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Teacher runs 30K to call for pay hike

2 March 2012 No Comment

Teacher runs 30K to call for pay hike

By Rebelander S. Basilan

Friday, March 2, 2012

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 02, 2012.

SHE ran from Consolacion town to Talisay City under the hot morning sun, smiling and waving at her fellow teachers as she passed by their schools.

After three hours and 45 minutes, ultra marathoner Melina Twinkle Gonzales-Ignacio reached

the finish line at the Department of Education (DepEd) Talisay City Division Office. She ran 30 kilometers yesterday morning to call for an increase in the teachers’ salary.

“I ran that far to call the attention of our public leaders in Congress,” the 46-year-old teacher at the Vicente Rama Memorial High School said in an interview. Ignacio, a Cebu City resident, is a member of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (Act), which is pushing for a bill that seeks to increase the teachers’ entry-level salary from P17,000 to P24,800. Act Party-list R
This July, teachers will receive the final tranche of the salary increase under the Salary Standardization Law III. The law grants government workers a salary increase of P6,500, given in four tranches, starting in 2ep. Antonio Tinio filed House Bill 2142 or the Public School Teachers’ Salary Upgrading Bill in August 2010. To pressure Congress into passing the bill this year, the group has been organizing fun runs every Sunday since January.
The group fears that if the bill is not passed this year, teachers will have to wait for two or more years to get another salary increase, since the legislators will be busy with the elections next year.009.

The Party-list is also supporting the bill’s version in the Senate. Senate Bill 3008 is authored by Sen. Manny Villar.

They have earlier called on Cebuano legislators Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south disitrct), Rachel “Cutie” del Mar (Cebu City, north), Luigi Quisumbing (Cebu, 6th) and Pablo Garcia (Cebu, 2nd) to support HB 2142.

They noted that Reps. Eduardo Gullas (Cebu, 1st), Pablo John Garcia (Cebu, 3rd) and Arturo Radaza (Lapu-Lapu City) have expressed t


heir support for the bill.
Ignacio, a mother of three, said she didn’t find yesterday’s run difficult because she trains regularly.

She said the traffic made the run risky but she wasn’t worried because she had a crew behind her throughout the run.

Her run began at the DepEd Consolacion office at 6:30 a.m. and ended at the DepEd Talisay City at 10:15 a.m.

Ignacio has been teaching for 14 years. She is a master teacher handling music, arts, physical education and health subjects.

She taught physical education for seven years at the University of San Jose-Recoletos. Ignacio has been running for eight years, and is a member of the Ungo Runners. She has joined several ultra marathons, including the 104.5-kilometer Century Properties Ultra-marathon last Nov. 18-19. She was the fourth female runner to finish the ultra marathon, which started in Bogo City and ended in Cebu City.

Keith Bacalso, Act-Cebu coordinator, said Ignacio’s run “dramatized” the teachers’ call to speed up the passage of the bill.

He said the run was also the group’s way of launching Women’s Month. He said most of the teachers in the country are female.

Bacalso said they are also calling on Budget Secretary Butch Abad to submit a position paper on the salary upgrading bill as required by Congress.

“Teachers need a healthy body, healthy mind and a healthy paycheck,” Bacalso added.


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