/ 14 September 2021

MEMBERS of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers on Monday held a sunrise protest in Mendiola to mark the opening of classes in public schools.

Teachers observed physical distancing as they brandished placards with messages such as “Overtime pay ng mga guro ibigay na!”, “1,500 monthly allowance para sa mga guro ibigay na!”, “Ligtas na balik-eskwela ipaglaban!”

The group denounced the alleged government neglect of the education sector, especially amid the pandemic.

It vowed to hold more protests to demand safe, accessible, and quality education.

“Today, we will be forced into another school year of the underfunded and ill-equipped distance learning, with still no plans from the government on how it can safely re-open our school nor on how it will address the grave issues hounding DepEd’s learning continuity plan,” ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio said.

“We refuse to allow Duterte’s indifference to our plight and DepEd’s utter disregard for the welfare of its constituents continue to reign. As state abandonment peaks, we have no one else to turn to but each other,” he added.

ACT lamented that teachers have been “overworked, underpaid, and under-supported” in the last five years.

“We braved all sorts of risk and danger just to give our students a chance at education, some of which came at heavy costs. Who looks after us? We only demand what is due us, what we have earned, and what we deserve,” ACT NCR Union President Vladimer Quetua.

The group pressed its call for the safe re-opening of schools and for bigger support for distance learning needs.