Unity Walk for Quality Education 2015

Don Erick J. Bonus

Over a hundred participants composed of teachers, industry workers, parents and students stepped away from common labor-related rallies last Friday, May 1st, to take part in the Unity Walk to campaign for “Unite for Quality Education (Better Education for a Better World)”.  The activity established by Samahang Manggagawang Pilipino – National Alliance of Teachers and Office Workers (SMP-NATOW) has been a regular undertaking in the country ever since it was launched in the 7th Asia Pacific Regional Conference last September 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

         Dr. Elizabeth Agtarap, an educator and union officer, led the chant Edukasyon! Edukasyon! Karapatan ng Mamamayan! (Education! Education! Right of Citizens!) as participants march the streets of Mandaluyong.  With their burning desire to call the attention of pedestrians, motorists, and even authorities, they wave their flags, and raise their hands with closed fists that symbolizes their strong commitment and stance on quality education. 


 

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The activity culminated at the Jose Rizal University Auditorium with the following:

         Ms. Milagros Ogalinda discussed the Code of Ethics for Professional Teachers (Pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (e), Article 11, of R. A. No. 7836, otherwise known as the Philippines Professionalization Act of 1994 and Paragraph (a), section 6, P.D. No. 223, as amended);

 

Dr. Avelino Caraan shared updates on The Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 (R. A. No. 10335), a.k.a. The K to 12 Basic Education Program; and

 

Ms. Sarah Gabrentina and Ms. Leila Roxas enumerating different union advocacies spearheaded by Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) which were later translated into laws. To wit:

·          Tax Exemption for Minimum Wage Earners

·          13th Month Pay

·          Maternity and Paternity Leave

·          Weekends Without Work

·          All Breaks at Work, Including Lunch Breaks

·          Paid Vacation and Sick Leave

·          Minimum Wages

·          Overtime Pay and Night Differentials

·          8-Hour Work Day

·          Child Labor Laws

·          Occupational Safety and Health

·          Compensation for Work-Related Accidents

·          40-Hour Work Week

·          Workplace Standards and Regulations

·          Retirement Pension

·          Health Insurance

·          Anti-Sexual Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Laws

·          Right to Strike

·          Scholarship for Children of Union Members