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[ 10 Jul 2012 | One Comment ]
Press Statement: July 9, 2012
Spokesperson: Mr. Benjie Valbuena, Vice-Chairperson;  Cellphone Nos.: 09162294515
Media Liaison – Zenie Lao, Cellphone No. 0919819890

The retiring and outstanding teacher of Pura V. Kalaw Elementary School did not expect that she will become a victim of robbery and attempted sexual molestation in her own classroom while doing her instructional materials for tomorrow’s lesson. She had an overtime so that she would not bring her work at home.
Last July 2 at around 2:30pm, the school janitor’s son, Christian Durolfo, 21 years old and former student of the school robbed and attempted to sexually molest Mrs. Adeluisa Ong Kitane, Master Teacher II and teacher of grade 1. Durolfo tried to molest Mrs. Kitane by forcing her to remove her clothes while he is also removing his shirt and pants. Mrs. Kitane has a presence of mind that she told him he is like a grandchild to her that’s why Christian, who is under the influence of drugs, stopped.  Aside from this incident, Durolfo tried to lock her in the classroom’s comfort room but did not succeed when Mrs. Kitane pleaded to him.
Durolfo used a long knife to intimidate Mrs. Kitane. And before the incident, another teacher saw him roaming around the school near the flower box In front of Mrs. Kitane’s room. According to other teachers, this is not the first time that this kind of incident happened in this school, there were 3 cases of stealing but this is the worst incident that almost took the life or endangered the safety of a teacher.
The following day Mrs. Kitane has no choice but to go to school despite the incident because she has to teach her students who did not like other teacher to teach them. Even if her life is in danger because of Durolfo’s threat still Mrs. Kitane endures it. She was traumatized by the incident that she cannot use her classroom’s comfort room and she is being fetched by her son.
Until now, the suspect is not yet apprehended. Even though this is the case, still Mrs. Kitane has to teach. She will soon retire on April 2013.
The school does not have any security personnel to secure the teachers and especially the elementary students. This is a common situation for other schools; they suffer from lack of security because of the small budget allotted in Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) that includes the security personnel and other expenses.
The station commander of the police precinct near the school should provide a police security detail while the case is not yet solved and immediately dispatch a follow up unit to arrest the suspect in its known whereabouts.#####

Activities »

[ 6 Jul 2012 | No Comment ]
5 JULY 2012
Dear ACT Scholar,
Please be informed that you may now claim your ACT scholarship paycheck at the U.P. cashier, which is temporarily holding office at UP ISSI, Verata Hall, U.P. DIliman.
A valid I.D. will be required during transaction process.

News »

[ 5 Jul 2012 | No Comment ]

Press Release: July 5, 2012
Reference:  Mr. Benjie Valbuena, Vice-Chairperson, Cellphone No.   09162294515

“President Benigno Aquino III must have been brandishing his signature wry smile when he opened his pay envelop last payday while on one hand across the country, contractual and volunteer teachers have already “sold” their next month’s income to be able to survive themselves and their families, Mr. Benjie Valbuena,” Vice-president of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said.
“Last year, more than a million new kindergarten students and thousands of volunteer teachers suffered. Teachers were contracted to receive P3000 only per session as an allowance for teaching kindergarten and yet their measly allowances were delayed for as long as six months.  They receive an allowance which is four times less than the minimum wage law,” Mr. Valbuena continued.
ACT insists that education reforms should start with ensuring the democratic rights and welfare of teachers. It is so because teachers have the biggest impact on student learning. Hence, ACT strongly denounces President Benigno Aquino III’s policy to pay kinder volunteer teachers with P3000/session only. Those teachers must be given regular items since President Benigno Aquino III and his minions crafted the K to 12 education program. The Universal Kindergarten is a national plan which is now a Law and, therefore, teachers hired under this program must be paid accordingly.
President Benigno Aquino III cannot also dismiss the importance of class size which is one of the most important indicator of how well children perform in school.  Sad to say, our public school system is literally bursting to the seams.  We have pointed earlier the basic inputs on education that this administration must address.
President Aquino will deliver his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 23rd and teachers will definitely come to join the multi-sectoral rally to press for genuine reforms in education and pro-people policies for the Filipino people in general.
“To speak of desired quality without concrete actions like allocation of higher budget for the gross shortages in teachers, classrooms, textbooks, seats  and sanitation facilities and the framework itself of his K to 12 Education Program, President Benigno Aquino III then is misleading us teachers,” Mr.Valbuena added.
“We cannot simply afford to just listen because the future of our students and our country are in the hands of President Benigno Aquino III.  At this point, two years after his first SONA, and his failure to address teachers and people’s basic issues and demands, we are already recommending his expulsion from the People’s University. “Mr. Valbuena ended.#####

News »

[ 27 Jun 2012 | No Comment ]

June 25, 2012, 8:39pm

MANILA, Philippines — The government’s plan to lend $1 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) continues to draw criticism in the House of Representatives, with one lawmaker describing the move as “plain crazy” and must first be sanctioned by Congress.

Representatives Teddy Casiño (Bayan Muna) and Antonio Tinio (ACT Partylist) chided the Aquino administration for its decision to draw $1 billion from government’s dollar reserves as the Philippines’ contribution to the IMF’s $400 billion bail plan for European countries on the verge of economic collapse.

“The Aquino government’s plan to lend $1 billion to the IMF is plain crazy,” said Casiño, pointing out that there is no logic in granting the loan when the national debt “just breached the P5-trillion level early this year.”

This report, he said, shows that Filipinos are “more in debt than ever.” “Why on earth lend money when we ourselves need it?” asked Casiño.

He pointed to the fact that more than 700,000 micro, small and medium enterprises in the country are denied access to proper credit facilities.

“This plan is not sanctioned by Congress and has never been discussed in our budget deliberations. Only Congress has the power to allocate such a huge amount for this purpose,” Casiño added.

Tinio shared the same view, saying it would be insensitive on the part of government to pursue its plan when the education sector is in dire need of cash to improve its facilities and train teachers.

“Why would our President extend loans to countries whose Kinder teachers are paid around five times more than ours receive, whose class sizes are sometimes 15 to a teacher?” he asked.

Tinio added: “The pledge could have answered the budgetary requirements for increasing the salaries of public school teachers from Salary Grade 11 to 15—about P40 B for some 520,000 teachers already in DepEd’s payroll.”

The Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions-Southern Tagalog (RCTU-ST) also condemned the Aquino administration’s $1-billion pledge, describing it as “showing off” and “dreamy.”

RCTU-ST Spokesman Fortunato Magtanggol said the announcement made by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Armando Tetangco Jr. during the Group of 20 meeting was a shocker.

“This pretentious move by the Aquino government is a clear display of incompetence; a slur in the face of millions of Filipinos dying from hunger,” said Magtanggol.

“While the Aquino administration declared an end to the Philippines’ borrower status to the IMF (as a result of implementing lopsided economic reforms), the BSP recently admitted that the country’s foreign debts increased to $62.9 billion as of the end of the first quarter (due to the increase in foreign investments, initiated by the same economic reforms).” he added.

Earlier, Reps. Ben Evardone (LP, Eastern Samar) and Teodorico Haresco (Ang Kasangga Partylist) defended the government’s decision.

Evardone, chairman of the House Committee on Public Information, said the move is not only aimed at helping the IMF save some European economies, but also to show the world that the Philippine economy is healthy.

“That loan will send a positive signal to international investors that the Philippine economy is stable. The mere fact that we have graduated (to) a creditor nation is already a milestone,” Evardone said.

“With a healthy economy, the government can focus in allocating more resources for infrastructure and social services,” he said.

On the other hand, Haresco welcomed the decision as he noted that Aquino has “put the country on the global financial radar.”

“P-Noy showed to the rest of the world solidarity and amity with the developed world,” Haresco said. –with a report from Chito A. Chavez