The day thousands of teachers took to the streets to demand a living wage

 

Quezon City

 

March 4, 2009

 

 

     
   


The teachers came from Quezon City, Manila, Caloocan, and other parts of Metro Manila, as well as the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, and Tarlac. They marched under the noon day sun to demand an increase of P9,000 to their salaries to restore some of the purchasing power lost over the last seven years and to address the growing disparity between the salaries of teachers and other positions in government.

 

They marched along Commonwealth Avenue and Batasan Road and held a rally in front of Congress. Later, some 300 of the rallyists were allowed to enter the gallery of the House to listen to the speech of Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan explaining the demand for a P9,000 increase to the teachers' salary.

 

 

 

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ACT national chairperson Antonio Tinio pointed out that salaries of uniformed personnel had overtaken those in the teaching profession since the passage of legislation such as R.A. 8551, passed in 1998, which provided the basis for upgrading salaries of police personnel, and R.A. 9166 in 2002, which upgraded the pay of personnel in the armed forces.

 

Tinio ticked off these numbers:

 

■  A public school teacher receives a basic monthly salary of P12,026.

■  A mere cadet in the Philippine National Police Academy receives P15,992.

■  A 2nd Lieutenant in the armed forces, with academic qualifications similar to that of a teacher, receives P17,629. Aside from this, the lieutenant receives subsistence and other allowances and longevity pay amounting to an additional P5,333.

■  Even a private receives more per month, at P15,036, than a public school teacher.

 

"Our demand for a P9,000 increase seeks to address this situation which has downgraded the teaching profession and demoralized teachers.”

 

 
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NEWS RELEASE
4 March 2009

For Reference:
REP. LUZ C. ILAGAN 0920-9213221
Abby Valenzuela (Public Information Officer) 0915-7639619

UNIFORMED PERSONNEL’S SALARY HIKE, ADDING INSULT
TO INJURY – GABRIELA SOLON

Rep. Luz Ilagan of Gabriela Women’s Party today joined around 3,000 public school teachers from all over Metro Manila and neighboring provinces in a march to Batasang Pambansa to reiterate the need for P9,000 increase in their salaries.

"Our teachers' request for additional compensation has been painfully snubbed by the Arroyo government for years. Now, they are adding insult to injury by proposing to raise the military and police personnel’s salaries far higher than the teachers’, Rep. Ilagan said.

According to the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, the Department of Budget and Management and the Civil Service Commission’s proposed salary hike for uniformed personnel is unfair since a mere cadet in the Philippine National Police Academy will be paid 22% higher than a public school teacher or the same as the basic salary of an Associate Professor I - a Ph. D. holder - in our state universities and colleges.

Ilagan, together with Gabriela Party-list Rep. Liza Maza, Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Rafael Mariano and Bayan Muna Party-list Reps. Satur Ocampo and Teodoro Casino, authored House Bill 4734 or an “Act providing additional compensation for public school teachers”.

The bill was consolidated with the Salary Standardization Law III which will give teachers a mere P4,645 increase or a basic salary of P16,671. This, according to Ilagan is not enough, since the family living wage is P27,510.

“If the SSL3 is signed into law, teachers will suffer from a gap of P10,839.” #

ACT Chair UP Prof. Antonio Tinio with Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan to his left and UP Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalol to his right and teachers from Metro Manila and nearby provinces

           
     
     
           
     
           
           
     
           
     
           
           
     
           
           
     
           
           
     
           
     
           
           
     
           
           
     
 
           
           

 

PANAWAGAN SA PAGTAAS NG SAHOD NG MGA GURO SA GITNA NG MALAWAKANG
KRISIS PANG-EKONOMIKO!


Privilege Speech of Gabriela Women's Party Rep. Luzviminda C. Ilagan delivered on 4 March 2009 at the House of Representatives in front of around 1,000 members of Alliance of Concerned Teachers

Ginoong Speaker, mga kagalanggalang na Kinatawan, laman ng ating mga debate sa nakaraang mga buwan dito sa Mababang Kapulungan ang malawakang krisis pang-ekonomiya at pampinansya at kung paano natin maiibsan ang epekto nito sa sambayanang Pilipino.

Subalit sa ating mga diskusyon ay nakalimutan nating isaalang-alang ang isa sa pinakamahalagang sektor sa ating lipunan – ang mga guro.

Mga kagagalanggang na Kinatawan, ang gurong Pilipino, bilang isa sa mga propesyunal na may pinakamababang sahod, ay isa sa pinakamatinding naapektuhan ng pandaigdigang krisis.

Nandirito ngayon sa gallery ang ilan sa apat na raan at pitumpu't siyam na libo, walong daan at siyamnapu't tatlong (479,893) pampublikong guro na nagmartsa mula sa iba't ibang panig ng Pilipinas patungo rito sa Batasang Pambansa upang hingin sa ating mga Kinatawan ang madaliang pagdaragdag ng siyam na libong piso (P9,000) sa kanilang
buwanang sahod.

Tulad nating mga Kinatawan sa Kongreso, ang mga guro ay tapat na naglilingkod sa ating bayan, partikular sa paghuhubog sa mga kabataan bilang pag-asa ng ating bayan.

Maliban sa walong oras na kanilang inuubos sa pagtuturo sa ating mga anak, walang sawa rin silang tumululong sa iba pang gawain sa loob at labas ng paaralan, tulad ng pag-aasikaso ng mga programang pang-edukasyon ng mga mag-aaral, paggampan sa gawain ng isang adviser, trainer o coach, pakikinig sa mga problema personal ng mga bata at paggabay sa kabataan sa tamang landas.

Lahat ng ito at higit pa, ang kung tutuusin ay isinasagawa ng ating mga guro nang walang hinihintay na kapalit.

Ang labindalawang libong pisong (P12,026) minimum na sahod na natatanggap ng isang bagong guro ay hindi nakasasapat sa pang-araw araw na gastusin ng isang pamilya. Ito ay lubhang mas maliit din sa tinatanggap na sahod ng isang kadete ng Philippine National Police Academy na P15,992 at ng 2nd Lieutenant ng Armed Forces of the Philippines na P17, 629, na may kaparehas na kwalipikasyon sa isang guro. Kung isasaalang-alang pa ang mga kontribusyon at koleksyon na otomatikong ibinabawas ng pamahalaan sa kanilang sahod, ang kanilang take home pay na umaabot na lamang sa humigit kumulang limang libong piso (P5,000) ay hindi pa sapat pambili ng pagkain.

Maliban pa dito, ang mga pulis at militar ay nakakatanggap ng samu't saring benepisyo at allowances gaya ng hazard pay,subsistence allowance at longevity pay na umaabot sa mahigit limang libong piso (P5,333).

Walang natatanggap ng ganitong mga benepisyo ang ating mga guro sa kabila ng mga panganib na kanilang kinakaharap – may ilang mga guro na araw-araw ay umaakyat ng bundok o kaya ay tumatawid ng ilog, upang makapaghatid kaalaman lamang sa mga kabataang Pilipino.

Labag man sa kanilang kalooban, marami sa ating mga guro ang napipilitang magtrabaho na lamang sa call center o kaya ay maging caregiver o domestic worker sa ibang bansa dahil sa kakarampot na sahod na kanilang natatanggap mula sa pamahalaan.

Ang sagot ng pamalahaang Arroyo sa panawagang dagdag na sahod ng mga kawani ng gobyerno na Salary Standardization Law III ay tila isa lamang limos na nagtaas sa sahod ng ating mga guro nang apat na libo (P4,645, total=P16,671) na ibibigay sa loob nang apat na taon.

Ang kabuuang sahod na tatanggapin kung maaamyendahan ang Salary Standardization Law ay kulang nang may P10,839 sa konserbatibong pagtaya ng National Wages and Productivity Commission sa family living wage na P27,510.

Ginoong Speaker, mga kasamang Kinatawan, sa walong taong panunungkulan ni Ginang Arroyo ay isang beses lamang na itinaas ang sahod ng ating mga guro. Matagal silang nagtiis sa pinakamababang sahod at ang salary increase nitong nakaraang Hulyo ng nakaraang taon ay walang naitulong dahil sa walang ampat na pagtaas noon ng presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin tulad ng bigas at gasolina. Tuloy ang pagkalugmok sa hirap ng
ating kaguruan dahil sa padausdos na halaga ng kakarampot nilang sahod.

Dahil sa malawakang krisis na kinakaharap hindi lamang ng ating bansa, kundi maging ng mga tinatawag na abanseng ekonomiya sa buong mundo ay nangangamba ang ating mga guro na mas titindi ang kanilang nararanasang paghihirap.

Kaya sa ngalan ng mga guro na personal na lumapit sa ating pintuan sa araw na ito sa pangunguna ng Alliance of Concerned Teachers, hinihiling ng Gabriela Women's Party na isulong ng mga kagalanggalang na Kinatawan ng Mababang Kapulungan sa lalong madaling panahon ang P9000 across-the-board wage hike na kanilang tanging maaasahan sa panahon ng global financial and economic crisis.#

     
     
     
           
           
           
           
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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 bureaucracy.
 

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 in government.”
 

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 teachers. #

References: Antonio Tinio (0920-9220817), ACT National Chairman
William Alterado (0920-6728592), ACT-Cebu City
Gloria Malcontento (0915-9441746), ACT-Koronadal

 

     
     
     
     
           
 Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan delivers a privilege speech endorsing the demand of the teachers for a living wage.    
     

 

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 yesterday.

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 chapter.

“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 Agenda
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 nation-building.

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 services.

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) -

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
BONUS TRACKS

The partylist representives are great fans of the hardworking and dedicated teachers,

but the teachers also are great fans of the partlyst representatives

and so they had a great time having their photos

     
     
   
Teachers with Gabriela representaives Liza Maza and Luz Ilagan
     
     
     
     
     
Teachers with Bayan Muna representaives Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casiño
           
           

Website: http://www.actphils.com/2007/

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