating na ang Buwan ng Wika sa Agosto.”

Tinio strongly urged CHED to be proactive in the implementation of its order and ensure that HEIs will indeed return the teaching of Filipino subjects.  Closed departments and programs, he added, should be reopened.

For Tinio and the other anti-CMO 20 petitioners, the fight to fully return Filipino, Panitikan, and Philippine Constitution and Government in the college curriculum still continues, with the SC set to finally resolve their petition in July or August.

Participants in the CHED dialogue also included the Council of Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities of the Philippines who raised the mass dismissal of faculty and staff in colleges and universities to the attention of CHED and Department of Labor and Employment representatives as well as other labor implications of K to 12.

CHED and DOLE committed to amend their guidelines on the scholarships, grants, the Adjustment Measures Program, and other assistance programs for displaced faculty, to extend aid to those no longer attached to any HEI, streamline the procedure, among others.  They also promised to make necessary inter-agency interventions (with the DepEd and TESDa) to address the labor implications of K to 12. ###

CHED Memoramdum  clarifying  the Implementation of Filipino Subjects in College Curriculum.  Please see link below.