[Statement] on senate BRC findings and recommendations re DEPED purchase of overpriced purchase | TDC

TDC statement on senate BRC findings and recommendations re DEPED purchase of overpriced purchase

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committees finding that the laptops purchased by DepEd and PS-DBM were overpriced was expected. We were all witnesses to the panels series of investigations made public last year. The recommendation to file legal actions against some DepEd and DBM officials and even private personalities will bring this P2.4B deal to the proper forum and the officials will have a chance to prove their innocence.

At almost ₱60,000 each, it should prove impossible to justify the purchase of these laptops, as prices online hover at only 20K to 25K, roughly a third of the winning bid. Recipients of these controversial laptops concluded that the units are not fit for the demands of our work- these are outdated. Some teachers rejected it when they read the specifications on the property acknowledgment receipt (PAR), while others returned the units to their property custodians when they found out that these laptops performed terribly. And there are also those who did not use the laptops and just bought new ones with their own money.

At least 6 teachers executed their affidavits and submitted those to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. Why not? Most of us continue to make painful sacrifices to find ways to purchase essential laptops, typically by borrowing money at usurious interest rates that we have to bear for several years. This makes this scandalous purchase of ₱2.4 billion all the more abhorrent.

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[Press Release] DepEd Head Teachers Worried for Possible Loss of Position | TDC

DepEd Head Teachers Worried for Possible Loss of Position

The National Head Teachers Association of the Philippines (NaHTAP), an organization of DepEd employees with Head Teachers (HTs) positions in the national plantilla reiterated its call on the DepEd not to dissolve their positions under the E0 174 or the policy to create expanded career progression system for public school teachers.

This is according to Dino Busilig, the groups lead convenor and a head teacher from Batangas province as the proposed implementing rules drafted by DepEd would result in mass demoralization.

Based on recent information, the IRR will be released this January, but the DepEd has not initiated a consultation with the stakeholders, especially the Head Teachers who will be affected by this policy change. We have been patient and we continue to wait for the DepEds call for consultation but it seems that we are waiting for nothing, Busilig exclaimed.

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[Tula] Kalikasan | ni Greg Bituin Jr.


lubhang matarik ang mga bangin
na dulot ng bawat kong panimdim
na ninais ko pa ring akyatin
huwag lamang abutin ng dilim

anong sarap damhin ng amihan
sa nilalakaran kong putikan
ngunit kalbo na ang kabundukan
wala nang hayop sa kagubatan

winawasak na ng pagmimina
ang katutubong lupain nila
kalikasa’y di na makahinga
sa kaytitinding usok sa planta

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[Press Release] Warning Out on Toxic Cadmium and Lead in Lucky Charms and Amulets |EcoWaste Coalition

Warning Out on Toxic Cadmium and Lead in Lucky Charms and Amulets
(Group tells manufacturers to label their products and provide hazard warnings)

As the Chinese Lunar New Year approaches, the toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition cautioned luck seekers from purchasing charms and amulets containing highly hazardous chemicals cadmium and lead.

“Some amulets and charms that claim to attract or boost ‘Sheng Chi’ (good energy) and counter ‘Sha Chi’ (bad energy) are unluckily laden with high levels of cadmium and lead,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“These chemicals are highly hazardous and are known to negatively affect human health and the environment,” she said, “We therefore question their presence in charms and amulets that are marketed to enhance good health, happiness, long life, and prosperity.”

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[Right-Up] Hinggil sa Usapin ng Karapatan at Tungkulin | by Jose Mario De Vega

Hinggil sa Usapin ng Karapatan at Tungkulin

Morality is not properly the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness. – Immanuel Kant

We must win freedom by deserving it, by improving the mind and enhancing the dignity of the individual, loving what is just, good and great, to the point of dying for it. When a people reach these heights . . . the idols and tyrants fall like a house of cards and freedom shines in the first dawn. – Jose Rizal

Itinuturo ng katuwiran na wala tayong iba pang maa-antay kundi lalo’t lalong ka-alipinan. Itinuturo ng katuwiran, lalo’t lalong ka-alipustaan. Itinuturo ng katuwiran na huwag nating sayangin ang panahon sa pag-asa sa ipinangakong kaginhawahan na hindi darating at hindi mangyayari. Itinuturo ng katuwiran na tayo’y umasa sa ating sarili at huwag antayin sa iba ang ating kabuhayan. Itinuturo ng katuwiran na tayo’y magka-isang luob, magka-isang isip at akala, at tayo’y magkaisa na maihanap ng lunas ang nagha-haring kasamaan sa ating Bayan. – Andres Bonifacio

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[Event] IBONBirdtalk!


Birdtalk is a biannual forum where IBON Foundation presents its analysis of the country’s most urgent socioeconomic and political issues. Various sectors, including government office representatives, the religious, educators and students, entrepreneurs, and organizations are invited.

Birdtalk will be on Wednesday, January 25, 1PM and LIVESTREAMED here on our FB page. We’re also working to bring Birdtalk to a much wider audience!

Like us here on FB and follow us on Twitter for updates!

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address, and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit the submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

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[Statement] A win for journalists and the rule of law | NUJP

[Statement] A win for journalists and the rule of law

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines welcomes the acquittal of Maria Ressa and Rappler Holdings Corp. at the Court of Tax Appeals.

The cases against Maria and Rappler illustrate the increasing use of the law for reprisal against and for intimidation against journalists and civil society.

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We, the participants of the 6th Freedom of Expression Conference or the FreeXP.Con, organized by the Human Rights Online Philippines (HRonlinePH) and the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), stand to affirm that:

WE RECOGNIZE that freedom of expression is a fundamental right of everyone to be heard and to take part in public affairs that have an impact on our lives. The voices of youth matter as they amplify the voices to defend the ideals of democracy, human rights, peace, and social justice.

WE ARE DEEPLY DISTURBED that fake news, historical distortions, and online disinformation on various social media platforms as well as in mainstream media, are now engendering distrust in reliable sources of information that are making us turn against each other with hate and intolerance. These distortive narratives are clouding our perception of the real social reality and robbing our youth of their national identity.

WE RENEW OUR COMMITMENT to defend the truth by engaging the public in in-depth discussions thru social media or other arenas of public discourse. We must educate not derogate. This will ensure that more people especially the youths are better informed, united, and inspired to take meaningful action.

WE ENJOIN others to be vigilant by taking the frontlines of the campaign against online disinformation and historical distortions. We should fact-check, think before we click, and share reliable information that everyone deserves to know.

WE ARE GRAVELY ALARMED by the continuing criminalization of freedom of expression and opinion in the guise of combating disinformation and fake news but really intended to stifle dissent and silence critics. Legal measures to address and expose lies, must not make a legitimate free speech, as well as personal privacy, become casualties in the fight against falsehoods.

WE ACKNOWLEDGE THE NEED TO FIGHT BACK by bringing to the fore a stronger and wider collaboration with our youth considering they’re a force to contend with to constantly produce online content that can counter the spread of lies, twisted truths, and distorted realities.

WE WELCOME AND ENCOURAGE the different initiatives and efforts to protect freedom of expression and to counter disinformation by putting forward the following RECOMMENDATIONS for the youth:

1. To encounter human rights every day – to learn to respect, learn to care for, and live and claim our rights;

2. To find their passion to do good and advocate for them;

3. To help generate awareness of climate change and demand action for climate justice;

4. To create platforms for online and offline connections among the youth where they can share information and positive change stories; and

5. To focus on our spheres of influence and thrive to occupy online spaces for narrative change.

in principle, as we join the global commemoration of International Human Rights Day on December 10, with the FreeXP.CON 6 underscores the crucial role of the youth in bringing about positive change in society and globally by being aware of and willing to claim their rights for a better future.

Adopted on December 2, 2022, at Cocoon Hotel, Quezon City Philippines.

[Statement] 10 years of the RH Law in the Philippines: A victory? | Roots of Health

STATEMENT: 10 years of the Reproductive Health Law in the Philippines: A victory?

Getting the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law (RH) enacted in the Philippines a decade ago was a hard-won battle.

The passage of the RH bill faced gargantuan opposition from powerful sectors and getting it passed seemed all but impossible. But realizing the law’s implementation has been tougher.

Maternal mortality has decreased slightly, but it’s still far above the Sustainable Development Goals target. It took ten years, but the Department of Education has finally disseminated a Comprehensive Sexuality Education curriculum. They are now training teachers to implement it. We are working with local schools to do just that.

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[Press Release] Environmental group to President-elect Marcos: Prioritize environmental issues | BAN Toxics

Environmental group to President-elect Marcos: Prioritize environmental issues

BAN Toxics urged President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to prioritize ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment and take action for proper chemicals and wastes management in time for his upcoming inauguration.

“We call on President-elect Marcos to prioritize the ratification of the Basel Ban Amendment, implement measures for sound chemicals and wastes management, and the total ban of waste importation to protect our nation from becoming the world’s dump site again,” says Reynaldo San Juan Jr., executive director of BAN Toxics.

The Basel Convention on Hazardous Wastes Management and Disposal was established to protect human health as well as the environment from the harmful effects of improper hazardous waste management worldwide.

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[Press Release] Putting torture prevention on the Philippines’ national agenda | TFDP


In commemoration of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) and Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) in cooperation with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the United Against Torture Coalition (UATC)-Philippines today launched a public forum on the prevention of torture.

The event is supported by the European Union through the project “Reducing risky practices leading to torture and ill-treatment in Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand” (#SafeInCustody).

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[Press Release] Groups Call for Ban on Toxic Thermal Paper Receipts with BPA/BPS | EcoWaste Coalition

Groups Call for Ban on Toxic Thermal Paper Receipts with BPA/BPS

Three civil society groups are calling on the government and business sectors to protect workers and the general public from the adverse effects of exposure to endocrine disrupting and cancer-linked chemicals present in thermal transaction receipts.

At the “Kapehan sa Dabaw” and the “Forum on Hazardous Chemicals in Thermal Paper Receipts” held last June 20, representatives of the Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS), EcoWaste Coalition and the Wonjin Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health (WIOEH) exposed the hidden hazards in such receipts.

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[Press Release] Environmental group spotlights mercury-free alternatives in a new study | BAN Toxics

Environmental group spotlights mercury-free alternatives in a new study

In line with the celebration of National Poison Prevention Week, environmental watchdog group BAN Toxics launches alternatives study titled “Mercury-Free Alternatives in the Philippines: Batteries, lamps, and medical measuring devices” in a press briefing.

The fourth week of June is celebrated as the National Poison Prevention Week as declared by Presidential Proclamation No. 1777 s. 2009 as an effort to raise awareness on the preventive aspects of poisoning prevention at home, school, work and the general environment.[1]

The study aimed to assess the availability of mercury-free alternatives in the Philippine market in view of the country’s commitments of phasing out mercury-containing products under the Minamata Convention on Mercury.[2]

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[Press Release] Government must stop judicial harassment against human rights groups | Civicus

Government must stop judicial harassment against human rights groups

CIVICUS, a global civil society alliance, is alarmed by the ongoing judicial harassment against members of three human rights groups, that have been accused of perjury for seeking legal protection from the Supreme Court against government harassment and intimidation. Around court hearings this week – where National Council members from Karapatan will deliver their testimonies – our organisation calls on the government of the Philippines to immediately drop all charges against them and to halt all forms of reprisals against human rights defenders.

The perjury case stems from a petition for protection, through the writs of amparo and habeas data, submitted in May 2019 by the National Council members of Karapatan, national officers of women alliance, GABRIELA and religious group – the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP). The organisations were tagged by the government as alleged fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). The petition was initially granted but later denied by the Court of Appeal in June 2019. A petition for review of the decision is still pending.

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[Right-Up] The Philippines and Russia: On Independent Foreign Policy | by Jose Mario De Vega

The Philippines and Russia: On Independent Foreign Policy

A per report of Yahoo! News, “During the presidential election campaign, Marcos initially maintained a neutral position on the Russia-Ukraine war. However, he later issued a statement that he is united with the rest of world in calling for Russia “to respect Ukraine’s freedom and its citizens’ democratic way of life.” (Russia ready to help Philippines with oil, gas needs: Russian envoy, Nicholas Young, Jun 14).

It was at this period also that the Philippine government during the UN General Assembly voted together with 141 out of 193 member countries to denounced Russia’s aggression against Ukraine (U.N. General Assembly in historic vote denounces Russia over Ukraine invasion, Reuters, March 3rd).

Though, the said Resolution is non-binding, it is my firm view that the decision undertaken by Malacanan and DFA on this critical world issue is undeniably wrong. The Russian Federation may consider that idiotic decision as an act of an unfriendly country. (Putin issues decree requesting ‘unfriendly’ countries pay for gas in roubles, The Financial Times, April 1st).

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[From the web] Drop perjury charges against Philippines Civil Society Organisations | Forum-Asia

Philippines: Drop perjury charges against Philippines Civil Society Organisations

FORUM-ASIA is deeply concerned by the ongoing court trial on perjury charges filed by Hermogenes Esperon Jr., the former National Security Adviser in the Cabinet of Rodrigo Duterte, against civil societies, Karapatan the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) and GABRIELA as well as the systematic vilification and smear campaigns against them.

In July 2019, Hermogenes Esperon Jr. filed a Complaint-Affidavit for perjury with the Quezon City Office of the city prosecutor (QC OCP) against Karapatan National Council members, GABRIELA Chairperson and Secretary-General, and RMP National Coordinator and Northern Mindanao Region Coordinator. The former National Security Adviser claimed that the respondents committed perjury when they petitioned the Supreme Court for the Writ of Amparo and the Writ of Habeas Data.

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[Press Release] Increase in salaries, first agenda of teachers to incoming VP and DEPED Secertary Inday Sara Duterte | TDC

Increase in salaries, first agenda of teachers to incoming VP and DEPED Secertary Inday Sara Duterte

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) hopes to engage the incoming Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Vice President-elect Sara Duterte in a discussion to tackle the teachers’ long overdue demand for salary increase.

“What we ask is beyond increase in our salaries, it’s about rectifying the decades-old mistake of the government,” said Benjo Basas, a Caloocan City teacher and the group’s national chairperson.

Basas argued that teachers’ salaries should be based on the recommendations of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (RA 4670), a 1966 vintage law created to institutionalize and further protect the rights and welfare of teachers. However, the law that currently governs the salaries of teachers is the salary standardization law (SSL) of 1989 and its latest version, RA 11466 or the SSL-5 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in January 2020.

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[Press Release] Youth group takes their part to protect the environment | BAN Toxics

Youth group takes their part to protect the environment

As part of Environment Month celebration, the Environment Stewards Organization (ESO), a youth organization from T’boli National High School South Cotabato City spearheaded an environmental awareness-raising campaign, tree planting activities, and leadership development training that aims to advocate for environmental sustainability and preservation.

With the goal to involve the youth in nature preservation, ESO was founded in October 2014 through the efforts of then principal of T’Boli National High School, Mrs. Mila A. De Leon, T’Boli Mayor Dibu Tuan, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 12 Director, Datu Tungko Saikul, and four other officers.

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[Press Release] Ensure Rights Panel’s Independence | HRW

Ensure Rights Panel’s Independence
President-Elect Marcos Should Select Commissioners in Transparent Process

President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the Philippines should ensure a transparent, inclusive process to select qualified and independent human rights experts as commissioners for the national Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Human Rights Watch said today. Marcos, who will be inaugurated as the new Philippine president on June 30, 2022, is expected to announce his appointments in the coming days.

The Commission on Human Rights is empowered under the 1987 Philippine Constitution to investigate human rights violations and promote respect for human rights in the country. Marcos ran on a campaign marked by disinformation about his family’s role in human rights abuses during the dictatorship of his father, Ferdinand Marcos Sr., and so the appointment of the commissioners will be an important first test for his administration’s commitment to human rights.

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[Statement] Red-tagged labor rights NGO filed a complaint at CHR | CTUHR

Red-tagged labor rights NGO filed a complaint at CHR

On June 14, 2022, the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) formally filed a complaint at the Commission on Human Rights, a week after it publicly denounced the malicious statements made by elements of the NTF-ELCAC against their institution.

In its complaint, CTUHR narrated that they received a report that they have been red-tagged in the program, “Laban Kasama ang Bayan” aired last June 6, 2022. One of the topics discussed in the said episode was “Labor Infiltration Operations of CPP-NDF-NPA in CALABARZON, Central Luzon and NCR,” where they zoomed in on the strike conducted by J&T Express workers in Cabuyao, Laguna.

The guest Charlie “Steve Alejandro” Ponclara and one of the hosts Jeffrey “Eric” Celiz, in a series of exchanges, purported that the strike of the workers was illegal and that they were infiltrated and instigated by operatives of the CPP-NPA-NDF. CTUHR was tagged as one of these, together with Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan – Kilusang Mayo Uno (PAMANTIK-KMU).

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