Aquino, a No-Show at Teachers Dialogue

Northern Dispatch

BAGUIO CITY — Public school teachers led by the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) were disappointed because President Benigno S. Aquino III did not show-up at a dialogue they requested to air their issues and complaints regarding the Government Security Insurance System (GSIS).

ACT Secretary-General France Castro said that after so many attempts to seek a dialogue with Aquino, they were instead received by his representatives. As a result, she said, they did not get concrete commitments and direct answers that could have resolved their decade-long problems with the GSIS.

“Once again, we will pin our hopes on the promise we received that all of these would be relayed to the president immediately and that the government would be monitoring the progress of the actions which GSIS committed to undertake,” said Castro.

ACT presented five demands: the immediate refund of illegal deductions by the GSIS, a true teacher representative in the Board of Trustees of GSIS, immediate abolition of the Premium-Based Policy and the Claims and Loan Interdependency Program (CLIP); the investigation and prosecution of Winston Garcia; and the scrapping of libel charges against ACT Partylist Representative Antonio Tinio.

Tinio presented the report of the Commission on Audit on how GSIS doubled the deduction of premiums from its members because their records were not updated. Officer-in-Charge Consuelo Manansala of GSIS reacted to the words “double deduction and victimizing” of members. Tinio insisted, in turn, that it is the real situation and it was based on the records.

Manansala admitted they have problems and claimed these are being resolved. She suggested that public school teachers should be represented in their weekly meetings with the Department of Education. Mansala however said it would be the DepEd that would decide who it would assign as representative of the teachers.

Meanwhile, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Jose Amor Amorado recognized that there should really be a teacher representative at the GSIS BoD. He said Aquino would appoint the representative.

Castro said the gathering of signatures to the petition listing their demands addressed to Aquino would continue for as long as their problems and issues continue to exist. She said this is ongoing nationwide. “In the event that these important demands are not given attention, we would have to act and lead our constituents once again to demand for the elimination of our burden with GSIS,” said Castro. (

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