Local News: ACT Negros Blasts the Poll Body for Late Teachers’ Pay
The members and officers of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers - Negros (ACT - N) and the Bacolod City Public School Teachers’ Federation (BCPSTF) yesterday denounced the COMELEC central office in delaying the release of honoraria for some teachers in Negros Occidental and the entire Region VI who served in the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) during the 2013 elections.
The statement stressed that "it’s been a month now since the teachers - with high regard to dedication, honesty and sacrifice - had served the country during the elections. It is very disappointing however, that some teachers who served as BEIs are not given their compensation on time despite their valuable services. Unlike in the past where honoraria were given a day after the elections, this year it is nothing but promises and long wait.
"It’s unfair and unjust for the teachers who served the elections despite the increase of the number of clusters and voters resulting to extended hours of the voting time from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, but they still obliged themselves to serve. Aside from the long hours of transmitting the election results due to defective PCOS machines which had even exposed the teachers to greater risk of unintentionally committing election offenses, the COMELEC even lowered the amount for the honorarium from 4,300 pesos during the 2010 national election to just 4,000 pesos.
While it was reported that COMELEC Chairman Sixto Brilliantes and some of the commissioners are having good times with the 30 million pesos they have received from the intelligence fund of the President, the teachers are enduring the wait for the subsistent amountto come."
The teachers expressed surprise that the COMELEC central office had been silent about those lapses. Their irresponsibility and insensitivity towards the teachers had injured the long-time partnership of ensuring clean and honest election, they claimed.
This form of blatant insult and an obvious disrespect not only to those who serve the elections but to the teaching profession actually reveal the true character of this administration that figuratively and symbolically wears a mask, feigned concern for society through Matuwid na Landas (Straight Path). Behind it is the face of corruption, incompetence, unconcern and apparent irresponsibility, they complained.
"We cannot allow this mess to happen again in the coming elections. The teachers deserve honor, best treatment and recognition for every contribution to the country’s significant undertakings. Their outstanding integrity made their role in every election so indispensable.
"Finally, we are calling all teachers to rally behind our struggle to defend and protect the dignity of our profession. What hadhappened to us in this election validates a very good reason for us to pursue our fight for meaningful changes in society. Let us strengthen our unity and make our voices be heard!" they insisted.*
Gov Marañon Leads 115th Independence Day Celebration
Gov. Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr. led in the 115th Philippine Independence Day celebration held at the Prov’l Capitol yesterday together with members of the Philippine Army, Negros Occ. Police Provincial Office, Capitol employees, national government agencies and non-government organizations, among others.
This year’s celebration is themed, "Kalayaan 2013: Ambagan Tungo sa Malawakang Kaunlaran".
The activity started with a flag raising ceremony and the singing of the Philippine National Anthem led by the Negros Occ. High School Brass Band, Provincial Capitol Choir, 303rd Brigade Philippine Army and NOPPO followed by the Panunumpa sa Watawat ng Pilipinas led by the Philippine Coast Guard, Girl Scouts of the Philippines and Philippine National Red Cross.
Gov. Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr. said that the clean, orderly and peaceful election held last month has strengthened the Philippine democracy citing the effort of the members of the Philippine Army, Philippine National Police and Commission on Elections.
He stressed that because of the unprecedented mandate given by Negrenses, he is expected to perform better; he urged the Capitol employees to do a much better job for Negros Occidental in the next three years.
Gov. Marañon also led in the turn over of insurance claims to beneficiaries of insured barangay officials and tanods from the six districts of the province worth a total of P933,632.
Certificates of college scholarships were also given to dependents of the victims of armed conflict in the Municipality of La Castellana, while farm mechanization projects were also turned over to the farmers that included units of combine harvester, transplanter, mini four-wheel drive tractor, and reaper harvester.
The Rotary Club of Bacolod International District 3850 also led in the turn over of ten bicycles to former rebels dubbed as "Bikes for Peace", while the Phil. Army led in the turn over of financial assistance to former rebels for the firearms that they have surrendered, under the "AFP Guns for Peace" Program.
Also present in the activity were Board Members Melvin Ibañez, Mae Javellana, Salvador Escalante, Jr., and Miller Serondo, 303rd IB Commander Col. Jon Aying, NOPPO Director SSupt. Milko Lirazan, Provincial Schools Division Supt. Juliet Jeruta, and Negros Occ. Provincial Administrator Enrique Pinongan, among others.* (Capitol News)