House proposal for public
sector wage hike further widens gap between civilian and military pay
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers today criticized a proposed public
sector wage hike bill pending in the House of Representativesfor favoring
military and uniformed personnel over employees in the civilian
According to ACT national
chairman Antonio Tinio, House Joint Resolution No. 24 will grant higher
pay increases to military and police personnel relative to professionals
in the civilian bureaucracy, such as teachers, nurses, accountants,
lawyers, and doctors.
House Joint Resolution No. 24,
“Joint Resolution Urging the President of the Philippines to Modify the
Compensation and Position Classification System of the Government and to
Implement the Same Initially Effective July 1, 2009, and Authorizing the
Amendment of Existing Laws and Issuances Contrary to the Provisions of
this Resolution,” was drafted by the Department of Budget and
Managementand the Civil Service Commission and filed by Speaker Prospero
Nograles on September 16, 2008. “Therefore, it is the Arroyo
administration’s public sector wage hike proposal,” said Tinio, noting
that there were numerous other proposed bills pertaining to salaries
pending in the House.
“While we do not begrudge
military and police personnel the pay increases that will be granted them,
we do resent the fact that the Arroyo administration has consistently
focused on upgrading the pay of uniformed personnel while neglecting to do
the same for the civilian bureaucracy,” said Tinio. He pointed out that
while Malacañang imposed a wage freeze on civilian personnel from 2001 to
2007, during the same period it substantially upgraded the salaries and
benefits of military and police personnel. “Unfortunately, we’re seeing
the same bias in the administration’s current proposal.”
ACT revealed that at a recent
meeting of a Technical Working Group, DBM officials explained that a
Police Officer I or Private will receive a total monthly compensation
(which includes basic pay and allowances) of P19,800; a Cadet in the
Philippine National Police Academy will receive P25,140; and a 2nd
Lieutenant, P34,218. On the other hand, a Teacher I or Nurse I will
receive P20,549; an Accountant I will receive P21,940; a doctor or lawyer
(Medical Officer I or Attorney I) will receive P28,878. “In this proposal,
a Cadet in the PNPA will be paid 22% higher than a public school teacher,”
said Tinio. “In fact, the Cadet will have the same basic salary as
anAssociate Professor I in our state universities and colleges. That’s a
tenured Ph.D. holder sharing the same pay grade as a plebe in the academy.
Is that fair to professionals in the civilian bureaucracy?”
“We appeal to the members of
the House as well as the House leadership, particularly Speaker Nograles
and Committee on Appropriations chairman Junie Cua, to heed our call for
fairness and uplift the pay and status of teachers and other professionals
in the civilian bureaucracy,” said Tinio. “In particular, our demand is
for a P9,000 increase in the total compensation of teachers, from the
current P14,026 to P23,026.”
Tinio made his appeal during a
march of 5,000 public school teachers to the Batasang Pambansa. Teachers
from Quezon City , Manila , Caloocan , and other cities of Metro Manila,
as well as the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, and Tarlac,
participated in the march. “This march signals our determination to carry
on this struggle for decent salaries for teachers and other professionals
Similar protests were held
simultaneously in Cebu City and Koronadal City .
In Koronadal City , more than 500 teachers marched to the Round Ball in
the center of the city, where they held a rally and candlelighting
ceremony in support of the call for a P9,000 increase in the salaries of
References: Antonio Tinio (0920-9220817), ACT National Chairman
William Alterado (0920-6728592), ACT-Cebu City
Gloria Malcontento (0915-9441746), ACT-Koronadal
Teachers launch GSIS refund
campaign in Cebu
Posted February 15th, 2009 by ACTNational
Reference: Antonio L. Tinio (0920-9220817), ACT National Chairperson
William Alterado, (0920-6728592) ACT Cebu City Chapter Chairperson
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers launched its nationwide campaign to
demand refunds from the Government Service Insurance System in Cebu City
ACT national chairman Antonio Tinio, who is currently facing five libel
cases filed against him by GSIS President and General Manager Winston
Garcia, urged public school teachers, who compose over a third of the GSIS
membership, to fight for the scrapping of the pension fund’s policy of
automatically deducting alleged arrears from the claims and benefits of
its members. Tinio addressed the teachers at a meeting of ACT’s Cebu City
“This automatic deduction policy, known as the Claims and Loans
Interdependency Policy or CLIP, introduced by GSIS President and General
Manager Winston Garcia, tramples on the right of members to due process
and in fact violates the GSIS law itself,” said Tinio, referring to
Republic Act 8291, the “GSIS Act of 1997.”
He explained that Section 41(w) of the said law stipulates that the GSIS
Board of Trustees must file a legal action or suit before the proper court
or body in order to recover any arrears incurred by its members. “From the
point of view of members, the law provides them with the protection of due
process. The legal proceeding gives them an opportunity to challenge or
disprove the claims being made by GSIS against them. On the other hand,
the automatic deduction policy is unilateral, summary, and not subject to
appeal. It violates the members’ right to due process.”
Tinio added that the policy is made more unjust due to the shoddy state of
the GSIS membership records. “The GSIS is notorious for maintaining an
incomplete and/or erroneous membership database, especially regarding the
posting of premium payments. The GSIS itself acknowledges that they are
currently engaged in a massive ‘reposting’ project to bring these up to
date. Yet this does not keep them from using this flawed database to
generate claims of ‘premiums in arrears’ against its members, which are
then automatically deducted the moment they claim a benefit or take out a
loan from the GSIS. In most cases these so-called premiums in arrears are
false, merely the result of their failure to post premium payments.
Members are thus subjected to double deductions.”
Tinio cited the case of a teacher in Tarlac who was entitled to a maturity
claim of Php 93,185.44 but who only received Php 50,889.72 after the GSIS
automatically deducted Php 42,295.72 in alleged premiums in arrears.
“This case is typical, it’s happening to GSIS members all over the
country, and its one of the main reasons why there’s such widespread anger
against the GSIS. Garcia is fond of extolling the billions of pesos in
earnings made by GSIS under his stewardship. The fact is that most of it
has been made through illegal deductions from the benefits of members.
Tinio explained that ACT’s “GSIS Refund Now!” campaign will involve the
filing of a lawsuit to nullify the automatic deduction policy, a demand
for the refunding of all deductions illegally made against members, and
the prosecution of GSIS officials responsible for the said policy. “Our
ACT chapters nationwide are giving out forms that will help teachers
victimized by CLIP to document their experience.”
“Even though Cebu is the political stronghold of the Garcia clan of GSIS
President and General Manager Winston Garcia, we teachers of Cebu are
united in condemning the unjust and illegal policies of GSIS,” said ACT
Cebu City chapter chairman William Alterado. “We’ll do our part in
ensuring the success of the GSIS refund campaign.” #
8-point Education Reform
Posted January 31st, 2008 by ACTNational
The crisis of Philippine education is worsening. Quality of learning is
deteriorating; school facilities are inadequate and obsolete; cost of
education is rising; and campus repression is reaching an alarming level.
Education is failing in its mission to equip young Filipinos with relevant
life skills and knowledge to enable them to confront the challenges of
Education reforms initiated by the private and public sectors do not
address the roots of the crisis. Corruption defeats the efforts to improve
delivery of education. State policies exacerbate the colonial,
commercialized, elitist and fascist features of Philippine education.
It is true that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo inherited a flawed
education system. But Arroyo is also responsible for aggravating the
crisis of education. A relevant, robust and efficient education system is
not one of Arroyo's legacies in the past seven years. Arroyo's education
program has further diminished the capability of schools and decreased the
opportunities for learning in the country.
A deficient education system heightens social discontent and poverty.
Thus, education policies should be overhauled immediately. New programs
must address the basic problems of education. Failure to implement key
reform measures will intensify the education crisis.
Different stakeholders of education have drafted an 8-point education
agenda which highlights the crucial role of the government in reversing
the decline of Philippine education.
1. Increase the budget of education. National spending on education should
be equivalent to 6 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. The education
sector should receive at least 20 percent of the national budget.
Increased government revenues should be used to fill the various gaps in
the education sector like the shortages in classrooms, books, computers
and other learning tools.
Public education, both formal and alternative systems, should be
strengthened. More schools should be established in the country.
Scholarship funds should be increased. The government should revamp its
policy of reducing the budget of state universities and colleges.
Dwindling funds lead to wholesale and subtle forms of insidious
commercialization in public schools.
The government has enough resources to allocate higher funding for
education. Lawmakers can give up a portion of their pork barrel in favor
of education investments. Payment for anomalous debt contracts should be
cancelled outright. A significant fraction of debt servicing and
intelligence funds of Malacanang should be realigned to education
2. Use Filipino as medium of instruction. Language is an important factor
in the cognitive development of children. Students learn better and faster
if the national language is used in schools. Over the years, Arroyo has
made the English language as the only medium of instruction in the
country. Congress is supportive of this policy. Education agencies have
prioritized programs that would improve English language proficiency.
Arroyo's language policy, aside from reinforcing the colonial character of
Philippine education, restricts the learning ability of students.
Policymakers need to understand the pedagogic value of using the Filipino
language in schools.
3. Improve teachers' welfare. Teachers are the most important human
resource in Philippine education. Yet they continue to suffer from work
overload while receiving low wages. Many times their salaries are even
delayed. Congress should pass the bill that would raise the salaries of
public school teachers and other government employees by P3,000. The Magna
Carta of Private School Teachers should be enacted. Training and
re-training of teachers should be given priority. Opportunities for
graduate education or research activities by teachers should be enhanced.
4. Moratorium on tuition and other fee increases. Rising school fees are
forcing hundreds of thousands of students to drop out from schools.
Millions of young Filipinos could not afford the high cost of education
today. Education officials are not seriously performing their duty to
regulate school fees. At a time when prices of commodities are rising, and
when household incomes continue to fall, a moratorium on tuition increases
in both private and public schools can bring immediate relief to poor
families. Congress can pass a law that will clarify and strengthen the
mandate of the government to regulate school fees.
5. Develop a nationalist and relevant curriculum. School courses or
subjects should prioritize the country's needs over the manpower
requirements of other countries and multinational corporations.
Vocational/Technica l education should match the actual needs of the local
economy. Science education should be pursued to promote national
industrialization and develop a productive agricultural system. Medical
and nursing education should be reformed to meet community health needs.
School courses should inculcate patriotism and inspire students to serve
the people. Learning history and other social sciences, humanities and the
arts should continue to be taught in schools.
6. Invest in science, research and technology development. The country's
rich natural resources can be developed through sufficient investments in
research and development, along the line of national industrialization and
advancement of the agricultural sector. National spending on research and
development should be equivalent to 1 percent of the GDP. Government
should grant generous incentives to scientists, promote R&D in schools and
use science and technology to solve hunger and poverty in the country. R&D
should also be directed towards the protection of natural resources
against exploitation by big companies.
7. Promote transparency in education programs. There are various
initiatives to improve Philippine education. However, many of these
programs are tainted with corruption. Taxpayers' money is wasted when
corrupt bureaucrats take the lead in sponsoring programs with minimal or
even dubious benefit to the public. The Cyber Education Program is an
example of an overpriced, redundant and scandal-ridden project. There
should be transparency in implementing education reforms. Stakeholders
should be consulted first before approving major education programs. Other
ongoing projects like the Call Center Training Academy of the Commission
on Higher Education should be reviewed by the public.
8. Uphold democratic rights in schools. Teachers and students are among
the victims of extrajudicial killings, forced abductions and other forms
of political repression. The perpetrators of these crimes should be
brought to justice. Democratic rights should be respected inside campuses.
The vilification and psy-war operations conducted by the military and
police in schools and universities against progressive student and teacher
organizations under the guise of socio-civic activities should be ended
immediately. Soldiers and police forces deployed or operating inside
schools should be pulled out at once.
Academic freedom and the right to organize should be respected in schools.
Congress should probe school authorities that implement rules and
guidelines that violate basic rights provided by law.
The government should refrain from undermining the independence of the
student movement. The establishment of government-sponsore d national
student organizations is highly condemnable since this compromises student
welfare and autonomy of student politics.
- National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), College Editors
Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), KABATAAN Party, Alliance of Concerned
Teachers (ACT) -