Kumpirmado: Mga gurong uupo sa halalan, kakaltasan ng 20% sa honorarium
Ayon kay Benjo Basas, National Chairperson ng TDC, ito umano ang kinumpirma ng ilan nilang kasapi na dumalo sa isinasagawang pagsasanay kaugnay sa darating na halalan sa Mayo.
“Para namang atat na atat sa maliit na halagang masisingil ang BIR sa ating mga guro at talagang kinaltas na ang P200 sa P1000 na transportation allowance. Kung tutuusin ay halos wala nang halaga itong P1000 lalo pa ngayong sobra-sobra nang nagtaas ang presyo ng langis. Baka sa huli abonado pa ang mga teacher natin,” ayon kay Basas.
Nananawagan ang grupo sa Comelec at DepEd at maging sa mga mambabatas na agad na himukin ang BIR na suspendihin ang pagpapataw ng buwis na ito na ayon sa grupo ay hindi makatarungan.
Group Urges Government to Protect Consumers from Mercury-Added Products
In observance of World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) on March 15, a toxics watchdog group urged the authorities to launch a fresh drive to protect consumers from banned mercury-added products (MAPs) that are still sold locally, especially on e-commerce platforms.
WCRD is a yearly commemoration spearheaded by Consumers International to raise global awareness about the rights of consumers to basic needs, healthy environment, safety, information, education, choice, representation, and redress, and to demand respect and protection for such basic rights.
“The government needs to mount a multifaceted campaign to stop the entry, distribution, and sale of mostly imported MAPs phased out in 2020 under the Minamata Convention on Mercury to reduce health risks and environmental contamination,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
Group challenged bets for Teachers’ Agenda
The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) calls on the candidates for May 2022 elections to consider their comprehensive agenda for the country’s teachers and education workers dubbed as the ‘13-Point Teachers’ Dignity Agenda.’
“We have witnessed several forums and even debates where candidates, especially those gunning for the highest office in the land have presented their plans, unfortunately, we have yet to see a suitable platform that responds to the needs of our teachers and the education sector in general,” said Benjo Basas, the group’s National Chairperson.
Basas said that the 13-Point Teachers’ Dignity Agenda focuses on the rights and welfare of the teachers such as the increase in salaries, compensation for those affected by COVID-19, free post-graduate education, provision of free laptop computers and internet services, and putting up of a separate insurance system and hospital for teachers among other benefits. But there are also demands that address the learning of children like the change in curriculum, reduction of class size, provision of books and other materials and facilities, and adequate funding for the safe return of in-person classes.
Wage hike for all workers and oil subsidy for PUV drivers amid oil price hikes – EILER
Labor NGO Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) calls on the government to increase the minimum wage and immediately release the oil subsidy for PUV drivers amid incessant oil price hikes due to the worsening geopolitical situation and the highly speculative nature of the market.
“Ordinary Filipinos should not bear the brunt of these oil price hikes. The government should ensure that enough safety nets are in place for the public transport drivers and commuters and that there are subsidies for MSMEs so that they can cope with the increase in prices,” said EILER Executive Director Rochelle Porras.
EcoWaste Coalition Joins Clamor for a Strong Plastics Treaty
On the eve of a historic United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), the EcoWaste Coalition reiterated its unity with the global plea urging delegates to agree to negotiate for a strong treaty with binding controls and targets that will end the toxic threat and injustice from the plastic wastes and pollutants plaguing the world.
As the second session of the fifth UNEA (UNEA-5.2) resumes on February 28 to March 2 in Kenya, Nairobi on hybrid format, members of the EcoWaste Coalition gathered in Quezon City to remind government delegates of the “make or break” opportunity to negotiate for a legally binding agreement to prevent and remedy plastic pollution and its toxic impacts.
PAHRA launches Human Rights Electoral Agenda for 2022
The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) launched on Saturday, Feb. 5, its comprehensive human rights electoral agenda called #KarapatDapat. More than 70 representatives from human rights organizations, civil society and grassroots organizations, party-list groups, and religious organizations joined the launch via Zoom and Facebook Live.
Secretary-General Ellecer “Budit” Carlos discussed how crucial it is for pro-democracy forces and citizens to stand their ground and emphasize that human rights is indispensable in good governance and that it should be the primary framework for public service and expressed in political platforms as the nation prepares for the national and local elections in 2022. He said that while there are candidates who are promising to promote, protect, and integrate human rights in their own electoral platform of governance, there are also notorious candidates who pose a threat to human rights and human rights defenders. The Karapatdapat Campaign also enables support for surfacing pro-human rights candidates and prevents candidates who will surely be tyrants and despots from winning the elections.
Labor NGO supports legislative efforts ensuring workers’ right to health and their well-being
Labor NGO Ecumenical Institute of Labor Education and Research (EILER supports legislative efforts to ensure workers’ right to health and their well-being. This is in light of proposals for a Workers’ Rest Law’ (HB 10717 and SB 2475) that prohibits employers from contacting or giving additional work for employees beyond working hours.
Under the pandemic, workers have further been subjected to labor flexibilization and difficult work set-up such as working from home or working on-site without the guarantee of ayuda and quarantine leaves if they contracted Covid-19. Many employees, especially those under work from home set-up, have complained about being forced to attend work-related activities beyond work hours without additional pay. This negatively impacts workers’ physical and mental health. Aside from this, workers also face repressive and discriminatory policies such as the “no vaccine, no work” policy being imposed on various workplaces.
The battle for facts needs you.
This is what more than 100 organizations from the media, coalitions, civil society, business, academe, law, and the Church said as they launched a first-of-its-kind initiative on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, called “#FactsFirstPH.”
#FactsFirstPH brings together various sectors that are committed to promoting truth in the public space and exacting accountability on those who harm it with lies.
#FactsFirstPH will collectively push for truth-telling and debunking lies through four steps: fact-checking by news organizations; networking by civil society and grassroots groups; research and analysis by academic institutions; and seeking accountability by lawyers groups.
“The attack on facts is personal: if you defend the facts, you’re hammered down, intimidated to stay silent or join the mob. Those aren’t our only options. There is strength in standing up together. Because now more than ever, we need facts,” Rappler CEO and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa said.
NUJP demands arrest of media killing ‘mastermind’
Joel Reyes campaigning to reclaim Palawan governorship despite arrest warrant
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) called for the arrest of former Palawan governor Joel Reyes, the alleged mastermind in the killing of Palawan broadcaster Gerry Ortega in 2011.
In a statement on Ortega’s 11th death anniversary on Monday, January 24, the NUJP said former Palawan governor Joel Reyes is campaigning to reclaim the top provincial post even as he remains a fugitive from the law.
“[N]ot only is former governor Joel Reyes evading his warrant of arrest for Ortega’s killing, he is running for Palawan governor, according to news reports, and is campaigning while a subject of a manhunt,” the media group said.
Teachers laud DEPED Region 7 for ‘Academic Health Break’
The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition-Central Visayas (TDC-CV) lauded the DepEd Regional Office 7 for issuing Regional Memorandum No. 0052, s. 2022 this afternoon. Said memorandum signed by Dr. Salustiano Jimenez, DepEd Regional Director in Central Visayas declared a suspension of classes in areas under alert level 3 within the region from January 24 to 31, 2022.
“With the alarming spike in COVID-19 cases in Region VII and the wide extent of devastation left behind by Typhoon Odette last December, this is just a logical and necessary action,” said Cebu City teacher Raul Constantino, the president of the TDC’s regional chapter.
The TDC earlier called for an academic health break for the entire DepEd system and on January 12, DepEd Central Office released a memorandum allowing class suspensions according to the discretion of the DepEd field officials. After which, several regional and division offices as well as some LGUs ordered their own versions of the class suspension.
Media groups reveal renewed Baguio PNP red-tagging of journalists
Media groups slammed renewed efforts by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Baguio City to red-tag journalists it alleges are members of Leftist organizations.
In an alert, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said at least two journalists in the Cordillera region have been invited to a fake dialogue with the Baguio City Police earlier this month that turned out to be a witch-hunting activity against journalists and activists.
On January 14, the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club Inc. (BCBC) and NUJP’s Baguio-Benguet chapter said BCBC president Aldwin Quitasol was invited by the Baguio City Police to attend a so-called dialogue that turned out to be part of its Community Support Program White Area Operation (CSP-WAO), a component of the government’s Oplan Kapayapaan targeting suspected sympathizers of communist rebels in conflict-affected areas.
The second journalist refused to be identified.
House of Representatives has passed on third and final reading the bill protecting human rights defenders
For two consecutive Congresses, the 17th and the current 18th, the House of Representatives has passed on third and final reading the bill protecting human rights defenders (HRDs).
Albay Rep. Edcel C. Lagman, the principal author of HB 10576, entitled “An Act Defining the Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Human Rights Defenders, Declaring State Responsibilities, and Instituting Effective Mechanisms for the Protection and Promotion of These Rights and Freedoms”, disclosed that the House approved on third reading on Monday, 17 January 2022, the crusading measure affording full protection to HRDs.
The precursor HB 9199 was passed by the House on 03 June 2019 during the 17th Congress but was not acted upon by the Senate due to time constraints.
The enactment of the Human Rights Defenders Act will put an end to the prevailing impunity on the extrajudicial killings and extreme harassment of HRDs.
Church, green groups unite in pushing for pro-people and pro-environment leaders in the May 2022 elections
Environmental human rights defenders announced in a press conference today that it will actively push for the election of pro-people and pro-environment leaders in the May 2022 elections, especially those who are already allies and champions of green bills. They also said they will engage in the elections by exposing corporate donors from the extractives industry who are funding candidates for electoral positions.
Jaybee Garganera, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) National Coordinator, said that “politicians funded by mining companies are already compromised.” He clarified that “when elected, these candidates will certainly repay their political debt and push for the agenda of large-scale mining at the expense of the public they are sworn to serve.”
KWENTO NATIN ‘TO: Catch these events and be inspired in reclaiming the stories of our nation as we near the 2022 elections
With the theme Kwento Natin ‘To: Reclaiming the Stories of our Nation, human rights organization DAKILA jam-packed the Active Vista International Human Rights Festival (AVIHRF) 2021 with events, forums, and film screenings that tell the stories — real and imagined — of our fellow Filipinos. One of the festival’s forums, Press in Distress: Will Independent Journalism Survive in SEA?, also witnessed a historical moment when speaker Maria Ressa, Rappler CEO and president, received the news of her being the first-ever Filipino to win the Nobel Peace Prize live during the forum.
As the national elections draw near — when warring narratives try to fill our consciousness — DAKILA and Active Vista shall continue to bring forward events on the last two days of the festival that will contribute to shaping and reclaiming the narrative of our nation come the 2022 elections.
So as the festival closes on October 10, invite your friends and family members! We’ve got an epic line-up of relevant events to fill your weekend!
ATING GURO to file Nomination for Partylist Elections
Teachers’ group ATING GURO Partylist will file its certificate of nomination as well as the individual CONA of its nominees today, October 7.
This despite the Comelec’s initial denial of their petition for accreditation to allow them to participate in next year’s partylist elections. On June 25, the Comelec Second Division dismissed the instant petition filed by the party for two grounds, first that the petition signed by the party’s Public Information Officer (PIO) designated by the party’s governing board as certified by its Chairperson and Secretary-General. And that the party failed to prove that majority of its members belong to the sector it wishes to represent- teachers, active and retired, public and private and their dependents.
Low wages, attacks on workers rights, hinder fulfillment of decent work agenda – EILER
The country still lags behind on the Decent Work Agenda, according to Labor NGO Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER).
As the domestic employment crisis deepens, more and more workers are forced to engage in irregular, precarious or intermittent employment with lower wages. Widespread joblosses, rampant contractualization, and inadequate decent job opportunities with living wages, are worsened by the militaristic pandemic response and intensified repression against trade union and human rights.
#HumanRights #Frontliners #Workers
Healthcare workers harbor doubts about Palace decision to give benefits, assert that the struggle continues
Leaders from private hospital unions remain apprehensive on the reported order of President Duterte to the DBM and DOH to give healthworkers the benefits under Bayanihan 2 they have yet to receive within ten (10) days.
According to Jao Clumia, President of the St. Luke’s Medical Center Employees Association – QC (SLMCEA-QC), “Bago po tayo maglulundag sa tuwa sa pangyayaring ito ay kailangan muna nating tiyakin na ang kautusan ng pangulo ay hindi dapat magsilbing malamig na tubig na ipinambuhos sa ngitngit ng mga manggagawang pangkalusugan kungdi isang kongkretong aksyon bilang tugon sa aming mga inihapag na kahilingan. Ang walang diskriminasyong pagpapatupad ng nasasaad na mga benepisyo sa ilalim ng batas: na lahat ng mga manggagagawang pangkalusugan anuman ang posisyon, anuman ang estado sa pag-eempleyo, regular man o kontraktuwal, ay dapat na makatanggap dahil ito naman ang mga nasasaad sa batas na kanyang (Duterte) pinirmahan. Nag-aalala kami dahil hindi ganito ang intindi ni Sec. Duque sa utos ng kanyang amo at tigas-mukha pa ring iginigiit ang selektibo at limitadong pagbibigay ng benepisyo!”
CHISMIS, EPAL, REKLAMADOR: Artist-activist group bring light to socio-political issues in time for #Halalan2022
In time for national elections next year and in observance of the International Youth Day on August 12, artist-activist group Dakila, along with Active Vista and We the Future, tackles various human rights and socio-political issues relevant to Philippine society through Ibang Klase Rin — a 15-20 minute digital program with three stand-alone episodes.
The episodes entitled Mga Marites Noon at Ngayon, Cancel Mo Mukha Mo, and Araw Gabi Laglag Pantry tackle historical revisionism and disinformation, good governance, and civic spaces, respectively. It aims to provide historical facts and insights on our current societal context to battle the anti-democratic narratives, especially as the country nears Halalan 2022.
Indigenous Women marked five years of Duterte with climate of ‘Fear’ and widespread ‘Violence’
In commemoration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, indigenous women mark President Rodrigo Duterte’s regime with endless hardships, poverty, climate of fear, and widespread violations of human rights. They recount how they experienced constant fear and continuous intimidation throughout Duterte’s five years in office.
According to Jennevie Cornelio, a Teduray leader from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), fear and violence were the core foundations of Duterte’s rule, and war was his weapon to villainize, harass, torture, and kill his perceived enemies.
“The NTF-ELCAC, E.O. 70, the Anti-Terrorism Act, military deployment in BARMM and indigenous communities all over the country – these are all systematic attacks against us indigenous women human rights defenders. We defend our rights as indigenous people and as women, and every day we live in constant fear,” said Cornelio.
Labor NGO urges DTI to put on hold price increases
A Labor NGO urges the Department of Trade and Industry to put on hold the price increases of basic necessities which are set at 3-5 percent.
The Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) emphasizes that instead of price increases, the government should immediately provide additional support to MSMEs, improve vaccine roll-out, provide wage relief to the workers, and ayuda for all affected as ECQ will be implemented by the end of the week.
“The number of jobless Filipinos has increased in June. Given the spread of the Delta variant and considering that many workers have not recovered from losing their jobs, the price increases will make it more difficult for the workers and the working poor to live decently,” said EILER Executive Director Rochelle Porras.