Tag Archives: The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition

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

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

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

TDC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reference: Benjo Basas, Chairperson- 09205740241

NEWS RELEASE
April 20, 2015

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[Press Release] Teachers vow for more protests -TDC

Teachers vow for more protests
July 29, 2014

Photo by TDC

Photo by TDC

 

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

TDC

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

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

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

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

Reference: Benjo Basas, TDC National Chairperson, 09205740241

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[Press Release] Teachers still waiting for 2013 bonus -TDC

Teachers still waiting for 2013 bonus

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) reiterated the call to scrap the performance-based bonus (PBB) granted by the government to civil servants under the president’s 2012 order.

TDC

“This PBB scheme is unfair and deceptive and further divides the government employees.” Said Benjo Basas, a Caloocan City teacher and TDC’s national chairperson.

PBB under Executive Order 80 signed by the president in July 2012 is a scheme granting monetary benefits to government employees ranging from 0 to P35, 000.00 based on their ‘performance.’ The teachers however are critical of the scheme because the government specifically the Department of Education (DepEd) has no clear-cut policy on how to measure the teachers’ performance that resulted to incentive disparity and demoralization among the teachers when it was first implemented in school year 2012-2013.

“Another problem is the delay in the release of this incentive,” added Basas. “The PBB is supposedly given by the end of the year, our 2012 incentive however was only released in July 2013, and until now we are still waiting for our PBB for year 2013.”

Last year’s PBB criteria have become controversial with the DepEd listing the drop-out rate, national achievement test (NAT) performance and the disbursement of school’s funds as the bases of school’s performance, which was also become the basis of individual teacher’s performance.

“All of those criteria have nothing to do with the performance of individual teachers, thus putting the majority of us to disadvantage.” Basas explained

“Even the promise of a P35, 000 incentive is a deception because it is only limited to the 1% of all the employees of the DepEd or the entire bureaucracy.” Basas furthered arguing that those who will be entitled to a maximum incentive should be in the top 10% or the ‘best’ category of employees in an agency which is also rated as ‘best’ or the top 10% of all the agencies or delivery units. “Thus, encourages all the 600, 000 teachers and employees of the DepEd to compete for P35, 000.”

The TDC said this is the main reason why some schools have resorted to cheating the NAT to get better result which clearly defeats the purpose both of the NAT and the PBB itself. The group instead called for a standardized benefits or the productivity enhancement incentive (PEI) in the amount of P15, 000 for all the employees.

“The everyday sacrifices of teachers in our public school system are more than enough to prove that we are performing teachers, and everyone, not just few of us deserves performance incentives.” Basas ended.

NEWS RELEASE
July 1, 2014

Benjo Basas, National Chairperson, 0920-5740241

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

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

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

TDC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEWS RELEASE
May 18, 2014

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

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

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

TDC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Benjo Basas, National Chairperson, 0920-5740241

NEWS RELEASE
May 4, 2014

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[Press Release] Teachers’ relief from poll duties sought -TDC

Teachers’ relief from poll duties sought

ATING GURO Partylist and The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) vowed to continue their fight for voluntary election duties thru the amendments of the existing election laws in the country. The groups launched a signature campaign asking the legislators and President Noynoy Aquino to act favorably on the BEI Reform Bill (HB 3514) authored by Camarines Sur representative Leny Robredo.

TDC

“This proposal should be treated as an urgent bill, this has been a long-standing demand of public school teachers nationwide. We are often subjected to harassment, humiliation, and hardship, and even violence during the election period.” Said Arsenio Jallorina, chairman of Ating Guro Partylist and a former principal of a public school in Manila.

Jallorina said the bill, if enacted into law would ensure “the protection of the rights and privileges of those appointed to the BEI and will improve the integrity of elections.”

The bill also seeks to institutionalize a package of benefits and privileges for BEI members that includes an honorarium of at least P6000, travel allowance of at least P1000, compulsory insurance coverage, hospitalization up to recovery and a minimum of P200,000 death benefit, legal assistance and indemnification, voting privilege in the precinct where he/she is assigned on election day; and options for public school teachers to serve BEI members.

“This bill addresses all our election-related concerns, thus we are happy that a number of lawmakers are in support of this measure. However, we would also seek the nod of Malacanang.” Basas added.

Basas who served as a member of BEI for seven times said that their group considers election duty as a legalized form of exploitation, “We cannot refuse the assignment to sit as election workers, even if this task may expose us to harm. We cannot negotiate with the Comelec on the amount they want us to be paid and 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 excuse to perpetuate exploitation.”

Relief of teachers from mandatory poll duties is one of the 10-point legislative agenda of ATING GURO partylist when it joined the elections last year with Basas as the first nominee, the case for their proclamation is now pending before the Supreme Court. #
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For details:
Arsenio Jallorina, 09984755658
Benjo Basas, 09205740241

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