19 March 2013
Reference: ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio (09209220817)
Budget cuts on higher education killing hope of the nation –teachers’ solon
Take responsibility for lives destroyed by commercialization policy, Aquino, UP admin urged
Saying that the high costs even of public education drive many Filipino youth to lose hope, a progressive solon reiterated the education sector’s recurring call for government to substantially increase its subsidies to public schools in the basic and tertiary levels.
ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio slammed the “helpless” and “guiltless” stance of the Aquino and UP administrations as regards the death of Kristel Tejada, freshman Behavioral Science student of UP Manila.
“Malacañang cannot wash its hands and say that they are ‘helpless’ against tuition fee increases because it has been the continuing policy of the Executive for decades to impose budget cuts on state universities and colleges in order to force them to adopt cost-recovery and income-generation measures, such as tuition fee hikes. Kristel’s death proves that this policy of commercializing education destroys lives, particularly those of the poor,” said Tinio. “Her death can be given some measure of sense if only the policies which drove her away from UP and studying which—according to her parents, she both loved—will be scrapped, not just revised.”
“Year in and year out, government plugs its ears to our calls for higher budget for the education sector,” said Tinio. “Instead, it gives mere scraps insufficient for our schools’ annually mounting needs and pushes them to increase tuition and other fees and be money-making machines at the expense of students and their parents.”
Budget cuts and inadequate subsidies force schools to augment the budget from the national government by generating their own income. Tinio also condemned insufficient state subsidy as the direct cause of anti-poor education policies like the long-reviled Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP) and its offshoot, the forced leave of absence policy.
The STFAP and similar “socialized tuition schemes” have long been criticized as a mechanism for imposing tuition and other fee increases in government universities. ###
COMELEC issued yesterday, February 28, Resolution 9650 that reactivates the registration records of all public school teachers duly appointed as BEIs whose registration records were inadvertently deactivated for alleged failure to vote in the previous two elections. Any public school teacher appointed as BEI can now cite this Resolution as proof that he or she is a registered voter for purposes of (1) voting on April 28, 29, or 30 as an early voter outside the place of her or his registration under Resolution 9637 (click also here and here for related posts) or (2) on May 13 in the place of her or his registration.
COMELEC deactivates registration of voters who failed to vote in the previous two consecutive elections. In past elections, teachers assigned in precincts outside their places of registration were not able to take the time to vote due to heavy workload or voted in their precincts of assignment but such fact was not reflected in COMELEC’s records. While this caused the deactivation of their registration records, they were still appointed for poll duties in national, local, and barangay elections.
27 February 2013
Reference: ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio (0920-9220817)
Teachers’ solon calls for immediate payment of Kinder teachers unpaid since last year
ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio today called on the Aquino administration to immediately pay public school kindergarten teachers, some of whom have not been paid for nine months.
The party-list solon revealed that volunteer Kindergarten teachers of the Department of Education (DepEd) in several cities and provinces nationwide have not been paid their honoraria for almost the entire school year due to red tape in the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), which has so far failed to release the necessary funds.
“Unpaid labor is slave labor,” said Tinio. ”The usual saying is that public school teachers are overworked and underpaid. But in the case of these Kindergarten teachers, they are not paid at all. We call on Malacañang to ensure that all Kindergarten teachers are paid immediately.”
Tinio pointed out that the DepEd’s volunteer Kindergarten teachers are already highly exploited. ”They are contractuals who are paid a mere P3,000 to P6,000 honorarium per month, are not entitled to benefits such as GSIS and PhilHealth, and have no job security. To deny them what little they are entitled to for months on end is adding insult to injury.”
According to Tinio, Caloocan volunteers have been teaching without pay since the opening of classes June last year. The Division’s Accounting Department reported it has sent two previous requests for P4.7 million for the honoraria for School Year 2012-2013. As of press time, DBM has not issued a Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) to pay for the teachers’ services for nine months.
Mandaluyong volunteers have not been paid since October. Although DBM issued a SARO for October to December, it has yet to release a Notice of Cash Allowance (NCA). The Accounting Department is also waiting for the SARO for the honoraria from January to March.
Other DepEd schools divisions like Rizal and San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan complained of bureaucratic tangles alleged by DBM such as missing attachments to requests for SAROs and NCAs. Divisions report that months pass before they get any response from the DBM.
Volunteer Kindergarten teachers are not placed in DepEd’s plantilla. As contractuals, their honoraria are subject to requests for special budget releases, a process usually taking months. There are over 23,000 of them nationwide.
“DBM’s delays and bureaucratic shambles cause these teachers to take nothing home to their families. A volunteer teacher complained that she does not even have enough to buy shampoo and toothpaste,” he added.
Tinio criticized the DepEd’s use of contractuals to implement universal Kindergarten. “The plight of volunteer Kindergarten teachers, who are the frontliners in implementing this administration’s K to 12 program, highlights the government’s reliance on highly exploitative contractualization schemes to deliver basic social services. This proves what we have been saying all along—the government is not ready for the requirements of K to 12.”
“The Aquino administration must end this virtual slavery. The only solution is to hire these volunteer teachers as regular employees of DepEd,” he concluded. ###