Category Archives: Press Release

[Press Release] TDC, muling nanawagan sa DEPED na istriktong ipatupad ang work from home scheme sa mga guro

#HumanRights #Teachers #Covid19ph

TDC, muling nanawagan sa DEPED na istriktong ipatupad ang work from home scheme sa mga guro

Matapos ang muling pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa at ang pagsasailalim ng Metro Manila at mga karatig-lalawigan sa mas mahigpit quarantine rules, muling nanawagan ang TDC sa pamunuan ng DepEd na ipatupad ang alternative work arrangement (AWA) partikular ang work-from-home scheme.

“Expose na expose po ang mga guro natin sa virus dahil sa iba’t ibang mga gawain gaya ng face to seminars at meetings na puwede naman sanang gawing virtual. Mayroon ding ilang nire-require for home visitation maliban pa sa distribution at retrieval ng modules,” pahayag ni Benjo Basas, Pambansang Tagapangulo ng TDC.

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[Press Release] A year under lockdown: workers’ condition worse than before | EILER

#HumanRights #Workers #COVID19ph

A year under lockdown: workers’ condition worse than before — labor NGO

The Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) is dismayed at the government’s failed pandemic response and for leaving the workers behind, a year after implementing the Enhanced Community Quarantine or ECQ.

Recent government data showed an increase in the annual unemployment rate up to 10.3 per cent, the highest recorded annual unemployment in 15 years (2020 Annual Preliminary Estimates of LFS). Before this, the unemployment rate reached an all-time high of 17.7% in April of 2020.

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[Press Release] Environmental Advocates’ Plea: Stop Activist Killings | EcoWaste Coalition

#HumanRights #Environment #Killings

Environmental Advocates’ Plea: Stop Activist Killings

Responding to the brutal killings of nine activists last March 7, environmental advocates pressed the government to ensure that the lives and liberties of those peacefully exercising their constitutionally-guaranteed rights are upheld and protected.

“As the fight for Mother Earth is a fight for her children too, the EcoWaste Coalition condemns the spate of politically-linked killings that have claimed the lives of activists working for and with the marginalized sectors,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition, including the nine activists who perished from the bloodbath last Sunday following joint police-military operations in CALABARZON.

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[Press Release] Apela ng mga guro sa DEPED, pagpahingahin niyo naman kami! | TDC

#HumanRights #Teachers

Apela ng mga guro sa DEPED, pagpahingahin niyo naman kami!
Virtual training na panonoorin sa youtube, hiniling na ipatigil

Mariing tinututulan ng mga guro sa pampublikong paaralan ang balak na pagsasagawa ng in-service training (INSET) ng Department of Education (DepEd) sa pamamagitan ng maghapong panonood lang sa YouTube sa loob ng isang linggo mula Marso 15 hanggang Marso 19.

“Hindi na nga magkandaugaga sa napakaraming trabaho ang mga guro ay ayaw pa rin kaming tigilan ng DepEd. Kung ang kalabaw at makina ay kailangang magpahinga, lalo pa ang mga guro dahil tao kami,” sabi ni Emmalyn Policarpio, guro sa Valenzuela City at Secretary-General ng Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC).

Dagdag pa ni Policarpio ay tila hindi umano nauunawaan ng pamunuan ng DepEd ang kalagayan ng mga guro na sa kasalukuyan ay hindi pa nga nakatatapos sa mga gawain ay dinagdagan na naman. Matatandaang nagkaroon ng adjustment sa school calendar ang DepEd sa pamamagitan ng isang kautusan ni Sec. Leonor Briones noong Marso 2 na nagsasabing magkakaroon ng karagdagang dalawang linggong remediation at intervention activities ang mga guro mula Marso 1 hanggang Marso 12 at sa Marso 15 hanggang 19 naman ay isasagawa ang school-based in-service training o INSET.

“Nagulat na lamang kami na biglang may lumabas na memo na nagsasbaing ang INSET sa March 15-19 ay magmumula sa DepEd Central Office at kami ay obligadong manood sa YouTube maghapon sa loob ng limang araw. Ito ba ay mas produktibo kesa sa iba naming gawain gaya ng pag-check sa modules, paggawa ng grades ng mga bata at mga reports na kailangang isumite?” Tanong ni Policarpio. “Dito pa lamang sa mga ito ay wala nang pahinga ang mga guro dadagdagan pa nila,” ayon muli sa kanya.

Ayon sa DepEd ay pinalawig ng halos isang buwan ang school calendar upang maisaayos ang learning gaps at mabigyan din ng pahinga ang mga batang mag-aaral. Ang sagot naman sa TDC ay dapat din umanong bigyan ng pahinga ang mga guro.

Sinegundahan naman ito ni Juanito Dona, Jr., Secretary-General ng Ating Guro Partylist (AGP). Ayon sa kanya, “Mawawalan ng saysay ang training na ito ukol sa online teaching sapagkat mas marami sa mga mag-aaral sa public school ay modular distance learning ang napiling modality. Kung sakali mang kailangan ang ganitong training, maaari naman itong gawin sa hinaharap, hindi ngayong panahon na ito.”

Nababahala rin umano ang AGP sa sitwasyon ngayon ng mga guro na tila ba wala nang patid sa paggampan sa kanilang trabaho na maaaring naisasakripisyo na ang kanilang kalusugan.

“Ang santambak na clerical tasks, online meetings, webinars at pisikal na mga trabaho ay maaaring makasama sa kalusugan ng ating mga guro. Idagdag pa ang stress na dulot ng pandemya, baka kailangan muna nating tiyakin ang kalusugan ng mga guro- physically, psychologically at mentally,” dagdag pa ni Dona.

Ayon pa rin sa dalawang grupo ay hindi man lang umano kinunsulta ang mga guro hinggil sa planong ito ng DepEd o tinanong man lang nila ang opinyon o damdamin ng mga karaniwang guro na araw-araw humaharap sa mga pagsubok magampanan lamang ang kanilang tungkulin.

“Sana naman po ay pakinggan ng ating Kalihim Liling Briones ang aming hinaing at agad na niyang ipatigil ang INSET na ito at hayaan na lamang magpasya ang mga paaralan at indibidwal na mga guro sa kung paanong paraan nila magagawa ang kanilang mga trabaho. At kung maaari sana ay ideklara na lamang na pahinga ng mga guro ang isang linggong ito,” ayon muli kay Policarpio.

Bagamat hinihingi ng mga guro ang isang linggong break, ayon sa kanila ay hindi rin umano ito masasabing pahinga sapagkat kailangan pa rin nilang tapusin ang mga gawain matapos ang second quarter.

Samatala, pormal nang umapela sa DepEd ang TDC hinggil sa bagay na ito, ayon sa sulat ni TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas kay Sec. Briones, “We therefore appeal to your office to withdraw the said memorandum which forces our 900, 000 teachers to participate in a virtual INSET via YouTube, cancel this plan for now and give teachers time to breathe, a little at least, while doing other paperwork. And while contemplating the details of the next INSET, perhaps the department could give better efforts at providing for internet expense of teachers. Internet connection exceeds ₱1,000 a month yet the miniscule ₱300 monthly communication expenses reimbursement promised under DepEd Order No. 38, s. 2020 have yet to be realized in many schools.”

Isang online petition din ang magkasamang inilunsad ng TDC at AGP para kumalap ng suporta ng mga guro.#

For details:

Emmlayn Policarpio, TDC Secretary-General, 0923-0819751
JR Dona, Ating Guro Partylist Secretary-General, 0965-5470700

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[Press Release] Kapangyarihan ng Kababaihan, Women’s Response to Duterte | World March of Women

#HumanRights #IntlWomensDay2021

On the Occasion of March 8 Celebration
Kapangyarihan ng Kababaihan, Women’s Response to Duterte

Photo from World March of Women

Over one hundred and fifty (150) women showed up at Plaza Miranda this morning beating drums, chanting “Kami ay Peminista, Hindi Terorista.”

“The pandemic has shown the strength of Filipino women not only to cope with but overcome the multiple responsibilities we carry and roles we undertake in the family and household, in the workplace, at the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19, in various civic and political spaces despite the threat of the virus and while limited by the adherence to health protocols,” said Ana Maria Nemenzo, National Coordinator of WomanHealth Philippines.

On the other hand, Jean Enriquez, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP) and National Coordinator of World March of Women (WMW), asserted that “the health crisis, too, has further unmasked the Duterte regime.” “It has exposed its weak leadership—with its failure in governance and to address the social-economic crises exacerbated by the pandemic,” according to the WMW statement.“It could only cover up this failure with increased brutality through its security forces, as seen in police harassment of ordinary people while those in authority could violate social and health protocols with impunity, in terrorist-tagging that has led to the murder of activists and civilians, in intensified military operations among urban and rural communities, and in repeatedly dismissing women’s capacity for leadership,” added Enriquez.

“Babae and hardest hit ng pandemya. Siya rin ang matapang napumapasan ng mahihirap na trabaho sa frontlines, kahit tanggalanng trabaho ang dala ng pandemya,” said Judy Ann Chan-Miranda of Partido Manggagawa. More women lost their jobs compared to men, 1.7 times more in most countries, according to the International Labor Organization. In a developing country such as the Philippines, where majority of women work in the informal or invisible sector, they have been the most affected, explained Miranda.

“Sa panahon ng ganitong krisis, nakakalungkot na ang perspektibang kasarian ang napagwawalang-bahala. Sa pag-aayos ng mgaproblema ng bansa, mahalaga na tugunan ang di-pagkakapantay-pantay na nararanasan ng kababaihan,” asserted Myrna Jimenezof Sarilaya. It is extremely important that women are not left behind during this pandemic. For us, there is really no better time to get involved and fight for our rights but now,” Jimenez added.

Meanwhile, the pandemic has aggravated other social-political issues in the country especially those affecting and confronted by indigenous peoples.

“The pandemic and climate change have worsened food insecurity among indigenous communities,” said Judy Pasimio of LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights). Indigenous women continue to defend their lands and rights, as food providers and defenders of women human rights, against destructive mining operations, industrial plantations, and mega-dams—industries which destroy food sources of indigenous and rural communities, according to Pasimio. “While they face state accusations that they are terrorists or sympathizers of terrorists, they continue to care for their communities and to struggle,” she added. “Amidst the pandemic, they continue to fight,” said Pasimio.

“But opposite the kind of power that the Duterte regime wields—the kind that oppresses and even kills, the kind that steps on the interest of ordinary people, mocks and manipulates legitimate grievances of the public, promotes and entrenches the political and economic elite, and the kind that betrays national interest to connive with foreign interest—is woman power, the kind that liberates from oppression, engenders social-economic and political equality, fights against all forms of discrimination and marginalization, and promotes human dignity,” according to the WMW statement. “Feminism is the kind of power that is not afraid; that emboldens women to be at the frontlines, to be leaders and warriors, to dream, fight for, and realize genuine change,” the grassroots feminist movement added. The action included survivors of prostitution and women relatives of extra-judicial killings, all wearing purple and chanting “Kamingmga Babae, Laging Umaabante.”

“We, women together with a broader labor movement would like our government to invest their energy and resources to develop a robust public employment program,” said Michelle Lising, Chairperson of Sentro Women’s Council. “This is needed to address the deep economic crisis, and such policies should include climate jobs, employment and income guarantees,” added Lising.

The Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) is also calling for more long-term support and protection for overseas Filipino workers and migrants, among whom majority of women have been the most adversely affected by the pandemic and corresponding lockdowns in countries around the globe. “There should be more long-term assistance for our Filipinos working abroad who were displaced by the pandemic as well as policies that will ensure for their sustainable protection especially against abuse of women,” said Ellene Sana, Executive Director of CMA.

“Five years after Rodrigo Duterte got elected as president, women’s situation in the Philippines worsened,” claimed Jelen Paclarin, Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB). “Women who criticized Duterte’s blatant remarks and wrongdoings have experienced denigration, vilification, and became the central topic of his sexist jokes to entertain people or divert the issue fired at him,” added Paclarin. According to WLB, with this kind of leadership and pronouncements, Duterte has solidified that stereotyping, shaming, and silencing women is normal and acceptable in our society. “President Duterte continues to disregard the rights of women as guaranteed by the 1987 PhilippineConstitution and their important role in nation-building,” said Paclarin.

Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA) Executive Director Liza Garcia also shared the significance of online spaces in women’s rights: “Violence against women committed online have spiked in 2020 by up to 165%, based on our data mapping results: Women are still being targeted with sextortion, non-consensual circulation of intimate images, and sexual threats. Reports of deepfaked videos and photos of women, and disinformation against women human rights defenders also continue to surface.” “These persistent threats impede women from fully exercising online the same human rights that they have offline,” according to Garcia. “If left unaddressed, the gender gaps and existing violence online is tantamount to allowing the ICTs to be just as oppressive as the many forces offline that hinder women from progress,” she said. “Not only is a VAW-free Internet vital to women’s meaningful connectivity, it is also part and parcel of making safe spaces for women and supporting the gender equality that we are all striving towards,” added Garcia.

#BabaeMakapangyarihan was the hashtag used by the group in posting International Women’s Day captions.

Contact Persons : Jean Enriquez 09778105326, Judy Miranda 09175570777

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[Press Release] TDC welcomes dismissal of DEPED plan to reduce teachers’ vacation period

#HumanRights #Teachers

TDC welcomes dismissal of DEPED plan to reduce teachers’ vacation period

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) welcomes the statement from the Department of Education (DepEd) that it will no longer pursue the plan to impose a “two-week vacation” prior to the opening of the next school year.

“Teachers, by tradition and by rules are entitled to a two-month school break and the DepEd cannot just disregard this, it’s a matter of right,” said TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas.

In a radio interview this morning, Dr. Diosdado San Antonio, Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction said that the agency will no longer propose a two-week break between school years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 following criticisms from netizens opposing the plan, which made the matter a trending topic in several social media platforms last week.

The TDC earlier said that a school break of only two weeks between two academic years is unacceptable especially that distance learning has been physically, mentally and psychologically exhausting both for teachers and learners.

Yesterday, the DepEd has released the DepEd Order No. 12, s. 2021 providing for the new schedule of activities under the current school year, extending it further to July 10, among other changes. Said Order, however does not provide for the school break between the SY 2020-2021 and SY 2021-2022.

“Since there are now changes in the schedule, the two-month break should be adjusted as well,” Basas ended.

Basas said that this is only a proof that DepEd can make sound policies if they will listen to their stakeholders, especially the teachers. In a hearing of the Senate Education Committee this morning, Basas reiterated that DepEd should include the teachers, the front liners in education sector in crafting its policies. #

For details:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
0927-3356375
NEWS RELEASE
March 3, 2021

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[Press Release] Toxics Watchdog Group Exposes Online Sale of Chemical Whiteners Laced with Mercury | EcoWaste Coalition

#HumanRights #Environment

Toxics Watchdog Group Exposes Online Sale of Chemical Whiteners Laced with Mercury
(EcoWaste Coalition cautions consumers against mercury-containing skin whitening cosmetics in the wake of 3.3. online shopping spree)

Photo by EcoWaste Coalition

The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition today released a new report revealing the unethical and unlawful use of online shopping and social media sites to sell skin bleaching, lightening or whitening products containing mercury, a dangerous poison banned in cosmetic product formulations.

The advocacy group for a zero waste and toxics-free society launched the report “Toxic Exposé: Online Trade of Mercury-Containing Skin Whitening Cosmetics in the Philippines” ahead of the 3.3 (which is equivalent to March 3) online shopping bonanza by e-commerce giants Lazada and Shopee.

The group conducted the investigation to generate data that will help stem both the supply and demand for mercury-containing cosmetics and promote the implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which phased-out in 2020 cosmetics such as skin lightening creams and soaps with mercury above one part per million (ppm).

Of the 65 samples procured from online dealers and subsequently screened for mercury using an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device, 40 were found to contain mercury above 1 ppm. Of these 40 samples, 38 had mercury in excess of 1,000 ppm, 25 with over 5,000 ppm, 19 with more than 15,000 ppm, and 5 were loaded with mercury above 25,000 ppm. None of the 65 samples are duly notified or registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“The results of our investigation should push online shopping and social media sites to strictly disallow and monitor the use of their far-reaching platforms to advertise and sell adulterated, counterfeit and unauthorized cosmetics such as those with mercury content,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“To avoid being harmed by mercury in cosmetics, we appeal to all Filipinos to accept our natural skin color, refuse chemical whiteners, and resist color-based bias, prejudice and discrimination,” he emphasized.

“The recommendations arising from the study, we hope, will contribute to the active implementation of the National Action Plan for the Phase-Out of Mercury-Added Products and the Management of Associated Mercury-Containing Wastes,” Dizon added, “despite the understandable focus of the government and the society on addressing the threats of the COVID-19 pandemic to people’s health and the economy.” The said plan was adopted in 2019 with inputs from concerned stakeholders, including the EcoWaste Coalition.

Dr. Geminn Louis C. Apostol, Assistant Professor at the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health, warned consumers that “mercury-added skin whitening products are poison cosmetics that can damage the kidneys, reduce skin’s ability to resist bacterial and fungal infections, and cause a variety of dermal problems such as discoloration, rashes and scarring,” adding that “the disposal of mercury in such products through the wastewater also pollutes our rivers and the oceans and consequently contaminates the food chain.”

“Ecowaste Coalition has exposed a gaping hole in the regulation of adulterated cosmetics containing the dangerous neurotoxin mercury. Their chemical analysis of skin-lightening creams sold through online platforms, leaves no doubt that consumers are being exposed to mercury at levels that can impair their health and that of their unborn children,” stated Lee Bell, Mercury Adviser of the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), which includes the EcoWaste Coalition among its participating organizations.

“Philippines regulators should launch an immediate crackdown on the sale of these toxic cosmetic products through online platforms and dedicate resources to monitor and identify the suppliers and distributors. There should also be cooperation and information sharing with governments of countries where the mercury laden cosmetics are produced and exported to stop this trade at its source,” he suggested.

To safeguard women‘s health and put a stop to the unlawful trade and consumption of poison cosmetics with mercury, the EcoWaste Coalition has put forward the following recommendations:

— For consumers to shun chemical whiteners, embrace their natural skin color with pride and stand up to color-based bias, prejudice and discrimination, and for those who prefer to lighten their skin tone to reject unauthorized cosmetics that may contain mercury, hydroquinone and other harmful substances.

— For the cosmetics industry to move away from white-centric concepts and ideals of beauty, and promote diversity in beauty instead, including the inherent beauty of one’s natural skin color.

— For e-commerce platforms and social media sites to ban the sale of adulterated, counterfeit and unauthorized cosmetics and for them to keep an eye on and take down non-compliant product ads.

— For the government to strengthen laws and regulations that will regulate and monitor online trade and protect consumers against hazardous products such as mercury-containing cosmetics, and for the authorities to ensure the environmentally sound management of mercury-added products and their wastes.

Prior to its public release, the EcoWaste Coalition provided a copy of “Toxic Exposé” to the FDA for its reference and action.

The said report is part of the group’s “Project Toxic-Free for Human Rights and Sustainable Development in the Philippines” supported by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC).

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[Press Release] DEPED asked to officially clarify the reported extension of SY 2020-2021 | TDC

#HumanRights #Teachers

DEPED asked to officially clarify the reported extension of SY 2020-2021

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) has asked the DepEd to officially respond to a circulating Facebook and SMS message from unknown sources which claims that there will be changes in the schedules of the on-going school year beginning today, March 1, 2021.

“May we respectfully ask your office about the veracity of the said message which is widely circulating since last week,” said Benjo Basas, TDC National Chairperson in a letter addressed to DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones.

The message, TDC said is purportedly an “important announcement and instruction” from a certain “RD” that based on the “ManCom” meeting last February 24, an academic break from March 1 to March 12 will be imposed and an “Inset” for teachers is set on March 15 to March 19. Furthermore, the message announced that the schedule of Quarters 3 and 4 will be moved to March 22 to May 15 and May 17 to July 10, respectively. Finally, it says that the new closing date for the current school year is on July 10, 2021.

The source of the message, however is still unknown, whether there is a ManCom (Management Committee) meeting of the DepEd is yet to be confirmed by the authorities. Earlier though, the DepEd through Dr. Diosdado San Antonio, the undersecretary in-charge for curriculum and instruction said that the agency is planning to extend the current school year and provide a “two-week summer break” before the start of school year 2021-2022. The proposal met criticisms from the teachers and the general public and even became a trending topic in social media.

Basas said that they have received several queries on the legitimacy of the message but could not confirm if it was really coming from a DepEd official as the text would claim. Thus, the group urged the DepEd to release official memorandum or statement so as not to further create confusion in the field. He said that there were reports that teachers were told to prepare for the two-week academic break for learners and in-service training for teachers and that classes will resume on March 22. The general instruction from school officials in the field still, was to wait for an official memorandum.

“Clearly, there are conflicting instructions. And we hope the DepEd would immediately clear this matter to prevent further confusion in the field,” Basas said emphasizing that both the learners and teachers need such break. “We believe that we should give our students a break from taxing academic activities and our teachers from stressful and physically exhausting tasks,” he added.

The TDC also asked the DepEd about its plans on the opening date of school year 2021-2022, according the group, the planned ‘two-week break’ between the two academic years “will not be acceptable.”

“Teachers are entitled to a two-month school break and if the DepEd will modify the scheduled end of current school year, they should also provide for a two-month vacation for our teachers who have been tirelessly working since June 1 of 2020,” Basas ended.

The TDC once again has formally asked the DepEd management for a dialogue to discuss this and other equally important matters. #

For details:
Benjo Basas, 09273356375
NEWS REALEASE
March 1, 2021

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[Press Release] Youth decries DepEd ‘heartless’ distance learning proposal -SPARK

#HumanRights #Education

Youth decries DepEd ‘heartless’ distance learning proposal

A campus group slammed the Department of Education (DepEd) for its suggestion that the summer break in the school year be shortened to two weeks to make way for adjustments in the distance learning academic calendar.

DepEd undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio had made the comments in an interview on 24 Oras, while also explaining that the matter was still up for discussion.
But Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK), an activist youth organization, called the proposal “stupid”; claiming that it would only further turn learning under the COVID-19 pandemic into a privilege.

“We strongly doubt that the solution to the problem of inaccessible online classes, is to simply hold more online classes,” Justin Dizon, SPARK spokesperson for senior and junior high students, said in a statement.

“After months of students, teachers, workers, and parents calling for a pause to the academic year, the fact that DepEd comes up with the solution of extending the year just proves how little they care about their constituents or how much they know of its impacts,” he added.

SPARK pointed to the case of Susan Collano, DepEd’s regional director for Catanduanes, brushing off a student’s suicide as further proof that the department did not care about learning or students’ welfare.

Collano had questioned whether the suicide of a 10-year-old Grade 4 student was really linked to the pressure of completing modules, despite the original Facebook poster clearly stating it to be the case.

“Collano’s heartless attitude aligns perfectly with that of [DepEd Secretary Leonor] Briones’ last year, when she called for the public not to link the spate of student suicides to online learning,” Dizon pointed out.

“Instead of addressing the issue by creating policies that made online learning free, more accessible and less stressful, they prefer to wash the blood off their hands. Education officials must ponder on the thirty-four lives they have struck down,” he added.

The group further demanded that no efforts to return to a “normal” setup must be made without the safety of students being the primary consideration as COVID cases now stand at 559,288 with 2,40 new infections.

“No matter where Briones is pulling her 50% numbers from, throwing students back into schools right now would simply be asking them to get infected with COVID-19,” the activist explained.

“All students must first be vaccinated. Schools and their environments should first be retrofitted in order to ensure the safety of the students, teachers, and workers–and all without charging the students a single centavo,” he warned.

SPARK has launched multiple campaigns regarding distance learning, including multiple calls for a nationwide academic break in the wake of the failure of the distance learning scheme.

They continue to push for key reforms in the education sector’s “new normal” to adapt to the changing environment.

NoStudentLeftBehind

Press Release
February 21, 2021
Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK)
Ref. Justin Dizon

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[Press Release] “Uber drivers are workers”: Riders group welcomes British SC decision on gig workers -Kagulong

#HumanRights #Workers

“Uber drivers are workers”: Riders group welcomes British SC decision on gig workers

The riders’ group Kapatiran sa Dalawang Gulong (Kagulong) greeted with enthusiasm the British Supreme Court’s decision declaring Uber drivers as workers. The landmark decision has finally settled a legal battle between the giant ride-hailing up and two of its workers who brought the issue before the courts in 2016 on whether they should be treated as workers of the company or self-employed.

Uber is also facing similar complaints in many other countries.

The Court said as reported in British newspapers, Uber drivers are workers “the moment they log-on until they log-off the Uber app.” Therefore, as workers, they are entitled to at least the minimum wage, holiday pay, and other benefits due for regular workers.

“Nakasisiya ang desisyon para sa aming mga manggagawang riders. Sa wakas ay mayroon nang jurisprudence sa isyung ito ng mga tinatawag na gig economy workers na maaring paghalawan ng mga korte ng iba’t-ibang bansa katulad ng Pilipinas,” stated Kagulong spokesman Robert Perillo.

Perillo, who is also the President of the Bulacan Motorcycle Riders Confederation (BMRF), said many of their members are working as riders/drivers in many app-based logistics services, thus, the legal resolution on their employment status is the first important step in promoting and protecting the gig economy workers’ basic rights and better working conditions.

According to BBC news, the court considered several elements in its judgement:
 Uber set the fare which meant that they dictated how much drivers could earn
 Uber set the contract terms and drivers had no say in them
 Request for rides is constrained by Uber who can penalize drivers if they reject too many rides
 Uber monitors a driver’s service through the star rating and has the capacity to terminate the relationship if after repeated warnings this does not improve

As an organized rights-based riding community, Kagulong has been receiving complaints from fellow riders working in different companies. Common among these complaints, similar to what the Court has resolved, is their imposed status as “independent contractors,” and the way hailing app exercises control over the performance of their jobs.

“Ngayong may batas na maari nang pagbasehan, wala nang dahilan ang ating mga ahensya tulad ng DOLE na sabihing hindi maaring harapin ang ilang isyu na nakahapag dito tulad ng reklamo ng mga manggagawa sa Food Panda na hindi pa hinaharap ng management sa dayalogo,” explained Perillo.

Kagulong called on riders/drivers from different companies to welcome this decision and organize themselves into union or workers’ associations to be able to defend their rights and secure better working conditions in the gig economy.

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[Press Release] Mga Guro Umalma sa Planong Two-week School Break ng DEPED -TDC

#HumanRights #Teachers

Mga Guro Umalma sa Planong Two-week School Break ng DEPED

“Hindi naman totoong nabawasan ang trabaho ng mga guro. Sa katunayan ay nadagdagan pa nga dahil sa tumaas ang dependency sa technology at mga clerical tasks. Kung dalawang linggo lamang ang ibibigay na break bago ang susunod na school year, aba’y baka hindi matapos ang mga trabaho and worse, hindi talaga makapagpapahinga ang mga guro natin,” ito ang naging reaksiyon ni Benjo Basas, Pambansang Tagapangulo ng TDC sa plano ng Department of Education (DepEd) na palawigin pa ang kasalukuyang school year at bawasan ang dalawang buwang school break at gawin na lamang itong dalawang linggo.

Sa pahayag ng DepEd sa pamamagitan ni Undersecretary Disodado San Antonio, sinabi ng ahensiya na maaaring pang palawigin ng dalawang linggo ang school year 2020-2021 at iksian ang tradisyunal na dalawang buwang bakasyon bago ang susunod na school year.

“Nagtataka naman po kami sa planong ito ng DepEd, sapagkat kung totoo na 99.37% ng mga mag-aaral ang nakakumpleto ng mga requirements noong first quarter at 80% ang rating ng ahenisya sa implementation ng distance learning system, bakit kailangan pa nilang mag-exted?” Tanong ni Basas. “Kahit pa ilang linggong extension ang ibigay kung mananatili ang kakulangan sa modules, kawalan ng access sa teknolohiya, limitadong oras o kakayahan ng mga magulang tulungan ang mga anak at ang mababang interes ng mga mag-aaral, mawawalan rin ito ng saysay,” dagdag pa niya.

Ayon sa grupo ay maaari namang paiksiin ang school break ngunit hindi naman anila sasapat ang dalawang linggo upang makatugon sa mga hinihinging trabaho ng mga guro sa pagtatapos ng school year. Hindi rin umano ito magiging praktikal dahil “mawawalan ng oras upang makapagpahinga man lang ang mga guro na siyang pumasan sa bigat ng mga gawain dahil sa daming mga pagkukulang ng sistsema bago pa man buksan ang klase noong Oktubre 2020.”

Sa huli, muling hiniling ng TDC sa pamunuan ng DepEd na maging bukas ang ahensiya sa dayalogo upang makita ng mga namumuno ang tunay na kalagayan sa ibaba at upang maipahayag naman ng mga guro ang aktuwal nilang karanasan.

“Itong mga nakaraang pahayag ng DepEd ay nagpapatunay na hindi nakalubog sa reyalidad ng public school system ang mga namumuno sa Central Office. Sa ganitong aspeto namin nais na tumulong at ipakita sa ating mahal na Kalihim at mga matataas na opisyal ng kagawaran ang tunay na kalagayan ng mga guro at mag-aaral sa ilalim nitong distance learning system,” pagtatapos ni Basas.

Ayon sa TDC ay handa umano silang makipagtulungan sa DepEd upang makapagsagawa ng plano ang ahensiya na nakabatay sa mga tunay na sitwasyon at masolusyonan ang mga nakikitang suliranin.

For details:
Benjo Basas, 09273356375

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[Press Release] Pagpapapirma ng bagong kontrata, tinututulan ng mga manggagawa! Job security at trabahong regular, dinipensahan! -AMBA BALA

#HumanRights #JobSecurity

Pagpapapirma ng bagong kontrata, tinututulan ng mga manggagawa! Job security at trabahong regular, dinipensahan!

‘Pinabalik, pinag-antay, pinaasa at ngayon ay minamaniobra ng kapitalista ng Desktop ang mga manggagawa!’ galit na pahayag ng DEA o Desktop Enployees’ Association, habang nag-aabang sa labas ng pasilidad ng Desktop Bags Company sa loob ng Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) ang higit-kumulang sa isangdaan (100) manggagawa, at naghihintay na kausapin sila ng mga kinatawan ng management o HR ng Desktop company ngayong araw ng Lunes, Ika-1 ng Pebrero, 2021. Ang Desktop Bags ay isa sa mga gumagawa ng mga high end fashion bags sa loob ng AFAB.

Matatandaan na nito lamang Enero 22, 2021 ay nagpatawag ng General Assembly ang management ng kumpanya na kung saan ay binanggit ang pansamantalang pagsasara ng Desktop subalit sisiguruhin na ang kumpanya ay aalinsunod sa mga batas ng paggawa at pagkilala sa karapatan ng mga manggagawa.

‘Kabaligtaran ang mga sinasabi ng kumpanya sa mga hakbang na ginagawa nito, nitong Enero 29, 2021, pinapipirma kaming mga manggagawa ng Temporary Employment Contract na nagsasaad ng limang (5) buwang pagtatrabaho sa DLX na sister-company ng Desktop’, ani ni Rosita Canoza, manggawa ng Desktop at kasapi ng DEA. “Ang ibig sabihin bagong hired kami simula Enero hanggang Mayo sa DLX. Bakit kailangan pa kaming papirmahin gayong inilipat lang kami sa sarili din nitong kumpanya? Nung itinayo ang DLX nung 2016, may mga manggagawa sa Desktop na inilipat sa DLX pero nagpatuloy lang sa kanilang length of service. Ganito din ang nangyari ngayon, bakit kailangan naming pumirma sa bagong kontrata na gagawin kaming kontraktwal? Mga regular na manggagawa kami kaya hindi dapat na tinuturing kaming bagong empleyado nang iisang kumpanya.”, turan pa ni Rosita, DEA member.

Ang pagpirma sa bagong kontrata ay mangangahulugan na may bagong kumpanya o employer ang mga manggagawa at ang katayuan nito ay contractual.
“Nagmamaniobra ang kumpanya, tinatakasan nito ang obligasyon niya sa mga manggagawang regular. Dapat lamang na kilalanin ang continuity ng length of service ng manggagawa kung inilipat lang naman sa sarili din nitong kumpanya DLX. Security of tenure at ang length of service na matagal na pinagtrabahuan ng manggagawa ang nais putulin ng kumpanya na lumalabag sa karapatan ng manggagawa bilang regular. Masakit pa ay ginagamit na panakot ang hindi pagpirma sa bagong kontrata upang patawan ng forced leave at hindi bibigyan ng pink pass upang hindi makapasok sa loob ng AFAB,” ani ni Elpidio Avellanoza, Secretary ng DEA.

“Ang tanging nais ng manggagawa ay makabalik sa trabaho na nawala dahil sa pandemya. Pero hindi tama na samantalahin ng kumpanya ang krisis na ito upang ipatupad ang mga hakbang na labag sa karapatan ng manggagawa tulad ng pagiging regular at magkaroon ng mga benepisyo sa ilalim ng CBA”, sambit pa ni Elpidio Avellanoza.

“Habang marami pa ring manggagawa ng DLX company na parehong gumagawa ng bags at sister company ng Desktop na parehong nasa ilalim ng Luen Thai Group (LNT Group of Companies), ang hindi pinababalik sa trabaho, tapos, mag-eemploy ito ng manggagawang contractual? Anong pagmamaniobra ito ng kumpanya? Inuunawa natin na dumaan din sila sa krisis pero hindi tama na pabayaan nating labagin ang karapatan ng manggagawa”, mariing sambit pa ni Elpidio.

Sa kasalukuyan ay naghihintay pa rin ang mga manggagawa ng tugon mula sa management ng Desktop kaugnay sa sitwasyong kinakaharap ng mga manggagawa.

Press release
Reference: Elpidio Avellanoza
Secretary, Desktop Employees Association (DEA) / AMBA-WPL
Contact Numbers: 09481893528

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[Press Release] Pollution Prevention Groups Press Government to Ban Non-Environmentally Acceptable Products and Packaging -EcoWaste Coalition

#HumanRights #Environment

Pollution Prevention Groups Press Government to Ban Non-Environmentally Acceptable Products and Packaging

The EcoWaste Coalition and Oceana Philippines today urged the national government to roll out a long-overdue policy that could help the country leapfrog to a zero waste and toxic-free circular economy.

The groups specifically asked the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), an inter-agency body under the Office of the President, to release the list of non-environmentally acceptable products (NEAP) for prohibition as required under Section 29 of R.A. 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act. The commission should have prepared the said list one year after R.A. 9003 took effect in 2001.

The groups also pushed for the implementation of Section 30 of the same law, which should have illegalized the sale or conveyance of products placed, wrapped or packaged in non-environmentally acceptable packaging materials.

“After two decades, the NSWMC has yet to produce the list of NEAP for phase-out and eventual elimination,” lamented Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition. “It’s time for the commission to work doubly hard in order to get a game-changing list out by this year to reduce both the volume and toxicity of our discards,” she emphasized.

“The commission’s inability to fast track the formulation of such list has badly affected the efforts of local government units, communities and households to achieve zero waste with the unrestrained production, distribution, consumption and disposal of products and packaging materials that are too difficult to recycle due to their chemical composition,” she added.

Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos, Vice-President of Oceana Philippines, likewise scored the NSWMC for failing to prioritize the formulation of the NEAP list in the face of the country’s ballooning waste production that is also contaminating the world’s oceans.

“We strongly urge the NSWMC to draw up the long-overdue list of products that are ‘unsafe in production, use, post-consumer use, or that produce or release harmful by-products when discarded,’ with single-use plastics (SUPs) on top of the list,” she said.

“The effect would be a tremendous reduction at the source of plastic pollution as production, use and trade of SUPs as a NEAP will be prohibited, with a hefty fine and other sanctions,” she added.

The adoption of the NEAP list and its subsequent implementation, the EcoWaste Coalition and Oceana Philippine said, will spur investments in product redesigns and delivery systems that will ultimately reduce, if not eradicate, the use of toxic chemical additives and the generation of waste.

Aside from throw-away plastics such as plastic bags, bottles, sachets, straws, stirrers and other SUPs, the groups also insisted on the inclusion in the NEAP list of items containing “substances of concern” that can expose people and the ecosystems to such harmful chemicals.

As noted in the report “Plastic’s Toxic Additives and the Circular Economy,” published by multiple UN convention groups and other organizations, including the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), “while the general issue of pollution by plastics has received growing attention, there has so far been less attention given to the additives.”

“Many of the additives are potentially toxic, and some meet the definition of being persistent organic pollutants (POPs),” the report said. “They pose a risk to the environment and to human health when they leach out of plastic debris.”

“Additives are also problematic in recycling, and their use is a potential barrier to making progress towards a circular economy,” the report concluded.

EcoWaste Coalition
78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

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[Press Release] EcoWaste Coalition Backs PH Ratification of Treaty Outlawing Nuclear Weapons, Pushes Government to Also Ratify Basel Convention Ban Amendment

#HumanRights #RightToLife

EcoWaste Coalition Backs PH Ratification of Treaty Outlawing Nuclear Weapons, Pushes Government to Also Ratify Basel Convention Ban Amendment

The waste and pollution watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition has expressed support for Senate concurrence in the government‘s ratification of a global agreement banning nuclear weapons.

Last Thursday, January 21, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III as Chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations submitted proposed Senate Resolution 620 concurring in the Philippine ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The Senate yesterday adopted the said resolution on second reading.

The treaty, which President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ratified on November 18, 2020, prohibits countries from producing, testing, acquiring, possessing or stockpiling nuclear weapons. It also bans the transfer of the weapons and forbids signatories from allowing any nuclear explosive device to be stationed, installed or deployed in their territory.

“We support our nation’s stance illegalizing nuclear weapons and urge all countries, especially the world’s nuclear powers, to do the same as well,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

The treaty entered into force on 22 January 2021 after being ratified by at least 50 countries.

“Even as we did not make it to the first 50 countries that ratified the treaty, the anticipated Senate concurrence in its ratification will reinforce the state policy for a country and, by extension, a world, free of nuclear weapons,” she said.

The group cited Article II, Section 8 of the Constitution stating that “the Philippines, consistent with the national interest, adopts and pursues a policy of freedom from nuclear weapons in its territory.”

While delighted with the country’s imminent ratification of the anti-nuclear weapons treaty, the EcoWaste Coalition pushed the government anew to also ratify the Basel Convention Ban Amendment, which entered into force on December 5, 2019.

The said amendment to the Basel Convention, adopted by countries to the said treaty in 1995, bans the export of hazardous wastes from developed to developing countries for reuse, recycling, disposal or recovery operations.

“Ratifying the Basel Convention Ban Amendment and imposing a national ban on waste importation will be our best legal protection against the nasty dumping into our shores of rubbish, including electronic, plastic and household wastes, from overseas,” said Lucero.

“Like the treaty banning nuclear weapons, the Basel Convention Ban Amendment is now an international law and we see no compelling reason for delaying further our country’s ratification of this agreement, which is in defense of the national interest and in sync with the president’s strong position against foreign waste dumping,” she concluded.

EcoWaste Coalition
78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

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[Press Release] Customs Official Receives “Environmental Justice Award”-EcoWaste Coalition

#HumanRights #Environment

Customs Official Receives “Environmental Justice Award”

20 January 2021, Quezon City. The waste and pollution watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition presented the “Environmental Justice Award” to Bureau of Customs-Region 10 District Collector John Simon in a virtual ceremony held yesterday.

Simon, a customs official with 31 years of distinguished service in the government sector, is the lone recipient of the group’s first-ever “Environmental Justice Award” coinciding with the national observance of “Zero Waste Month” this January.

According to Eileen Sison, President of the EcoWaste Coalition, Simon is recognized “for his exemplary leadership, unfaltering dedication and focused action to protect public health and the environment from hazardous wastes from overseas, particularly in relation to the successful re-exportation in 2019-2020 of some 7,408 metric tons of illegal waste shipments from South Korea.”

“Simon’s decisive and unyielding action to uphold our country’s tariff and customs and environmental laws and the provisions of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal led to the completion of the re-exportation procedures last September 15 amid the COVID-19 challenges,” she said.

“I’m deeply honored to receive this special citation from the EcoWaste Coalition. This award from a non-profit watchdog group on chemicals and wastes will surely inspire my fellow customs officials and employees to persevere in our role as protector of our nation against foreign waste dumping,” said Simon.

“Environmental justice demands that we assert our sovereign right not to be treated as dumping ground for wastes from abroad that can put the health of our people and that of our ecosystems in harm’s way,” he emphasized. “This job is too big for one agency to accomplish, so I reach out to all sectors, especially to the environment department and Congress to take on this challenge and strictly ban waste imports like what other Asian countries have done.”

In a video message, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar hailed Simon as “a model in an office that most requires brave idealism.” He said: “One man stood to protest, fight and have the South Korean garbage returned to its country of origin. He braved diplomatic problems, armed with the law and port regulations, and consequently succeeded to uphold what is right by international and domestic practices and, most importantly, by what is just.”

Secretary Andanar likewise cited the EcoWaste Coalition: “We acknowledge the importance of the EcoWaste Coalition in its task of ensuring the balance of ecosystems with the unguarded effects of progress,” assuring the group of “sustained support with the information dissemination as needed.”

To prevent a repeat of foreign waste dumping incidents, Marian Ledesma, Campaigner of Greenpeace Philippines, pointed out that “a comprehensive waste importation ban is crucial for the Philippines as countries close their borders to foreign waste.”

“Exemptions and loopholes in our current regulation still allow the entry of dangerous substances. And so, Filipinos and the natural resources we rely on remain at risk for harms and contamination brought about by foreign waste. We cannot afford to become a prime destination for the world’s trash, as we end up shouldering the health and environmental costs of waste trade. To protect the country from future exploitation, the Philippine government must prohibit waste importation altogether,” she said.

To recall, contaminated waste shipments, falsely declared as “plastic synthetic flakes,” exported by Green Soko Co. Ltd. and consigned to Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corp. arrived in Misamis Oriental in July and October 2018 without prior import clearance from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Customs and environmental authorities found unsorted plastic materials, household garbage, used dextrose tubes, soiled diapers, and discarded electronics in the bulk and containerized waste shipments in violation of national and international laws.

Authorities confirmed the shipments as “misdeclared, heterogenous and injurious to public health” and in blatant violation of Republic Act 10863, or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, and DENR Administrative Order 2013-22, which states that “no importation of heterogenous and unsorted plastic materials shall be allowed.”

Following bilateral negotiations, the illegal waste shipments totalling 364 containers (equivalent to 7,408 metric tons) were returned to Pyeongtaek City in seven batches between January 13, 2019 to September 15, 2020.

According to both the EcoWaste Coalition and Greenpeace, “ratifying the Basel Convention Ban Amendment and preventing the entry of all waste imports into the country (including waste labeled for recycling) is the best strategy for countries such as the Philippines to protect its citizens and the environment from the harmful impacts of waste dumping.”

The Basel Convention Ban Amendment, which entered into force on December 5, 2019, prohibits the export of hazardous wastes from developed to developing countries.

EcoWaste Coalition

78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

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[Press Release] Groups Push for Zero Waste Approach Amid Plans to Build 300 More Landfills by 2022-EcoWaste Coalition

#HumanRights #Environment

Groups Push for Zero Waste Approach Amid Plans to Build 300 More Landfills by 2022

Environmental advocates have weighed in on the plan of the government to construct 300 more landfills by 2022.

Through a press statement, leaders of the Bangon Kalikasan Movement, Mother Earth Foundation and the EcoWaste Coalition appealed to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to reconsider its plan to build more landfills across the country and to focus its efforts in enforcing the salient provisions of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

Republic Act 9003 provides for a comprehensive and ecological approach to managing discards primarily through waste prevention, reduction, segregation at source, reuse, recycling, and composting, excluding open dumping, open burning, and waste incineration.

The 20-year old law, enacted in the aftermath of the deadly Payatas dumpsite tragedy, requires the country’s over 42,000 barangays to develop ecological solid waste management programs, promote waste separation at source, enforce a segregated collection for biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste, and establish Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) in every barangay or cluster of barangays.

The said law further prohibits, among other things, the manufacture, distribution or use of non-environmentally acceptable packaging materials; the importation of consumer products packaged in non-environmentally acceptable materials; and the importation of toxic wastes misrepresented as “recyclable” or “with recyclable content.”

“DENR should concentrate on implementing RA 9003 and not build more disposal sites such as landfills. This plan will encourage the people not to practice source segregation and also promote the collection of mixed waste,” said Sonia Mendoza, Chairman, Mother Earth Foundation. “An Extended Producer Responsibility Law and banning single-use plastic packaging will greatly decrease the amount of residual waste that will have to be disposed of in landfills.”

For his part, Joey Papa, President of the Bangon Kalikasan Movement, asked: “How many more hundreds of hectares will be covered by these landfills, which are actually garbage dump sites? Why not use precious, diminishing areas of land for reforestation as shield against storms and typhoons, and as a source of food and livelihood for the people especially in critical times like this pandemic, made worse by global warming and climate change?”

“We must collectively and constantly exert efforts, in our homes and communities, to decrease the use of non-biodegradable materials, to be recycled; immediately eliminate single-use plastics which must be totally banned; and increase the use of biodegradable and plant-based resources, with the excess to be composted. This will reduce centralized collection by 60%-80% as successfully proven by BKM and its partner communities since 2003,” he said.

“We call on the DENR to seriously consider this proposition, our appeal for the longest time,” Papa said, in view of the agency’s recent announcement that it will set up 300 more so-called “sanitary” landfills, until 2022. There are now 189.

“Landfills are designed to serve as sinkholes for the refuse of the present generation. Thus, they unjustly become veritable graves for the resources that are valuable for reuse and use by the future generations. It should not be the backbone of the nation’s solid waste management strategy on the basis of practical, ethical, health and environmental grounds,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition, recalling the group’s Unity Statement adopted at its founding conference on 14 January 2000.

As the Zero Waste Month is celebrated this January in line with Proclamation 760, the groups urge national government agencies and local government units to work toward realizing the Zero Waste vision, goal and action plan to rid cities, municipalities and barangays of toxic dumpsites and incinerators and to keep the environment safe from chemical, plastic and waste pollutants.

“R.A. 9003 stresses waste avoidance and volume reduction through the adoption of best practices in ecological waste management, but the preference for quick fix solutions such as landfills and incinerators, including waste-to-energy burn technologies, persists among some of our government officials,” the groups noted.

EcoWaste Coalition
78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

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[Press Release] P300 Communication Reimbursement, Dapat Umanong Ibigay sa Lahat ng Guro-TDC

#HumanRights #Teachers

P300 Communication Reimbursement, Dapat Umanong Ibigay sa Lahat ng Guro

“Kakarampot na nga, Pahirapan pa Bago Makuha!” Ito ang reklamo ng mga guro sa communication expenses reimbursement na nagkakahalaga ng P300 sa mga guro at kawani ng DepEd na gumampan sa kanilang tungkulin mula Marso hanggang Disyembre ng taong ito.

Sa isang YouTube video ni Teacher Emmlayn Policarpio, Secretary-General ng Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) ay mapapanood ang sentimyemto ng mga guro hinggil sa kautusang ito ng DepEd. Ayon sa kanya, nagkakaisa umano ang sentimyento ng mga guro hinggil sa bagay na ito. “Ang hinihiling po namin sa DepEd ay ibigay ang kabuuang halagang P3, 000 sa lahat ng mga guro sapagkat lahat naman kami ay qualified sa mga makatatanggap sa simpleng dahilan na lahat kami ay gumastos ng mahigit sa P3, 00.00 kada buwan mula noong Marso,” giit ni Policarpio.

Ayon sa DepEd Order No. 38, s. 2020, maaaring makakuha ng monthly reimbursement ang mga guro na gumastos para sa cellular phone load, internet data at iba pang gastusin sa komunikasyon basta nakapagsumite lamang ng resibo o anumang patunay sa kanilang gastusin mula Marso hanggang Disyembre 2020. Para naman sa TDC, lahat ng guro ay gumastos ng load para sa pagtawag, pag-text, pag-FB message sa kanilang mga mag-aaral at magulang pati na ang gastos sa internet para sa mga online meetings, webinars, downloading ng forms at iba pa.

Dagdag pa ng grupo, hindi umano sapat ang P300 dahil aabot sa mahigit P2, 000 ang gastos ng isang guro sa isang buwan.

“Natutuwa kami dahil mayroong ilalaang P300 para sa aming nagastos bagamat kulang na kulang ito. Pero sana huwag nang pahirapan sa reimburesement ang mga guro. Maghahanap pa ba kami ng resibo sa loading station o tindahan mula Marso para makakuha niyan? Paano kung hindi kami maka-produce? Hindi na bibigyan?” Dagdag pa ni Policarpio.

Partikular na tinukoy ng grupo ang mga guro na hindi na makakakkuha ng reimbursement ay yaong mga nagpapa-load lamang ng pre-paid data sa mga tindahan, yaong nakiki-share lamang ng internet at nagbabayad sa kapitbahay at maging yaong mga guro na hindi sa kanila nakapangalan ang internet o phone connection sa kanilang tahanan.

“Kung gusto talaga kaming tulungan ng DepEd upang mabawasan naman ang bigat ng gastusin, huwag na sanang gawing mahirap para sa amin ang reimbursement. Ibigay na ito sa lahat,” pagtatapos niya.

Muling iginiit ng TDC na dapat umanong sagutin ng gobyerno ang laptop at internet expenses ng mga guro sapagkat pangunahin nilang pangangailangan ang mga ito sa kanilang pagtuturo. #

For details:
Emmalyn Policarpio, Secretary-General
0923-0819751
Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOU-lzA6ArI

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[Press Release] SSS at PhilHealth premium hikes, dagdag pahirap sa mga manggagawa – EILER

#HumanRights #PhilHealth #Workers

SSS at PhilHealth premium hikes, dagdag pahirap sa mga manggagawa – EILER

Dagdag pahirap ang Philhealth at SSS sa mga manggagawa at mamamayan sa plano nilang pagtataas ng premium para diumano hindi masaid ang kanilang pondo, ayon sa isang labor NGO.

Giit ng Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER), maraming mga manggagawa ang nawalan ng trabaho at nabawasan ang kita dahil sa pandemya at iba pang kalamidad na naranasan ng mamamayan sa 2020. Bukod pa dito, hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa nakakasuhan ang mga dapat managot sa bilyong pondo na diumano’y ibinulsa ng mga dating opisyales ng Philhealth.

“Matatandaan din natin noong 2018, ayon sa Commission on Audit (CoA) ay may P14.3 bilyon na kwestyonableng high risk investment na pinasok ang Philhealth sa iba’t-ibang pribadong kompanya. Pero patuloy pang tumataas ang pondo para dito na umaabot na sa P132 bilyon noong Hunyo 2020 at higit na mataas ng P52 bilyon kumpara sa benefit claims ng mga miyembro,” ayon kay EILER Executive Director, Rochelle Porras.

Dagdag pa niya, “Ganoon din ang SSS, umabot sa P300 bilyon ang kanilang investment noong 2019. Bahagi nito ang mga condominiums, lote sa mga subdivisions at memorial lots na minsan ng tinagurian noon na idle assets ng CoA at nagkakahalaga ng hindi bababa sa P3 bilyon.”

Ayon sa institusyon ay dapat pigilan ni Pangulong Duterte ang pagtaas ng premium ng SSS katulad ng sa PhilHealth. Dapat ring pigilan ang bagong pahirap na programa nitong Workers Investment and Savings Program, lalo na sa panahong labis ang paghihirap ng mga manggagawa.

“Kung magagamit lamang ng maayos ang pondo ng PhilHealth at SSS, at kung lubos na inilalaan ito para sa kapakanan ng mga manggagawa, kailanman ay hindi ito masasaid,” dagdag pa ni Porras.

NEWS RELEASE
10 January 2021
Reference: Ms. Rochelle Porras, EILER Executive Director, +63 920 127 6491

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[Press Release] Cycling and advocacy groups celebrate the heroism of Andres Bonifacio in a national bike ride – WTF

#HumanRights #Youth Cycling and advocacy groups celebrate the heroism of Andres Bonifacio in a national bike ride

Cycling and advocacy groups including Bikers United Movement, We The Future PH, DAKILA, Active Vista Center, Initiative for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS), and DZMC Young Communicators’ Guild from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines came together yesterday, November 29, in Trip ni Bonifacio, Ito Ang Gusto Ko!, a National Bike Ride activity to celebrate the freedom Andres Bonifacio fought for during the Spanish Colonization era.

The Bike Ride was held simultaneously in three different areas — Metro Manila, Bacolod City, and Tacloban City. The main route in Metro Manila started in Luneta Park at 6:30 a.m., went through thoroughfares in Manila, Caloocan, and Quezon City, and ended at the Commission on Human Rights office.

Around 30 bikers participated in the Metro Manila route, while 35 joined in Bacolod City.

Launched on National Bikers Day and in anticipation of Bonifacio Day today, November 30, the event was organized to find creative ways to practice the freedom of expression at a time when civic spaces are shrinking amid the pandemic and threats to the people’s right to speak out.

A short program was held at the Commission of Human Rights where advocates shared solidarity messages on honoring the legacy of Bonifacio by fighting for freedom and human rights.

“Sa gitna ng pandemya na kinakaharap ng bansa, sa sunud-sunod na mga sakuna at kalamidad ay marami pa ang napabigat sa nararanasan at suliranin ng mamamayang Pilipino […] lalo na nung binaha ang maraming komunidad dito sa Luzon dahil sa bagyong Ulysses,” Jeff Estela from Youth Strike 4 Climate Philippines said. “Walang komprehensibong plano ang gobyerno para sa green recovery kahit na isa ang Pilipinas sa pinaka-bulnerableng bansa sa epekto ng climate change.”

“Subalit nakita natin na nag-step up ang kabataang Pilipino upang tulungan ang bansa — mula noong Taal eruption, nag-announce ng online classes dahil sa pandemic, sa pagpasa ng Anti-Terror Law, sunud-sunod na pagre-redtag, at ang pagdaan ng mga bagyo nitong nakaraang buwan,” he added.

James Lanquino from Laban PUP talked about the continued attacks on the press under the current administration. “Ang direktang atake sa bawat alagad ng media ay direktang atake din sa bawat kabataan. […] Ating ipanawagan ang sama-samang paglaban sa panunupil ng estado sa ating kalayaan na mamahayag na walang takot. […] Mas lalo tayong tumindig at manatiling mulat.”

The bikers in Bacolod also shared their calls to action for the different issues in their community, particularly the destruction of their forests.

“Ipinaglalaban namin ang kalayaan ng aming mga kabukiran dito sa Bacolod City, particularly ang Northern Negros Natural Park. We say no to destructive projects here in Negros Occidental, to illegal structures in our forests kasi ito na lang ang lumiligtas sa amin sa mga baha na dulot ng gumagrabe na climate crisis,” Jaya Ariola from Youth for Climate Hope said.

A talk-show program was also held online by We The Future PH and DZMC Young Communicators’ Guild to discuss the heroism of Bonifacio and how it has manifested through the youth at the present.

“In our journey on redefining heroism, dapat nating alalahanin na may kasama si Bonifacio sa laban niya para sa bayan,” We The Future PH co-convenor Wynona Galvez pointed out. “In a very divisive time in our country, there is no time more urgent and more telling than now. Walang mangyayaring pagbabago ‘pag mag-isa ka — dapat may kasama ka.”

“Minsan nasasabi natin na napapagod na tayo, tinatanong natin kung lalaban pa ba tayo. Pero reminder sa ‘tin ni Bonifacio — may pag-asa,” historian Xiao Chua imparted. “It’s not bad to feel bad, it’s not bad to rest. But we must never lose hope.”

“Sa Bike Ride na ito, makikita na iba-iba ang pagpapakita natin ng pag-ibig sa bayan at pakikiramay sa ating kapwa na naapektuhan sa mga isyu ng bayan,” We The Future PH co-convenor Dom Balmes said.

“Sa kabataan, kailangan nating igiit ang ating mga panawagan para sa pagbabago. Iwanan na natin ang old normal, at ipaglaban na ang kinabukasan para sa komunidad at kalikasan,” climate activist and Bikers United Movement member Yeb Saño said.

Trip ni Bonifacio, Ito Ang Gusto Ko! is available for replay on We The Future PH’s Facebook page

We The Future PH is a nonpartisan national movement of the youth standing up for human rights and democracy. The movement is a network of around 800 youth leaders and 400 youth organizations nationwide established in 2019 that advocates for a rights-based governance agenda for democratic reforms.

For media inquiries, please contact
Email: wethefuturephilippines@gmail.com
WhatsApp / Signal / SMS: +63 995 103 3706

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[Press Release] SPARK joins Ateneo student strike, urge others to follow suit

#HumanRights #Education SPARK joins Ateneo student strike, urge others to follow suit

A youth group has expressed its support for the One Big Strike (OBS) mobilization to be held at the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) today, November 25.

OBS, a demonstration mainly organized by ADMU students calling for a nationwide academic break as well as accountability from government officials, will be held at Gate 2.5 of the ADMU campus this afternoon.

Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK) expressed its participation in the strike and confirmed that its Katipunan chapter will be present at the mobilization.

“When our backs are against the wall, we respond by fighting even harder. No amount of threats from President Duterte or his spokesperson Harry Roque can stop us from criticizing them,” Red Ligot, SPARK national coordinator, declared in a statement.

Among OBS’s minimum education demands, as listed in the Ateneo Student Strike Manifesto, are the sustention of salaries of all teaching and non-teaching personnel during the academic break, as well as providing subsidies to students, teachers, and their families to acquire the necessary gadgets and Internet connection for use in distance learning.

SPARK stated that these demands were “common sense” and should have been implemented right at the start of distance learning in March.
“If education is a right, why are the tools to access it so inaccessible themselves? Why were classes forced through when CHEd and DepEd knew the problems that preexisted?” Ligot asked, referring to the demand to subsidize gadgets and internet connections.

Furthermore, SPARK called for similar mobilizations on a nationwide scale in order to raise the calls for a better normal for education.
“The problems that plague the students and teachers of ADMU are not limited to ADMU alone. The scale of [President] Duterte and [CHEd Chairperson] de Vera’s neglect is national, then our response must be national as well,” Ligot explained.

He argued that the sheer scale and degree to which distance learning has been mishandled has only led to everyone getting left behind.
“If our demands remain unheeded, there will only be more drastic mobilizations, strikes, and full-scale class boycotts are in order,” he warned.

SPARK continues to advocate sweeping structural changes to the country’s education system along with policies such as greater social aid for students, teachers, and their families, and the nationalization of the telecommunications and power industries to ensure accessibility of education under the new normal.

SPARK says they plan to join the Bonifacio Day mobilizations on November 30 with labor unions, urban poor federations and vendors associations.###

#NoStudentLeftBehind

#AcademicBreakNow

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