Tag Archives: Teachers

[Press Release] Teachers bat for free medical examination -TDC

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) thru its national chairperson Benjo Basas reminded the DepEd of its obligation to provide a free medical examination to the country’s public school teachers.

The group argued that it is mandated under the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (RA 4670), a 1966 vintage law. “It is clear that medical examination for public school teachers should be done annually, it is compulsory, however, the same provision of the law also says that it should be free and in fact, the law mandates that the government should pay for teachers’ hospitalization and treatment if found necessary,” Basas said.

Basas cited some field officials requiring the submission of medical certificate by the end of the school year but said that expenses for such will be shouldered by the teachers. According to him, it runs contrary to Section 22 of the Magna Carta which says, “Medical Examination and Treatment. The compulsory medical examination shall be provided free of charge for all teachers before they take up teaching, and shall be repeated not less than once a year during the teacher’s professional life. Where medical examination shows that medical treatment and/or hospitalization is necessary, the same shall be provided free by the government entity paying the salary of the teachers.”

Last year in a press release from DepEd, it declared that the government has provided an amount of P500.00 for a medical examination for each public school teacher for the fiscal year 2019. The said fund, however, was not released to teachers and they paid their annual medical examination. “That was supposedly the first time that the entire teaching force of DepEd will benefit from this specific provision of the law, after 53 years, but it never happened,” Basas exclaimed.

The amount of medical examination expenses varies depending on the teachers’ location, it ranges from P400 to P1500.

Reference:

Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
0927-3356375

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[Statement] Reaksiyon ni TDC Chairperson Benjo Basas sa HB 4129 o panukalang 20% discount sa pasahe sa mga Guro

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

Reaksiyon ni TDC Chairperson Benjo Basas sa HB 4129 o panukalang 20% discount sa pasahe sa mga Guro:

“Ang mga ganitong panukala ay dapat munang pag-isipan, kahit pa sabihing makikinabang ang mga guro dito aba’y kawawa naman ang mga maliliit na tsuper. Mabuti sana kung sa eroplano o barko na pag-aari ng malalaking kumpanya ang discount, pero sa panukalang ito pati sa jeep at tricycle. Magiging mabigat ito sa mga driver na napakaliit ng kita, halos wala nang naiuuwi dahil sa mataas ng presyo ng produktong petrolyo babawasan pa. Dapat ibigay sa guro ang para sa guro gaya ng substansiyal na umento na P10,000 across-the-board at iba pang benepisyo. Ang pagkukulang ng gobyerno sa ating mga guro ay huwag singilin sa mga kababayan nating ang layunin lamang ay maghanapbuhay para sa kanilang pamilya sa kabila ng kakarampot na kita.”

Reference:
Benjo Basas, 09273356375

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[Statement] TDC submitted its proposal to DepEd relative to the teacher-parent incident on live TV

“This incident only shows the vulnerability of our teachers to different forms of abuse. Thus we call on the DepEd to take measures to protect our teachers from harassment, intimidation, threat, violence, extortion and public humiliation. One urgent step is to hire dedicated lawyers to defend our teachers, both for administrative and criminal charges. Meanwhile, the spontaneous and unanimous support to a colleague, which is far more decisive and powerful than our demand for salary increase proves that indeed, for the Filipino teachers, teaching is not all about money, it’s about dignity.”

Reference:
Benjo Basas
National Chairperson
0927-3356375

Following is the letter sent to the Office of the Secretary Liling Briones.

——–

25 November 2019

DR. LEONOR-MAGTOLIS-BRIONES
Secretary
Department of Education (DepEd)
DepEd Complex, Meralco Avenue
Pasig City

Madam;

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) commends your office for the statements in support of our colleague who was being embarrassed, humiliated and publicly tried and judge using both mainstream and social media. While we will never tolerate any wrongdoing of our brothers and sisters in the profession, we will defend their right to due process as enshrined not just in the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, but in the Philippine Constitution as well.

Thus, we would like to respectfully submit the following proposals for the consideration of the Department and further recommendation to the proper agencies and policy-making bodies:

1. Reduction of class size to a maximum of 30 students per classroom;

2. Provision of sick and vacation leave benefits for classroom teachers;

3. Creation of more SPED centers and hiring of SPED teachers based on the needs;

4. Professionalization of school guidance and counseling system and hiring of registered guidance counselors with a salary grade based on their qualification;

5. Institutionalization of alternative school discipline policies agreed by school administrators, teachers, parents and learners;

6. Amendment of certain penal provisions of RA 7610;

7. Protection of teachers from harassment, intimidation, physical threat, extortion and media sensationalization;

8. Hiring of dedicated lawyers for the defense of public school teachers facing administrative and criminal charges;

9. Massive and substantial training on Positive Discipline approach; and

10. Review of the DepEd Child Protection Policy and crafting of for the protection of our teachers as well.

We believe that these proposals will help to put an end to the so-called public-shaming suffered by our teachers. Should you find this letter worthy of consideration, we will be more than willing to sit in a meeting to present our ideas as well as share our experiences on the matter.

Thank you very much and we anticipate your most favorable response!

For teachers’ dignity,

(SGD)
BENJO G. BASAS
National Chairperson

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[Press Release] ‘Hands Off Teacher-Unionists!’ -CTUHR

Labor rights NGO, Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) denounces the consecutive brutal attacks against teacher-unionists in the country.

Just a few days after the celebration of the World Teachers’ Day, wherein teachers in the country ‘celebrated’ through a huge protest nationwide to demand their call for living wage or the P30,000 entry-level salary for teachers, attacks against them escalated.

On October 15, teacher-unionists Zhaydee and Ramil Cabañelez survived an attempt to their lives. Teacher Zhaydee is currently in critical condition with two (2) gunshot wounds on the chest and two (2) on the feet. She was shot during the school’s flag ceremony, in front of horrified school children. Both teachers, Zhaydee and Ramil are active members of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Region 10.

Meanwhile, on October 16, another teacher and member of ACT in Bulacan fell victim to what ACT considers as a systemic attack against teacher-unionists. Digna Mateo, a staff of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) – Bulacan and ACT Provincial Coordinator was illegally arrested at the Our Lady of Fatima Church in Malolos, Bulacan. A few days prior to the arrest, Mateo was tailed by two men riding-in-tandem who were later known to be members of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP). Elements of the military have also visited her home as a form of harassment.

“Only the state stands to benefit from these attacks as warning that to keep them silent despite their low pay while they are breaking their brains and brawn to teach our children. This clearly undermines their legitimate demands for substantial wage hike and better working conditions that consequently undermines the future of this nation. This government’s utter disregard for human rights ignites more protests and hatred of this rotten system. The current government should have learned that the more they suppress and repress dissent amidst poverty, the more it encourages resistance,”Daisy Arago, CTUHR Executive Director said.

Since 2016, ACT has been a target of different forms of harassment – profiling, red-tagging, threats and vilification. “As the solidarity of teachers and other sectors nationwide grows, the Duterte administration also intensifies its attacks.” Arago added.

CTUHR calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Teacher Digna Mateo and a thorough investigation of Teacher Zhaydee’s shooting. The Center also urges the Commission on Human Rights in which ACT also testified in the latter’s public inquiry, the Department of Education and the Department of Labor and Employment to look into these matters and execute appropriate actions. It also calls on both departments to prompt the government to accept the ILO Tripartite High Level Mission into the Philippines.

Reference:
Daisy Arago
CTUHR Executive Director
Tel # 0916 248 4876 / 718 00 26

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[Statement] P10, 000 ang pangakong idaragdag, kaya hindi 21% ng DBM ang dapat ipatupad! -TDC

(Pahayag ng TDC sa naganap na Technical Working Group meeting sa Senado nuong Oktubre 8)

Kahapon ay lumahok tayong muli sa isang pulong ng technical working group (TWG) ng Senate Committee on Government Service and Reorganization para talakayin ang mga panukalang umento sa sahod ng mga guro. Nasa siyam na mga panukala ang nakatakda sanang talakayin kabilang na ang mga panukalang P10, 000 across-the-board na siyang itinutulak ng TDC at mayroon ngayong apat na bersiyon sa Senado. Gayunman, ang ginawang working draft ay ang panukalang umento sa sahod na iniakda ni Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, ang SB No. 178 na naglalayong i-upgrade ang position ng Teachers I, II at III sa Salary Grades 13, 14 at 15, ayon sa pagkakasunud-sunod.

Kalahok sa nasabing pulong ang mga kinatawan ng DepEd at DBM gayundin ang iba’t ibang samahan ng mga guro at kawani ng pamahalaan. Sa posisyon ng DBM, makikita na hindi nila kailanman papaboran ang mga panukalang across-the-board at salary upgrading na may mas maraming bersiyon sa Senado. Bagkus ang tinutumbok ng kanilang pagtalakay ay ang pagpapatuloy lamang ng salary standardization law (SSL).

Nauna na nating ipinahayag na ang SSL kailanman ay hindi naging makatarungan at patas sa mga guro at pumapabor lamang sa mga may matataas na posisyon sa gobyerno. Ito rin ang dahilan kung bakit karagdagang P10, 000 umento ang ating hinihingi anuman ang itakdang umento sa ilalim ng SSL. Ito’y bilang pagkilala rin sa mga pagkukulang ng pamahalaan sa matagal na panahong pagpapabaya nito sa mga guro at pagbabalewala sa mga tadhana ng Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (RA 4670) na naisabatas noon pang 1966. Ang Magna Carta ang dapat gamiting batayan sa sistema ng pasahod sa mga guro at hindi ang SSL dahil ito ay isang special law na ginawa para sa kapakanan ng mga guro- katulad din iyan ng natatanging polisiya para sa military and uniformed personnel na hindi sakop ng SSL (na sa katunayan noong nakaraang taon lamang ay binigyan ng 100% na umento na walang tranches).

Gayunman, ayon sa DBM ay sapat na umano ang sahod na tinatanggap ngayon ng mga guro at ang umento ay dapat lamang na kasabay ng umento sa lahat ng mga empleyado ng gobyerno sa ilalim ng SSL. Sa opisyal na pahayag ng DBM ay sinabi rin nila na bukod umano sa sahod at iba pang benepisyo para sa mga kawai, may mga benepisyo pa tayong natatanggap na ekslusibo o tanging sa atin lamang gaya ng mga sumusunod:
1. Honoraria for teaching overload for every hour of actual classroom teaching in excess of six (6) hours per day or 30 hours per week;
2. Special Hardship Allowance, which shall not exceed 25% of the annual basic salary, for those teachers and school administrators who are assigned in hardship post;
3. World Teachers’ Day Incentive Benefit of P1, 000 per teacher to be granted during the annual World Teachers’ Day celebration;
4. Proportional Vacation Pay during the Christmas break and the summer vacation; and
5. One (1) SG increase to take effect on the last day of the service of the retiring public school teacher.

Sinagot natin isa-isa ang pahayag na ito ng DBM kasabay ng paggigiit na ipatupad ang lahat ng welfare provisions ng Magna Carta at gamitin ang batas na ito bilang batayan ng iskema ng ating sahod. Tungkol sa mga binanggit ng DBM ay narito ang ating tugon:
1. Mula 1966 ay walang ‘honoraria for teaching overload’ sa mga guro at bagamat sa unang pagkakataon ay naglaan ng budget para dito noong 2018, walang lumabas na guidelines ang DepEd upang ipatupad ito. Sa madaling salita, may overtime work ang maraming guro, pero walang overtime pay;
2. Malinaw sa tadhana ng Magna Carta na ang special hardship allowance ay katumbas ng hindi bababa sa 25% ng basic salary ng mga guro, pero sa pagpapatupad ng DBM, ginawa nilang maximum ang 25% at yon daw ang sinasabi ng circular. Ito’y isa na namang paglabag sapagkat hindi maaaring baguhin ng isang budget circular ang tadhana ng Magna Carta;
3. Ang WTD incentive bonus ay ngayon lamang naman ibinigay, P1,000 rin lamang ang halaga nito at bagamat ipinagpapasalamat natin ito, masakit naman sa atin na isama pa ito sa justification para sabihinng sufficient na ang sahod at benepisyo natin;
4. Ang PVP tuwing summer at Pasko ay isa ring justification, may sahod raw tayo kahit wala tayong trabaho sa mga panahong iyon. Ang hindi alam ng DBM, halos wala namang bakasyon ang mga guro sapagkat tuluy-tuloy ang reading ng forms, accomplishments ng napakaraming reports, INSET, Brigada Eskwela, Balik-Eskwela at kung anu-ano pang gawain tuwing ‘bakasyon.’ At isa pa, dapat maalala ng DBM na ang mga guro ay walang sick at vacation leave na binibigay sa lahat ng empleyado at manggagawa, pribado man o publiko; at
5. Ang “One Salary Grade Higher” provision ng Magna Carta ay hindi rin ipinatutupad. Samantalang malinaw na sinasabing ito dapat ang gagawing batayan sa computation ng retirement benefits, hindi ito naipatutupad. Ayon sa DBM, ang GSIS umano ang dapat tanungin.

Sa panig naman ng DepEd, kung pagbabatayan ang mga nauna nang pahayag ng Kalihim Liling Briones, mapapansin natin na umaayon ang DepEd sa mga pahayag ng DBM. Sa katunayan, halos magkapareho ang mga pahayag ng DepEd at ang opisyal na nakasulat na posisyon ng DBM. Gayunman, idinagdag rin ng kinatawan ng DepEd sa pulong na si Miss Cecille Anyayahan na inaayos na ng kagawaran ang career progression ng mga guro at magkakaroon umano ng karagdagang posisyon upang mapunan ang malaking puwang mula sa Teacher III hanggang Master Teacher I. Ipinapanukala ng DepEd ang pagbubuo ng mga posisyong Teachr IV, V, VI at VII na itatakda sa salary grade 14, 15, 16 at 17.

Bago magtapos ang pulong tinanong ng komite ang DBM kung magkano ang nakatakdang umento sa mga guro or at least sa entry-level na Teacher I. Ayon sa kinatawan ng DBM na si Asst. Secretary Myrna Chua, ang kanilang isusumite para sa approval ng pangulo ay aabot sa 21% ang umento. Gayunman, hahatiin pa ito sa tatlong tranches kaya ang umentong P4,358 halimbawa para sa Teacher I kung ibibigay ng tatlong hulugan ay katumbas lamang ng P1,452 buwanang umento para sa mga taong 2020, 2021 at 2022. Malayung-malayo ito sa mga pahayag noon ng pangulo na P10, 000 across-the-board o minsan sa ibang pahayag ay doble umano ng basic pay. Malayo rin ito sa sinabi ng pangulo kamakailan na ‘35’ bagamat hindi malinaw kung 35% o P35, 000 ang tinutukoy.

Mga kapatid na guro, sa panahong ito na tila mababalewala na naman ang ating pagsisikap na marinig at katigan ng gobyerno ang ating karaingan para sa makatarungang pasahod, mas kailangan nating mag-ingay at kumilos. Mas kailangan nating palakasin ang ating hanay at igiit ang wasto at makatarungan para sa atin. Sa maghigit limang dekada ay binalewala ang Magna Carta, kaya may malaking utang sa atin ang gobyerno mula noong 1966 hanggang sa kasalukuyan.

Kung itutuloy man ng pamahalaan ang kakarampot na umento sa ilalim ng SSL, dapat din nating ipagpatuloy na igiit ang katamaan ng P10, 000 acros-the-board increase at ang ganap na pagpapatupad sa Magna Carta for Public School Teachers.

Ihanda po natin ang ating mga sarili sa mga darating na araw at linggo para sa mas maiingay, mas malalaki at mas mapagpasyang pagkilos!

Maraming salamat mga kapatid na guro at mabuhay tayong lahat!

-Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC)
Oktubre 9, 2019

Reference: Benjo Basas, National Chairperson 0927-3356375
TEACHERS’ DIGNITY COALITION (TDC)Telephone No: (02) 6920-296/ 0917-11383364443 BCL Homes, Independence St., Gen.T. De Leon, Valenzuela City

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[Press Release] Teachers thankful to P1000 incentive but said they deserve more -TDC

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

“While we are thankful for the P1, 000 Teachers’ Day incentive for we consider this as a birthday gift, we ask the DepEd to raise the level of our teachers by providing for long-term solutions to our socio-economic woes.” Benjo Basas, the National Chairperson of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) said amidst the scheduled release of the P1, 000 World Teachers’ Day incentive for public school teachers.

The incentive which will be released not earlier than October 5 in time for the celebration of the World Teachers’ Day (WTD) is an unprecedented cash incentive which was announced last year by Sec. Leonor Briones and included in 2019 national budget.
According to Basas, the TDC appreciates such gesture but still challenge the DepEd leadership to be more supportive to its teachers and “implement the welfare provisions of Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, support us on our calls for a substantial pay increase like the P10, 000 across-the-board increase for teachers and DepEd employees and defend our teachers against the unjust policies of the GSIS.”

Last year, the TDC has staged a 12-day picket outside the gates of the DepEd Central Office in Pasig City to emphasize their Seven Demands which according to them are within the powers of the DepEd Secretary. The DepEd responded through several statements like the clarification of the working hours and overtime pay policy, hiring of non-teaching personnel to take on clerical tasks and providing for a free medical check-up for teachers. Basas, however, said that most of those listed in Seven Demands were left unanswered.

“We are still willing to discuss these matters to our Secretary to find a common solution. We are willing to help the Department in achieving solutions that will be beneficial both to the teachers and the department.” Basas explained.

The group has submitted a formal request for dialogue last August to air their concerns to the Secretary and still waiting for DepEd’s response until this moment.
“This P1, 000 may help us celebrate for a day, but our profession deserves respect every day.” Basas ended. #

Reference:
Benjo Basas, TDC Chair
09273356375

TEACHERS’ DIGNITY COALITION (TDC)Telephone No: (02) 6920-296/ 0917-11383364443 BCL Homes, Independence St., Gen.T. De Leon, Valenzuela City

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[Statement] Ngayong Teachers’ Day, hindi discount ang kailangan ng mga guro kundi dignidad! -TDC

Mula Setyembre 5 hanggang Oktubre 5 bawat taon ay ipinagdiriwang ng ating bansa ang National Teachers’ Month, samantala deklarado naman bilang World Teachers’ Day ang Oktubre 5. Panahon ito ng pagkilala at papuri sa mga guro. Panahon ng pagbibigay ng bulaklak, mabubuting talumpati at paulit-ulit na pagbigkas ng mga gasgas nang linyang “Pagtuturo ang Pinakamarangal na Propesyon.”

Bukod dito, panahon din ito ng mga diskuwento sa mga produkto o serbisyo na iniaalok sa mga guro- mula spa, buffet restaurant, sine, derma clinic, amusement park at maging funeral service.

Ikinalulugod ng Departmnent of Education (DepEd) ang mga discount na ito. Maging sa ating hanay ay ikinatutuwa natin ang mga ganitong pakikiisa ng pribadong sektor sapagkat ipinakikita nito ang dalawang bagay. Una, ito ay pagkilala sa atin sa pagdiriwang ng ating araw. At ikalawa, pagkilala rin ito na kailangan natin ang diskuwento sa ilang mga produkto o serbisyong hindi abot-kaya ng mga guro sa isang normal na sitwasyon.

Sa kabila naman ng pagpapasalamat, nais nating ulitin na hindi sapat ang mga diskuwentong ito upang ibsan ang ating hirap at mabigyan ng pagkilala ang ating propesyon. Sa katunayan nga, ayon sa mga eksperto sa financial literacy, ang mga diskuwento ay hindi nakatutulong upang makatipid, bagkus lalong nagtutulak lamang sa mga consumer upang gumastos o bumili ng produktong mas mura ang halaga ngunit hindi naman nesesidad. Idagdag pa na ang marami sa mga establisimiyentong ito ay matatagpuan lamang sa palibot ng National Capital Region (NCR) at ilan pang sentrong lungsod, kaya kung may pakinabang man, hindi ito mapakikinabangan ng mayorya ng mga guro sa bansa.

Ang mga discount ay panandalian, kung hindi man pang-uuto lamang. Ang kailangan natin ay ang pagbibigay ng mga pangmatagalang solusyon sa ating mga suliraning pangkabuhayan. Ang kailangan natin ay makatarungang sistema ng pasahod na hindi nakatali sa salary standardization law (SSL). Ang kailangan natin ay P10, 000 across-the-board na umento para sa mga guro at kawani ng DepEd. Ang kailangan natin ay P10, 000 teaching aids allowance. Ang kailangan natin ay pagpapatupad ng overtime pay, special hardship allowance, free medical service at hospitalization, paid study leave at iba pang benepisyong itinatakda ng Magna Carta for public School Teachers (RA 4670). Ang kailangan natin ay makalaya sa mga ‘di makatarungang polisiya ng GSIS.

Ang kailangan natin ay ang tunay na pangangalaga at malasakit ng DepEd at buong pamahalaan.

Kung hindi ito maibibigay o maipararamdam man lang sa mga guro, mananatiling hungkag ang selebrasyon ng National Teachers Month at World Teachers’ Day. Sapagkat paano tayo magdiriwang kung ang katotohanan ay mas maraming bagay ang dapat ikalungkot? Paano tayo magdiriwang sa loob ng isang araw kung buong taon naman tayong pinahihirapan? Paano tayo magdiriwang kung pati ang gastusin sa pagdiriwang na ito ay atin pang pinag-aambagan?

May mandato ang batas kay Sec. Leonor Briones na ipatupad ang tadhana ng Magna Carta for Public School Teachers na noon pang 1966 isinabatas. May obligasyon ang DepEd na suportahan ang hinaing ng mga guro para sa P10, 000 umento. Batid ng DepEd na kulang ang taunang P3,500 cash allowance (chalk allowance) sa araw-araw na pangangailangan sa pagtuturo. Alam na alam ng DepEd na maraming guro ang namamatay sa mga sakit na maari sanang malunasan. Ipinakita natin sa DepEd kung paano tayo iginigisa ng GSIS sa sarili nating mantika.

Ito ang mga bagay na nais sana nating marinig mula sa pamunuan ng ating Department of Education (DepEd).

Salamat sa discount, pero ang kailangan ng mga guro ay Dignidad!

Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC)
Oktubre 2, 2019

For details:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson 0927-3356375
Emmalyn Policarpio, Secretary-General 0923-0819751

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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[Statement] Teachers deserve a salary with dignity -TDC

Statement of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC)
for the Senate Hearing on Salary Increase Proposals 
September 10, 2019

We are present here today to ask for the collective wisdom of the Senate as regards to our request for compensation and benefits for public school teachers and DepEd employees on top of the generic Salary Standardization Law (SSL). This advocacy reflects in several forms in this Chamber. And while we recognize all the bills that seek to augment the salaries of our public school teachers and government employees, we would like to particularly mention Senate Bill Number (SBN) 37 of Hon. Francis Pangilinan; SBN 70 of Hon. Pia Cayetano; SBN 104 of Hon. Juan Miguel Zubiri; and SBN 466 of Hon. Ralph Recto. These bills seek to provide for a P10, 000 additional compensation to all teachers and non-teaching personnel in basic education system, among other benefits. We fondly call it the “P10, 000 across-the-board bill.”

This proposal is the reference of the interviews and reactions from Education and Budget departments. This is also the basis of the promise made by then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte when he became an official candidate for president with running mate former Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, the principal sponsor of the bill in 16th, 17th and 18th Congress.

Since year 2006 when the TDC was formed, we have consistently lobbied for the enactment of the Salary Upgrading Bill which has become a perennial proposal in both houses of Congress for more than two decades. The salary upgrading bill seeks to raise the entry-level position of public school teachers under the Salary Standardization Law-1 (RA 6758) from Salary Grade (SG) 10 to a higher status, some proponents put it to as high as SG 21. The Salary Upgrading Proposal is consistent with the findings and recommendations of the 1991 joint report of education committees of both houses. However, fear of wage distortion and disparity- because the entry-level position of teachers might become higher than other positions like government physicians, lawyers or even college professors prevented the bill from enactment.

We have achieved a breakthrough in year 2008, when the Senate Committees on Education, Finance and Government Service took a decisive step to tackle several versions of said bill filed before the chamber. The majority of senators approved a consolidated version, the Senate Bill 2408 or An Act Providing for Additional Support and Compensation for Educators in Basic Education. The bill seeks to augment the teachers’ salaries by providing for a P9, 000 additional compensation to be divided in three tranches, A Magna Carta Bonus in recognition of the long-forgotten law, medical allowance and remuneration from the local government units (LGUs) among other benefits. The bill eventually gained support in the lower house, several versions were filed.

On September 29, 2008, the TDC led more than 5, 000 teachers to the House of Representatives to press for the passage of the bill. We also submitted to the then House Speaker Prospero Nograles copies of the petition signed by more than 100, 000 teachers as well as resolutions from local legislative bodies in support of the bill.

That September 29 mobilization was the biggest in the recent history of teachers’ movement and a proof that the government failed to address the economic needs of its teachers. Mass actions and protests continued until early June 2009, however, Congress on June 17, 2009 or more than ten years ago, approved the Joint Resolution No. 4 or the Salary Standardization Law-3 (SSL-3). While we are thankful and appreciative for the law which provided a salary increase not just for teachers but for all the government employees from period 2009 to 2012, it is unfortunate that this law does not rectify the errors of SSL-1 of 1989, particularly the supposed improvement on the status of teachers under the new salary scale. The SSL-3, in fact have perpetuated the poor status of our teachers and pegged the entry-level position of teachers in SG 11, a notch higher than the SSL-1 the lowest among the government professionals.

Until this very moment, the current administration, has not initiated any legislated salary increase for teachers and civilian employees of the government. What it gave us is meager salary adjustments of a little higher than P500.00 based on the extended SSL thru EO 201 signed by former president Aquino. President Duterte however declared that a new SSL is on its way, we won’t oppose, in fact we will acknowledge such move for it proves that the government recognizes the need for salary increase for all the state workers. But we will still remind him of his promise to teachers, and the promise is not just this SSL.

The four abovementioned bills and six (6) other bills for salary upgrading that have been submitted in the Senate are indications that our good senators want substantial salary increase for our teachers, beyond this SSL. If the 18th Congress will base the salary increase of our teachers in an obsolete law that is SSL, it would be a party for the perpetuation of the scheme which is unjust and discriminatory.

We appeal to the honorable members of this Chamber to consider the P10, 000 across-the-board increase which is lower than what the government granted to the uniformed personnel last year. If the government was able to raise the entry-level salaries of military and uniformed personnel by 100 percent, there is no reason to leave our teachers behind.

September 5 to October 5 is officially declared as National Teachers’ Month (NTM) in the Philippines, the whole month is dedicated to celebrate the heroism, selflessness and sacrifices of our teachers. We have had enough of praises, plaques and flowers. Discounted books, fares, buffets, rides and yes, even funeral services are appreciated. But teachers deserve more. We deserve our dignity.

Reference:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
0927-3356375

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[Statement] Ito ang katotohanan, hindi ito drama -TDC

Ayon kay Sec. Leonor Briones, ang sinasabing pagkabulok ng may tatlong milyong aklat sa imbakan ng DepEd ay isa lamang umanong drama. Bahagi ito ng kanyang pahayag sa pagharap niya sa Senado kahapon. Muli niyang minaliit ang usapin na diumano ay pinalala lamang ng mga ulat sa pahayagan at mga komentaryo. Subalit hindi iyan ang usaping nais nating bigyan ng pansin.

Ang mas dapat tingnan sa isyu ng mga aklat sa pampublikong paaralan ay ang kawalan ng mga ito sa maraming asignatura sa ilang antas. Ang marapat sanang sipatin ng kalihim ay ang sitwasyon sa mga paaralan sa bansa, lalo na yaong nasa malalayo sa mata ng media at hindi agad makapag-uulat. Ano nga ba ang kalagayan ng mga paaralang ito kung ang pag-uusapan ay mga instructional materials (learning materials at teachers’ guide)? Sapat ba ang mga ito sa kasalukuyan at kailangang maglagak ng buffer o reserbang materyales sa imbakan? Ito ang katotohanan, hindi ito drama.

Bagamat nauunawaan natin ang proseso ng procurement gayun na rin ang pahayag ng kalihim na walang nakitang katiwalian maging ang COA sa mga aklat na nasa bodega, maliwanag naman na mayroong kapabayaan kung ganito ang sitwasyon. Bakit gumagastos ng milyun-milyon sa buffer kung marami pang kulang na aklat ang hindi pa naipapamahagi sa mga paaralan?

Ito ay hindi drama. Sa aming pagtatanong na ginawa sa social media, mabubunyag na maraming mga asignatura, mula elementarya, junior high school at maging senior high school ang walang opisyal na ginagamit na batayang aklat ang guro. Paano niya maisasagawa ang magturo batay sa istandard ng Kagawaran kung wala siyang pinagbabatayan? Ayon din sa mga guro na tumugon sa aming tanong, hindi tumutugma ang ilang batayang aklat o learning materials sa curriculum guide na ginawa mismo ng DepEd.

Ito ang katotohanan, hindi ito drama. Halimbawa, maraming nag-ulat na wala silang aklat sa Araling Panlipunan Grade 10; marami rin ang nagsabing wala silang aklat ng Mathematics sa Grade 7; English sa Grade 8; PE at Mathematics sa Grades 11 at 12; TLE sa Grade 9; Science sa Grade 4; English sa Grade 2; AP, English, Science, Filipino, Health at PE sa Grade 6 (may ulat mula sa Bacoor at Eastern Samar na wala kahit isang aklat sa Grade 6); at marami pang iba. Ang mga ulat ay mula sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng bansa, kabilang na ang NCR at iba pang mga pangunahing pook-urban sa bansa.

Ito ang katotohanan, hindi ito drama at ito ang nais nating bigyan sana ng aksiyon ng ating Kagawaran. Hindi naman ngayon lamang natin ito inilahad sa pamunuan ng DepEd. Nabanggit na rin ito nang makailang ulit sa mga nagdaang dayalogo at pagpupulong, bago pa ang ulat na inilabas ng COA.

Ang katotohanan at hindi drama, mga guro ang siyang nagpupuno ng pagkukulang ng sistema, siya ang gumagastos sa kanyang mga kagamitan sa pagtuturo na hindi nailalaan sa kanya ng gobyerno. Sapagkat ang katotohanan at hindi drama, malaking mayorya pa rin ng mga gurong Pilipino ay nagmamahal sa kanilang piniling propesyon sa kabila ng mga hamon, mga kakapusan at mga dinaranas na hirap mula sa mabigat na trabaho, napakababang sahod at kulang na mga benepisyo. Idagdag pa ang malasakit at kalingang hinahanap sana ng mga guro mula sa kanyang Kagawaran.

Ito ang katotohanan, hindi ito drama. #

For details:
Emmalyn Policarpio, Gen. T. De Leon ES, Valenzuela/TDC-Secretary General
0923-3143106

For interview with teachers:
Marcelina Dumaguing, Potrero ES, Malabon
0939-3940141

Olivia De Guzman, Morning Breeze ES, Caloocan/TDC Vice Chairperson
0927-3383458

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[Press Release] TDC on President Duterte’s latest statement on teachers’ salary increase

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

The reference is the P10,000 across the board increase for teachers and we anticipate that the government will work for it. This amount which will be applicable to all teachers regardless of position is much lower than what the government has previously granted to the military and uniformed personnel by way of a Congressional Joint Resolution last year.

Teachers and other rank and file state workers suffered low pay and limited benefits since 1989 when the salary standardization law (SSL) was first implemented. Former President Aquino prolonged that suffering by extending the SSL thru his EO 201 which gave us a meager P2,205 increase spread over a period of four years.

If President Duterte will base the salary increase on that obsolete law, just like his predecessors, he would be a party for the perpetuation of the scheme which is unjust and discriminatory.

There are 800,000 teachers, not millions by the way, and all of them are anticipating a pay scheme that recognizes the teachers’ crucial role in our society. We fervently hope that President Duterte would deliver his promise.

Reference:

Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
09273356375/ 09230819750

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[Press Release] TDC to Briones: yes, teaching is not all about money, but teachers deserve a dignified salary

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

This was the answer of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) on the recent statement made by Secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones as regards to their call for an increase in the salaries of public school teachers. Benjo Basas, the group’s national Chairperson said that they knew from the start that they will “never get rich by embracing the teaching profession and teachers do not want to earn millions from this job, otherwise, we will find another employment. This is about a decent salary that we so deserve as employees, public servants and most especially as teachers.”

Basas said that teachers were hurt when they heard such a statement from the Secretary, “as if we only want more money to our pockets. Let me reiterate that our demand for a salary increase is based not only on economics. Salaries manifest the value of a given profession and their role in society. Thus, if the teachers would only receive P20, 754 then that is their value, their price. I bet even the Secretary would agree that this is not commensurate to our roles and expected output to our profession. This is not about money indeed, this is about our dignity.”

Basas argued that there are international standards and even national policies that recommend for a better compensation package for public school teachers and the DepEd, being the shepherded of teachers in the Philippines should be in the frontlines to defend the correctness of the salary increase for them.

The TDC in 2015 challenged the presidential candidates to act on their demand for a P10, 000 across-the-board increase in their salaries, the then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and his running mate, former Senator Alan Cayetano made a promise to grant such should they win the 2016 elections, making it a campaign promise. Cayetano is the main author of said bill in the Senate during the 16th Congress. And while the government last year made the salaries of the lowest post in the military and uniformed personnel doubled, teachers told to wait even longer.

Basas also contested the secretary’s statement that increasing teachers’ salaries would also mean that the government would need to give additional pay to other government employees because the bill, according to him specifically provides that teachers will be given additional compensation over and above the mandate of salary standardization law, a generic law that mandates the salary scale of most of the government employees, including teachers. The scheme under the SSL was begun in 1989, during the time of President Corazon Aquino and with minor changes, has been the same scheme up to the present.

“We want to remind the secretary that the increase in our salaries under the current policy which is Executive Order No. 201 signed by President Aquino in 2016 only provided a total of P2, 205 for the entry-level position of teachers. Said amount was further divided into four or an amount of more than P500 added in our monthly pay every year up to the present.” Basas furthered.

The Secretary stressed that a 150 billion pesos needed for the initial increase for teachers would be a burden for taxpayers and would definitely affect the prices as it would be the cause of inflation “are we citizens prepared to pay additional taxes to cover the 150B?” asks the secretary in a separate interview.

Meanwhile, Basas also gave a comment on the controversy involving a toilet converted into faculty room in Bacoor City, he said “The DepEd should address the matter fairly. It’s no drama, as it is never an isolated case and often, the teachers have no other choice and forced to use old comfort rooms or part of the school lobby as their faculty room. That was my own experience when I was in my practice teaching in Araullo High School, Manila and when I hired as a permanent teacher in Baesa High School, Caloocan City for 17 years.”

Basas appealed to Briones to be more sensitive in her statements but said that their group is still willing to sit for a dialogue to explain their side on the matter and to further discuss several other concerns of teachers.

“Bilang aming ina sa Kagawaran, inaasahan sana namin ang lubos na pagkalinga, pang-unawa at suporta mula kay Sec. Liling Briones. Subalit sa mga nakalipas niyang pahayag ay hindi kami makaramdam ng malasakit at suporta at tila siya pa ang nakakapigil upang maibigay ang matagal na naming hinihinging umento sa sahod na ipinangako rin naman ng gobyerno. Nakahanda kaming maupo sa isang dayalogo sa kanya o sa Pangulo mismo upang ilinaw ang mga usaping ito. But we ask her to refrain from making statements that in one way or another would insult and hurt our teachers. As her subordinates, we expect a motherly compassion.” Basas ended.

Reference:

Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
09273356375/ 09230819750

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[Press Release] Teachers remind Duterte of the pay hike promise -TDC

Benjo Basas TDC

“Disyembre pa lamang ng taong 2015 ay ipinangako na ng noo’y Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte ang umento sa sahod ng mga guro kung siya ay magiging pangulo. Hanggang ngayon ay naghihintay kami sa katuparan ng pangakong ito.” Said Benjo Basas, the national Chairperson of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC).

As the new school year begins tomorrow, public school teachers again remind President Rodrigo Duterte to deliver his promise of a pay hike for them. According to the TDC, teachers are anticipating a better compensation package after the Arroyo and Aquino administrations tied the teachers; salary to the salary standardization law (SSL), a generic law that mandates the salary scale of most of the government employees, including teachers. The scheme under the SSL was begun in 1989, during the time of President Corazon Aquino and with minor changes, has been the same scheme up to the present.

For instance, under SSL scheme, former President Noynoy Aquino issued the Executive Order 201 effective January 2016 granting a P2, 205 increase in the salary of entry-level teacher, the Teacher I. The amount, however, shall be divided in 4 tranches or a little higher than P500.00 additional amount for their monthly pay each year. The fourth and last tranche is scheduled this year.

Basas argued that “Since it was only an executive order, the President may intervene and amend some of its provisions or better yet, rally the legislators to enact a law that would grant the promise pay hike.”

“Recognizing the intricacies of governance, our teachers patiently waited for the promised enhancement of our salaries and benefits, while obviously, our brothers and sisters in the uniformed service were given priority,” Basas added referring to the salary increase for military and police that took effect last January 2018. One feature of the pay increase in military and uniformed personnel is the 100% additional pay for their lowest rank.

According to the group, teachers are waiting for this since President Duterte assumed office in 2016, with an increase in salary of teachers among his promises. The president in several occasions has also mentioned the said promise to teachers and will be next after the police and military. The TDC has been pushing for the enactment of the bill that would grant P10, 000 across-the-board increase in salaries of government teachers, among other benefits. TDC believes that since there is a new set of lawmakers, “this is the most opportune time to call for the legislation of teachers’ salary increase. But the DepEd support would surely help.”

The group has formally solicited the support of Secretary Briones for this specific advocacy.

“For the longest time, our calls for just compensation and treatment commensurate to our role in society have been neglected by the previous administrations.” Basas ended.

TDC in the recent past has staged a series of protest actions to dramatize the socio-economic situation of teachers aimed to pressure the government to heed their calls for higher salaries.

For other details:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson, 09273356375/

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[Press Release] DEPED, Gov’t asked to prioritize teachers’ welfare -TDC

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

As the schools reopen on Monday, teachers once again ask the government to at least give priority to their welfare concerns as it would be very crucial to ensure the delivery of education service that redounds to quality output for the country’s citizen.

Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson reiterated, “In a few days, classes will resume and while the DepEd is preparing for everything from classrooms, books, facilities, school security and coordination with other agencies, it seems to forget the single most important factor in the learning process – the teachers. The DepEd should address the welfare concerns of our teachers as well, by advocating for an immediate increase in our salaries, by taking the steps to fix the mess in GSIS or creating an independent insurance system for its employees and by ordering the implementation of the 53-year old Magna Carta for Teachers and provide us with the benefits mandated by law like overtime pay, paid study leave, hardship allowance and medical benefits, among others.”

The group listed their three main concerns that need legislative or executive action, they call it the Three Main Agenda and are as follows:

  1. Immediately grant the increase in the salaries of public school teachers as promised by President Duterte himself;
  2. Cancel the anomalous and unjust policies of the GSIS or setting-up a separate insurance system for public school teachers and DepEd employees; and
  3. Allocate funds to fully implement the welfare provisions of the 53-year old Magna Carta for Public School Teachers

“We need enactment of laws or at least legislative oversight in order to pursue these agenda, and the support of the Education Secretary is crucial,” Basas added.

As for the things that are within the power of the DepEd Secretary, the TDC listed their Seven Demands, same as what they have fought for last year. Some of which have supposedly reached conclusion after a series of protest lead by TDC that culminated into a 12-day picket in front of DepEd Central Office in October 2018. The Seven Demands, which according to the TDC are practical, doable and within the power and authority of the Secretary are as follows:

  1. Immediately suspend the implementation of RPMS (results-based performance management system) and call for the widest consultation possible;
  2. Put a halt on the implementation of DepEd Order No. 42 or the use of Daily Lesson Log (DLL) and Detailed Lesson Plan (DLP) and revert to simplified lesson preparations;
  3. Stop rampant class observations and leave the teachers in their usual teaching tasks;
  4. Prohibit Saturday classes and required meetings during weekends;
  5. Fully implement the six-hour workday nationwide with uniformity based on existing rules;
  6. Hire non-teaching personnel that will accomplish clerical tasks; and
  7. Provide health benefits and privilege leave for teachers within the school year

Basas said that school opening is a rare occasion where “the teachers get so much attention, thus we take advantage of the time and raise our concerns.” They said that they are more than willing to sit with the Secretary to discuss their concerns and arrive in a possible agreement.

Reference: Benjo Basas, National Chairperson: 0927-3356375/ 0923-0819750

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[In the news] Overworked, underpaid: Teachers renew cry over low pay, poor working conditions -ABS-CBNnews

Fresh from their taxing jobs in the elections and the Balik Eskwela campaign during the school break, some teachers are now gearing for another academic year with resentment over being overworked and underpaid.

Currently, entry-level public school teachers (Teacher 1), which have a Salary Grade 11 under Tranche 4 of the Salary Standardization Law, earn a monthly salary of P20,754.

Such pay may be unattractive to entice qualified and competent educators to teach in public schools, with their roles covering handling big classes amid poor school facilities, among others.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said the current teachers’ pay is not enough to cope with the rising prices of goods and services as it falls short of the estimated P23,660 monthly income that a family of 5 needs to get by, per a study of think tank IBON Foundation.

Read more @news.abs-cbn.com

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[Statement] TDC on DepEd’s Oplan Balik-Eskwela

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

In less than a week, classes will resume. And while the DepEd is preparing for everything from classrooms, books, facilities, school security and coordination with other agencies, it seems to forget the single most important factor in the learning process- the teachers. The DepEd should address the welfare concerns of our teachers as well- by advocating for an immediate increase in our salaries; by taking the steps to fix the mess in GSIS or creating an independent insurance system for its employees; and by ordering the implementation of the 53-year old Magna Carta for Teachers and provide us with the benefits mandated by law like overtime pay, paid study leave, hardship allowance and medical benefits, among others.

Reference:
Benjo G. Basas
National Chairperson
09273356375/09230819750

 

 

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[Press Release] Teachers reiterate calls to stop RPMS and liberate them from clerical tasks -TDC

Photo from TDC

As school break starts, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) again call on the DepEd leadership to consider junking the results-based performance management system (RPMS) and revert to the simplified performance appraisal system for teachers (PAST) which has been in use for several decades until the introduction of RPMS in 2012.

“We are supposed to be in our families or taking a vacation right now after the daily teaching routine for 10 months, yet most of our colleagues are still required to report to their schools and accomplish this RPMS.” Said Emmalyn Policarpio, the group’s Secretary-General. “We are teachers and we are expected to teach our pupils and students, a duty that we diligently performed in our classrooms for the whole year, thus we deserve a break. This RPMS demands so much of our time, during and unfortunately, even after the school year.” She added.

RPMS is the performance rating system required by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) since 2012. While it is based on CSC order, the implementation varies from agency to agency.

Benjo Basas, the group’s chairperson said they have raised this concern many times and they are still waiting for the DepEd’s action since they had several dialogues last year. The system, according to him “requires the submission of documentation of practically everything a teacher does. It is a rigid and document-based performance system that causes stress and anxiety and steals the time of teachers for teaching. The most important factor in teaching and learning process is the time spent with the learners and not with documentation which cannot be used to gauge teachers’ actual performance. There should be a change in the policy.” He said.

The TDC last year raised this concern and immediately seek a dialogue with DepEd officials with the hope that the authorities will at least suspend its implementation. Along with the RPMS, the group also demanded the reduction of teachers’ clerical tasks and another rigid lesson preparation, among other issues which they labeled as Seven Demands. Due to failure to significantly address their concerns, the TDC staged a 12-day picket in front of the DepEd’s main office in Pasig from September 24 to October 5, 2018.

“Our earlier speculation can now easily be concluded, this RPMS will do more harm than good. We again call on DepEd authorities to consider halting the implementation of the RPMS and make use of the old system which is both lighter and proven effective. Teachers need more time for teaching rather than performing clerical work and documentation of tasks performed.” Policarpio ended.

Policarpio said that they willing to sit in another dialogue with DepEd officials to tackle and resolve the issue and come up with a mutual solution.

Emmalyn Policarpio, Secretary-General
0998-4865628

Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
0927-3356375

—————————————————————————-
FOR REFERENCE PURPOSES, HERE IS THE BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF TEACHERS’ SEVEN DEMANDS:

The seven demands, which the TDC said, are practical, doable and within the power and authority of the Secretary are as follows:

Immediately suspend the implementation of RPMS (results-based performance management system) and call for the widest consultation possible;
“Ipinatutupad na ang RPMS kahit pa marami sa mga mismong nag-roll out nito ay hindi kumbinsido o ayaw sa programang ito.”

RPMS is the performance rating system required by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) since 2012. While it is based on CSC memorandum, the implementation varies from agency to agency. In DepEd, the system requires to submit documentations of practically everything a teacher does. It is a rigid and document-based performance system that causes stress and anxiety and steals the time of teachers for teaching.

Put a halt on the implementation of DepEd Order No. 42 or the use of Daily Lesson Log (DLL) and Detailed Lesson Plan (DLP) and revert to simplified lesson preparations;
“Walang kuwenta ang maganda at detalyadong lesson plan, ang pagtuturo ang mas mahalagang pagtuunan!”

This is just a reiteration of TDC’s 2016 appeal to the DepEd. During a meeting on July 2016, some DepEd officials said that there will be review on lesson plan guidelines. Sec. Liling Briones herself declared in a meeting in November 2017 that they are reviewing the policy. For the teachers, lesson preparation should be simplified to serve as guide for their teaching and not to serve as another burden. The more important part of teaching is how to convey the learning to their students.

Stop all the on-going class observations and leave the teachers in their usual teaching tasks;
“Kung oobserbahan tayo sa klase, nawawala ang pokus natin sa pagtuturo dahil nagiging conscious tayo na i-please ang observer, maliban pa sa dagdag ito sa trabaho ng master teachers.”

While recognizing class observations as tool for assessment, the TDC denounces the on-going class observations in DepEd system that results to stress and anxiety of teachers. According to the RPMS, each teacher should undergo at least four class observations for a year. Though it varies in some areas, still an indication that there are things in the RPMS that needed to be clarified, thus, a consultation is indeed a necessity.

Prohibit Saturday classes and required meetings;
“Hindi kasalanan ng bata at guro kung may class suspension, huwag tayong parusahan!”

The DepEd in its earlier statements as well as in its policies said that it does not impose Saturday classes even if there were class suspensions due to inclement weather. Make-up up classes may only be justified when the 187-non-negotiable teaching days have been compromised. Also, the DepEd has recently ordered that meeting with the parents or other schools activities involving teachers should be done on Saturdays, a clear irony because the same agency orders its teachers not to give homework to students during weekends. Weekends are reserved for the teachers’ family or for self-development and usually consume for relaxation, studies or household chores.

Fully implement the six-hour workday nationwide with uniformity based on existing rules;
“Isang CSC Resolution, isang DepEd Order at isang DepEd Memorandum ang nagsasabing hindi puwedeng puwersahing magturo o mag-stay ng lampas sa anim na oras ang sinumang guro, bakit sa NCR lang ito naipatutupad? Mas makapangyarihan pa ba ang ilang SDS at school heads kaysa Central Office?”

As early as 2008, the CSC in a resolution has ordered the DepEd to release guidelines on the “Six-Hour Workday” or the requirement to stay in their school for only six hours, the two hours intended to accomplish other tasks incidental to normal teacing duties may be brought home or anywhere the teacher wants. However, the DepEd failed to implement the resolution despite the two subsequent issuances from Secretary Lapus in 2008 and 2009, DepEd Memorandum 291 and DeEd Order 16, respectively. Until now, many teachers are forced to stay in their respective school for 8 hours or more, even without classes or official functions.

Hire non-teaching personnel that will accomplish clerical tasks;
“Magturo ang trabaho ng guro, hindi ang gumawa ng reports at kung anu-anong forms.”

Teachers should be spared of clerical and other non-teaching tasks to be able to give their focus on teaching- prepare a good lesson and deliver such effectively. Clerical tasks should be left to non-teaching personnel specifically hired for the purpose.

Provide leave benefits for teachers during the school year
“Sa sobrang hirap at bigat ng trabaho, kailangan nating makapagpahinga paminsan-minsan, pero bawal tayong mapagod at magkasakit dahil wala tayong leave.”

Teachers are the only civil servants who do not enjoy the sick and vacation leave. Worse, there is a provision in Magna Carta for Teachers that mandates the government expenditure for their medical examination and even hospitalization. Unfortunately, the DepEd failed to implement this since 1966. It was also mentioned and actually agreed during the past dialogues with the DepEd but until this year, the annual physical examination is shouldered by the teachers in varying amount, from P120 the lowest to more than P1000.00 in the hinterlands.

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[Press Release] Teachers Remind DepEd: Annual Medical Check-up for Teacher Should be Free -TDC

Teachers Remind DepEd: Annual Medical Check-up for Teacher Should be Free

In time for teachers’ accomplishment of the required annual medical clearance the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) again asserted that the expenses for such should be provided by the government.

“We appeal to the good secretary to immediately issue an order to halt the on-going medical check-up and laboratory tests in DepEd field offices.” Said Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson.

Basas said that the DepEd or its local offices may be violating the law for not providing such tests for free. “It is clear that medical examination for teachers should be done annually and it is compulsory, however, the same provision of the law also says that it should also be free. In fact, the law also mandates that the government should pay for teachers’ hospitalization and treatment if found necessary. Then why teachers should be burdened by this regulation?”

Based on TDC’s informal survey, teachers’ expenses for medical tests range from P200 to P1000 which is contrary to the letters and intent of the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers (RA 4670). Sec. 22 of said law says, “Compulsory medical examination shall be provided free of charge for all teachers before they take up teaching, and shall be repeated not less than once a year during the teacher’s professional life. Where medical examination shows that medical treatment and/or hospitalization is necessary, same shall be provided free by the government entity paying the salary of the teachers.”

“We appeal to Sec. Briones to enjoin the entire DepEd system to observe the law and provide the medical examinations, which are on-going in some areas, for free.” Basas reiterated.

The group offered their help thru a dialogue to discuss the issue and come up with a solution acceptable both for teachers and DepEd management.

“As far as the law is concerned, expenses for annual and compulsory medical check-up should be included in DepEd budget, a provision from LGU’s or government health facilities may be an alternative.” Basas ended.

This matter along with other Magna Carta related issues are included in the TDC’s main advocacy line for 2019. Others are the immediate granting of an across-the-board salary increase for teachers and DepEd personnel and the fixing of GSIS policies or creating a separate insurance system for teachers.

Late last year, the TDC lead a series of protest that culminated to a 12-day picket in front of the DepEd Office in Pasig to demand the full implementation of Magna Carta. #

Reference:
Benjo Basas
09273356375

For other details:
Emmalyn Policarpio
Secretary-General
09984865628

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[Press Release] Teachers willing to sit in a meeting with President Duterte -TDC

Teachers willing to sit in a meeting with President Duterte

“Teachers have long been victims of loan sharks and the immediate and most effective solution is to augment our salaries.” Said Benjo Basas, national chairperson of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC).

Basas’ statement is in reaction to earlier pronouncement from President Duterte that he will go after those who offer loans thru ‘5-6’ scheme.

“Yang 5-6, sangla-ATM at iba pang mga iskema ay mananatili habang hindi maayos ang kalagayang ekonomiko ng ating mga guro. Even the DepEd proposal on financial literacy program would be useless if the current policy on teachers’ compensation will perpetuate.” Basas furthered.

The TDC has been pushing for the enactment of the bill that would grant P10, 000 across-the-board increase in salaries of government teachers, among other benefits. According to them, this is one of the promises of President Duterte during election time. Now on his third year in office, Duterte again assured the teachers that there would be a salary increase this year and even invited the teachers’ groups to a meeting in Malacanang.

“The President may be pertaining to the fourth and last tranche of the salary increase under an executive order during the time of President Aquino, surely, there would be an additional salary amounting to P575.00 for the entry-level position of teachers. What we need is the augmentation of our salaries beyond the salary standardization law (SLL).” Basas explained.

In January 2016, then President Noynoy Aquino signed executive order 201 which granted the Teacher I position a total increase of P2, 205 which will be given in four tranches up to this year or an annual increase of a little more than P500.

“Our teachers patiently waited for the promised increase in our salaries and benefits, while obviously, our brothers and sisters in the uniformed service were given priority by this administration.” Basas added referring to the salary increase for military and police that took effect last year.

“However, we are still optimistic that the president would deliver his promise. As we have stated before, we are more than willing to sit with him in the presence of Secretary Liling Briones to discuss this matter and other important concerns of our teachers. We do not consider our group leftist, anyway.” Basas ended.

Other pressing concerns of the teachers are their problems in the GSIS and the non-implementation of Magna Carta for Public School Teachers. The latter is the primary reason why the group staged a two-week picket in front of DepEd Central Office in Pasig last year.

For details: Benjo Basas, 09273356375
TEACHERS’ DIGNITY COALITION (TDC)
Mobile: 0916-6126739/ 0927-3356375
Email Ad. teachersdignity@yahoo.com.ph
https://www.facebook.com/teachers.dignity/
4443 BCL Homes, Independence St., Gen.T. De Leon, Valenzuela City

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[Statement] Teachers seek clarification on Anniversary Bonus -TDC

Teachers seek clarification on Anniversary Bonus

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

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) has asked the Department of Education (DepEd) to clarify the implementation of Anniversary Bonus (AB) for its personnel. The DepEd Order on the matter as well as press statements and public pronouncements from Sec. Briones herself, especially the one during the World Teachers’ Day celebration in Ormoc City last October 5 seem to assure that all teachers, or at least those who have served for one year by June 2018, the milestone date shall be entitled to the said incentive in the amount of P3, 000.00. However, there are some cases that teachers were told that they are not covered by the incentive, particularly in Caloocan City. The reason for this, according to the schools division office is the entitlement of most of Caloocan City teachers to said bonus which was released last year. Reports of the same scenario from other areas have also reached the TDC.

Thus, we ask for a clarification whether teachers who received the AB in relation to the milestone anniversary of their field offices will be exempted to the grant of said bonus this year. If so, teachers would be reasonable enough to understand the situation even if this contradicts the earlier pronouncements.

Finally, we wish to ask for clear-cut guidelines on this incentive so as not to create confusion.

STATEMENT
December 18, 2018
For details:
Jaime Albiza, TDC Caloocan Chairman, 0995-8423733
Benjo Basas, TDC National Chairperson, 0927-3356375

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[Statement] Tuloy ang laban ni Andres Bonifacio -TDC

Tuloy ang laban ni Andres Bonifacio

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

“Itong Katagalugan na pinamamahalaan noong unang panahon ng ating tunay na mga kababayan, noong hindi pa tumutuntong sa mga lupaing ito ang mga Kastila, ay nabubuhay sa lubos na kasaganaan, at kaginhawaaan. Kasundo niya ang mga kapitbayan at lalung-lalo na ang mga taga-Hapon. Sila’y kabilihan at kapalitan ng mga kalakal, malabis ang pagyabong ng lahat ng pinagkakakitaan, kaya’t dahil dito’y mayaman ang kaasalan ng lahat. Bata’t matanda at sampung mga babae ay marunong bumasa at sumulat ng talagang pagsulat nating mga Tagalog.” Sa siping ito ng akdang “Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog” ay ipinakikita mismo ni Andres Bonifacio ang kalagayan n gating bansa bago dumating ang mga Kastila- maunlad, masagana, mapayapa at higit sa lahat, edukado.

Mahigit isang siglo at dalawang dekada mula nang sumiklab ang Himagsikang Pilipino sa pangunguna ni Bonifacio, ilan sa mga dahilan nito ay nananatiling ipinagkakait sa sambayanan- katarungang panlipunan, masaganang pamumuhay, ganap na kasarinlan at kapangyarihan sa mamamayan.

Hindi pa nga tapos ang laban ni Bonifacio sapagkat laganap pa rin ang hindi pagkakapantay-pantay. Nananatiling mailap ang hustisya sa maliliit. Nagdurusa sa karalitaan ang maraming Pilipino, patuloy na pinagdaramutan ng mga batayang serbisyo.

Ang kalagayang ito ay maipakikita rin sa kasalukuyang karanasan nating mga guro. Kapos tayo kabuhayan, maliit ang sahod at limitado ang karapatan. Salat sa mga serbisyo ng gobyerno – walang sariling bahay, baon sa utang, ni hindi maipagamot ang karamdaman.

Ang ating mga paaralan ay nasa abang kalagayan. Marami ang kakulangan- sa libro, klasrum, palikuran, upuan at iba pang mga kagamitan. Umaapaw sa bilang ang mga mag-aaral, hindi na sila makapag-aral nang maayos. Ang kurikulum ay nakahulma sa pangngailangan ng dayuhan kapital. Pinapatay ang mga araling magtuturo ng pagmamahal sa bayan at pambansang pagkakakilanlan. Binabalewala ang mga aral ng nakaraan, maging ang likas na mayamang mga wika, sining at panitikan.

Hindi pa nga ganap na nagtagumpay ang laban ni Andres Bonifacio at ng Katipunan. Tuloy pa rin ang laban ng para sa katarungang panlipunan sa kabuuan. Tuloy pa rin ang laban nating mga guro. Ang laban para sa pagpapatupad ng ating Magna Carta. Ang laban para sa makatarungang sahod. Ang laban upang ayusin ang polisiya ng GSIS. Ang laban para sa maayos na kalagayan ng mga guro sa araw-araw na pagtuturo.

Habang nasa abang kalagayan ang mayorya ng ating mga mamamayan gayundin ang mga guro ng bayan, mananatili ang pangangailangan sa laban ni Andres Bonifacio. #

For details:
Olivia De Guzman, TDC Secretary-General
Mobile # 0927-3383458
School: Morning Breeze Elementary School, Caloocan City

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