Tag Archives: Department of Education

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

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

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

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 Recipients of these controversial laptops concluded that the units are not fit for the demands of our work- these are outdated.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

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

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[Press Release] 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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[Statement] Teachers urge Senate to suspend K-12 program -TDC

Teachers urge Senate to suspend K-12 program*

The Department of Education (DepEd) is doing everything and asking the support of everyone, except the teachers, to pursue the implementation of K-12 program. The DepEd management seems to prove that teachers’ opinion on the matter is not that important, while the program would be very much dependent upon them. The teachers, since the conception of this plan were not genuinely consulted and as the program progresses, teachers were just asked to attend live-in mass trainings and ordered to advocate K-12 to the parents, children and their communities. Poor teachers who are the frontline implementors of this supposed reforms were treated as though they are foot soldiers who must just obey and never complain.’

TDC

In reality, teachers and other education workers, even some officials are apprehensive if not totally opposed to the program. The K-12, which is now on its fourth year of implementation, is still in trial stage, definitely, the Filipino children and their future should not be put in trial and error.

The public and the government should not be blinded by reports of success coming from the field, because the reality remains, Philippine education is in a sorry state. There is a shortage of practically everything- seats, classrooms, water and sanitation facilities and enough competent teachers.

The Kindergarten program which is the very foundation of the K-12 is very weak, with many teachers hired in contract of service and paid only P3000 per month.

There is an imminent shortage in teachers, specifically those with special trainings for Senior High School program which will be offered in all incoming Grade 11 students by school year 2016-2017 in terms of teachers, especially in kindergarten and eventually in senior high school which will be opened in 2016. While the DepEd says that system is going to hire teachers from college, what would be the assurance that the 80, 000 teachers and employees will be absorbed?

Thus, we are convinced that the program should be halted. The implementation of this law should be suspended and we make this appeal to the honorable members of Senate. Again, we urge the Aquino administration to review the K-12 law and consider the government’s capacity and political will in further implementing this program.

The suspension of K-12, specifically its senior high school program next year would give way to a more participatory discussion that would involve all the stakeholders- teachers, parents, students and ordinary citizens. After all, education is about the future of the nation- the entire nation and not just the so called experts in education.

*TDC statement to be submitted submitted to the Senate Committee on education hearing on K-12, May 5, 2015, 10:00AM

For Details:
Benjo Basas, Chairperson- 09205740241 (currently in Palarong Pambansa in Davao)
Emmalyn Policarpio, Secretary-General (attending the Senate Committee on Education Hearing)

STATEMENT
May 4, 2015

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[Statement] Teachers ask DEPED, BIR to clarify tax on bonuses -TDC

Teachers ask DEPED, BIR to clarify tax on bonuses

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) asks the Department of Education (DepEd) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to issue clarification on the taxes deducted from the bonuses of public school teachers, particularly the performance-based bonus (PBB).

TDC

The PBB is a bonus granted by the government to its employees, the amount ranges from P5, 000 to P35, 000 depending on the performance of the employees and their agency. Teachers’ PBB for school year 2013-2014 is supposed to be released by October, however, until this very day, majority of teachers nationwide are still waiting for their PBB. It is worthy to note that this PBB has not been released in all regions aside from the Regions II, III, IV-A, VII and NCR, as of the moment.

Unfortunately, those that were able to receive theirs are complaining of outright deductions of supposed taxes. However, the amount differs from one division to another. For instance, tax deducted in some schools in Cebu, Nueva Vizcaya and Isabela is 10% of the PBB, in Negros Oriental it is higher at 20%, while in Tarlac and Pampanga, it is only 8%. There are also some cases where teachers paid 25 and 30 percent in taxes. But most of the divisions, especially in NCR and CALABARZON have no deductions.

As per Revenue Memorandum Order (RMO) 23-2014 which is based on the RA 8424 or the National Internal Revenue Code, taxes may only be collected to the amount of bonuses that exceeds P30, 000. The order further enumerates the taxable and non-taxable compensation, and the PBB along with the P5, 000.00 productivity enhancement incentive (PEI), 13th month pay and other bonuses are among those included in taxable items.

We seek for the immediate clarification of this matter while we wait for the implementation of the proposal that the praises tax-exemption cap on bonuses.

For details:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson, 0920-5740241
Anabelle Dela Cerna, TDC-Cebu, 0929-6907602

STATEMENT
December 30, 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] 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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[Event] Ceremonial Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Department of Education (DepEd) and BAN Toxics!

WHAT : Ceremonial Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement 
between the Department of Education (DepEd) and BAN Toxics!

WHEN : January 17, 2014 (Friday)

TIME : 8:30 AM

WHERE : Bulwagan ng Karunungan
DepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue,
Pasig City

ban-toxics-logo

PRESENTERS : BR.ARMIN A. LUISTRO FSC
DepEd, Secretary

ELLA CECILIA G. NALIPONGUIT, MD, CESO
DepEd, Director III, Health and Nutrition

MARIETTA MARCIANO
BAN Toxics, Chief Operations Officer

The Department of Education (DepEd) through the Health and Nutrition Center (HNC) and Ban Toxics (BT) will conduct a ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Agreement and Consultation Planning Workshop for the Toxics- Free Schools Program (TFSP).

The activity aims to establish awareness of toxic chemicals and prevent toxic poisoning of children, keeping schools safe and toxic-free environment for our learners.

For photo and video opportunities, schoolchildren will join DepEd and BAN Toxics officials as they wave away the FEARSOME FIVE symbols.

BAN Toxics!
Media Advisory
January 15, 2013 (Wednesday)
Contacts: Angelica Carballo-Pago (0915) 9260-371/ (02) 355-7640/ angelica@bantoxics.org
Ernie Talaro (0926) 6525-282/ (02) 631-6033/ communications@deped.gov.ph

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[Statement] TDC on Government’s Christmas present to its teachers and employees

Benjo Basa source petiburgisdotcom“Both in time of tragedy and the season of Christmas, the government provided insufficient assistance to its teachers and employees. The Department of Education (DepEd) gave out lipsticks and make-up kits to the devastated teachers of Leyte– instead of much needed goods, temporary shelter and financial assistance. The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) approved a P5, 000.00 bonus for state workers, 50% short of the P10, 000.00 allotment during the time of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Worst, Aquino government will implement the mass lay-off policy in DepEd and other agencies crafted during ex-PGMA’s time. This is the government’s Christmas present to its teachers and employees.”

-TDC Chair Benjo Basas
0920-5740241

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[Press Release] Group appeals to SSS, GSIS, Pag-ibig for Visayas teachers -TDC

Group appeals to SSS, GSIS, Pag-ibig for Visayas teachers

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) once again appealed to the government loan agencies to facilitate faster privileges with lenient terms to the survivors and relatives of the victims of super typhoon Yolanda that swept many provinces of the Visayas including some in Northern Mindanao and Southern Tagalog regions.

TDC

“We appeal to the respective boards of Pag-Ibig, GSIS and SSS to immediately facilitate special loans to the calamity victims or their relatives.” Said Benjo Basas, TDC national chairperson.

Public school teachers are entitled to apply for loan in Pag-ibig and GSIS, while private school teachers may get a loan from Pag-ibig and SSS.

Basas said that “The granting of ‘no-interest loans’ for teachers survivors and relatives would surely help them rebuild their lives after being devastated by the monster storm. The strict policies should be waived at this time. Such would be a gesture not just of support and generosity, but more so, love and compassion.”

This will also signal hope for the teachers so that they will eventually help others in the rehabilitation effort.

Basas said that teachers or employees that are non-residents of disaster areas but are closely related or involved in their family’s economic activities in back in home provinces must be considered.

“People, especially teachers in the affected provinces need these kind of help. We may focus on the provinces of Samar and Leyte but we have to remember that there are also a lot of people, schools and teachers in the northern parts of the islands of Cebu, Negros, Panay and Palawan. Still, teachers in Metro Manila or any other parts of the country that support their families in the provinces must also be granted the same privilege.” Basas ended.

On Tuesday, November 26, TDC members who temporarily evacuated from Leyte will join the gathering of Yolanda survivors at the DepEd Central Office where Sec. Armin Luistro is expected to meet them for lunch.

NEWS RELEASE
25 November 2013

[People] Recovery begins with teachers. By Benjo Basas

Recovery begins with teachers
Benjo Basas, TDC Chair
November 20, 2013

Recovery begins with teachers. Photo by TDC

Recovery begins with teachers. Photo by TDC

I remember this was the theme for World Teachers’ Day celebration in October 5, 2010, because that year, the world witnessed some of the worst natural disasters in history. For this year, that theme would still be relevant in our very own country.

File photo by petiburgis.com

File photo by petiburgis.com

Some teachers of Leyte are among those people who left the island to take temporary shelter and solicit help from relatives in Cebu, Metro Manila or other relieving places. Five of those who came to Manila are members of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) from Leyte, two from Tanauan, one from Jaro, one from MacArthur and another one from Tacloban. They travelled either via C-130 flight or a long bus ride via Maharlika highway or commercial flight from Cebu. All of them have informed me and I was able to meet them in separate instances.

The couple from Tanauan already travelled back to Leyte yesterday carrying much needed goods- medicines, food and other essentials which Sir Lino, the husband said “Para ito sa mga teacher sa lugar namin. Mga teacher kasi ang kawawa sa balyahan pag kumukuha ng relief goods, hindi natin kaya makipagsabayan eh.” He looks very weak, physically and perhaps weaker psychologically. He could not even smile and I understand his predicament, so just I asked him about the situation of my paryentes in Tanauan (because according to a Facebook status of a relative, there are more than 50 casualties from the clan alone and I’m pretty sure she included her maternal relatives in the headcount), he answered, “Masuwerte pa nga ang mga Basas dun sir kasi nasa mas mataas na baryo sila, hindi kagaya naming na nasa tabing-dagat.” He could hardly carry the bag of goods and just drag it to the bus that will travel that night to Tacloban, their trip is scheduled the following morning. It was more painful for us, because what we gave him is just enough for a day or two days consumption of his family, yet he is going to further share it to other teachers.
Another teacher, Sir Danny, the one from Jaro, Leyte left the province with his two children and his mother who needs to take dialysis treatment in Manila. They braved the long queue for 48 hours just to hitch a C-130 flight from Tacloban airport to Manila. Rain, sunlight, thirst, hunger, physical pain and the site and smell of dead bodies in the area make the agony unimaginably painful. At one time he asked his mother to act as if she is so weak so the authorities may prioritize them in which the mother replied, “Anak, hindi ko na kailangang magpanggap na mahina, dahil mahinang-mahina na talaga ako.” He cried when finally, he stepped on the platform of the plane that ensures his ride, “Akala ko nananaginip lang ako, masaya ako na hindi ko maintindihan ang nararamdaman ko.” They are now in Caloocan, in Sta. Quiteria where his relatives reside.

Another group, lead by Mam Lyn, a teacher from MacArthur, Leyte took a temporary refuge in a public school in Taguig where the principal is a supporter of TDC and a personal friend of mine. They met in Leyte during the campaign period, both of them helped the campaign of Ating Guro Partylist. Ma’am Lyn is very friendly and accommodating. I remember when I visited Leyte last December, she fetch me from the airport and brought me to my destination, itinerary actually. She travelled with two daughters, a daughter-in-law and 3 grandchildren. When I visited her in Taguig last Monday, she looks fine despite the stories of devastation, “Masuwerte kayo at hindi kayo nabahaan,” she said why recalling the horrible sites of Leyte towns from McArthur to Tacloban. We handed her what’s left of the goods TDC members brought in our meeting last Saturday- some canned goods, instant noodles and biscuits. She checked the bags and asked “Waray bugas?” She laughs on her own remark. “Salamat Doy kay bugas na lang akong bilihin.” She said in mixed Waray and Tagalog.

Early yesterday, I received a text message from Cristy Diomaro, a master teacher and who teaches mentally gifted children at Sto. Nino SPED Center in Tacloban City. She was in Cebu airport that time and waiting to board on a flight to Manila while I was at the DepEd central office in Pasig. She came all the way from Tacloban via Ormoc and then rode a ferry to Cebu to take a commercial flight to Manila. She called me when she arrived in NAIA and I told her that I will bring her to the House Committee on Basic Education hearing where DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro and I are among the resource persons along with some DepEd officials and disaster management experts. The urgent hearing aimed to tackle the possible legislation of the Disaster Preparedness Bill for public schools initiated by Cong. Kimi Cojuanco, also the committee chair. We took our lunch at the TDC office in Barangay Central, QC, “After two weeks, ngayon lang uli nakakain ng hindi canned goods at instant noodles,” she said laughing, her niece Roxanne who travelled along with her agreed. We left their bags at the office and went all the way to Batasan.

During the hearing, Ma’am Cristy broke in tears every time the Yolanda tragedy is mentioned. She reacts in the audience seat when Sec. Luistro presented the DepEd relief and rehabilitation effort. Seemingly, she is not satisfied with the way the DepEd handle things in the area- far from what the secretary has been reported. She also said the bad politics between the national government and the local officials exacerbated the situation in Tacloban.

When Cong. Kimi Cojuangco asked me for comments, I took the opportunity to introduce Ma’am Cristy to the committee members, the chair recognized her, “We would like to acknowledge the presence of Ms. Cristy Diomaro, a teacher from Tacloban City” she said which further made Ma’am Cristy emotional.

After the meeting, officials flocked her and gave their words of sympathy and encouragement, among them DepEd Undersecretary Dina Ocampo, DepEd Assistant Secretary Lorna Dig-Dino and Bro. Armin Luistro himself. Ms. Gigi Ricafort, the committee secretary spared her little amount and a big hug, both of them and practically all the people left in the hall were crying. The teary-eyed Luistro felt the sacrifices of his teachers as he listens to the narration of Ma’am Cristy. She reiterates, “Sir we need help for us to recover. I love my students so much, matatalino silang mga bata.”

The secretary immediately planned for events, among them the tracking of teachers who left Samar and Leyte and gather them all in DepEd Central office so they could give them the immediate assistance they need. He also asked me to closely coordinate all the data we gather from the field and submit them directly to his office. He then asked me what we can do to help the immediate recovery of the people in typhoon-ravaged areas, I said “Sir we must give them hope and inspiration.” In which, the secretary replied, “Cristy will be the face of hope and inspiration.”

Ma’am Cristy’s day in the lower house ended with the words of assurance from the secretary that immediate help from the DepEd is underway which seemingly gave her a relief and strengthen her. Finally, the secretary gave her an embrace, perhaps the most relieving embrace she ever received. As she bids goodbye to her newly-found comforters, she left a strong words “I believe Tacloban will soon recover and the recovery will begin with our teachers and schools.”

The secretary was impressed by Ma’am Cristy’s courage, passion for her work, resilience and survival- characters that define the teachers of Samar, Leyte and the entire country. Indeed, Tacloban and the rest of the areas devastated by Yolanda will soon rise and our schools will be the source of strength. #

For details: 

Cristy Diomaro-Gallano, Tacloban teacher, 0917-6956331/ 0939-9198894
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson- 09205740241

  • Some teachers of Leyte left the province to solicit help from relatives and friends in Metro Manila and to directly raise the concerns of the public school teachers in storm-ravaged areas
  • One of them is MS Cristy Diomari0, 48 years old and a TDC member and teacher in Sto. Nino SPED center in Tacloban City
  • Cristy brings her horrible story of catastrophe in the House Committee of Basic Education hearing on disaster preparedness last Tuesday where she also able to talk to Secretary Armin Luistro, who assured her that help for teachers is underway
  • With her courage, passion for her work, love for children, resilience and survival, even Sec. Luistro is convinced that Cristy may be the face of hope and inspiration and eventual recovery of Tacloban, Leyte and Samar
  • Attached is the an article of narrative written by Benjo Basas, TDC Chair for further reference
_________________
For details:
Cristy Diomaro-Gallano, Tacloban teacher, 0917-6956331/ 0939-9198894
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson- 09205740241

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[Statement] Mga guro hindi pa rin bayad ng COMELEC -TDC

Mga guro hindi pa rin bayad ng COMELEC

Higit isang linggo matapos ang halalang pambarangay, marami pa ring mga guro na nagsilbing board of election tellers (BET) ang hindi pa rin nakatatanggap ng kanilang honorarium. Gayundin ang mga nagtrabaho bilang barangay board of canvassers (BBOC), support staff at mga supervising officials.logo TDC
Mga guro ang umuupo bilang BET, (kung minsan naman ay maaring hindi rin guro ang 3rd member kung hindi sapat ang bilang nila). Samantala, ang BBOC naman ay mga chairman din ng mga BET mula sa mga presinto sa isang barangay. Ang mga support staff ay kadalasang mga utility personnel sa paaralan at ang supervising official ay yaong mga principal o department heads. Lahat sila ay mga tauhan ng Department of Education (DepEd).

Magkano ba ang dapat nilang matanggap? Para sa mga BET, dapat silang makakuha ng kabuuang halagang P2, 500.00, ang P2, 000.00 ay para sa honorarium at at P500.00 naman ay para sa transportation allowance. Sa supervising official ay P1,000.00 ang bayad, samantala P500.00 sa support staff.

Kung tutuuisin, napakaliit ng halagang ito kumpara sa trabahong ginawa ng bawat isa. Lahat sila- BET, supervisor, support staff ay nagtrabaho ng higit 24 oras nang walang patid. Kaya naman, karapat-dapat lamang silang mabayaran nang wasto. At dapat ay hindi na matatagalan kagaya ng muli na namang naranasan ng mga guro ngayon.

Hanggang ngayon ay may ilan pang mga guro mula sa Caloocan, Quezon City, Marikina, Maynila, Dasmarinas, Pasay, Mandaluyong, San Juan at Las Pinas ang hindi pa rin nakatatanggap ng kanilang kabayaran. Anuman ang kadahilanan ng delay na ito ay hindi ito kasalanan ng mga guro.

Ang pag-upo sa eleksiyon ay isang trabahong ginagawa ng mga guro alinsunod sa mandato ng batas at nasa Comelec at gobyerno ang obligasyon upang matiyak na ito ay magiging maayos. #

Nobyembre 5, 2013

Reference: Benjo Basas, National Chairperson, 0920-5740241
Teachers’ experiences in their respective areas were posted as comments in TDC’s Facebook account an page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Teachers-Dignity-Coalition-TDC/136307986398924?ref=br_tf

https://www.facebook.com/teachers.dignity?fref=ts

Hotline: (02)3853437 • Telefax (02)4350036 • Mobile: 0920-5740241
Email: teachersdignity@yahoo.com.ph • Website: http://www.teachersdignity.com/

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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[Statement] Compulsory poll duties, a legalized exploitation -TDC

Compulsory poll duties, a legalized exploitation

Photo by TDC

Photo by TDC

Public school teachers, under the law are deputized as poll workers and tasked to supervise the whole process, from opening up to the closing of polling precincts. In between, teachers must ensure that the choice of every voter has been cast and counted. But in order for us teachers to do this, we expose ourselves to all sorts of dangers- health risks, harassment, legal charges and physical attack.

The past elections were witness to the violence and danger our teachers suffer. Every election, there were reports of those teachers who were hurt, intimidated, met accidents and worst, killed in line of duty. There were heroic stories like the teacher who died and burned along with a classroom in Batangas, a DepEd supervisor who was killed after elections in Maguindanao, a group of teachers who survived the attacking armed men in Lanao del Norte, a teacher in Pangasinan who run over by a bus and died, a Valenzuela teacher who was hit by a van that made her paralyzed for several months and countless other narratives. All of them faced the danger in the name of service and to ensure democracy.

The list continues, teachers who suffer mental and physical fatigue for working more than 24 hours- without a single minute of sleep. The elections may have been finished the following day, but not the teachers’ suffering. The ire of losing candidates has traditional targeted poll workers, exposing the hapless teachers to violence and election-related cases. The losers would never concede and would always argue that they were cheated by their opponents, with the teachers facilitating the fraud. Most often, teachers have to face these problems alone, DepEd legal assistance is not readily available while Comelec serves as prosecutors, against the teachers.

Yet at the end of all these sufferings, 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.

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 kill us or 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. #

Note: The TDC reiterates teachers’ major demands for the October 28, elections:
1. Ensure the protection of teachers from harassment, intimidation and physical attack;
2. Provide legal assistance for teachers who will be facing election-charges; and
3. Raise the honorarium from P2, 000 to P4, 000

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

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.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Press Release] Teachers make last-minute appeal to COMELEC, candidates -TDC

Teachers make last-minute appeal to COMELEC, candidates

Three days before the Barangay Elections, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) made a final appeal to the Comelec for their demands that include higher compensation package, assurance of security and legal protection for the teachers who will sit as Board of Election Tellers (BET) on Monday’s village election. The group expressed dismay because according to them, the Comelec seems to ignore their request for a meeting they have submitted as early as mid-August.

TDC

“Teachers will work for almost 24 hours or even more, from the time of distribution of election materials in the respective Comelec centers at early dawn of Monday up to the completion of all the tasks that usually up until the morning of the next day.” Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson said. “Yet teachers are only paid half the amount of the honorarium in the last automated elections held in May.” He continued.

Basas said that manual elections like the one in Monday would expose the teachers in more possible errors, physical and mental fatigue, health risks, legal trouble and threats of harassment and physical attck. Thus, according to him, teachers deserve more than the total of P2, 500.00. The TDC proposes a payment of at least P4, 000.00, the total amount Comelec paid the teachers who sit as members of BEI last May.”

Basas also noted that the Comelec still failed to review and implement its legal mandate that prohibits the appointment of teachers who are not registered voters in the city or municipality as members of the BET.

“Both the election code and the subsequent Comelec Resolutions including the one for this October 28 Barangay polls prohibit the non-registered voters of the locality to sit as members of election tellers, yet the Comelec, in many instances allowed this to happen. Our teachers who are actually compelled to do this duty may face a possible election offense.” Basas explained.

Last week, teachers of Manila raised this issue and ask a Comelec representative during the training in Araullo High School, the Comelec personnel agreed that indeed there may be a violation but told them to address the concern to the Comelec national office.

Aside from these two issues of compensation and legal protection, the group also appeal to the Comelec and the national government to ensure that teachers will be protected against physical harm. Basas noted that Barangay elections, most of the time, are most intense and tensionable due mainly to the clannish nature of Philippine villages and the opposing candidates and their supporters are coming from the same grassroots localities, some are actually blood relatives.

“We call on the Comelec to ensure the visibility of law enforcement authorities in areas they declared as election hot spots, from the start of the teachers work until they have finished all the tasks including the transportation of election paraphernalia from Comelec centers to polling places and vise versa.” Basas said.

Basas believe that the presence of law enforcers may deter those who are planning to disrupt the process thru violence, tension and disorder on election day.

“The problem with the bad politics and ailing electoral system is, everything may be blamed to the teachers, the front liners in elections, as if we have a direct stake in it.” Basas lamented. “We are the hapless victims of pre-election harassment, we cannot just leave the polling precincts whenever violence erupts on election day and after the polls, we are also subjects of electoral protests filed by the losing candidates.”

Basas added that most of the time, they face these difficulties alone for the DepEd has no readily available legal assistance and the Comelec serves as prosecutors in election-related cases.

“We appeal to the candidates and the general public to please spare the teachers. We do this task because we consider this as our patriotic duty, aside from this is our mandated work as public school teachers. However, given the choice, many of us would be opted not to sit as BET and would not risk our profession, our safety, our limbs or even our lives.”

The TDC is one of the most active organizations advocating the amendment to election laws to effect the relief of teachers from ‘hazardous non-teaching related assignments’ especially poll duties and make these optional.

TDC members who will not sit as Board of Election Tellers (BET) on Monday will man the group’s Command Post in Quezon City to monitor and document the field situation and provide any possible assistance from the organization and concerned agencies.

TDC News Release
25 October 2013

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[Press Release] TDC, DEPED jointly hold paralegal training for teachers

TDC, DEPED jointly hold paralegal training for teachers

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition-Valenzuela City Chapter (TDC- Valenzuela) and the DepEd Valenzuela City Division will be holding the “Division-wide Paralegal Training for Teachers and School Administrators” starting today, October 23 until tomorrow, October 24 at the *Cultural Hall of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints, Maysan Road, Malinta, Valenzuela City.

TDC

With the central theme: “Kaalamang Legal… Proteksiyon ng mga Guro, Punongguro at Paaralan” the training aims to equip the teacher-leaders and school heads with legal knowledge and skills to enable them to easily analyze and resolve cases emanating in their respective schools.

The activity is a part of an on-going paralegal training initiated by the TDC in coordination with the office of Atty. Alberto T. Muyot, DepEd Undersecretary for Legal Affairs and the alternative law group SALIGAN (Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panlegal).

Among the guest speakers are veteran teacher-leader and PNU Professor Rene Romero, Atty. Joylyn Dulnuan of DepEd-NCR, Atty. Lito Calivoso of SALIGAN and Atty. Alberto Muyot, DepEd Undersecretary for Legal Affairs.

TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas said that trainings of this kind are very relevant “especially nowadays where teachers are so much prone in legal problems because of several regulations especially in disciplining students.”

One of the issues that is expected to be tackled in the forum is the controversial “Child Protection Policy” of the Deped, which the TDC said must be clarified and put on the proper context.

The group is a staunch supporter of children’s rights. #

*As a matter of policy, the Church prohibits the mention of its name as well as video and photos of church structures in news reports, event coverage is only allowed in the hall.

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

NEWS RELEASE
October 23, 2013

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[Press Release] Teachers’ day demand: Teachers’ salaries over pork -TDC

Teachers’ day demand: Teachers’ salaries over pork

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) will join the DepEd-initiated celebration of World Teachers’ Day tomorrow at the Philsport Arena (Ultra). The whole day activity will be attended by some 7000 teachers from Metro Manila, Central Luzon and CALABARZON.

TDC

TDC will surprise the crowd with their flash mob, a synchronized upbeat dance of some 250 participants from all over Metro Manila with the theme of regaining the dignity and pride of the teaching profession.

“This time we will use dance to show the many faces of Filipino teachers and their prevailing condition. We will also challenge the authorities to prioritize teachers and public education sector especially in making policies for development and funding for social services.” Said Benjo Basas, the group’s national cahirperson.

TDC will use the songs “Sino ba ang Titser?” composed by educator-musician Bobet Mendoza and “Guro, Ilaw ng Dunong” regarded as TDC national anthem. This is the first time that a flash mob of teachers will be performed in a DepEd event.

“We join this celebration and festivities because we appreciate the National Teachers’ Month declaration, however we challenge the government to institute tangible programs for teachers and public education system.” Basas added.

Basas scored on the government which he said is putting more priorities to pork and other perks of those in power.

“While the budget department is putting very huge amount of funds for PDAF, DAP and other discretionary funds for executive and legislative officials, the resources for basic social services especially public education were left behind.”

Basas argued that for fiscal year 2013 and 2014 there is no increase in their salaries or incentives and their bonuses are tax deducted.

“If the government will keep on prioritizing the discretionary funds of politicians over teachers and education sector spending, the national teachers’ month declaration would remain empty and lip service appreciation.” Basas continued.
Reference: Benjo Basas- 09205740241

NEWS RELEASE
October 4, 2013

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[Press Release] Teachers welcome Anti-bullying law -TDC

Teachers welcome Anti-bullying law

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) welcomes the passage of the Anti-Bullying Law or RA 10627 WHICH President Aquino signed on September 12.

TDC

“Now, the teachers and school officials will have a clear legal definition of bullying and a basis for procedure in handling bullying cases in school as well as mechanism of preventing it.” Said Benjo Basas the group’s national chairperson.

Basas noted that anti-bullying is part of the Child Protection Policy which the DepEd adopted last year and with the enactment of the law, the DepEd can now improve its policy on bullying.

“This law should be implemented fairly with full protection for the bullied and the bully as well.” Basas said noting that the students who are considered bully are also in the same vulnerable situation as the bullied.

Basas cited a UNICEF study in 2009 which shows that most of the abuses that took place in schools are cases of bullying.

“We hope that this law would make the school a happy place for our children.” Basas ended.

Basas offered the assistance of his group in crafting of the implementing rules of the law.

NEWS RELEASE
September 21, 2013

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[Press Release] Teachers ask DEPED to defer make-up classes -TDC

Teachers ask DEPED to defer make-up classes

logo TDC

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) appealed to the DepEd central office to consider deferment of the scheduled make-up classes in several divisions of Metro Manila, CALABARZON and Central Luzon. The group argued that the DepEd has yet to come up with a clear and uniform guidelines and the holding of make-up classes is contrary to its earlier pronouncements.

“While we recognize the authority of the schools division superintendents in imposing make-up classes, we would like to appeal to the DepEd Central Office to clarify the guidelines first for the purpose of fairness and uniformity.” Said Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson.

Basas said that based on the reports gathered by the TDC from the field, make-up classes differ in every school even those within the same district, division or municipality

“It creates confusion and comparison between and among the teachers in the field.” Basas continued.

Basas said the problem is due mainly to the policy of class suspension where the LGU executive has the authority to suspend classes in his jurisdiction while the DepEd field officials- from school heads, district supervisors, division superintendents and regional directors are empowered to impose make-up classes.

The group also asks the DepEd to clarify the use of buffer days.

“The school calendar since 2011-2012 up to the current school year declares 180 non-negotiable teaching and learning days or days where teacher is in full contact with the learners. It also sets aside buffer days for class disruptions, for SY 2013-2014, we have 21 buffer days out of 201 school days. How come that some schools and divisions are already having make-up classes? Are buffer days already consumed?” asked Basas.

TDC reiterates that make up classes may only be imposed once the 180 non-negotiable teaching days have been compromised. The DepEd in a statement on August 23 said, “The DepED annual calendar of around 200 school days already includes 20 days buffer for class disruptions. There may still be enough buffer days at this time of the school year so as not to require make up classes following the days lost this week.”

Basas said that th eDepEd is consistent with its position, in fact on October 24, 2011 press release on the clarification of semestral break, DepEd said, “Education Secretary Armin Luistro specified that the total number of school days shall be 202 while the total number of teaching-learning days shall be 180 days. The 22-day difference shall be for national and local events and celebrations, national, division and regional achievement tests and class suspensions due to calamities.

Basas reiterates that the scheduled make-up classes for tomorrow and on following Saturdays be defer until a clarification and unified guidelines from the DepEd Central Office have been issued.

“We believe that there may be a need for make-up classes would be necessary to cover the lost learning days of our pupils and students, however, we appeal to all the field officials of the DepEd to do it in a proper manner and the clarification from the office of Secretary Armin Luistro would be necessary.” Basas ended.

The group formally wrote to DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro to act on the matter immediately.

NEWS RELEASE
September 6, 2013
Reference: Benjo Basas, Chairperson- 09205740241

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[Press Release] Teachers want classes suspended up to Friday -TDC

Teachers want classes suspended up to Friday

logo TDC

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) calls on the respective local government units of typhoon-hit areas to declare suspension of classes up to Friday, August 23.

“Asking the kids to go back to school after they have been devastated by the typhoon, torrential rains and flooding would not do any help for them as well as for their families. It would be convenient for all- the government the school officials, teachers and the children and their families if there would be no classes this Friday. ” Said Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson.

Basas added that since Friday is likely to be the only remaining school day of the week before another long weekend, parents would rather decide not to send their children in schools and that is based on their experience.

The group also asks the host communities to help in clean-up operations.

“A clean-up drive in flooded schools and especially those that were used as evacuation centers would be necessary, and we call on the DepEd and local officials to mobilize the community in ensuring the readiness of the schools when classes resume on Tuesday.” Basas added.

Basas also reminded some field officials of the DepEd to be considerate in requiring make-up classes for lost school days because the DepEd school calendar has buffer days.

“Make-up classes may be imposed once the buffer days have been consumed for class suspensions or other non-academic activities.” He ended.

The TDC last week received a report from parents and teachers in Navoitas that their students were required to report to school last Saturday to make-up for the lost school day due to typhoon Labuyo.

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

News Release
August 22, 2013

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