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Davao City, Philippines

Sara calls ACT-Davao ‘liars’ and ‘terrorists’

October 09, 2018 - Tuesday 7:10 AM by Lovely Carillo

A word war has erupted between Mayor Sara Duterte and the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT)-Davao City Chapter after the mayor reacted negatively to an Instagram post by ACT-Davao that alleged Davao is the only big city in the Philippines that does not give allowances to teachers.

“ACT Teachers Davao, hindi lang kayo terrorista at sympathizer ng mga terrorista (you are not just terrorists and terrorist sympathizers), you are also LIARS,” Sara said in her official Instagram account.

The mayor belied ACT-Davao’s claim and said the city government gave gift cheques worth P2,000 per person each year to all teaching and non-teaching employees of the Department of Education (DepEd) in December 2016 and 2017.

“We have copies of the budget, pictures of distribution and the liquidation with all signatures. Pahirapan pa nga magpa approve ng grant ninyo at kami pa ang nasa alanganin (You give us a hard time approvine your grant and we are placed in an awkward position) and you have the temerity to lie,” she said.

Kung puwede lang sana kayo iexpel (If only I could expel you) outside of Davao City,” she said.

Sara said DepEd should dismiss “terrorists” from its ranks.

The Mirror tried calling and sending text messages to ACT-Davao Chapter president Reynaldo Pardillo but received no answer.

However, ACT-Davao responded to the mayor’s tirade through its Facebook page.

“We are saddened by this reaction of Mayor Sara. We understand where she is coming from, and we would like to assure her that we are still willing to discuss with her on how to come up with a win-win solution to finally realize the legislation of a monthly local allowance starting in 2019,” ACT-Davao’s post read. 

ACT apologized to the mayor and said it was never its intention to offend as it is only based on facts.

“Madam Mayor, we are willing to sit with you to clarify our side. We are not your enemy.”

ACT said it is unfortunate that, instead of responding to the legitimate demand of teachers for local allowance, the Mayor had to resort to name-calling. Calling teachers "terrorists" and "terrorist sympathizers" and threatening to "dismiss them from their ranks" does not help in resolving the economic problems faced by teachers, the group said.

“While it is true that Davao City teachers received the gift cheque she mentioned, it does not negate the fact that Davao City is the only big city in the country that does not give cash allowances to teachers. Everyone can read the caption to know how much cash allowances teachers receives from their cities. In fact, Davao City teachers are currently negotiating with her for such cash allowances,” it said.

The group said the cash allowances being provided by the different cities vary from Toledo City’s P1,000 a month to Cebu City’s P10,000 per year.

The mayor had talked to ACT-Davao members headed by Pardillo after last week’s flag raising ceremony at City Hall.

While Sara turned down the P406 million yearly subsidy being demanded by ACT-Davao for 11,959 teaching and non-teaching personnel of the DepEd, she asked them to submit an acceptable proposal.

The demand is equivalent to P2,000 monthly financial subsidy and a P2,500 quarterly rice subsidy for the DepEd employees. They, however, lowered this to P1,500 allowance monthly and one-half sack of rice subsidy quarterly.

The mayor said there is no basis in law for the Local Government Unit to provide P406 million to national government employees, specifically the DepEd employees.

She said city government employees themselves are not receiving allowances.

Subsidies to teachers and non-teaching staff of DepEd are also not allowed for Special Education Fund use, she said.