DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT)-Davao Region condemned the red-baiting against the group, which was accused as “protectors of communists terrorists” amid their calls for local allowances for public school teachers in the city.
Malicious tarpaulins were reported to be seen in public places in the city such as in Bankerohan Public Market and Circumferential Road.
The group sent a photo to Davao Today of the said tarpaulin which shows their group on top of the list together with other progressive organizations and party lists, tagged as “protector ng CPP-NPA-NDF terrorists” and “kalaban sa pag-asenso ng bayan, bayaran”.
The group called on Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to address their demand to stop the vilification, which puts the lives of 11,959 public school teachers and non-teaching staff in Davao City at risk.
“We like to emphasize that our call for local allowance, salary increase, and reduced workload are legitimate ones. Labeling us as “terrorism” is ridiculous. More so that our negotiations with the mayor for this started with smiles and selfies and has now turned to red-baiting.” the ACT-Davao said in a statement on Thursday.
“We may be called “terror” by our students because we are dedicated to discipline and teaching the young ones even if we are overworked and underpaid. Now, it is sad that we are terrorized by this propaganda, that seems well-funded with the quality of tarpaulins and workers were deployed to hang these materials.” the group said.
“We call on the government, especially the PNP and AFP to stop diverting our legitimate calls.” the group added.
“Teachers and Filipinos are already stressed out. Adding this baseless terror tag would only make the situation more unstable”
Mayor Duterte-Carpio called the teachers-members of ACT-Davao as “liars, terrorists and sympathizers of terrorist groups” in one of her Instagram post on Monday, after she was irked with the group’s assertion that Davao City is the only major city that does not give allowances to public school teachers.
The city chief executive said the city gave gift checks to teachers worth P2,000 each in December 2016 and 2017.
“If I can only expel you outside of Davao City,” she said.
ACT-Davao responded in its earlier statement: “While it is true that the Davao City LGU does provide gift checks, the issue we are raising here is that the city can provide local cash allowances that have been practiced by other LGUs.”
The group has been asking the local government to cover P2,000 monthly financial subsidy and a P2,500 quarterly rice subsidy for 11,959 teaching and non-teaching personnel of the Department of Education.
On October 5, the group submitted another proposal to Duterte, lowering their demand to P1,500 monthly allowance and half sack rice subsidy.
“We want to bring the conversation back to this issue, not to the issue of being labelled as “terrorists,” “terrorist sympathizers” and we are threatened to be dismissed and kicked out of the city. We are public school teachers and civil servants. We are not enemies,” ACT-Davao said.
The ACT-Davao Region Union, is recognized as the sole and exclusive negotiating agent of more than 30,000 teaching personnel including School Heads in DepEd Region XI.
Public school teachers have been clamoring for a substantial increase in their salary after the Duterte administration doubled the salaries of police, soldiers and other uniformed personnel.
A day before the World Teachers Day celebration last October 5, much to teachers’ dismay, Deped Secretary Leonor Briones said that government could not afford salary increase for them.(davaotoday.com)