The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines on Monday, April 25, bared the labor issues and concerns of teachers and other education workers and pledged to highlight their plight and demands during the observance of Labor Day 2022.
To discuss the various work and economic issues hounding teachers in schools and those who will be rendering election service, ACT Philippines held an online press conference a week before Labor Day.
ACT also announced its participation in the “Mayo Uno” protests that will come eight days before the elections. Labor Day, the group said, will also be a “significant day” to underscore their commitment to act for change in the May 9 elections.
“This year’s Labor Day will come so close to the much-anticipated and especially high-stakes elections,” said ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio.
On May 1, Basilio said that the group intends to reiterate for “whom and what the coming polls” are: the people and the advancement of their interests.
“The people’s issues must take center stage, among these are the various issues of the crisis-ridden education sector,” he added.
Basilio stressed that the education sector comprises the largest section of government employees and serves about 30 million students from basic to tertiary level --- both in public and private schools.
While education gets the lion’s share of the annual national budget, Basilio said that it is “still short” of the international standard of at least six percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Hence, the plight of our sector must be part of the priorities of those who wish to be elected on May 9,” Basilio said.
ACT also detailed the “dismal labor conditions” of education workers in the past six years which was worsened by one of the world’s longest Covid-related school closures.
Citing a survey on the implementation of limited face-to-face classes released by the Movement for Safe, Equitable, Quality, and Relevant (SEQuRe) Education, ACT noted that teachers remained severely “undersupported” by the government.