While they appreciate the declaration of National Teachers’ Month under Presidential Proclamation 242, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) says the government must now halt with its token pronouncement and begin doing more tangible programs for teachers and public education system.
“We’ve been lobbying for a declaration of National Teachers’ Holiday every 5th of October, yet P-Noy gave us the whole month, from September 5 to October of every year as National Teachers’ Month. And that is something we should really appreciate. ” Said Benjo Basas, a public school teacher from Claoocan City and the group’s national chairperson.
Basas, however challenged President Aquino to to do not just lip service but a real solution to problems of education especially the teacher sector.
“While P-Noy keeps his silence on the demands of the teachers and has no concrete plan to resolve the problems besetting the country’s school system, these declarations would remain empty and lip service appreciation.” Basas continued.
The TDC again scored on the government for always sacrificing the welfare of the teachers that manifests in its programs like the universal kindergarten and the impending 12-year basic education program. According to Basas, Aquino administration is liable for the non-payment of the P3000 honorarium for kinder teachers since June of this year.
“This P3000 honorarium for kinder teachers is really unacceptable. This is a pay for house help, yet while teachers settled for this amount for additional income, the government, in apparent display of insensitivity does not even find ways to pay them on time.” Basas exclaimed.
TDC blamed P-Noy’s budget allotment for 2011 which according to them is “non-considerate of the needs of the field” and will boost the contractualization scheme in public school system.
“While the president boasts of the universal kindergarten program and the 12-year basic education for Filipino learners, the budgetary needs for this flagship program were not considered for 2011 and even 2012 budget.” Basas continued.
According to the group, success of all education reform programs would be impossible without giving paramount consideration to the welfare of the teachers.
“We are going to seek the support of the senators by challenging them as well to pass laws for the welfare of teachers.” Basas said.
Aside from questioning the unpreparedness of the government in pursuing K-12 program the group has several other proposals such as the following:
Decent Pay for Kinder Teachers
Sufficient Funds for Education Sector
Reforms in GSIS
Health Care Program
Job Security for Public and Private School Teachers
Socialized Housing Program
Scholarship for Teachers’ Children
Optional Poll Duties
Paid Vacation and Sick Leave Benefits
Lower Compulsory Retirement Age.
These demands are among the issues they consider urgent and need urgent actions from the Aquino government.
“If these issues would not be addressed or even considered immediately, the Presidential Proclamation 242 would be nothing but a document ordering us all to celebrate. Again, we appreciate gratitude, but we need more than just recognition. Please Mr. President” Basas ended.
TDC will lead some 500 teachers in what they called a Teachers’ Day Caravan that will start at 11:00AM in EDSA-Balintawak, Caloocan City heading towards South at the main offices of the GSIS and Senate in Pasay City. They will stage a short program in front of Film Center in Pasay City before proceeding to GSIS where they will face GSIS officials including Chairman Daniel Lacson and President and General Manager Roberto Vergara at 1:30PM. After the dialogue, teachers will proceed to the plenary hall of the Senate where Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano is expected to deliver his privilege speech in honor of the teachers. Other participants of the motorcade, including Basas, will attend the DepEd-initiated celebration at the ULTRA and will then proceed to GSIS complex.
Emmalyn Policarpio, TDC Spokesperson: 0917-3835428
Ildefonso Enguerre, III, TDC-NCR Chairman: 0915-3785069
Benjo Basa, National Chair: 0920-5740241/ 3853437
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