Tag Archives: Basas

[Statement] Teachers decry p300 additional poll duty pay -TDC

Teachers decry p300 additional poll duty pay

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) said they appreciate the P300.00 additional honorarium for teachers who served during the 2013 barangay elections held on October 28 and special elections on November 28 held in Bohol Province and Zamboanga City. The announcement came from the budget department yesterday as its response to the Comelec’s appeal for increase in teachers’ pay.


“This is an admission that the Comelec gave us less than what we deserved. However, we would be more thankful if they provided a truly just pay commensurate to our tasks.” Said Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson.

The TDC prior to the elections protested what they call “a legalized exploitation” of teachers thru the compulsory election duties that they said exposes them to “all sorts of dangers- health risks, harassment, legal charges and physical attack.”

“Yet at the end of all these sufferings,” Basas continued “teachers will only get a very minimal compensation- not even enough for transportation, paracetamol, food and energy drink to keep us awake, often, the honorarium comes very late, as late as a month or more.”

Basas cited the October 28 elections in which the group received reports of non-payment of the P2, 000.00 honorarium as late as one month after the polls. Meanwhile the payment for those who served as canvassers (amount varies depending on the number of clustered precinct) as well as the P500.00 transportation allowance have not been paid in such areas as Palo, Leyte and Olongapo City, respectively, that is two months after the elections.

Basas also criticized the government for paying “huge amount of honoraria and bonuses to those who practically just sit in their respective offices, including the bosses of government corporations and financial institutions” and giving away people’s money to the “discretionary funds of incompetent and corrupt officials” while providing very little to the lowly rank and file employees.

The group long before the elections asked the government to pay those who sit as board of election tellers (BET) more. “The amount of honorarium should have been doubled, it should not be less than P4, 000.00, same as our total per diem during automated elections, because barangay elections use manual system which is more physically exhausting.” Basas added.

Basas, again reiterated his group’s call for the abolition of the mandated poll duties of teachers.

“These are the reasons why we push for the optional election duties. We cannot refuse the assignment to sit as election workers, even if this task may expose us to harm, even death. We cannot negotiate with the Comelec on the amount they want us to be paid. We can never demand for a lawyer to defend us when we are in trouble. The mandated poll duty of public school teachers is a legal excused for the government to perpetuate exploitation.” Basas ended. #

Reference: Benjo Basas, National Chairperson 0920-5740241/ 3853437

December 30, 2013

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[Press Release] Teachers commend DEPED transparency, chide education budget – TDC

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) commends the DepEd for informing the public ‘where their taxes go,’ however, the group also criticized the department for spending too much for some unworthy programs while allocating very little for the necessities.

Benjo Basas, a Caloocan City teacher and the group’s national chairperson said they expect more budget for the improvement of schools and less for programs with no clear impact on education output.

Basas specifically pointed out the expenses for Government Assistance for Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) which according to DepEd statement, “provides alternative opportunities to deserving students whose families can afford to spend extra for private school tuition, and are selected from the graduating elementary students and are supported until they finish 4th year high school while complying with the minimum academic requirements of the program.”

“The government is set to allocate 6.3 billion for this program, a very huge amount compared to other more important budget items in the DepEd. Thus, it needs to be reviewed, the DepEd should evaluate the implementation and impact of this program.” Basas explained. “Clearly, the funds are needed to finance more meaningful and tangible investments like construction of classrooms and other facilities and hiring of teachers.” Basas continued.

The group also chided the government for ignoring the fiscal requirements to implement the K-12 program, the flagship program of the Aquino government in education which plans to institutionalize free and universal kindergarten and include it in the expanded basic education of at least 13 years.

“In the DepEd’s transparency report, there is no specific mention of P-Noy’s flagship program. How much money would be spent to hire regular kinder teachers with a dignified compensation? How many classrooms will be built to house kinder students? Will there be instructional materials for teachers and learning materials for pre-school kids?” Basas asked.

Basas said that until now the ‘volunteer teachers’ and regular DepEd teachers who served in the kindergarten program from June of this year are yet to be paid of their P3000 monthly honorarium.

“The improvement in education system depends largely on the fiscal policy of the government and if this trend continues, we could never expect for a better output.” Basas ended.

For details:
Benjo Basas, TDC Chairperson   0920-5740241/385-3437