Tag Archives: Benjo Basas

[Statement] On President Duterte’s announcement of salary increase for teachers -TDC

On President Duterte’s announcement of salary increase for teachers

Benjo Basas, National Chairperson, Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC). Photo by Arnel Tuazon

During the preparations for election 2016, Prseident Duterte’s camp promise the P10, 000 increase in salaries of teachers thru the enactment of a bill in the Senate authored by his vice presidential candidate, former Senator Allan Peter Cayetano. Last Saturday in Davao, the president again assured that he will hike the pay for public mentors. TDC has this to say:

“The statement from President Duterte himself is almost an assurance that sooner, teachers’ salaries will be augmented. However, we do not know yet how it will be given and how much the amount would be. We patiently waited for this promise since he took the presidency two years ago, while obviously, our brothers and sisters in the uniformed service were given priority. For the longest time, our calls for a just compensation and treatment commensurate to our role in society have been neglected by the previous administrations, we hope that this time, things would really change. We are open to discussions if the president finds it necessary.”
-Benjo Basas, TDC Chairperson

 

 

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[Press Release] Teachers laud Angara bill, call for tax reform -TDC

Teachers laud Angara bill, call for tax reform

Amidst their call for a P10, 000 increase in the salaries of teachers and education employees, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) call lauds Sen. Sonny Angara in his firm stand on the issue of tax reform and calls on Malacanang to consider the proposal aiming to lower the income taxes of ordinary workers and employees.

TDC

“The president should review his statement and make amends. A reformed tax system, especially for individuals would mean a more efficient collection that would improve the state fund. Those who gain more income should pay more.” Said Benjo Basas, a Caloocan City teacher and the group’s chairperson.

Basas is reacting to the recent statement of President Aquino opposing the tax reform bill that Angara has been pushing in Congress. The bill seeks to amend the existing tax law which according to him is outdated and unfair and needs to be updated ‘for social justice and equity’ to make the ‘working and middle class, ensure upward mobility, and enable them to comfortably provide for their families and their future.’

The president however said that reforming the tax system may not be a good idea for it may have ill effects to the economy. Basas agree with Angara by saying that ‘Spending capacity on the part of the workers and employees would yield better result for the entire economy. After all, workers and employees are the ones who ensure that government money is sufficient enough to fund the state’s daily operation. It is only fair for us to have a break.”

Basas continued, “Some sectors of the society, including the big businessmen and crook government officials are wasting our hard-earned money which is supposed to use for social services.” Basas explained. “Once and for all, the system of taxation should be revised to collect more from the rich.”

The TDC supports  Senate Bill 2149 filed by Sen. Sonny Angara as well as several legislative proposals intended to grant tax exemptions or reduction for teachers and other employees and call for a stricter BIR campaign not only in paid ads but more importantly in penalizing tax evaders and government crooks.

“We believe that the president in his last year in office would want to leave a lasting legacy by approving this tax reform measure that would benefit the ordinary worker.” Basas ended.

For details:
Benjo Basas, 0920-5740241/ 0949-7444499
NEWS RELEASE
September 16, 2015

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[Press Release] Teachers to P-Noy, we deserve higher salaries -TDC

Teachers to P-Noy, we deserve higher salaries

Public school teachers acknowledge reports of Palace’s approval of the proposed budget for 2016 which includes a salary adjustment for teachers and government employees. Malacanang said that the biggest chunk for 2016 budget goes to the education department.

TDC

“It is but legal to give the highest budget priority to the Department of Education because it is mandated by our constitution.” Said Benjo Basas, a Caloocan City teacher and the national chairperson of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC). “The DepEd budget may have the biggest share of budget, but teachers will not get their fair share.” He continued.

The group again reiterated the approval of the proposed legislation that seeks to provide a P10, 000 across-the-board increase in the salaries of public school teachers and other education workers.

“The constitution says that the state shall assign the highest budgetary priority to education and it clearly states that this particular provision is for us, teachers. The law mandates the government to ensure that ‘teaching will attract and retain its rightful share of the best available talents through adequate remuneration and other means of job satisfaction and fulfillment.” Basas added quoting a provision of the 1987 constitution.

Basas argued that while they recognize the imminent salary increase, they prefer the ‘P10, 000 across the board increase’ under the ‘Additional Support and Compensation for Teachers in Basic Education,’ several versions of which are now pending in Congress.

“It is very unfortunate that President Aquino will only initiate salary increase for teachers and state workers this late, but he could make up for those five years that he ignored our pleas by giving us what we really deserve.” Basas said.

The group is expected launch protest actions prior to the SONA to reiterate their calls for salary increase.

“We expect an announcement from the president during his last state of the nation address (SONA) on July 27th, we will be there.” Basas ended.

For details:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson, 0920-5740241

NEWS RELEASE
13 July 2015

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[Statement] DEPED should break its silence on the PEI -TDC

DEPED should break its silence on the PEI

To once and for all, erase all the doubts and worries of Public school teachers on the bonus called PEI or productivity enhancement incentive, we again urge the Department of Education (DepEd) to issue an official statement on the status of this incentive and assure the teachers that, indeed the agency is entitled to a bonus equivalent to ‘one month salary’ that shall be released within the month of June. Since Malacanang released Executive Order 181, there have been stories circulating that teachers would not be entitled to such or would get a lower amount of P5000. This, despite the assurance from Sec. Armin Luistro that DepEd employees and teachers would be entitled to a maximum incentive equivalent to their one month salary. The assurance however was made during a meeting with TDC Chairperson Benjo Basas and was not made public until this very day, a month after the promulgation of the said order. Posts in teachers’ groups in social media are demanding words from Sec. Armin Luistro to clarify the matter.

TDC

 

 

 

 

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Reference:
Benjo Basas
TDC National Chair
09205740241

STATEMENT
June 16, 2015

[Press Release] Teachers to gov’t: Release ‘one-month salary’ bonus on June 1

Teachers to gov’t: Release ‘one-month salary’ bonus on June 1

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Public school teachers under the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) and Ating Guro Partylist ask the government to release the productivity enhancement incentive (PEI) to teachers and government employees on June 1, 2015. Under Executive Order (EO) 181, the PEI for this year amounting to either P5000 or equivalent to one-month salary shall be released not earlier than June 1, 2015. They also want to clarify whether the Department of Education (DepEd) has complied the requirements to entitle its employees to an equivalent to one-month salary or only the minimum of P5000.

TDC“The government’s PR team says that the PEI is equivalent to one-month salary and will be released by June. There must be some clarifications on this so as not to confuse the teachers and employees and the general public.” Benjo Basas, TDC national chairperson said.

Basas said that their group recognizes this progress which he said “at least the DBM and Malacanang considered our appeal that the PEI should not be pegged at P5000.”

The TDC and Ating Guro members staged a series of protests last year asking the government to junk the controversial performance-based bonus (PBB) and instead grant a higher PEI for its teachers and employees. The PEI and PBB are incentives given to government employees that are dependent on their individual and agency performance. Both incentives are part of the performance-based incentive system under the Salary Standardization Law-3 (SSL-3) that traditionally given at the end of every fiscal year.

Arsenio Jallorina, Ating Guro Partylist chairman however said that the PEI should be equally distributed to benefit all the employees and not be given in varied amount.

“The performance requirements are for the agencies, and the rank and file employees have no control on the affairs of the agencies. There would be injustice if some of the employees would only be given a P5000 while others will receive an amount equivalent to their one month salary.” He said.

Both groups ask the DBM to immediately clarify the matter through guidelines to implement E0 181 and release the bonus to employees on June 1.
“Most teachers are parents as well and during this time of the year, we are burdened by school opening expenses for our children and dependents, not to mention our own preparation for our respective classrooms, instructional materials and such teaching necessities that the government fails to provide. ” Basas ended.

For details:
Benjo Basas, 09205740241
Arsie Jallorina, 0998-4755658

NEWS RELEASE
May 27, 2015

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[Press Release] Teachers link arms with other sectors to stop K-12* -TDC

Teachers link arms with other sectors to stop K-12*

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) reiterated its call on the government to seriously consider the suspension of the K-12 program amidst the Department of Education’s pronouncements that the system is ready for the program.

TDC

“We are in the front row and we believe that we grasp things better than those in the central office of the DepEd.” Said Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson and a public school teacher from Caloocan.

Basas added that this is the general sentiment of the teachers nationwide which “even some mid-level officials of the department share.” He continues “But beyond sentiment this is the reality and the DepEd and Malacanang should face it, we are not ready for this ambitious program.”

The group as early as year 2012 declared that the K-12 program would be successful if the government would not prioritize the basic needs of the sector such as books, classrooms, facilities, technology, instructional materials and most especially, teachers.

TheK-12 program is a system adopted by the Philippine government under Republic Act 10533 which was enacted in year 2012. The law provides for a compulsory kindergarten and senior high school programs in Philippine schools, thus, adding at least 3 years in the country’s education cycle. The graduates of batch 2015 were the last students graduated under the old curriculum and the incoming Grade 10 (4th year high school) this school year would be the first batch of students graduating under the K-12 program in year 2018.

“The K-12 program is not just our issue, it affects all the stakeholders of education- including of course the students and their parents and the teachers and employees in the tertiary level. Thus, we will link arms with them for a stronger advocacy and protest group.” Basas added.

Basas said that while they are still waiting for the decision of the high court on the petition filed by several groups seeking to suspend the program, they will also utilize the legislature by asking some congressmen and senators for a legislative action from congressional inquiry to amendment of the law.

“We are now getting the support of some multi-sectoral and labor groups for this objective and we already had initial talks with some legislators from both houses.” Basas said.

While they are opposing the system, the group said they appreciate the idea of introducing senior high school program in the country. However, under the existing system and orientation of Philippine government they fear the program will fail.

“To be successful, the K-12 program would need the support of major stakeholders- teachers, students and parents and if we are in doubt as to the validity of its orientation and the capacity and willingness of the government to fund its full implementation, we would always call for its suspension.” Basas ended.

Reference: Benjo Basas, Chairperson- 09205740241

NEWS RELEASE
April 20, 2015

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[Press Release] Teachers ask Bro. Armin to clarify Saturday make-up class order -TDC

Teachers ask Bro. Armin to clarify Saturday make-up class order

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) reiterated its appeal to DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro to order the immediate deferment of the Saturday make-up classes. The group further asks the secretary for a dialogue to clarify the DepEd’s basis for such make-up classes. Luistro in recent statement said that he leave the matter to the discretion of the field officials, specifically the Schools Division Superintendents (SDSs).

TDC

“We are not convinced that make-up classes should be implemented now because we are still compliant of the quarterly school program contained in DepEd Order No. 18, s. 2014 signed by Bro. Armin himself.” Said Benjo Basas, a Caloocan City teacher and the group’s national chairperson.

Basas said that in some divisions of Metro Manila and Central Visayas, make-up classes have started since January 24. This, according to him has prompted their group to hold dialogues with the respective division offices.

“In our dialogue with Caloocan City Division for instance, the Superintendent said that they are just following orders from the higher-ups. Eh di para kaming bola na pagpapasa-pasahan na lang palagi.” Basas exclaimed.

He however said that there was a little victory in the case of Caloocan City because SDS Rita Riddle agreed to postpone the make-up classes to February 7 and it has been cut from 5 to only 3 Saturdays.

“The Secretary should never leave this concern of teachers to the discretion of the field officials. This is a national policy, therefore, there should be a uniform interpretation and implementation. And his office is responsible in ensuring such.” Basas argued.

The group said that teachers were furious over the sudden directive forcing them and their students to report for Saturday classes in lieu of Papal visit suspension last month. There was no consultation made and that the orders were very inconsiderate of the situation both of the teachers and students and their parents.

“Brother Armin, please make us feel that our secretary cares for us teachers. Show us your ‘mercy and compassion.’ Please listen to us.” Basas ended.

The TDC is expected to have a dialogue with DepEd-NCR officials tomorrow, Monday to ask for an immediate deferment of the make-up classes in NCR. The group however said that it should be stop in all regions and divisions in the country, thus, a central office order would be necessary. #

For details: Benjo Basas, 09205740241

BELOW IS THE GROUP STATEMENT POSTED IN FB TODAY:

TUTULAN PO NATIN ANG SATURDAY MAKE-UP CLASSES SA NCR AT BUONG BANSA!

Ang Saturday make-up classes na ipinatutupad na sa ilang division sa NCR at Central Visayas ay hindi naidaan man lang sa kahit na kaunting konsultasyon o pagtalakay kasama ang mga guro at iba pang stakeholders.

Kung atin itong ilalarawan ay simple lamang, HINDI ITO KAILANGAN, ITO’Y PAHIRAP LAMANG, AT WALANG KAHIT NA KAUNTING KONSIDERASYON SA MGA GURO!

Lampas sa kani-kanilang dayalogo sa mga dibisyon, dapat na hamunin natin ang mga Regional Offices at ang central office upang agad itong ipahinto.

HINDI NATIN MAAARING TANGGAPIN ANG GENERIC NA SAGOT NI BRO. ARMIN NA “IPAUBAYA ITO SA MGA SDS” SAPAGKAT SA MGA KARANASAN NATIN, SINASABI LAGI NG FIELD OFFICIALS  NA SUMUSUNOD LAMANG SILA SA NAKATATAAS.

Huwag sana tayong gawing bola na pagpapasa-pasahan na naman, Kailanga natin ang sagot ni Bro. Armin Luistro. Sa kaniya nagmumula ang pambansang polisiya kaya dapat na siya rin ang  magtiyak na maayoas at uniform ang interpretasyon at implementasyon niyo sa buong bansa.

Simple lamang naman ang gusto natin:
UNA, ipaliwanag ng central office kung bakit kailangan ang make-up class gayong walang lost school days batay na rin sa DepEd Order No. 18, 2014 na galing sa central office at pirmado ni Bro. Armin mismo.

IKALAWA, mano ba namang kausapin muna tayo ng mga Regional at Division officials bago tayo puwersahang papasukin at isuko ang araw ng Sabado na mahalaga sa atin, hindi lang bioang guro kundi bilang mga tao.

IKATLO, bakit iba-iba ang bilang ng Saturday classes sa mga dibisyon, mula tatlo hanggang walong Sabado.

IKA-APAT, bayaran ng service credit o katumbas ng isang araw na sahod ang mga araw na ipinapasok natin labas sa ating normal teaching hours sa ilalim ng Magna Carta for Teachers, kabilang ang mga Sabado ng make-up classes.

Ayaw sana nating maging matuos sa oras at kompensasyon, pero malaon na tayong sinasamantala dahil sa ating kabaitan.

Brother Armin, please make us feel that our secretary cares for us teachers. Show us you “mercy and compassion.”

-Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC)/
Ating Guro Partylist
Pebrero 1, 2015

NEWS RELEASE
February 1, 2015

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[Press Release] Teachers furious on Saturday make-up classes -TDC

Teachers furious on Saturday make-up classes

Public school teachers under the banner of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) hit the Department of Education (DepEd) for the orders directing the implementation of Saturday make-up classes in lieu of the ‘lost school days’ due to recent typhoons, local holidays and Papal visit.

TDC

“Teachers have nothing to do with these suspensions; these could actually be considered as distortion of our class program. Thus, we should not be compelled to report every Saturday.” Said Benjo Basas, TDC national chairperson and a teacher of Caloocan City.

The group asks DepEd Secretary Br. Armin Luistro for a dialogue to clarify the matter after receiving several reports from the field that teachers are forced to report every Saturday for the said make-up class.

“We believe that make-up classes, especially during Saturdays are not necessary at this point in time, it is simply unfair.” Basas exclaimed.

Basas said that Saturdays are normally use for post graduate studies where classes are usually taken-up once a week, while some are barred to work because of their religious belief or use the weekends for family bonding.

Basas continued “It is quite ironic that our teachers are always compelled to work beyond their official time, some even dedicate their weekend for their students and school, yet the DepEd does not set aside overtime pay for them and would deduct their every single minute of under time meager salaries.”

The group argued that there is no need for make-up classes because the ‘lost days’ were all during the third quarter and since the DepEd school calendar indicates that school program are allocated into quarters with specific number of days each.

“Fortunately, we have completed all the quarterly programs from June to the end of January, thus, we are compliant to the school calendar contained in DepEd Order No. 18, s. 2014.” Basas said. He continued “The fourth quarter is composed only of 40 days starting February 2 and ending on March 27, the last school day of the year. Therefore, we have no lost days; we are actually ahead of the expected accomplishment date.”

The TDC also questioned the non-uniformity of the implementation in the field, because so far only the divisions of Navotas, Manila and Caloocan have released their respective memoranda but with different number of make-up class days; 3 in Navotas, 4 in Manila and 5 in Caloocan.

“How come that the number of make-up days differ by division, when we have almost the same number of suspensions in the whole region?” Basas asked.

Basas also cited the regional memorandum of the DepEd-NCR which was released last Tuesday that says “make-up classes shall not be done in consecutive Saturdays.”

“We challenge our Secretary to show his real compassion to our teachers, we ask him for a dialogue to tackle this and other concerns of our teachers.” Basas ended.

At 3:00 o’clock this afternoon, TDC leaders and members will troop ti the division office of Caloocan City at 10th Avenue to seek the explanation of officials of DepEd Caloocan. #

For details: Benjo Basas, 09205740241

BELOW IS THE GROUP STATEMENT POSTED IN FB:

KAPRITSO LANG AT HINDI PANGANGAILANGAN ANG MAKE-UP CLASSES
(Please share hanggang makarating sa mga SDSs, RDs at kay Brother!)

Paano natin ito nasabi? Narito ang ilang kadahilanan:

1. HINDI NATIN KAGUSTUHAN ANG CLASS SUSPENSIONS.
Mas gusto nga nating tuluy-tuloy ang pasok para hindi maabala ang lesson at program sa klase. Gayunman, wala tayong magagawa dahil idineklarang suspendido ang klase noong nagkaroon ng mga bagyo (Glenda, Ruby, Seniang etc) at noong nagkaroon ng mga pagdiriwang (Pista ng Nazareno sa Maynila, Sinulog sa Cebu at Papal Visit sa buong NCR).

2. ANG SABADO AT LINGGO AY ARAW NA LAAN PARA SA ATIN.
Ang araw ng Sabado, kung saan itinatapat ng mga kinauukulan ang ‘make-up clases’ ay araw na inilalaan natin sa ating pag-aaral, sa religious activities, sa paglalaba, sa family bonding at iba pang bagay na mahalaga rin sa atin, hindi lamang bilang mga guro, kundi bilang mga tao. Kung ang paminsan-minsang release ng cards na ginagawa tuwing Sabado (kahit walang service credit) ay pinalalampas na natin, pero hindi ang maraming sunud-sunod na Sabado (may TLE teachers ay kumukuha ng kurso sa TESDA para ma-qualify sa pagtuturo sa Senior HS- lagot, baka i-drop sila kung tatlong Sabado ang absent, paano pa kaya kung lima?);

3. LAGI TAYONG OVERTIME AT OVERWORKED, PERO HINDI TAYO NANININGIL.
Madalas, kung hindi man lagi ay nagseserbisyo tayong nga guro nang lampas sa ating official time, pero hindi tayo naniningil ng overtime pay. Samantala, hanggang huling minuto ng ating ‘undertime’ at agad na kinakaltasan. It’s unfair;

4. TINANGGAL NA BA NI BRO. ARMIN ANG BUFFER DAYS?
Ang school calendar ng DepEd ay laging mayroong buffer days na laan sa mga class suspension dahil sa bagyo, local holidays, activities atbp. Samantala, ang mga araw na laan sa teaching-learning ay 180 lamang (na ayon kay Bro. Armin ay non-negotiable). Bakit tila yata wala na sa School Calendar 2014-2015 ang mga konseptong ito?;

5. QUARTERLY ANG SCHOOL/CLASS PROGRAM KAYA WALA TAYONG DAPAT BAYARAN.
Ang class suspension na ginawa noong mula 1st hanggang 3rd quarter ay hindi maaaring singilin ngayong 4th Quarter dahil may kani-kaniyang program at number of days ang bawat quarter. Sa katunayan, 40 days lamang ang inilaan para sa 4th Quarter (20 for February and 20 for March) at magsisimula pa lamang ito sa February 2 at magtatapos sa March 27, ang last day ng school year. Ibig sabihin, ang lahat ng paaralan ay nakasunod sa quarterly program mula first day ng 1st quarter hanggang last day ng 3rd quarter as indicated in DepEd Order 18, s. 2015.

6. ITUTURO NATIN ANG LESSON NUNG 3RD GRADING NGAYONG 4TH GRADIING?
Ang lahat ng sinasabing lost school days ay naganap hindi ngayong 4th quarter kundi noong mga nakalipas (pinakamarami ay 3rd quarter). Ibig sabihin ba dahil sa assumption ng DepEd na may hindi tayo naituro noong 3rd Quarter ay ituturo natin iyon ngayong 4th Quarter? Siguro naman hindi. Samakatuwid, para saan ang make-up classes for lost school days of December and January?

7. BAKIT IBA-IBA ANG BILANG NG ARAW NA BABAYARAN?
Naku, ito pa ang isa. Sa iba’t ibang division ay iba-iba ang bilang ng araw na babayaran. Sa Navotas 3 days lang, sa Maynila 4 days naman at sa Caloocan, 5 days- FIVE SATURDAYS! Sa iba wala pang anunsiyo. Paano kaya nangyari na iba-iba ito samantalang halos pare-pareho naman ang number of days ng class suspension. Sa Caloocan nga, pati holiday nung December 12, 2014 ay may pasok.

BROTHER, USAP TAYO!
Dahil sa ilang kadahilanang ito ay hinahamon natin ang pamunuan ng DepEd-NCR at maging DepEd Central sa isang maayos na dayalogo. Hindi tayo dapat pumapayag na lagi na lamang binibigla nang ganito. Ni walang paliwanag na maayos, ni walang konsultasyon at bigla-biglang bababaan ng mga utos na wala kahit kaunting konsiderasyon!

MABILIS ANG SAKRIPISYO, MAKUPAD ANG BENEPISYO
Mabilis kung magpatrabaho- kahit na walang batayan. Pero sobrang bagal pagdating sa bigayan ng ating mga benepisyo. Saan kaya humuhugot ng lakas ng loob ang mga opisyal ng DepEd, mga nasa central office, gayundin sa field para tratuhin na lamang ng ganito ang mga guro at pati ang mga principal, na madalas ay sumusunod na lamang.

KUNG SINSERO ANG DEPED SA MAKE-UP CLASS, DAPAT SANA’Y KINUNSIDERA ANG LAHAT NG BAGAY, LALO NA ANG MGA GURO. MANO BA NAMANG KINAUSAP MUNA TAYO, HANDA NAMAN TAYONG MAKINIG, MAG-AMBAG NG IDEYA AT SUMUPORTA. AYUSIN LAMANG SANA ANG PROSESO NG PAGPAPATUPAD NG ANUMANG KAUTUSAN MULA DIVISION HANGGANG CENTRAL OFFICE.

-Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC)
/ATING GURO Partylist
Enero 28, 2015

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[Press Release] Teachers ask DBM to release bonuses -TDC

Teachers ask DBM to release bonuses

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) asked the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to fast-track the release of bonuses due teachers this month to augment their Christmas and year-end expenses. They also criticize DBM for the media release this today announcing that there would be ‘additional bonus’ for state workers.

TDC

“In the first place, there is no additional bonus, because what DBM announced is the release of the PEI or the productivity enhancement incentive.” Said Benjo Basas, a teacher in Caloocan City and the group’s national chairperson. “It is not on top of the anticipated incentives for teachers and government employees. It is actually a reduction of incentive because from 2007 up to 2011, we receive the PEI in full P10, 000.” Basas exclaimed.

The group added that since year 2012, the PEI was reduced P5, 000 when the government introduced the controversial performance-based bonus or PBB, which the scheme, according to TDC is “unfair, deceptive and divisive.”

“This PBB is also a source of dismay among our teachers and government employees. This is supposedly released by October of this year, but until this very moment, only few teachers from several schools in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and CALABARZON have received their PBB. The scheme is so complicated.” Basas added.

Based on TDC national monitoring, only few schools have received the PEI as of today, while the DBM Budget Circular 2014-3 or the PEI guidelines for 2014 says the bonus may be released ‘NOT EARLIER THAN DECEMBER 15.’

“Before the DBM turn to media for publicity, it has to make sure of its obligation to teachers. “ Basas ended.

This and other issues will be tackled in TDC’s year-end meeting at the DepEd-NCR Conference Hall in Quezon City tomorrow afternoon. #

For details:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson, 0920-574024

NEWS RELEASE
December 16, 2014

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[Press Release] DBM’s budget proposal, ‘A BAD’ news for teachers -TDC

DBM’s budget proposal, ‘A BAD’ news for teachers

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) on Tuesday described DBM’s appearance in the House budget hearing as “A bad news” after DBM secretary Butch Abad confirmed that there is no budget item for teachers salary increase as well as for other government employees.

TDC

“This administration is generous in giving us frustrations.” Said Benjo Basas, a high school teacher from Caloocan City and the group’s national chairperson. “The president’s SONA made no mention of salary increase for teachers. Now, Secretary Abad is bragging his productivity enhancement incentives (PEI) instead of providing our demand for salary increase.” He added.

Basas revealed that the PEI of state workers and public school teachers which amounts to P10, 000 since year 2007 was reduced to P5, 000 beginning 2012.

“I don’t want to compare this administration with Arroyo presidency, but in year 2007 and 2008, the then Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo provided for a 10% salary increase thru executive orders.” Basas recalled.”And in year 2009, the government began implementing the four-tranche salary increase thru the salary standardization law.”

Basas added that the only salary adjustments granted by under Aquino and Abad were the last two tranches of the SLL-3 which “not even initiated under the current presidency”.

The TDC has been lobbying for a P10, 000 across the board increase for public school teachers and has launched a series of protest that will culminate in October in time for the celebration of World Teachers’ Day.

“This time, the government should be taught of our importance.” Basas ended.
Reference: Benjo Basas, TDC National Chairperson, 09205740241

News Release
August 7, 2014

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[Press Release] TDC asks DEPED to stop implementing new performance rating

TDC asks DEPED to stop implementing new performance rating
TDC

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) has formally asked the Department of Education to immediately stop the implementation of the results-based performance management system (RPMS) that is set to measure the output of public school teachers nationwide.

TDC

“Based on the ‘roll-out’ in the field, this RPMS places our expected output beyond 100 per cent. We view this as nothing but burden, especially that the teachers’ tasks and delivery of output are not easily quantifiable because of the peculiarity of our work. Thus, RPMS would only result to confusion if not exploitation.” Said Benjo Basas in a letter addressed to DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro.

RPMS is the new performance rating system based on the Civil Service Commission (CSC) memorandum circular no. 6 in 2012. The TDC, along with more than a hundred teachers from Metro Manila held a protest followed by a dialogue with CSC Chair Francisco Duque III to discuss the matter.

“In our meeting with the CSC officials, it was made clear that RPMS cannot be implemented without the prior agreement between the teachers and administrators on the performance indicators and expected output. Unfortunately, this is not the way it is being carried out in the field. Since June of this year, the supposed open consultation in the division and school level has been nothing but an imposition of this scheme, perhaps for compliance.” Basas continued.

The groups urged CSC and DepEd to review the applicability of this policy to public schools and further challenged the government to provide the necessary support to public school system in terms of facilities and other resources, most especially in terms of teacher compensation.

“We appeal to the DepEd to immediately issue a memorandum to halt the implementation of RPMS until clear, definite and acceptable guidelines have been formulated with the widest consultation possible.” Basas added.

The group is expected to meet the CSC and DepEd officials anytime this week to further discuss the issue.

“RPMS is nothing, but another burden to already overworked yet underpaid teachers.” Basas ended.

Reference: Benjo Basas, national chair, 09205740241

NEWS RELEASE
August 04, 2014

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[Press Release] Teachers vow for more protests -TDC

Teachers vow for more protests
July 29, 2014

Photo by TDC

Photo by TDC

 

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) on Tuesday warned of more massive protest after the president’s SONA speech on Monday did not mention of assurance that a salary increase will be provided for the 600, 000 state mentors next year.

TDC

“Very frustrating!” Said Benjo Basas, a public school teacher from Caloocan City and the national chairperson of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) after the president’s state of the nation address yesterday. “We never actually expected for some beautiful announcement, but because of the present situation of teachers, we believe the president would be caring enough to initiate his approval of our demand for P10, 000 across the board increase.” Basas continued.

During a protest action last weekend, the group gave President Aquino a failing mark for his failure to decisively address the problems of education sector particularly the insufficient allocation of budget especially in implementing the ambitious K-12 program. They also participated in a huge SONA rally yesterday to press for their demands.

“In his last two years in office, we dare him to prioritize the education sector and the teachers. It seems that the politicians, most of them are crooks were his favorite during his four-year term providing them with so many pork and other perks. Now is the time to think about us, to think about the ordinary people.”

Basas said that a series of mass actions and creative protests that will culminate in a huge rally in October will fill the streets of Metro Manila and other urban areas of the country.
“Teachers and education should not be neglected. They should be put in priority list.” Basas ended. #

Reference: Benjo Basas, TDC National Chairperson, 09205740241

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[Press Release] Teachers call for tax reform -TDC

Teachers call for tax reform

Amidst their call for a P10, 000 increase in the salaries of teachers and education employees, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) once again challenge the government to reform the taxation system.

TDC

“A reformed tax system, especially for individuals would mean a more efficient collection that would improve the state fund. Those who gain more income should pay more.” Said Benjo Basas, a Caloocan City teacher and the group’s chairperson.

The recent campaign advertisement of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) portraying the doctors as tax cheat and teachers carrying the burden of taxation has become controversial. The teachers however said the government, especially its tax system and inefficient collection is to blame for tax evasion cases.

“Indeed, teachers along with other workers and employees bear the burden of ensuring that government money is sufficient enough to fund the state’s daily operation. Yet some sectors of the society, including the big businessmen and crook government officials are wasting this hard-earned money which is supposed to use for social services.” Basas explained. “Once and for all, the system of taxation should be revised to collect more from the rich.”

The TDC supports Senate Bill 2146 filed by Sen. Sonny Angara as well as several legislative proposals intended to grant tax exemptions or reduction for teachers and other employees especially from their supposed bonuses and call for a stricter campaign not only in paid ads but more importantly in penalizing tax evaders and government crooks.

“If the government is sincere in its tax collection, the best formula will be a progressive taxation system and tax evaders and thieves in the government behind bars.” Basas ended.

Teachers’ Dignity Coalition
“Unity of Teachers to Regain the Dignity of Teaching Profession”
SEC Registration Number: CN 2007-10645
117-C Matatag St., Bgy. Central, Quezon City
Hotline: (02)3853437 • Telefax (02)4350036 • Mobile: 0920-5740241
Email: teachersdignity@yahoo.com.ph • Website: http://www.teachersdignity.com/

NEWS RELEASE
June 15, 2014

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[Blog] ‘Dating guro’ goes back to classroom teaching. -TDC

‘Dating guro’ goes back to classroom teaching
By Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC)

Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) national chairperson Benjo Basas will again go back to school as a classroom teacher. Since the year 2006 when the TDC was formed and he was chosen at its spokesperson, he has become very active in teachers’ movement.

Tomorrow, June 9, Basas will again go back to his first love- classroom teaching.

Benjo Basa source petiburgisdotcom

He began teaching after graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in Social Sciences in Philippine Normal University (PNU) in 1999. Since then, he spent all his years teaching, 10 years of which were spent in Baesa High School, Caloocan City, his alma mater.

On October 2012, Basas was declared resigned ipso facto after he was chosen as the first nominee of ATING GURO Partylist.

Batang Public School
Benjo Basas graduated in Sta. Qiuteria Elementary School and Baesa High School, both in Caloocan. He then studied Bachelor of Secondary Education in PNU, Manila where he got involved in campus politics and literary circle.

He became a writer for The Torch publication and a student-activist who later joined Kalipunan ng Malayang Kabataan (KAMALAYAN), a breakaway of League of Filipino Students (LFS).
He graduated in 1999 and began teaching while doing a freelance writing. He had a 3-year experience in private schools and year 2002, entered public school system as a permanent teacher in Baesa High School, Caloocan City, his alma mater

TDC Chairman
Due to active involvement and presence in teachers’ events that time, he was chosen as the spokesperson of Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) in year 2006 when the group, a supposed loose coalition to push for salary increase of teachers was formed

The network of teachers under the TDC decided to transform the group from a mere ‘coalition’ to a formal ‘organization’ with own by-laws and set of officers where Basas, again chosen as Chairperson. The name TDC with the word ‘Coalition’ however, was retained (actually a misnomer)

Basas was elected National Chairperson during the TDC’s 1st National Convention held in Manila in October 2009 and was re-elected in the same position during the 2nd National Convention in Pampanga in November 2012.

Since the year 2006, TDC a new player in Philippine teachers’ movement caught the attention of the government, the media and the teachers. With the practical yet politically correct stand on education and socio-political issues and creative means of bringing out the concerns of education sectors, the TDC has differed itself from traditional organizations of teachers- both the traditional militants and the traditional conservatives.

ATING GURO Partylist
In 2011, because of the necessity to be represented by someone from public school, ATING GURO Partylist was formed in Manila by several organizations of education employees, teachers and some administrators and Basas was elected as one of the members of National Council.

ATING GURO Partylist submitted its petition for accreditation with Basas as its first nominee for the May 2013 midterm elections. The party believes that a public school teacher could best represent the education in the halls of Congress, thus the chose Basas, real teacher, in public basic education. The group further knows that only a teacher can understand the language of the teachers and felt their everyday experiences as well as their aspirations. Aside from that, the representative must be someone who is coming from the sector and a marginalized in its strict sense.

Basas, who was then a teacher in Baesa High School needs more time to focus on organizational work. Thus, he filed a 3-month leave of absence in DepEd from August to November (or until such time that the Comelec would declare a leave of absence for appointive government employees and officials who accepted nominations for party list because Comelec it its February 21, 2012 resolution explicitly exempts party list nominees from automatic resignation).

In October25, 2012, the Comelec granted the Petition for Accreditation of ATING GURO but was only pronounced in media on December 5, 2012 along with 3 other parties, the last batch of accreditation. The Comelec however declared Basas as resigned- ipso facto as early as October 5, 2012, the supposed deadline of submission of certificate of candidacy for other positions for May 2013 elections. The group questioned the automatic resignation, according to them, how come that a nominee of a party list be resigned from his incumbent appointive position as public school teacher on October 5, when in fact, the accreditation of his party was just decided on October 25 and pronounced on December 5.

After an inquiry was made, the Comelec said they reviewed the February resolution and amended the provision that exempts appointive government employees and officials from automatic resignation. Thus, since October 5, 2012, Basas is no longer connected with the Department of Education and worked full time for TDC and eventually for election bid of ATING GURO

ATING GURO campaign
Since August 2012, Basas received nothing but P5,000.00 allowance from the TDC, an additional P10, 000 was given by ATING GURO Partylist from period February to June 2013 or for the campaign months.

Since Basas is a public school teacher, married to another public school teacher, Ana Liza of Bagong Barrio National High School also in Caloocan and has two young children, the situation becomes challenging, economically. The couple both came from poor families of origin and has no other income or inheritance. They do not even own a house and, until now are transients in a single-room apartment in Caloocan City.

But being a true-blue activist whose principle is “payak na pamumuhay at puspusang pakikibaka,” Basas and his family survived with the help of close friends and relatives.
ATING GURO members believe no doubt that theirs is the poorest partylist in May 2013 elections and their first nominee, also the poorest nominee. The election was another challenge, with no adequate funds to wage a national campaign, ATING GURO depended largely on TDC membership. From funds contribution to production of materials to physical manpower of house to house campaign, leaflets distribution and operation dikit up to monitoring of votes and counting.

The initial result of their suffering was rewarding. In a survey released in papers few weeks before the election day, ATING GURO was one of the parties who will be assured of one seat. This however, did not make them confident and actually motivated them to work on the double.

In one of the campaign meetings, a teacher from Cavite, joked about PDAF and said, ‘Sir pag naupo ka hatian mo ako sa pork barrel mo ha.’ IN which Basas replied, “Naku Sir, anti-pork barrel po ang TDC at ATING GURO.” Said teacher, during the height of PDAF scam August last year recalled the conversation and posted it as a status in his Facebook account.
Won but not proclaimed
The Election day was both tensed and liberating. After 90 days of campaign, TDC and ATING GURO members would just wait for the result of the elections which was overall, exciting. ATING GURO did very well in initial canvass reports and consistently placed within top 45, the ‘winning group.’ When the Comelec began proclaiming initial winners, ATING GURO maintained its position.

But when the Supreme Court ruled against further proclamations in response to the petition of the ‘winning’ but disqualified parties Abang Lingkod and Senior Citizens, the chance for proclamation of AGBIAG, APPEND, ANAC-IP, ATING GURO and PBA becomes dim. However, the Comelec through Chairman Brillantes declared that if the high court would act favorably on the appeal for requalification of Abang Lingkod and Senior Citizens which will be reserved a total of three seats, the poll body would take away ‘excess seats’ from several top parties granted more than 1 seat. Still, an assurance that ATING GURO would eventually be proclaimed.

Finally on July 2013, the court overturned the Comelec decision disqualifying ABANG LINGKOD and Senior Citizens and ordered the poll body to eventually proclaim these parties. The supposed reserved seats were not taken away from those who were granted excess seats but to those who are at the bottom, and ATING GURO is one of them.

Thus on January 2014, after thorough studies and legal researches, ATING GURO along with other parties filed the petition questioning the proclamation of excess seats of 5 parties namely BUHAY, AGAP, CIBAC, MAGDALO and AN WARAY. The petition’s lead counsel, Atty. Salvador Britanico argued that the 1ST nominees of ALIF, ATING GURO, PBA, AANGAT TAYO and KASANGGA should have been proclaimed instead of the 3rd nominee of Buhay and the 2nd nominees of four others, with or without the disqualification of ABANG LINGKOD and SENIOR CITIZENS.

ATING GURO and TDC members when ask on the result of elections would reply “we won but not proclaimed.”

Basas, who still serves as chairman and spokesperson of the TDC was actually subject to criticism from some unfriendly forces, at time calling him DATING GURO. But he considers everything as necessary sacrifice.

Back to teaching
Recognizing the sluggish judicial system in the country, Basas and his comrades do not expect for an immediate favorable response from the court. It is a known fact that election-related cases often met resolutions several days before the next elections.

Basas after the one-year ban for those who participated to recent elections applied to become a teacher in DepEd Caloocan. Just like any other new applicants, he underwent the process of application and ranking for teacher 1 position. He filed pertinent documents to a school of his choice, lined-up for demonstration teaching and interview and took English proficiency test.

When the registry of qualified applicants (RQA) was released, he was ranked # 2 for Social Studies teachers and was given an advice to a teaching position in Baesa High School, his original station on June 4, Wednesday. Upon submission of the first day of report to the school, the school principal asked him to return the paper to the division office and that signals his official return to DepEd system as a certified public school teacher.

He was assigned to handle Araling Panlipunan class in 5 sections of Grade 7. However since Baesa High School implements the 3-day scheme, he will only meet his class every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And last Friday, June 6, with much excitement he came to school only to find out that he would only meet 2 classes, the other 3 have no classrooms of their own and were fused with other sections to save space while the rooftop, which serves as temporary classroom is under repair.

Things have actually change based on his initial observations. The curriculum of first year students now is under K-12, in which he was not trained for. He will also teach Asian History and not Philippine History in first year (grade 7) as he was used into.

Tomorrow, Monday Basas would finally meet his class and will begin his classroom teaching once again.

Teachers’ Dignity Coalition
“Unity of Teachers to Regain the Dignity of Teaching Profession”
SEC Registration Number: CN 2007-10645
117-C Matatag St., Bgy. Central, Quezon City
Hotline: (02)3853437 • Telefax (02)4446564 • Mobile: 0920-5740241/ 0920-4142614
Email: teachersdignity@yahoo.com.ph • Website: http://www.teachersdignity.com

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[Press Release] TDC calls to support Brigada Eskwela, Reminds the Government of its obligation -TDC

TDC calls to support Brigada Eskwela,
Reminds the Government of its obligation

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) calls on its members nationwide to support this Brigada Eskwela, an annual schools maintenance week spearheaded by the Department of Education (DepEd) to mobilize community support.

TDC

“This year’s Brigada Eskwela is particularly important because we experienced three major tragedies last year that left our schools extremely devastated.” Said Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson. Basas is pertaining to the Zamboanga City siege, Bohol earthquake and super typhoon Yolanda that devastated many schools in September, October and November respectively.

Brigada Eskwela is an annual event that mobilizes support for schools in terms of maintenance which includes labor, materials and even funds. This year’s Brigada Eskwela will run from May 19 to 23.

“The government’s effort for the rehabilitation of said areas proved to be slow and insufficient. Thus, we really need the help of the community and the private entities to prepare the school for another year.” Basas continued.

The TDC, however said that the maintenance of schools is a primary state obligation and voluntary help from community and private institutions should never be used as a justification to reduce fund allotment for school operation and maintenance.

“While we are appreciative of Brigada Eskwela and consider this as a proof of Bayanihan spirit among our people, we also would like to remind the government that paints, roofing, windows, floor wax, brooms, light bulbs, tables and chairs in our schools as well as the labor for fixing them should be provided by the government.” Basas explained.

Basas hit the government for failing to prioritize education budget while getting excessive taxes from the workers and just letting those money go to the pockets of the crooks.

“P-Noy should prioritize funding for education and reduce the budget of agencies and office that are tainted with corruption. Taxes should go back to the people in the form of social services like health, transportation and education, including the just compensation for teachers and government workers. ” Basas ended.

The TDC early this month launched ‘Protest De Mayo’ a series of mass actions intended to demand the P10, 000 across the board increase for government teachers. #

For details:
Benjo Basas, Chairperson 0920-5740241/ 3853437

NEWS RELEASE
May 18, 2014

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[Press Release] Teachers ask for 10, 000 salary increase, launch ‘Protests de Mayo’ -TDC

Teachers ask for 10, 000 salary increase, launch ‘Protests de Mayo’

Protest de Mayo Title - CopyThe Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) renews its call to the government to legislate an increase in their salaries and benefits after the Aquino administration said that the government cannot grant the salary increase demands both for private and public sector workers and employees.

TDC

“The latest increase in our salaries thru legislation was enacted in 2009.” Said Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson. Basas added that the increase was under the Salary Standardization Law 3 and granted the entry level position of government teachers an increase in total of P6, 523 divided in four tranches from year.

“The current administration only enforced what is mandated by law and just decreed the last two tranches thru executive orders, the latest adjustment in our salary that was signed by Pres. Aquino was in year 2012.” Basas explained. “Since then, the government is seemingly reluctant to tackle the salary increase proposals for public school teachers and government employees.” He furthered.

The group is pushing for a P10, 000 across the board increase for teachers and education workers. Earlier, Malacanang said that there will be no increase in wages and salaries of private and government workers, contrary to the traditional wage increase pronouncement during Labor Day celebration.

The TDC said they appreciate the proposals submitted by Senator Antonio Trillanes III in the Senate and the versions authored by Magdalo representatives in the lower house.

“We appreciate the proposals from these lawmakers. That is only a proof that some government officials believe that teachers and government employees’ pay is insufficient for a dignified living. The proposal opens the door for a wide discussion and that alone can be considered as an initial victory for us.” Basas added.

House Bill 4081 seeks to increase the entry-level salary of teachers from P18, 549 to P36, 567 or from Salary Grade 11 to 20. The group however said this may not be feasible considering the sheer number of public school teachers in the country which now has reach almost 600, 000 and the government’s fiscal policy which refuses to prioritize public education and other social services.

TDC vows to launch series of mass actions this month dubbed as PROTEST DE MAYO, a Santacruzan-inspired series of actions starting this week up to the resumption of classes in June.

“On Thursday, May 8, we will launch ‘Protests De Mayo’ in front of DBM office and will march Sagala-style to Mendiola Bridge to protest government’s inaction on the demands of public school teachers.” Basas ended. #

Benjo Basas, National Chairperson, 0920-5740241

NEWS RELEASE
May 4, 2014

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[Press Release] Teachers support workers’ call for wage increase, decent living -TDC

Teachers support workers’ call for wage increase, decent living

Public school teachers join the celebration and marches today in commemoration of the international labor day that primarily demand for increase in wages and protection for working class.

TDC

“Mayday is for all of us- working people to celebrate. This day recognizes our sacrifices and invaluable contribution, not just to the economy but to the entire society.” Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson said.
Basas said members of the TDC will be joining the workers under the Bukluran ng Manggagagawang Pilipino (BMP) and the labor alliance NAGKAISA who will march from Welcome Rotonda to Mendiola this morning.

“Teachers bear the agony of low salaries, high prices of commodities, unfair labor practices, heavy workload and contractualization, among others. These are also the everyday sufferings of the Filipino workers, thus our reason to take solidarity with the rest of the working class.” Basas explained.

Basas added that the Aquino administration, so far has not initiated a salary increase proposal for teachers and government workers and the last legislated increase in their salaries was the four-tranche increase in 2009 under the Arroyo administration which was fully implemented two years ago.

“P-Noy, for this day gave us assurance that there will be no increase in the wages of our brothers and sisters in the private sector, the same with us in the government.” Basas added.
TDC calls on Malacanang to provide increase in salaries and other means of benefits for teachers and government employees thru reduction in taxes, increase in productivity enhancement incentive and scrapping of divisive and deceptive performance-based bonus and granting of more benefits under the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

“The toils of the working class make the economy revolving and keep the world moving, a caring government should reward them with social recognition, not just jobs fair and free MRT rides. The Filipino workers deserve more.” Basas ended.

TDC vows to initiate protest actions in the remaining weeks of summer vacation for their demands before the classes resume in June. #

Benjo Basas, National Chairperson, 0920-5740241

NEWS RELEASE
May 1, 2014

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[Press Release] Teachers defend doctors, challenge BIR -TDC

Teachers defend doctors, challenge BIR

Doctors found an unlikely ally, a teachers’ group.

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) echoed the physician’s group sentiments on the ads released by the Bureau on Internal Revenue (BIR) portraying the doctors as tax cheat and a burden to those who pay taxes- the teachers.

TDC

“The BIR ad, which started last year only goes to show that teachers are religiously paying taxes, more taxes, while other professionals who make more income than we do pay less.” Said Benjo Basas, TDC national chairperson. “It is a mere confirmation of the the unfair tax structure.” He added.

Basas however sympathized with the doctors and the statement made by the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) who called on the BIR to pull out said ad which they described as unfair.

“I believe it is unfair. An erring doctor is not a reflection of the medical profession, in the same case as an erring teacher or an erring soldier; bad members- who comprise very little portion of the organization do not represent the institution.” Basas explained in defense of the doctors which he described as “along with teachers, is one of the noblest and selfless professions.”

He continued, “This is more of a reflection of the BIR’s inefficient tax collection system and it happens not only in doctors, but perhaps, in all the practicing professionals who dictate their own income thru charges from their clients.”

While appreciative of the BIR’s portrayal of teachers as honest taxpayers, the TDC challenged the bureau to run after the big time tax evaders, the big businessmen and the bosses of government corporations who receive fat bonuses. TDC said it is consistent with the clear message from BIR, ‘When you don’t pay your taxes, you’re a burden to those who do. Do your share.’

“If the government is convinced that we teachers are heroes, then we deserved tax incentives, at least. We are at the bottom of income scale, along with other employees and workers, yet the government is dependent upon our taxes.” Basas explained. “Once and for all, the system of taxation should be revised to collect more from the rich.”

The TDC supports several legislative proposals intended to grant tax exemptions or reduction for teachers and other employees especially from their supposed bonuses and call for a stricter campaign not only in paid ads but more importantly in penalizing tax evaders and government crooks.

“The only apprehension of the taxpayers is that this hard-earned money only goes to the pockets of the thieves in government. The government must be stricter and show that it can put the plunderers behind bars.” Basas said. “Paying taxes is every citizen’s obligation, the government is tasked to ensure the fair tax collection and finally to spend these taxes for social services. There could be a system failure if any of the components of this cycle failed.” He ended.

NEWS RELEASE
March 5, 2014

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[Press Release] No extravagant grads, help schools instead, TDC says

No extravagant grads, help schools instead, TDC says

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) calls on school and field officials to abide by the DepEd rules on graduation rites released by the agency earlier.

TDC

According to Benjo Basas, TDC national chairperson, his organization agrees with the department in regulating graduation fees and extravagant rites especially if it is imposed by the school authorities. “Graduation, while considered as special day for most of the students and parents should not be extravagant and burdensome.” Basas said.

Basas said that many of public school students belong to the poor families who may not afford the fees. However, he recognizes the festive mode of some families who wishes the graduation day of their children to be special.

“Some parents would be very happy for their children who accomplished secondary education especially those who are not well-prepared for tertiary schooling, thus they may want to see their kids wearing toga. In that case, we understand that if the parents would want to contribute or donate any affordable amount for the graduation ceremonies then it would be all right as long as it is compliant of the rules set by the DepEd.” Basas explained. “But it should be an initiative from the parents of the graduating class or the PTA.” He added.

Basas particularly cited the case in Typhoon Yolanda-stricken Visayas especially many towns in Leyte and Samar provinces, which until now have yet to recover from the severe damage brought about by the monster typhoon in November, “Until now, there are no classrooms in many schools and the operation is still irregular,” he said.

Basas, whose roots are from Leyte and has been active in relief effort in the Visayas said that the money that some would want to use for extravagant celebration may better be spent for citizens’ effort in rehabilitating schools in Leyte.

“We suggest that those who are not affected by Yolanda be more generous and help our kids and teachers in those areas” he said. TDC has launched Project PAG-ARAM, an initiative to raise school materials for teachers and students in Yolanda-affected areas.

“We have started collecting donations since the first week of January and we have delivered materials to some 15 schools in Leyte last month.” Basas added.

The group will be accepting donations of papers, pens, chalks, crayons and other school supplies until the end of May and will deliver the donations to affected schools in time for the opening of school year 2014-2015.
___________________________________
Reference: Benjo Basas, Chairperson, 0920-5740241/ 3853437
For Project PAG-ARAM details:        Olive De Guzman, 0917-8167130

NEWS RELEASE
February 25, 2014

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[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.

TDC

“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

PRESS STATEMENT
December 30, 2013

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

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