The official newsletter of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers - Philippines

Regular Issue


Militant, Progressive, Nationalist

November 2010

1. HOUSE BILL 2142 OR THE SALARY UPGRADING BILLConsultative assemblies are ongoing nationwide to inform our

public school teachers nationwide and to gain support for House Bill 2142. Within the National Capital Region, the following divisions have been reached – Valenzuela schools teacher leaders, Caloocan schools teacher leaders, Manila schools teacher leaders, Makati schools teacher leaders then Paranaque schools teacher leaders. The Alliance of Concerned Teachers and ACT Teachers Partylist have also consulted with the following regions and provinces: Davao-wide schools teacher leaders, then also in La Union, Negros, Camarines Norte, Mindoro, Sta. Cruz, Laguna, Quezon. This is an ongoing activity until House Bill 2142 becomes a law. Last October 5, 2010, World Teachers’ Day, we had a big mobilization at the House of Representatives. Some 450 teachers from all over Metro Manila marched from the Sandiganbayan to Batasang Pambansa calling for the enactment of House Bill No. 2142. They were welcomed by ACT Teachers’ Party List Representative Mr. Antonio L. Tinio and were led inside the House of Representatives at the North Wing Lobby for a program to honor the teachers on World Teachers’ Day. Some Congressmen like Roilo Golez, Mong Palatino, Teddy Casiño, Emmy de Jesus, Luz Ilagan, Rafael Mariano, Lucy Torres Gomez, J.V. Ejercito, Emmy Calixto, Emil Ong joined us and greeted the teachers. They committed to coauthor the bill. Petition-signing asking for the support of the congressmen for this bill is still on-going in the different schools nationwide. Lobbying to respective congressmen of our teachers is likewise being done in their congressional districts and in the House of Representatives. Some schools have done tarpaulin-hanging expressing support for the bill – this is being encouraged. Posters are also available for

Top Left: About 100 teachers from Caloocan City attended the City- wide Consultation on HB2142. Top Rigth: Teachers march towards House of Representatives in celebration of World Teachers’ Day 2010. Bottom Photo: Leyte Representative Lucy Torres-Gomez joins ACT TEACHERS Partylist in the celebration of World Teachers’ Day activity at the North wing Lobby of the House of Representatives.

posting at school bulletin boards, inside faculty rooms and in other conspicuous places. We are also a member of Wage Fight – an alliance of all government employees under the three organizations of government workers (Courage, ACT, AHW), that will join forces to fight for a decent wage for all government personnel including teachers and non-teaching personnel. 2. GSIS – Last June 10 and July 19, we went to Times St. to bring the problems of our public school teachers – foremost among which is the low salary and the issues and concerns about our pension fund, the GSIS. President Aquino did not face us despite an earlier communication informing him that we would go there. In July 23, we had a dialogue with his newlyappointed Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Daniel Lacson. The retained old officers

were the ones who answered our questions since Mr. Lacson was not familiar with the problems we presented. We felt that there was no immediate change that could be instituted. The old policies of Winston Garcia will go on. We expressed this in a press conference on August 16, 2010. After writing Malacañang that we would meet with them on September 3 regarding our GSIS woes, we presented to the media our urgent appeal to President Aquino regarding our issues and concerns about GSIS. In the afternoon of this same day, our ACT Teachers Party List Representative and at the same time ACT Chairperson, Mr. Antonio L. Tinio made a privilege speech in Congress demanding a stop to the illegal policies instituted by Winston Garcia that have caused unwanted sufferings to public school teachers and other government employees. Congressman Escudero later stood up and demanded that an investigation be done about this immediately. Last September 3, 2010, about 650 teacher leaders from all the divisions of Metro Manila, including some leaders from Central Luzon and Cavite went to Malacañang hoping to personally bring these GSIS concerns to the highest authority of our land. We were desperate that the problems were far

from being resolved even after the newly-elected president promised reforms in all aspects of the government for the benefit of everyone. Again, we were faced there by officers of the GSIS and DepEd who had to merely say “sorry” for their long-time negligence of their duty in the simple updating of our records. And again, our wish that policies within GSIS that have been causing the continuous suffering of our constituents were far from being repealed. We laid down pressing demands that needed to be addressed urgently. No substantial solution has been given even if these could be done during the first 100 days of the new presidency. A simple executive order could be the answer to all these misery. What is keeping President Aquino so long to take immediate action on these? We promised we will go back to Malacañang this time with a copy of an executive order which we will ask him to sign so that we can be relieved with our burdens about GSIS.

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Last September 8, ACT (through its ViceChairperson Mr. Benjie Valbuena), was allowed to sit as observer in the meetings between DepEd and GSIS. Discussions in these meetings were all about updating of records of the two agencies. A memorandum of understanding was eventually signed before World Teachers’ Day and this was the only gift Update on the co-authors of the House Bill – as of October 22, 2010: given to us by the President on World Teachers’ Day.
Abayon, Daryl – Aangat tayo Party-list Almonte, Jorge T. - 1D Misamis Occidental Amatong , Romel C. - 2D Compostela Valley Angpin, Ma. Zenaida – 3D Manila Aquino, Jose ll – 1D Agusan del Norte Bacotabe, Rodel - Ako Bicol Party-list Bagatsing, Amado – 5D Manila Bagatsing, Amando S. -5D Manila Balindong , Pangalian M. - 2D Lanao Del Sur Bataoil, Leopoldo – 2D Pangasinan Bautista, Franklin P. -2D Davao del Sur Casiño , Teddy A. - Bayan Muna Party-list Castelo, Winston - 2D QC Catamco , Nancy A. - 2D North Cotabato Co, Christopher - Ako Bicol Party-list Cojuangco, Kimi S. –5D Pangasinan Colmenares , Neri J. - Bayan Muna Party-list De Jesus, Emerenciana – Gabriela Women’s Party-list De Venecia , Ma. Georgina - 4D Pangasinan Dimaporo, Imelda Q. Duavit, Joel Roy – 1D Rizal Enrile , Juan Ponse Jr. - 1D Cagayan Enverga , Wilfredo Mark M. - 1D Quezon Fabian, Erico Basillo A. - 2D Zamboanga City Ferriol, Abigail – Kalinga PL Flores , Florencio T. Jr. - 2D Bukidnon Fortuno , Savio B. - 5D Camarines Sur Garay, Florencio - 2D Surigao Del Sur Garbin, Alfredo - Ako Bicol Party-list Gatchalian, Rex- Valenzuela Go, Ana Cristina S. – 2D Isabela Go, Arnulfo - 2D Sultan Kudarat 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. Golez, Roilo - Parañaque Gomez, Lucy – Leyte Ilagan , Luzviminda C. – Gabriela Women’s Party-list Lacson-Noel, Josephine Veronique R. –Lone Dist., Malabon City Lagdameo, Monique Yasmin - 1D Makati City Lanete, Scott Davies - 3D Masbate Lazatin, Carmelo F. - 1D Pampanga Magsaysay , Milagros - 1D Zambales Magsaysay, Eulogio R. –AVE Party-list Malapitan , Oscar G. - 1D Caloocan City Mariano , Rafael – Anakpawis Party-list Mendoza, Mark Llandro – 4D Batangas Nava , Joaquin Carlos Rahman A. - Lone Dist, Guimaras Olivarez, Edwin DL. – 1D Paranaque Ortega, Victor Francisco C. – 1D La Union Pacquiao, Emmanuel D. – Lone District, Sarangani Palatino , Raymond V. – Kabataan Party-list Rodriguez, Isidro S. -2D Rizal Romulo, Roman C. - Pasig City Sacdalan, Jesus -1D North Cotabato Singson, Eric G. – 2D Ilocos Sur Tinga, Sigfrido R. Treñas, Jerry P. – Lone District Iloilo City Umali , Reynaldo V. - 2D Oriental Mindoro Ungab, Isidro T.– 3D Davao City Villar, Mark – Las Pinas Villarica , Linabelle Ruth R. - 4D Bulacan Yap , Susan - 2D Tarlac Yap, Arthur - 3D Bohol Zamora-Apsay , Ma. Carmen - 1D Compostela Valley

Last September 21, 2010, ACT was invited to a hearing by the Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises. We presented our position paper regarding our demands to GSIS and this set a basis for an investigation of the GSIS. We were assigned to gather evidences from public school teachers who are affected by the premium-based policy and the claims and loan interdependency program of GSIS. This will be needed when hearings about GSIS start. We have a GSIS Refund Claim that public school teachers who have been victims of these policies particularly can fill up and submit to ACT National with attachments of service records and other supporting documents which we will submit to this Senate Committee. Our petition-signing for our urgent appeal to the President-

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shall go on nationwide and we intend to bring this once more to the President when we return to him within the next few weeks -November 26, 2010, Friday, to be exact. The first batch has been given to him last September 3, 2010. 3. Barangay and SK Elections – We held dialogues with all the agencies that we will deal with as we serve as Board of Election Tellers on October 25, 2010. Our demands included (a) P4,000 election pay, (b) de-clustering of precincts so that the number of voters slide down to the maximum of 200 voters as in the past as against the maximum of 400 voters done by COMELEC, (c) an insurance of P200,000 in case of death and the full reimbursement of all hospitalization costs on injuries incurred resulting from this election service, (d) five days service credit as against the three days earlier expressed by COMELEC, (e) police assistance to avoid violence in hot spot areas, (f) free legal assistance to teachers who may encounter problems with losing candidates, and the recognition of our ACT Teachers’ Hotline as in the past. All these were granted except for the first two since COMELEC had no more budget for additional compensation. We wrote to President Aquino for assistance in this matter. DepEd Usec for Legal and Legislative Affairs, Atty. Alberto Muyot endorsed our letter. We have yet to hear the response of the President. Regarding de-clustering, it was late to do this since BETs have already been assigned. DepEd USEC Muyot adopted our demands in the MOA which he had signed between DepEd and COMELEC. He also brought us to the main office of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in the finalization of the MOA between DepEd and IBP. IBP will provide us legal assistance. Our ACT Teachers’Hotline for the Barangay and SK Elections of 2010 began operations in the morning of October 24, 2010 and it shall continue to service BET’s as long as they need such assistance. 4. The Department of Education’s K + 12 Basic Education Program – The Alliance of Concerned Teachers is basically against the implementation of this program. This is not the answer to the achievement of quality education. Contrary to the expression of the Department of Education that this will produce employable graduates, our yearly graduates in the Philippines add to the existing unemployed individuals. The 12 year basic education system will not resolve unemployment – we should instead amend our basic labor and economic policies. 5. Updates by our National Uniform Committee – The Alliance of Concerned Teachers sits in the National Uniform Committee through our National Council Member for Malabon, Ms.

Top Left: ACT TEACHERS Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio actively interpellates the Department of Education Budget during the Congressional hearing about this. Top Rigth: 30 congressmen sign a resolution to stop Budget Cuts on Education and other Public Services. Bottom Photo: Teacher-Leaders from National Capital Region and nearby provinces gathered to disscuss immediate plans about our campaign regarding Salary Upgrading and GSIS Problems and Issues.

Joselyn Martinez. We reiterated our demand that cash be given to all teachers instead of clothing material. That is why once again, our teachers will be receiving cash and they will therefore have the option of buying the uniform material in an establishment of their choice. The committee will choose the design of such uniform during the last week of November. We will update you then. 6. The Provident Fund – Again the Alliance of Concerned Teachers sits as a Board member in the National Committee on Provident Fund. As of now, it has a total of more than 36M pesos which would be allocated to regions, and another 56M pesos which is still with the DBM for transfer to the national provident fund. 46M pesos is still for transfer from the regions to the provident fund. The provident fund is the total fund of the accumulated service fee collected from the deductions of payments of loans of teachers from private lending agencies that are accredited by the Department of Education. It is loaned out to teachers by DepEd at a very low interest rate of 6.5% provided the loans are emergency involving hospitalization, education of children and repair of houses. 7.National Issues like the issue on National Budget – Congress has passed the basic education budget. We have passed a paper at the Senate to Senator Loren Legarda regarding our concerns

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in the approved Basic Education Budget of Congress. We also sent this to Sen. Cayetano , Sen. Villar and Sen. Angara. The discussion of this budget will now be done in the Senate. 8. Relief and Rehabilitation Program of ACT – ACT does relief operations whenever necessary. This time we are calling on our colleagues to help our countrymen in the North who have been affected by typhoon Juan. Donations can be forwarded to the ACT National office or you can call up 4539116 so that we can pick up such donations..###

DAVAO CITY – A unity walk around the city concluded the 2nd General Assembly of Kahugpungan sa mga Magtutudlo ug Kawani sa Edukasyon sa MindanaoAlliance of Concerned Teachers Davao (KAMKEM-ACT Davao) last October 4, 2010 in an advance celebration of the World Teachers’ Day. “The teachers’ unity walk which was attended by almost a hundred teachers, shows that the teachers in the city and nearby provinces are united in advancing the cause for economic and democratic rights,” said Elenito Escalante, newlyelected Chairperson of KAMKEM-ACT Davao. “Indeed, we are determined in strengthening the unity of teachers and education workers,” Escalante said. The assembly was attended by teachers from 31 public elementary and secondary schools, and private schools from Davao City and Davao del Norte. ACT Teachers Partylist Representative Antonio L. Tinio, who was also present, consulted with the teachers regarding the Public School Teachers’ Salary Upgrading Bill or House Bill 2142. The Salary Upgrading Bill raises the minimum salary grade of teachers from Salary Grade 11 to Salary Grade 15. “The teachers expressed support for the bill. We will be lobbying with the local government unit and our district representatives to have their support for the immediate passage of the bill,” Escalante said.

The House of Representatives last night approved the General Appropriations Act of 2011 (House Bill 3101) on third reading, despite calls made by several Representatives to defer voting to allow for discussion of amendments proposed by the House leadership. ACT Teachers Party-List and other progressive groups denounced this railroading of the national budget, explaining that such a move violated the principle of transparency. ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio condemned the fact that the P1.645-T budget was reached without even discussing the amendments proposed during recess. “Interpellations and discussions are crucial to budget proceedings. With the majority railroading of HB 3101, the Aquino administration proved to be no different from the Arroyo regime,” said Tinio. Rep. Tinio joined 20 other legislators in voting against the budget, which was approved with 175 votes on third reading. Contentious provisions publicized during the budget hearings at the committee level and during the plenary still abound in next year’s budget. Debt servicing proved to be top priority (including P 357 B for interest payments), while dubious allocations and dole-out schemes dominate public expenditures. The P34.1 B earmarked for the Department of Social Welfare and Development contains P21.9 B for the controversial Conditional Cash Transfer program. In contrast, state colleges and universities are only given P24.3 B. While the Department of National Defense is
Progressive Partylist Representatives led by Bayan Muna, ACT Teachers, Gabriela, Anakpawis and Kabataan Partylist condemn the P21.9 B Conditional Cash Transfer program of the Aquino Administration in a press conference at the House of Representatives last October 5, 2010.

given P104.7 B and the President has P 650 M for the Confidential Intelligence Fund. Specialty hospitals will only receive P 970 M. “Funds for essential social services like health and education will continue to be scarce. When government is not willing to fund our schools and teachers, we can’t expect any real progress for 2011,” concluded Tinio. Allocations which are susceptible to corruption, misuse, and conversion such as the Special Purpose Funds and lump sum amounts (P 15 B for the Public-Private Partnership Strategic Support Funds for the Departments of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform and NEDA, among others) are also featured in the Aquino budget. With a budget no different from the Arroyo administration, Rep. Tinio adds, Filipinos cannot expect real reform and transparency from the Aquino administration, whose electoral victory hinged on promises of a “daang matuwid” and “kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” ###

The official newsletter of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers - Philippines

Militant, Progressive, Nationalist

Published Monthly by the National Secretariat of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Philippines with Office address at 2/F Teachers’ Center, Mines St. cor. Dipolog St., Bgy. VASRA, Quezon City, Philippines.
Telefax: 453-9116 Mobile: 09178502124; 09198198903 Email: Website: Facebook: Act Phils

Alliance of Concerned Teachers - Philippines is a member of Education International.

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