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Interpellation Reports

3 May 2010 No Comment

13 October 2010, Pre-Plenary Conference on the Proposed Budget of the Department of Education:

 

Representative Antonio Tinio interpellated top officials of the Department of Education regarding Republic Act 4670, or The 1966 Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, and the state’s failure to provide benefits thereunder.  Notwithstanding the penal provision (Section 35 prohibiting any person—including public officials—the interference with, coercion, and restraint against beneficiaries of the law), teachers have not received the following benefits:

  • overtime pay,
  • additional compensation for co-curricular and out-of-school activities,
  • cost of living allowance,
  • special hardship allowance for teachers in areas in which they are exposed to hardship (such as difficulty in commuting to the place of work or other hazards peculiar to the place of employment),
  • medical examination and treatment and compensation for benefits,
  • study leaves and indefinite leaves, and
  • salary increases upon retirement.

 

Secretary Armin Luistro denied any hand in the formulation of the General Appropriations Bill, but other DepEd officials, through Assistant Secretary Jesus Lorenzo Mateo, admitted that their request for an additional P49 million for Magna Carta benefits was not incorporated into the proposed budget “due to budgetary constraints.”  Representative Tinio added that there was in the 2008 budget a provision for P500 million for unpaid Magna Carta benefits.  This, Rep. Tinio noted, was the government’s recognition that the Magna Carta is “an unfunded law,” but this recognition has regrettably not been repeated since.  He hopes that this recognition will be reinstated the next year.  However, Rep. Almario, Committee on Education Vice-Chair, clarified that the 2008 provision was a congressional initiative, which is subject to Presidential approval or impoundment.  Representative Tinio asked whether the P500 million was released, that is, if the unpaid benefits were given to the teachers as provided under the law.  The DepEd officials said that the budget is yet unreleased.

 

 

13 October 2010, Plenary Deliberations on the Proposed Budget of the Commission on Elections:

 

Representative Tinio again secured from COMELEC officials the assurance that the latter will pay the amounts that are due the teachers.  It has been his continuing advocacy to advance higher compensation for teachers who are always pushed to the frontlines in all national and local elections.  Previously, he aired in the pre-plenary conference with the COMELEC the injustices affecting teachers—they serve as members of boards of inspectors and other bodies, oftentimes in the face of grave dangers to life and limb, and notwithstanding the measly pay given them.  He cited before the plenary several cases of teachers dying in the course of their electoral duties.  Insisting that the State has to do more than pay lip service to honor the heroism of teachers, he commented that the proposed budget for teachers’ compensation for the upcoming barangay and ARMM elections are severely insufficient to provide for a just recompense for the hardships they have to endure.  He is also hoping that this function will, in the long term, become only voluntary and not an imposed duty upon the teachers.

 

 

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