Tag Archives: COVID19ph

[People] Recommendations on meeting the marginalized’s needs in the pandemic -by Ed Tadem

#HumanRights #COVID19ph

Recommendations on meeting the marginalized’s needs in the pandemic
by Eduardo C. Tadem

‘Congress should quickly enact legislation that will impose a wealth tax on the richest Filipino families to raise revenue for COVID-19 measures’

On March 8, 2020, the Philippine government declared a state of public health emergency due to rising cases of COVID-19 infections. The country has been under lockdown and quarantine measures for 9 months now. Nonetheless, infections and fatalities continue to rise. The country has the second highest infection rate in Southeast Asia and 7th in Asia.

The government responded to the health crisis with a “whole of government approach,” where state agencies from the national to the local implement containment measures. An Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) was established led by retired generals and two social amelioration programs (SAP) were initiated to provide immediate assistance to families.

The measures exacted a heavy toll on the Philippine economy, society, and politics. The economy is in recession and is forecasted to contract by 8.5%-9.5% for 2020. Poverty rose, half of the labor force became jobless with 40% relying on part-time employment, and hunger stalked 7.6 million families or 31% of the total. Business establishments went bankrupt. Children of poor families were unable to cope with the remote learning modes of education. Human rights violations increased as well as domestic abuses and harassments of women, particularly among the urban poor.

While COVID-19’s impact cuts across all sectors of society, poor and marginalized communities are more vulnerable and bear the brunt of the crisis. Despite difficulties and limitations, however, some grassroots organizations have taken up important roles in providing relief for their communities, especially in areas where government support was lacking.

The University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies, Program on Alternative Development (UP CIDS AltDev), with support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), undertook a research study of 5 grassroots communities: an urban poor home-owners association, a health watch program of a relocated urban poor community, a women’s micro social enterprise, an indigenous people’s community, and, a school for indigenous children. The study generated vivid stories from the community level on how the multifaceted challenges of the pandemic are confronted and addressed.

The case studies

Utilizing collective leadership, mass mobilization and self-regulation principles, the Alyansa ng mga Samahan sa Sitio Mendez, Baesa Homeowners Association (ASAMBA), initiated its own measures to safeguard their members from the pandemic – monitoring mobility, retrofitting their iron gates, establishing checkpoints, initiating a community-wide information campaign, and addressing their food needs.

The self-help measures, however, were insufficient to control the spread of the virus coming from surrounding neighborhoods. The prolonged lockdown, loss of jobs, and reduced income generating activities also impacted heavily on the community.

Upon the onset of the pandemic, the Bantay Kalusugang Pangkomunidad (BKP, Community Health Watch) immediately mobilized its members and resources to respond properly – constantly monitoring the health conditions of the community, providing first aid in medical emergencies, undertaking health education particularly COVID-19 information, and soliciting donations.

Outside relief, however, have been insufficient and inconsistent – offering little relief. The government’s social amelioration program has also been marked by non-inclusiveness and selectiveness, slow and stressful processes, and limited LGU capacities.

Igting or Maigting na Samahan ng mga Panlipunang Negosyante ng Towerville Inc., a women’s social enterprise producing garment and apparel products, leaned on its operations as a momentary saving grace due to bulk orders for face masks. Their situation, however, remains precarious as the residents’ daily lives have been greatly disrupted by the lockdowns and quarantine measures while being subjected to an inadequately implemented and late-coming social amelioration program that was also felt to be stressful, arbitrary, and selective. Quarantine measures are also inflexible and cumbersome as well as inattentive to humane considerations.

The Ayta Mag-indi indigenous community in two ancestral domain villages reacted quickly upon hearing of the COVID-19 outbreak and declarations of a lockdown and quarantine. A communications system and checkpoints were set up and donations were solicited. Lockdown rules were enforced, and they learned all they could about the pandemic. They also reached out to lowland communities to dispel damaging rumors about their alleged virus-causing bat-eating habits.

Government assistance, however, came late and benefited less than 10% of the residents. The Aytas had by then initiated their own measures and relied on their ancestral domain lands and resources to provide them with food security and physical safety. They produced their own face masks from local materials and used their traditional indigenous knowledge about medicinal plants and nutritious fruits as disinfectants and to strengthen their immunity.

The lockdown and quarantine rules, however, are alienating and strange to their culture and traditional practices. Instead, they adhere to and uphold principles of solidarity and caring for one another – constantly engaging in community-wide discussions to assess and meeting their needs despite scant resources.

The Lumad community schools for indigenous children in Mindanao were established in their ancestral lands using DepEd-prescribed curricula with the addition of agriculture and health subjects – distilled from their indigenous cultures and knowledge systems. Government counter-insurgency campaigns disrupted the schools – forcing the closure of many of them and the evacuation of about 4,000 Lumad school children.

The “Bakwit School” was thus created; some relocated to Metro Manila. To offset the pandemic-related school disruptions, remedial classes have been taking place. The emotional health and wellbeing of the students have been addressed through psycho-social support and by cultivating skills and hobbies such as traditional bead work, intramural sports, learning musical instruments, drawing, and painting.

Final note

The 5 case studies reveal that some marginalized communities at the ground level, provided they are imbued with the principles of solidarity, social cohesion, organizational fitness, and sharing can undertake the proper minimum measures to address a health crisis. But because their own resources are scarce, and livelihood opportunities and basic public services are wanting, their capacities to cope with a health disaster of the COVID-19 magnitude are limited and insufficient. This is where the state and its agencies need to boldly step in, recognize and appreciate what the grassroots are undertaking on their own, and provide what the communities are in short supply of.

Eduardo C. Tadem, PhD, is convenor, UP CIDS AltDev. This paper was presented at a Webinar Press Briefing and Public Forum on December 9, 2020. The full report submitted to UNESCO will soon be published by UP CIDS. Co-authors are Karl Hapal, Venarica Papa, Ananeza Aban, Honey Tabiola, Jose Monfred Sy, Nathaniel Candelaria, Micah Orlino, and community residents. The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors; they are not necessarily those of UNESCO and do not commit the Organization.

The article was also published on Rappler.com https://bit.ly/3prKkFO

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[Statement] Reaksiyon ng TDC sa planong dry-run ng face to face classes sa Enero

Reaksiyon ng TDC sa planong dry-run ng face to face classes sa Enero

Bagamat boluntaryo, hindi pa rin makatitiyak na magiging ligtas ang mga bata, guro at magulang kung sakaling itutuloy itong dry-run para sa face to face classes. Ayon sa mga pag-aaral, ang mga bata ay maaaring maging ‘super spreader’ ng virus kung silan’y mahahawaan. Kung sakaling opsiyunal man ito sa mga mag-aaral, maaring hindi ito opsiyunal sa ating mga guro. Sa nakalipas na mga buwan, nakapagtala ang DepEd ng malaking bilang ng mga guro na nahawaan ng COVID-19 at sa kasawiang-palad, hindi nakahanda ang DepEd na mabigyan ng mga kaukulang tulong ang mga nabanggit na guro. Ito’y kahit pa malinaw na ang mga kaso ng hawaan ay nakuha nila dahil sa paggampan sa kanilang trabaho.

Sa ganang amin, kailangang maisaalang-alang ang mahahalagang bagay tulad ng sitwasyon ng COVID sa komunidad, kapasidad ng mga paaralan at LGU sa pagpapatupad ng health protocols, kahandaan ng mga tulong na maaaring kailanganin ng paaralan at komunidad at ang kahandaan din ng ating mga guro para sa ganitong sitwsyon. Kung hindi ito maisasagawa, marahil ay mainam na ituloy na lamang ang nasimulang distance-learning modalities sa kabila ng napakaraming pagkukulang nito. Sapagkat kung sakaling magsagawa ng limited face to face classes, tiyak na iilang komunidad lamang ang maaaring makapagsagawa nito at iilang bata lamang ang maaaring makasama sa programa.

Dapat bumaba mula sa kanilang mga tanggapan ang mga opisyal ng DepEd Central Office at tingnan ang mga tunay na kalagayan sa mga paaralan sa buong bansa upang makapagsagawa ng mga tamang polisiyang tutugon sa mga problema. Higit sa lahat, konsultahin sana ng DepEd ang kanyang mga guro. Lahat ng mga plano at programang ipinatupad ng DepEd mula nang maisailalim sa trahedya ng pandemya ang bansa ay walang itong ginawang malalimang konsultasyon sa kanyang mga guro, ang frontliners ng edukasyon.

Maaari namang maghintay sa inaasahang bakuna bago ituloy ang face to face classes.


For details:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
0927-3356375

PAHAYAG
Disyembre 15, 2020

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[Press Release] Mga Guro, muling nanawagan na itigil na ang produksiyon ng modules -TDC

#HumanRights #Education Mga Guro, muling nanawagan na itigil na ang produksiyon ng modules

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

Dalawang linggo matapos ang pagbubukas ng klase noong Oktubre 5, muling nanawagan ang Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) sa Department of Education (DepEd) na ipatigil na ang pag-iimprenta ng modules na ginagamit ngayon sa mga pampublikong paaralan.

“Sapat na ang dalawang linggo para makita natin at mapatunayan na hindi talaga uubra ang modules na ito. Napakalaki na ng ginugugol na halaga para dito ngunit hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa rin ito sapat. Maliban pa sa nakita nating problema sa kung paano ito isasagawa ng ating mga mag-aaral at kanilang mga magulang. Sana naman ay ikonsidera na ng DepEd ang agarang pagpapatigil sa produksiyon nito upang maisalba rin ang malaking halagang maaaring masayang mula sa buwis ng taumbayan,” pahayag ni Benjo Basas, national chairperson ng TDC.

Ayon pa kay Basas, maliban sa maraming nakitang mga pagkakamali sa learning modules ay hindi pa maayos ang pagkakaimprenta ng marami dito sapagkat nagkanya-kanya ang mga paaralan sa pag-iimprenta. Matatandaang noon pang kalagitnaan ng Setyembre ay nanawagan na ang grupo na huwag nang gumamit ng modules dahil sa malaking gastos dito at sa halip ay gumamit na lamang ng mga aklat na mas matibay at mas matipid.

Sinabi rin ng grupo na ito ay isang patunay lamang na hindi talaga nakahanda ang ahenisya taliwas sa paulit-ulit nitong mga pahayag.

“Sabi ng DepEd ay handang-handa na sila sa pasukan at itinuring pang tagumpay ang pagbubukas ng klase. Pero bakit ganito ang nangyari? Bakit hindi pa nakahanda ang modules na bandang huli ay DepEd Central Office din mismo ang nagsabi na nahihirapang makaagapay ang mga mag-aaral. Sa lahat ng pagkukulang na ito ng DepEd, mga guro ang nagdusa, mula pag-aabono sa modules, reklamo ng mga magulang at sobrang bigat na mga gawain,” dagdag pa ni Basas.

Ayon pa sa TDC, dapat umanong agarang gumawa ng pahayag at polisiya ang DepEd na iniuurong na ang paggagawa ng modules alinsunod na rin sa mga naunang pahayag ni Sec. Leonor Briones.

“Si Sec. Briones na mismo ang nagsabi na magastos at may malaking implikasyon sa kapaligiran ang paggamit ng modules, baka raw maubos ang mga puno natin dahil sa malaking pangangailangan sa papel. Yun naman pala eh, bakit kailangan pang ipilit nang ipilit ito?” Tanong ni Basas.

Ang panawagan sa paggamit ng mga aklat sa halip na modules ay pormal na ring naisumite ng TDC sa dalawang kapulungan ng Kongreso maging sa Malacanang bago pa man magbukas ang klase noong Oktubre 5.#

Para sa mga detalye:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
09273356375/ 09230819750

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[Press Release] TDC pinuri ang DEPED sa planong bawasan ang gawain ng mga bata, ngunit hiniling din na tingnan ang kalagayan ng mga guro

#HumanRights #Education TDC pinuri ang DEPED sa planong bawasan ang gawain ng mga bata, ngunit hiniling din na tingnan ang kalagayan ng mga guro

Ikinatuwa ng mga guro ang pahayag ng Department of Education (DepEd) na babawasan umano ang mga gawain ng mga mag-aaral na nasa ilalim ng modular distance learning modality. Ito ang naging tugon ng kagawaran sa mga reklamo mula sa mga mag-aaral, magulang at maging mga guro na natatambakan umano ng maraming gawain at nahihirapan nang husto ang mga bata sa modular learning.

“Ikinalulugod namin ang pahayag na ito ng DepEd at umaasa kami na ipagpapatuloy pa rin nila ang pagtatasa sa mga polisiya,” ani Benjo Basas, National Chairperson ng Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC).

Ayon kay Basas ay marami pa umanong dapat repasuhin sa mga polisiya ng DepEd ukol sa distance learning modality na isinulong ng ahensiya bilang tugon sa pandemya.

“Sapagkat nasa gitna tayo ng krisis dulot ng pandemya, dapat lamang na magkaroon tayo ng konsiderasyon sa lahat lalo na sa mga bata at kanilang pamilya na maaaring limitado ang kapasidad pang-ekonomiya at pang-akademiko,” dagdag pa ni Basas.

Ayon pa rin sa kanya ay kinikilala nila ang naging hakbang ng DepEd nitong mga nakalipas na linggo mula sa pagbabago sa assessment at maging sa criteria sa grading. Matatandaan na hindi na magkakaroon ng periodical test ang mga bata at binago na rin ang sistema sa pagbibigay ng grado sa mga mag-aaral.

Gayunman, dapat sanang tutukan din umano ng ahensiya ang kalagayan ng mga guro na mula pa noong Hunyo ay subsob na sa iba’t ibang trabaho mula sa Brigada Eskwela, enrollment, weekly accomplishment reports, webinars at online meetings, module preparation at distribution at hanggang sa mga gawaing pagtuturo- online at modular mula nitong Oktubre 5.

Samantala, sinabi rin ni Basas na hindi umano makatarungan na tila ang mga guro ang nasisisi kapwa ng mga magulang at ng pamunuan ng DepEd sa mga kamalian sa modules at maging sa maraming gawain ng mga bata.

“Matapos sumalo sa napakaraming reklamo ng mga magulang at madla dahil sa samu’t saring kalituhan, mga guro pa rin ang sinisisi sa mga kamalian sa modules na hindi naman sila ang gumawa o hindi sila ang dapat na gumawa. Ngayon naman, nang makitang nabibigatan ang maraming mag-aaral sa modular activities, pinaalalahanan ng DepEd ang mga guro na huwag umanong tambakan ng mga gawain ang mga bata na tila ba mga guro ang nagdesisyon sa nilalaman ng modules na ito,” paliwanag ni Basas.

Ayon kay Basas, ang mga ito ay indikasyon lamang na may mas malalim pang problemang dapat tugunan ang DepEd hinggil sa distance learning modality. Nagpapatunay din umano ito na hindi lubusang napaghandaan ang pagbubukas ng klase taliwas sa mga pahayag ng DepEd na nakahanda umano ang ahensiya kahit naituloy ito noong Agosto 24.

“Siguro ang mga ito ay patunay lamang na may problema talaga sa pagpipilit sa pormal na pagbubukas ng klase para sa school year 2020-2021. Ngayon sa nakikita natin at kung magpapatuloy ito, baka masayang lamang ang effort ng DepEd at mga guro pati na ang napakalaking perang inilaan para sa modules dahil mukhang mahihirapan tayong maibigay sa mga bata ang kinakailangang edukasyon at mahihirapan naman ang mga bata at kanilang pamilya na makaagapay sa bagong sistemang ito,” pagtatapos ni Basas.

Ayon sa TDC ang mga adjustments na ginawa nang DepEd ay mahalaga at dapat ipagpatuloy upang matiyak na walang batang maiiwan. Handa umano ang kanilang grupo na makipagtulungan sa DepEd para sa kapakanan ng mga batang Pilipino.#

Para sa detalye:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
09273356375

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[Press Release] Matapos mahawaan ang 11 Guro sa Ilagan City, TDC nais ilinaw ang trabaho ng mga guro sa DEPED

#HumanRights #Teachers #COVID19ph [Press Release] Matapos mahawaan ang 11 Guro sa Ilagan City, TDC nais ilinaw ang trabaho ng mga guro sa DEPED

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

“Ano ang tulong na maaasahan ng labing-isang guro sa Ilagan City na nahawaan ng COVID-19?” Ito ang tanong ni Benjo Basas, Tagapangulo ng Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) kasunod ng mga ulat na may labing-isang guro mula sa Ilagan City, Isabela ang nagpositibo sa COVID-19 matapos umano silang mamamahgi ng modules sa kanilang mga mag-aaral.

“Ito po ang paulit-ulit naming sinasabi noon pa, sana matiyak ng DepEd na mabantayan ang kausugan at kaligtasan ng mga guro, kawani at mga magulang at mag-aaral sa pagsisimula ng school year na ito. Bago pa man magbukas ang klase ay napakarami nang guro ang nahawaan at marami sa mga ito ay nakuha nila dahil sa kanilang mga gawaing may kinalaman sa kanilang trabaho,” dagdag pa ni Basas.

Ayon sa grupo ay hindi umano nakapaghanda ang DepEd sapagkat hindi naging malinaw ang mga paraan kung paano makaiwas sa hawaan ang mga guro, “Ngayong nangyari ito, sino ang mananagot? Sino ang nag-utos sa mga guro na magpunta sa mga komunidad? At sino ang gagastos para sa kanilang pagpapagamot?” Tanong ni Basas. Dagdag pa niya, “Kung tutuusin ay hindi trabaho ng mga guro ang mag-print, mag-sort at mag-distribute ng modules na ito. Sapagkat maliban sa naglaan ng 9 bilyong badyet ay paulit-ulit na sinasabi ng DepEd na nakahanda umano sila, pero ang mga guro pala ang ipapain nila sa virus.”

Samantala, nauna nang sinabi ng DepEd na wala umano itong inilaang badyet para sa pagpapagamot sa mga guro kung sakaling mahawaan sila ng COVID-19.

“Malinaw ang sinasabi ng Magna Carta for Public School Teachers na dapat ay alagaan ng gobyerno ang kalusugan ng mga guro. Dapat bigyan ng libreng medical check-up taun-taon at ipagamot ang mga guro sakaling magkaroon ng sakit, may pandemya man o wala dahil ang batas ay 1966 pa ginawa,” paliwanag ni Basas.

Ayon sa TDC, mas kailangan umano ng mga guro ngayon na mabigyan ng katiyakan sa pangangalang medikal dahil na rin sa pagbubukas ng klase kasabay ng pandemya. Kaya muling nanawagan ang TDC sa DepEd na istriktong ipatupad ang mga helath protocol at ang mismong kautusan nito hinggil naman sa alternative work arrangement o AWA sa ilalim ng DepEd Order No. 11, s. 2020.

“Sabin ng DepEd mismo ay work-from-home ang default work arrangement ng mga guro, eh bakit parang hindi ganun ang nangyayari sa field? Bakit parang mas marami pa rin ang pinapapasok sa kani-kanilang mga paaralan at pinagagawa ng mga gawaing puwede namang gawin sa bahay. O kaya’y pinagagawa ng mga trabahong hindi naman dapat sa kanila,” ayon muli kay Basas.

Hiniling ng TDC sa DepEd na ilinaw ang kanyang mga patakaran at sabihin kung ang reproduction, sorting at distribution ba ng modules ay dapat lamang na mga guro pa rin ang gagawa.

“Ano yung sinasabing tagumpay ang pagbubukas ng klase? Nasaan na yung ipinagmamalaki ng DepEd na kahandaan? Hindi ba’t ayon sa DepEd ay handa sila kahit noong Agosto 24 pa? Bakit hanggang ngayon ay araw-araw pa ring pinapupunta ang mga guro sa paaralan para mag-ayos ng modules?” Pagtatapos ni Basas.

Ayon sa TDC dapat umanong maging bukas ang DepEd sa pakikipag-usap sa mga guro kasabay na maging makatothanan ang mga ipinalalabas nilang impormasyon sa madla.

Para sa detalye:
Benjo Basas, 09273356375

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[People] Corruption and Spread of Covid-19 -by Fr. Shay Cullen

Corruption and Spread of Covid-19
Fr. Shay Cullen
24 September 2020

There are many global threats facing the world today. The most serious in everybody’s mind is the Coronavirus pandemic with 200,000 dead in the USA alone and spreading. It is a cause of shock and realization that we humans for all our economic, military and medical power is very weak and vulnerable to the invisible virus that has invaded our world, our communities, families and our bodies. Some nations have had success in controlling it; others have failed through incompetence and corruption.

Martha has a cheerful, happy-go-lucky personality, a healthy mother of four. On a recent Saturday evening, she forgot herself and went to a house party with friends to celebrate a birthday. She ignored precautions as did others and wrongly believed it wouldn’t touch her. But it did. By Friday, she was having strong coughing and fever symptoms and reactions and was rushed to the overcrowded hospital. There is painful convulsions, Martha struggled and gasped for breath, isolated from family, only the nurse, dressed in blue plastic, went to help her. It was no use, Martha quickly fell silent and died. It was her weak lungs, they said. Some underlying health condition said another. No one really knows why she died so quickly. There was no time for an autopsy, not even a proper funeral. She was brought straight to the crematorium, leaving behind a weeping crying, traumatized family.

There are hundreds of thousands of people like Martha and more of them every day. A mistake took away her precious, beautiful, happy life and that of her family. But it is also the many mistakes of the politicians that have failed to act decisively in time to lead and instruct the people that Covid-19 is a dangerous deadly virus with the power to kill and maim. They fail to insist that everyone must wear masks, avoid contact with others, disinfect, wash their hands frequently since anyone may have the deadly killer virus. It is spreading because many people ignore these precautions and corrupt, inadept and stupid failed leaders do not order and impose protective measures to save the vulnerable people and issue strong, consistent health warnings. They have failed to implement and insist on a national response to test and trace the infected people and isolate them. How else can this vicious virus that spreads like venom be contained? Those strong, respected leaders who did respond to the attack of Covid-19 in a wiser, more scientific and disciplined and educated manner saved hundreds of thousands of their citizens, which is their sworn duty.

In the nations with the highest death rates, it seems they have restricted the showing of videos of mass burials, lines of waiting coffins, full crematoriums, overcrowded hospitals, dying people and sick doctors and nurses. It is too shocking. Is it for some an effort to deny and cover up the real extent of their incompetence, criminal behaviour and lack of moral conscience all for the sake of retaining political power? Covid-19 is spreading and causing more sickness and death because of some selfish, pleasure-seeking and irresponsible people who flout precautions and care for no one other than themselves. In their ignorance, they demonstrate against the safety precautions no less.

It is our fervent hope and belief that the majority of humans are good, law-abiding people that care for others, protect them from Covid-19 and care for the public health and environment. They choose the good over evil. They act in a responsible way of saving their own lives, their families and neighbours. The people who do believe and choose to do the good and practice the values of love of the stranger, of neighbour and work for justice, have a responsibility to share those values so that equality, peace and harmony can be a reality in society. We should actively persuade and convince others to do likewise. Inactivity in the face of wrong is to allow it to grow and prosper.

It may seem like mission impossible to persuade the virus deniers and the climate sceptics of the truth of a pandemic and global warming. We have to challenge and call out the oppressors, corrupt leaders and politicians to do justice, respect the rights of all, to care and protect the public health and to serve humbly. To convince these people who live in darkness that it is a better life to be in the light and to bring happiness to people, not terror, oppression, pain, suffering, rights violations and death. It is a mission to persuade ordinary people to always choose the good over evil. It is a challenge for all to teach by a good example, taking action for justice and accepting and living the truth that justice and goodness is the path to happiness for all. It is a great shining ideal, but will it ever come to be?

This is the goal we must work for. There is so much evil in the world that allows the virus to spread uncontrolled in many countries, mostly among the poor. We see much irresponsible selfish behaviour by some national leaders, bankers, industrialists, military, police and criminals. We know that abuse and evil persist because they with the power choose the evil and reject the good as they exercise their free will corruptly. The evil comes from making the wrong choice to crush and hurt others to retain political and economic power and to plunder the nation. For them, the health and well-being of others is just a matter of lip-service, words without meaning, action without purpose, hypocrisy and skulduggery for selfish personal gain. The great hope is that a society, a nation, will evolve with the beautiful values, principles, and compassion that motivate overwhelming good that is the paramount driving force that brings happiness to all.

http://www.preda.org

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[Press Release] TDC, hinimok ang DEPED na ipatigil muna ang produksiyon ng self-learning modules

TDC, hinimok ang DEPED na ipatigil muna ang produksiyon ng self-learning modules

Dalawang linggo bago ang itinakdang pagbubukas ng klase sa Oktubre 5, hinimok ngayon ng grupong Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) ang pamunuan ng Department of Education (DepEd) na ipatigil muna ang produksiyon ng modules na gagamitin sa distance learning modality ngayong taong pampaaralan. Ayon sa grupo ay kailangan umanong mapag-aralang mabuti at masuri ang praktikalidad ng paggamit ng mga modules bago ituloy ang produksiyon nito.

“Sinasabi ng DepEd na handang-handa na sila sa pasukan pero iba ang mga ulat na nakakarating sa atin, ang mga nakikita natin at ang araw-araw na dinaranas ng ating mga guro sa field. Malinaw po na hindi pa nakahanda sa pasukan kung ang modules ang pagbabatayan,” ayon kay Benjo Basas, National Chairperson ng TDC.

Ayon pa kay Basas, bagamat nais na rin nilang matuloy ang pasukan sa Oktubre 5 ay hindi umano mawawala ang agam-agam sa mga guro at magulang dahilan sa hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa rin kumpleto ang mga modules kahit yaong para sa first grading period lamang.

“Kung hindi pa naman napi-print ang modules for second quarter, mas mainam na itigil muna ang printing nito, kung sakaling matuloy man ang pagbubukas ng klase sa Oktubre 5, maaaring gamitin ang mga available na aklat at mag-imprenta na lamang ng mga kulang. Sana maisip ito ng DepEd at huwag nang pahirapan pa nang husto ang mga guro at administrador ng mga paaralan,” dagdag pa ni Basas.

Marami umanong natatanggap na ulat ang TDC na ang mga modules na naihahanda ay yaong para lamang sa unang dalawang linggo hanggang sa unang buwan. Ito’y sa kabila ng pahayag ng DepEd kamakailan na nasa 98% na ang kahandaan nila sa pamamahagi ng modules.

“Ang sa amin lang po ay huwag nang ipilit. Napakarami nang violations ang nagawa dahil sa pagpipilit na ito. May mga guro na nagsulat ng sariling modules para sa kanilang paaralan, nag-solicit ng pambili ng papel ink at printers, mayroong nakipag-barter ng halaman o dumukot ng sariling pera para makapag-produce lang ng modules. Nakaparami rin ang pinag-report sa schools para mag-photocopy at mag-sort ng modules na tila ba hindi alintana ang panganib na dala ng COVID-19. Ang lahat ng mga ito ay bawal ayon sa panuntunan ng DepEd. Pero ginagawa ito ng ating mga guro sapagkat wala nang ibang paraan kaysa maghintay sa wala,” pagpapatuloy pa ni Basas.

Aniya dapat na umanong pag-isipan ng DepEd kung gagastos pa ba ang ahensiya ng malaking halaga para sa mga modules na baka sa huli ay masasayang lamang. Matatandaang 9 bilyong piso na ang ginastos ng DepEd para sa modules lamang at humihingi pa ito ng karagdagang 15 bilyon sa susunod na taon para sa learning materials kasama na ang modules.

“Si Sec. Briones na mismo ang nagsabi na magastos at may malaking implikasyon sa kapaligiran ang paggamit ng modules, baka raw maubos ang mga puno natin dahil sa malaking pangangailangan sa papel. Yun naman pala eh, bakit kailangan pang ipilit nang ipilit ito? Bakit hindi na lamang mga libro ang ipagamit sa mga bata at gawaan na lang ilang pahinang gabay sa mga gawain?” Tanong ni Basas.

Ayon sa TDC ay patuloy silang makikipag-ugnayan sa pamunuan ng DepEd upang mapag-usapan ang isyung ito at kung hindi na naman sila pakikinggan ay muli nilang idudulog sa mga mambabatas at sa Pangulo na ipagpaliban ang pagbubukas ng klase sa Oktubre 5.

“Nakahanda naman po ang mga guro na makipagtulungan at nakahanda rin na gumampan sa mga tungkulin kung sakaling matutuloy na ang pasok sa Oktubre 5, pero sana ang kahandaang ito ay tumbasan naman ng pagmamalasakit at paglingap mula sa pamunuan ng DepEd,” pagtatapos ni Basas.

Ang posibilidad ng paggamit ng libro sa halip na modules ay inihayag na ng TDC sa isang pagdinig ng Basic Education Committee sa Senado sa pamumuno ni Sen. Win Gatchalian nitong nakaraang linggo.

Para sa mga detalye:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
09273356375/ 09230819750

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[Press Release] Funding for teachers’ Magna Carta sought amidst COVID-19 pandemic -TDC

Funding for teachers’ Magna Carta sought amidst COVID-19 pandemic

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) expresses its support the impending Senate inquiry on the implementation of the 1966 vintage Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (RA 4670), a law which was long been neglected by the government.

“This law, a very important piece of legislation is considered as the bible of Filipino teachers and lists several provisions that ensure the rights, welfare and dignity of the country’s public mentors. However, many of its provisions have not been implemented since the 1960s, and many still are selectively and partly enforced,” Benjo Basas, the group’s National Chairperson said.

Basas cites an incident in another senate committee hearing last year where several proposals for teachers’ salaries were tackled and the Budget Department stated its opposition to P10, 000 across-the-board increase citing some privileges supposedly enjoyed by the teachers. The DBM listed special hardship allowance, teaching overload or overtime pay, and the one salary grade higher upon retirement among other benefits that are exclusively given to public school teachers.

“They must be informed that our teachers do not enjoy the honoraria for teaching overload or the overtime pay as stipulated in the Magna Carta. There is indeed a special hardship allowance (SHA), but it is implemented incorrectly as it is based only on a mere DBM circular which says that the maximum amount shall not exceed 25% of a teacher’s monthly salary contrary to the mandate of Magna Carta that 25% shall be the minimum. And that one salary grade higher upon retirement is another myth, for the GSIS uses its own policy for computing the retirement benefits of teachers. These three items are all required by the law, thus the DBM, GSIS and DepEd are duty-bound to implement them fully,” Basas explained.

Basas said that beyond those provisions, the Magna Carta which is considered as the Bible of public school teachers ensures other benefits such as consent for transfer and transportation allowance, salary increment from lowest to highest within a maximum period of ten years, paid study leave for those who served for seven years and criteria set for determination of salaries.

“However, crucial at this time of pandemic are the provisions for free and compulsory medical examination, treatment and hospitalization, and compensation for injuries. These important provisions are not implemented until this very day when the teachers need it most,” Basas continued.

Thus, the TDC commends the initiative of Sen. Win Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education for filing Senate Resolution No. 522 that seeks for a comprehensive review of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers.

“This is the first major step in recent decades to critically analyze the law and the failure of government agencies- past and present to implement its provisions especially those that need funding to ensure teachers’ welfare. We hope that funds for this law will be realized next fiscal year,” Basas ended.

The TDC has been lobbying for the full implementation of the welfare provisions of Magna Carta, advocacy that propelled the group’s formation in 2006.

For details:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
09273356375/ 09230819750

TEACHERS’ DIGNITY COALITION (TDC)
Telephone No: (02) 6920-296/ 0917-1138336
4443 BCL Homes, Independence St., Gen.T. De Leon, Valenzuela City

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[Press Release] EcoWaste Coalition Backs Provision of Free Reusable Cloth Masks as a Complementary Step to COVID-19 Preventive Measures

EcoWaste Coalition Backs Provision of Free Reusable Cloth Masks as a Complementary Step to COVID-19 Preventive Measures

The EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental health group working toward a zero waste and toxics-free society, welcomed the government’s initiative to provide free reusable or washable face masks to the public, especially “the poorest of the poor,” amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

The group specifically liked the announcement made by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez that women’s cooperatives and micro-enterprises will be tapped for the production of at least 20 million reusable masks following the issuance by the Office of the President of Memorandum Order No. 49 last September 16.

Memorandum Order No. 49 tasked six government agencies, including the Departments of Budget and Management, Health, Social Welfare and Development and Trade and Industry, the Presidential Management Staff and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority “to coordinate and pool their resources and efforts into the production and distribution of face masks.”

Lopez yesterday said “the Office of the President wants something reusable so that it could be used multiple times and not the disposable type that has to be disposed of after being used just once or twice.”

“We support national and local government initiatives to promote the community production and use of reusable cloth masks as these can be easily washed with detergent or soap and safely reused. These initiatives will surely help in conserving resources, reducing plastic waste and in controlling the alarming pollution caused by the disposal of throw-away masks and other disposable personal protective equipment (PPE),” said Jove Benosa, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

Benosa highlighted some of the advantages of reusable cloth masks amid the health, economic, environmental and humanitarian challenges facing the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

– avoiding the generation of non-biodegradable and non-recyclable used face masks littering the streets and polluting beaches and water bodies;
– utilizing reusable textile as well as other locally-available indigenous materials;
– providing alternative livelihood for community members, particularly tailors and seamstresses; and
– supporting the “buy local, go lokal” drive and other sustainability initiatives.

Wearing of reusable face masks, the EcoWaste Coalition said, should complement and not replace measures recommended by health experts to counter community transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

These core preventive measures include meticulous hand hygiene, good respiratory etiquette, physical distancing, and staying at home and seeking medical attention when feeling unwell.

As reusable cloth masks are not standardized unlike registered medical-grade masks used by healthcare professionals, the EcoWaste Coalition requested the government to mentor community cooperatives and enterprises on the basic requirements for good reusable masks.

The group added that the mandatory use of face masks currently enforced should also be accompanied by continuing public education on their proper usage, as well as strict regulation on the environmentally sound management of used disposable masks.

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

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[Statement] Jubilee for the Earth- The Season of Creation 2020 -AMRSP/JPICC

Jubilee for the Earth- The Season of Creation 2020

The 2020 coronavirus pandemic minimized human activity on the earth and silenced big industries.

The Earth flourished.

There are lessons to be learned.

Climate change caused by human invasions on biodiversity impacts on the health of both the Earth and human beings. A sick world is a sick people. Yet, the pandemic also brought home in real terms the meaning of Pope Francis’ concepts of “our common home” and humanity as being a single family. No country was spared from the Covid-19 virus, yet we also gained a deeper understanding of global solidarity to address the threats to public health caused by the climate crisis.

Another Laudatu Si concept made real, “the cry of the earth, the cry of the poor”. The poor and vulnerable are hardest hit by natural disasters and pandemics.

If we want to heal the earth and heal humanity, there can be no turning back to what was perceived as normal. Listen. Nature – is asking each person living on this earth to change and evolve non-consumerist lifestyles. Evolve new forms of social economic and political systems that promote equality and just peace. Systems that protect the health of both the environment and the people. There can be no turning back to what was perceived as normal. Pope Francis’ strong words must move us to action:

We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family. The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish. Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last 200 years. We are not God. The Earth was here before us and was given to us. The idea of infinite or unlimited growth, which proves so attractive to economists, financiers and experts in technology … is based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the earth’s goods, and this leads to the planet being squeezed dry at every limit. Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start.”

Loren McClenachan, an interdisciplinary scientist who did intensive research on marine life history says, “We are living in a 10% percent world. An order of magnitude less that it was several generations ago. When you look back in time it used to be about 90 percent more, so the fish used to be 90 percent bigger we used to catch 90 percent more big fish, there used to be 90 percent more coral.”

A healthy biodiversity will lessen the probability of another pandemic from occurring. A healthy planet is a healthy people and can be, a world at peace.

There can be no turning back. In a post-Covid 19 virus world, governments and businesses must stop destructive practices such as the use of non-renewable energy mining, logging that leads to deforestation, industrial farming and fishing, industrial production of foods and consumer goods – that infringe on wildlife and the rights of nature. Governments must also make bolder steps to prevent wars and the nuclear arms race. At the heart of nature’s plea to every human being and all governments – respect and uphold the rights of nature and human rights. Live with justice, peace, charity and compassion in our hearts.

This year’s Season of Creation theme is Jubilee for the Earth. Rooted in the Bible, jubilee according to biblical regulations, had a special impact on the ownership and management of land in the Land of Israel. According to the Book of Leviticus, Hebrew slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven, and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest. The modern-day implication of jubilee may mean no less that restoring the balance between nature and peoples, preventing wars, and upholding the “principles of equality, justice and sustainability and confirming the need for a prophetic voice in defence of our common home” Rev. Christian Krieger and H. Em. Card. Angelo Bagnasco President

The pandemic brought us face-to-face with our human vulnerability, death. But it also reaffirmed the value of life, human life and the life of nature, and the rare opportunity to act on our divinity, our innate capacities for goodness and greatness as “single human family” (laudatu Si)

A blessed and meaningful celebration of the Season of Creation!

AMRSP – Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission

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[Statement] PHILHEALTH corruption violates the right to health and life -GOMBURZA

PHILHEALTH corruption violates the right to health and life

Corruption in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is not only colossal thievery, robbing Filipino workers and taxpayers of their contributions to the fund. It also violates the right of Filipinos to universal health care, bleeding billions of pesos away from state resources intended for this purpose. In a pandemic that has caused thousands of deaths in our country, it violates the right to life.

PhilHealth corruption has taken many forms: diverted premium payments of up to P114 million in 2012, unnecessary or sham cataract removals worth PHP2 billion in 2014, fraudulent dialysis claims, the “upcasing” of mild respiratory infections to pneumonia, membership rosters with 500,000 people aged 100 to 121, and recently, a bid to procure overpriced and obsolete information technology equipment.

Sadly, the pandemic that is devastating our people and our economy has opened more opportunities for corruption: inordinately expensive COVID-19 test kits; an Interim Reimbursement Mechanism that expedites COVID-19 related advances to hospitals in regions with low infection rates, while hospitals in high infection areas, including government facilities, still await reimbursement.

Yet even as the Duterte administration coddles its appointee, PhilHealth President and CEO Ricardo Morales—requesting him to resign for the sake of his health—its supporters have viciously used the issue of corruption in PhilHealth against those it perceives as its enemies.

Its troll army has launched a campaign smearing former PhilHealth board member Senator Risa Hontiveros, while its legislative lackeys threaten to file cases against officials of the previous administration, even though none of these have been named by whistleblowers as parties to the corruption. The Catholic Church, which has repeatedly admonished the administration against its excesses, has not been spared the mud of obfuscation, notably slung by a congressman who represents not only the administration’s interests but also the interests of the anti-Catholic Iglesia ni Cristo.

We, the members of GOMBURZA, motivated by the Christian commitment to human dignity and good governance, support the PhilHealth employees who have demanded the investigation and prosecution of corruption, and thank them for their integrity. While we are encouraged by the suspension of the PhilHealth officials named as complicit, we call for (1) a nonpartisan investigation of the allegations against those implicated in the Senate hearings; (2) commensurate punishment for those found guilty; (3) replacement of the guilty by appointees of proven competence and integrity in the field of health insurance; (4) periodic reviews of PhilHealth’s operations by independent agencies seasoned in insurance fraud detection; (5) timely reimbursement of claims by hospitals in high infection areas; and (6) an end to the deceptive manipulation of the PhilHealth scandal to discredit the administration’s critics.

We call upon our citizens to distinguish politically motivated from evidence-backed allegations, and to demand that their legislative representatives and relevant officials defend their right to universal health care by taking swift and appropriate action.
Finally, we call on those involved in this corruption: “Do not depend on dishonest wealth, for it will not benefit you in the day of calamity” (Sirach 5:8). Repent and make reparation, restoring to Filipinos their right to universal health care, and to life.

[Sgd.] MEMBERS OF GOMBURZA: SISTER TERESITA ALO, SFIC; FR. ROBERTO REYES; FR. FLAVIE L. VILLANUEVA, SVD; LOT LUMAWIG ALLANIGUE; TERESITA S. CASTILLO; LUCIA LUCAS CHAVEZ; PERCIVAL CHAVEZ; ELEANOR R. DIONISIO; VERONICA ESTER MENDOZA; ANGELO SILVA.

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[People] We All Must Change to Defeat Covid-19 -by Fr. Shay Cullen

We All Must Change to Defeat Covid-19
Fr. Shay Cullen
21 August 2020

The catastrophe is upon us. The world is suffering and in shock as hundreds of thousands of people are dying from the coronavirus and economies are in chaos. This is because humans disrupted the natural world and caused this deadly virus to awaken like an angry dragon that is now infecting the world.

Human encroachment is destroying the natural world by capturing wild animals for sale and butchering them for bush meat. This is behind the outbreak of Covid-19. We humans are also busy overheating the planet, polluting the seas and skies, poisoning the rivers and waterways and killing and trading endangered creatures in wild animal markets giving rise to death-dealing diseases. The more we disrupt nature, the more we bring disaster upon ourselves. We are responsible for the outbreaks of killer viruses such as SARS coronavirus, Ebolavirus, HIV, MERS-CoV and now SARS-CoV2 that causes Covid-19 and more yet to come.

Coronaviruses are known to cause zoonotic diseases- originating in animals and transmitting themselves to humans. China has now banned the capture, trading and eating of wild animals. The rest of the world must stop it also although it’s too late as the coronavirus is wading among humans like a grim reaper with a flashing scythe. There are 22 million reported cases of infection, 14 million recovered patients and 777,000 confirmed deaths. The figures could be many more and it is increasing daily.

Human attacks on nature increase as poachers slaughter thousands of magnificent elephants and rhinos for their ivory. Exotic animals, birds and reptiles, many on the endangered list, are still bought and sold illegally but tolerated by African, Asian and South American Governments. The destructive encroachment by humans on the habitat of wild creatures around the world has driven most to the edge of extinction.

Covid-19 has been unleashed by this irresponsible human activity and what is shocking is that hundreds of thousands of potential victims are treating it lightly and laughing it off and defying health restrictions. They are spreading it like poisonous spores on the wind bringing sickness and death to rich and poor.

The real catastrophe is not only the response of nature to human destructive activity but the widespread lack of human concern and responsibility in this age where selfishness and self-interest dominate modern life.

It is people that must change if we are to survive the pandemic and more yet to come. We must cooperate and act together with an urgent sense of community responsibility if we are to escape infection by this dragon-like virus, a dragon not easily slayed.

Hospitals are overwhelmed as many thousands of compassionate, caring medical people put themselves at grave risk to help others. If they did not, the world would collapse into chaos and the suffering would be unbearable, unendurable with incurable sickness and abandonment. Then anger, insecurity, social unrest and political upheaval will be the inevitable result.

Nations and communities are held together by the good people, the frontline caregivers, doctors, nurses, orderlies, social workers and helpers. They are risking their lives and sacrificing themselves to serve others with dedication and love of the sick patients. They are truly the good Samaritans of this world. Without them, we would be lost to unrelieved pain and hardship, sickness without relief and misery without mercy. We would be the leaves of autumn, dying and falling to the earth alone. Their heroic commitment and compassion have saved many thousands and nursed them to recovery. Many of them too have been struck down and died from Covid-19, sacrificing themselves while helping others.

Yet many irresponsible people recklessly and uncaringly spread the infection by a lifestyle of pleasure and unconcern. To see positive change in the world, people have to change. How can we enlighten and persuade uncaring people to care for others and to embrace a kind, caring attitude to those in need? We urgently need that supreme virtue so sadly lacking in the world today, compassion, an attitude that is like a new spring of life, sunshine and flowers, in a world of death and decay.

Compassion is a firm belief in the equal value of every person carried by a deep feeling of empathy. To be a person of compassion, we must take action, to protect, to care, to help the suffering, the poor, the vulnerable, the oppressed and the sick. It is a feeling in the heart, an urge to heal and cure and to undo injustice and create equality. It is what compels people to help people and is the essence of a caring sustainable society where justice and equality are the supreme goals to build a nation of sharing, filled with plenty and happiness.

The truth is that the ideal community of sunshine and flowers, a society based on compassion, justice, truth and freedom and caring for others, is in very short supply. It is an important ideal like that of bringing about the “Kingdom of Heaven” here on earth. We can be more compassionate people and help bring relief and help to the people still vulnerable and suffering from Covid-19. They suffer dire poverty, hunger and want and live in poor villages and are crowded into shameful shacks and shanties, hovels of death and slums of slime. The killer coronavirus rages through the lives of the oppressed and exploited poor, plunging them into agonizing sickness and misery of Covid-19 from which death is the only release. We can prevent this by education and supporting poor communities with relief and working for economic and social justice.
In the high-rise condominiums of the selfish, uncaring rich, relaxing in luxurious pleasure domes, the elite isolated in their palaces of plenty are devoid of compassion in their loveless, uncaring lives.

The challenge is to counter the greedy, loveless world of oppression and exploitation with compassion and justice to change ourselves and the world. With hope and a firm belief in the value of every life, in the power of goodness, in the force of love and to act daily to help others without seeking reward, then we can bring meaningful change and help bring about a compassionate, safe and caring society for all.

http://www.preda.org

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[Video] Ilan na kaya ang COVID19 positive sa DEPED? -TDC

NEWS RELEASE

August 8, 2020

GROUP ASKS DEPED FOR ASSISTANCE TO TEACHERS INFECTED WITH COVID-19

With less than three weeks before the scheduled opening of classes and in the middle of worsening COVID-19 situation in the country, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) poses several questions to the management of the Department of Education (DepEd).

The TDC would like to clarify the following with the DepED;

What is the extent of COVID-19 infection in the DepEd so far?
What will be the available form of assistance for teachers and personnel infected with virus?
How will the DepEd deal with the field officials requiring their teachers and personnel to report physically despite the work from home default set-up under its own rules?

Benjo Basas, the group’s National Chairperson said that the reports that many teachers and DepEd employees have been infected with COVID-19, though yet to be validated is alarming.

“Some of these reported or even confirmed cases were attributed to the teachers’ physical reporting in their workplace. How can we convince the public that the system is ready for August 24 opening, when in fact, many of our teachers fear the possible contagion?” Basas said.

The group addressed the questions to DepEd Secretary Leonor M. Briones for her response. Citing observation from the police force, Basas said, “The PNP from time to time releases information on the number of COVID cases in their ranks. We need the same data from the DepEd, because it will help us to analyze the situation and to properly respond to it.”

The TDC earlier confirmed that their President for NCR, Nono Enguerra, a teacher in Manila was tested positive for the dreaded virus along with four other colleagues after they attended a face to face meeting called by school authorities disregarding DepEd guidelines during the pandemic. Enguerra is now in isolation but said that he is recovering from the disease.

“Medyo maayos naman na ako, may konting ubo na lang. Pero sabi sa akin ng doktor hindi na raw ako ite-test kung negative na sa virus. Basata pag nawala na ang symptoms, automatic daw na recovered na,” Enguerra said. #

For details:
Benjo Basas, TDC National Chairperson
0927-3356375

Nono Enguerra, TDC-NCR President
0908-1637529

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[Statement] Epekto ng MECQ sa pagbubukas ng klase sa Agosto 24 -TDC

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

Epekto ng mecq sa pagbubukas ng klase sa Agosto 24
Agosto 4, 2020

Ang muling pagsasailalim sa MECQ sa Metro Manila at ilan sa pinakamalalaking lalawigan ng Luzon ay may malaking epekto sa inaasahang pagbubukas ng klase sa Agosto 24. Dahil malilimitahan ang paggalaw ng mga mamamayan, hindi rin maisasaayos ang mga kinakailangang paghahanda lalo na sa mga gagamiting modules. Batay kasi sa inilabas na datos ng Department of Education (DepEd) kamakailan, ang modular modality ang isyang magiging pangunahing pamamaraan ng pagtuturo sa ating mga paaralan sa buong bansa. Isang malaking hamon ngayon ang kakaharapin sapagkat marami sa mga dibisyon sa bansa, kahit pa yaong mga hindi naisasailalim sa MECQ ay hindi pa handa ang modules na gagamitin ng mga mag-aaral at guro.

Sa ganitong kalagayan, kakailanganin ang pagpapasya ng DepEd at ang tulong na maaaring maibigay ng lahat ng sektor kung sakaling nanaisin pa ring maituloy ang pagbubukas ng klase sa buong bansa o sa anumang bahagi nito sa Agosto 24. Tandaan na matatapos ang MECQ sa Agosto 18 o anim na araw bago ang takdang pagbubukas ng klase,

Ang hinihiling namin sa pamunuan ng DepEd ay maging bukas sa pakikipag-usap sa mismong mga frontliners ng edukasyon, ang mga classroom teachers, alamin ang kanilang saloobin at kunin ang kanilang mga opinyon.

Kung sakaling tapat na makitang hindi uubra, ay huwag sanang ipilit ang pagpapatupad nito. Maraming produktong bagay ang maaaring magawa sa mga panahong wala pa ang klase- distance man o face to face. Gamitin natin ang panahon para matiyak na maisagawa ang mahusay na pagsasanay sa mga guro, oryentasyon sa mga magulang, produksiyon ng mga TV at radio lessons, pagpapaunlad sa modules at pag-iimprenta nito. May sapat na panahon din upang makuha ang kumpiyansa ng taong-bayan.

Higit sa lahat makapag-aambag ang DepEd sa pagsisikap ng lahat upang maiwasan pang lalo ang pagdami ng kaso ng COVID-19.

For details:
Benjo Basas, TDC National Chairperson
0927-3356375

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[From the web] Philippines Uses ‘Drug War’ Tactics to Fight Covid-19 -HRW

Philippines Uses ‘Drug War’ Tactics to Fight Covid-19
Police to Go House-to-House, Rely on Neighbor Reporting

By Phil Robertson
Deputy Asia Director
Human Rights Watch
@reaproy

The Philippine government announced this week that police will conduct house-to-house searches for people who might have been infected with the novel coronavirus and then forcibly relocate them to government-run isolation facilities. The authorities said they will look for people with symptoms of Covid-19, but worryingly will also rely on citizens to report others they believe are infected.

The move comes as the Philippines saw its biggest daily rise in Covid-19 cases, leading officials to conclude that home quarantines are not working. Officials claim the government will provide adequate facilities for those kept in isolation, such as single rooms with private toilets, and Wi-Fi connections. Nearly 59,000 people have contracted the virus in the country, with 1,614 deaths recorded as of July 15.

Sending police teams to people’s homes without warrants raises alarms because it resembles tactics used by the Duterte administration to target suspected drug users in its “war on drugs,” the ongoing anti-drug campaign in which police have brutally killed thousands of people. Moreover, police conduct in the government’s Covid-19 response so far does not inspire confidence that this campaign will respect people’s basic rights, or be an effective way to stop the spread of the virus. Since the government imposed lockdowns in various cities beginning in mid-March, police and local government officials have severely violated the rights of citizens who violated lockdown curfews and quarantine regulations.

House-to-house searches will make residents of impoverished urban communities even more vulnerable to police abuses. By urging residents to report neighbors they suspect of having Covid-19, the government is encouraging further violations. Officials have not provided public guidance to help residents determine if their neighbors have been infected.

These concerns are heightened by the Philippine government’s increasingly militaristic response to the pandemic – the Duterte administration has assigned former military generals to deal with Covid-19 and has sent police Special Forces to contain communities. Instead of expanding testing and adopting other public health measures, the administration seems intent on deploying the state security forces and “drug war” tactics that have already proven so catastrophic to Filipinos.

Source: www.hrw.org

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[Statement] Physical reporting of teachers, unnecessary, impractical -TDC

Physical reporting of teachers, unnecessary, impractical

After we have released the appeal to the Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones to extend the work from a home arrangement for teachers yesterday, some of the schools that initially required their teachers to report physically on Monday canceled the order. Many of those field officials said that they will be waiting for the final order from DepEd, which means that teachers will continue to work from home until the release of a clear and uniformed instruction from the DepEd.

We appreciate such gestures from school heads and some field officials. We, however, call on the DepEd Central Office to respond to our formal query and appeal sent to the Office of the Secretary and some members of the DepEd Execom yesterday. In a critical moment like this, every instruction must be clear so as not to create confusion or ambiguity. This is beyond the tasks expected from us, but more so it concerns the health and safety of our teachers and the general public.

We are in the belief that requiring teachers to report to school beginning Monday, June 22 is unnecessary, impractical and will just place them and other people in a health hazard. As we have earlier said, all the tasks required from us during this period may be done at home and there is no need for physical reporting. The DepEd has to prove that the system is ready for distance learning modality- and if they require the teachers to report physically to render tasks that can be done distantly, it defeats the idea of virtual readiness.

Again, we call on Secretary Leonor Briones to order the field offices of DepEd from regions to schools to halt teachers’ reporting on Monday and extend the work from home arrangement until physical reporting is necessary and possible. Lastly, we reiterate our willingness to sit for a virtual even actual dialogue to shed light on this and other matters.

Reference:
Emmalyn Policarpio, Secretary-General
0926-3143106

For other details:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
0927-3356375

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[From the web] Open letter to Department of Justice: Decongest jails in the Philippines to contain the COVID-19 pandemic -Forum-Asia

Open letter to Department of Justice: Decongest jails in the Philippines to contain the COVID-19 pandemic

To: THE HONORABLE MENARDO GUEVARRA, Secretary, Department of Justice

Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila
1000 The Philippines

6 May 2020

Re: Decongest jails in the Philippines to contain the COVID-19 pandemic

Dear Hon. Secretary Guevarra

We, the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), an Asia-based human rights network, and its member organizations in the Philippines including KARAPATAN, the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) and the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) are writing to express our concern on the deteriorating state of persons deprived of liberty in jails. We reiterate the call of human rights organizations to decongest the country’s jails, as the country struggles to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Philippines has one of the highest rates of jail congestion in the world, at almost 400 percent overcapacity. We urge your office to heed the call of UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet to release every person ‘detained without sufficient legal basis, including political prisoners and others detained simply for expressing critical or dissenting views.’ We also ask that your office prioritize the immediate release of persons deprived of their liberty who are vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic, including pregnant women, the elderly, and those with medical conditions including mental health issues.

Detention centers pose a significantly heightened risk for the spread of COVID-19 for persons deprived of their liberty and personnel working in detention facilities, including healthcare staff. Over the past weeks, persons deprived of liberty and prison guards have tested positive for COVID-19. We appreciate the recent release of 10,000 persons deprived of liberty, but would also like to draw your attention to how such actions must be sustained if they are to have a lasting impact. With the impossibility of physical distancing within these detention centers and significant gaps in health resources within prisons, more are expected to test positive within the coming weeks. The current health infrastructure would be unable to cope with such a crisis. Clearly, prison health implicates public health.

We are also concerned that the continuing arrests and detention of lockdown violators are further compromising the safety and welfare of these individuals – persons deprived of their liberty and custodial staff. With an already overstretched prison system, these individuals are often deprived of access to basic needs, as well as legal and medical services. These arrests, often without warrants, also undermine the people’s trust in the country’s institutions.

Please click the link to read the complete letter:

Open letter to Department of Justice: Decongest jails in the Philippines to contain the COVID-19 pandemic

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[Press Release] Group Hails Efforts to Bring Laudato Si to Life -EcoWaste Coalition

Group Hails Efforts to Bring Laudato Si to Life

15 May 2020, Quezon City. The EcoWaste Coalition has lauded the continuing efforts to bring Laudato Si, the groundbreaking encyclical letter of Pope Francis on “Care for Our Common Home,” to life amid the climate and coronavirus crisis.

In a press statement, the advocacy group for a zero waste and toxics-free society expressed its solidarity with the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM-Pilipinas) in celebrating the Laudato Si Week from May 16 to 24, coinciding with the fifth anniversary of the said encyclical letter on the 24th, with the theme “Everything Is Connected.”

Pope Francis in a video message had earlier invited the church to celebrate Laudato Si Week while repeating his urgent call for a concerted response to the ecological crisis. “The cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor cannot continue,” he said as he urged everyone to “take care of creation.”

“Laudato Si is a compelling instrument that citizens can rely on for inspiration and guidance as we muster our strength to break away from throw-away culture and toxic production that is turning our planet, to quote Pope Francis, ‘to look more and more like an immense pile of filth’,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Amid the global climate and health emergency and the quest for a green post-COVID era, we urge everyone to participate in various efforts aimed at strengthening policies and practices to protect human health and the environment and ensure the quality of life and dignity for all,” she said.

The climate and health emergency, the EcoWaste Coalition said, provides a unique opportunity for the entire society to redesign wasteful and polluting systems toward achieving a just, sustainable and toxic-free future.

In his encyclical letter, Pope Francis noted that “we have not yet managed to adopt a circular model of production capable of preserving resources for present and future generations, while limiting as much as possible the use of non-renewable resources, moderating their consumption, maximizing their efficient use, reusing and recycling them.”

Among the many ills facing the Earth, he called attention to the fact that “each year hundreds of millions of tons of waste are generated, much of it non-biodegradable, highly toxic and radioactive, from homes and businesses, from construction and demolition sites, from clinical, electronic and industrial sources.”

Laudato Si Week is sponsored by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and facilitated by GCCM and Renova+ in collaboration with a legion of Catholic partners.

Reference:

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-03/pope-francis-laudato-si-week.html

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

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[Video] Hugas kamay (#TugTugPak) – YND

YES WE’RE MAKING REKLAMO.

Because that is called citizens participation in governance.

We want to make ambag kahit wala kaming balak maging presidente.”

Totoo.

Kailangan panghawakan natin hindi lang ang kalayaang magpahayag kundi lalo na ang karapatang igiit na maging bahagi tayo ng pag-gu-gubyerno.

Dahil tayo ang nakatitiyak ng ating pangangailangan. Tayo ang nakakararanas ng bunton ng hirap sa gitna ng krisis. At kailangang mapakinggan ang boses natin bilang mamamayang tunay na may hawak ng kapangyarihang iguhit ang landas ng bansa.
At mapanagot ang dapat mapanagot sa mga polisiya, pasya at hakbang na hindi sumasalamin sa ating interes.

At alalahaning may mabuting uri ng paghuhugas kamay.

At meron din namang masama.

#TugTugPak
#HindiKamiMananahimik
#AristangBayanMagingay
#TatambayDiTatahimik
#SafeNeverSilent
#MassTestingNowPH
#AyudaParaSaMasa

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[Video] Women in the Frontlines, Usapang Kababaihan: VAW, Aksiyunan at Tugunan -WMW

Women in the Frontlines
Usapang Kababaihan: VAW, Aksiyunan at Tugunan

Host: Clarissa Militante
Guests:
Catherine Nañola-Taleño, Haven for Women
Elgin Mazo, Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and Their Children
Atty. Krissi Shafina Twyla Rubin, Commission on Human Rights
Jeanette Ampog, Talikala, Inc.

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