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.#####