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SONA 2016 #TheChangeWeWant

25 July 2016 No Comment

PRESS RELEASE
24 July 2016 

References: ACT Teachers Reps. Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817) and France Castro (09204166441)

SONA 2016 #TheChangeWeWant
Solons forward educators’ wishlist for SONA
ACT Teachers Party-List Reps. Antonio L. Tinio and France Castro call on President Rodrigo Duterte to tackle issues concerning the education sector including insufficient salaries, high taxation and the K-12 program.
“President Duterte has been vocal about increasing the salaries of members of the PNP and AFP.  But we hope that he will also keep in mind the long struggle of teachers for decent living salaries.  We urge him to reverse his predecessors’ example of giving mere concessions and piecemeal increases to teachers,” said the solons.
Teachers will march together with the other basic sectors to demand salary increase for teachers and all government employees. They are calling for the passage of House Bill 56, which Tinio and Castro filed to increase the minimum monthly salaries of public school teachers to P25,000 and non-teaching personnel to P16,000.
Teachers’ groups and unions are vigilant and expect the Duterte administration to stay true to its slogan “Change is Coming.”  Teachers along with low- and middle-income earners in the public and private sectors are heavily burdened by high taxes for so long.  To address this, the solons also filed HB 57 to lower income taxes, exempting those earning below P396,000 a year.  They also urge against increased VAT and additional taxes.
“We hope that President Duterte will voice out a plan to provide free and quality education and other social services,” Castro said.

Teachers and non-teaching personnel call on the President and his alter ego Education Secretary Leonor Briones to stop the implementation of the K to 12 program which puts upon additional burden on our teachers, students and their parents, noted Castro.

“This program only delivers profit to private schools through the voucher system. The haphazardly implemented curriculum removes Filipino and History subjects in high school.  The remaining subjects for our children are massage, nail and beauty care, housekeeping, and such others which aim to train them, as early as Grade 7, as semi-skilled and export-ready workers.”
For his part, Tinio condemns the retrenchment and displacement of faculty members of private colleges as the response of the school administrators to K-12.  Contractualization of instructors and lecturers are also now the norm.

Tinio said, “What we want to teach and what we want the youth to learn are the knowledge and skills that will answer the needs of our local economy and will contribute to the development of our nation”.

“Together, let us call for quality education directed towards national industrialization, which can provide decent wages and truly uplift the lives of Filipinos.”

On Monday, teachers and students with other sectors of society will forward to the Duterte administration the just demands of the people.

Tinio concluded that: “While we support the president in his progressive moves in busting corrupt officials and opening up the peace process, we believe it is time for him to address substantively the people’s and the educators’ agenda.” ###

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