Bzzzzz: Higher pay for public school teachers; Trump to decide on sanctions

PEOPLE talk about...

[1] HIGHER PAY FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS, which is included in the Salary Standardization Law 5 that President Rodrigo Duterte signed Wednesday (January 8), would make public school teachers' pay "65 to 87 percent higher" than what private school teachers get. The new increase will be in three tranches starting January 2020 and ending in 2023.

It may increase the migration of teachers from the private sector to public schools. Many private schools cannot compete with the high salary in public schools, less so because they are afflicted with drop in enrolment caused by free tuition in many public schools.

[2] POPE ALLOWS NUN TO KISS HIM 'IF YOU DON'T BITE." Pope Francis set the terms when he waded back into the crowds at the Vatican during his weekly general audience Wednesday (January 8). An earlier video of the pope swatting away the hand of a pilgrim had sparked a controversy. This time, he agreed to a kiss on the cheek but said he'd approach her only if she didn't bite.

[3] ABS-CBN TALENTS SPOOFING NETWORK'S FATE. Overheard on a radio program: "....Some time in 2025." "Kon di-a pa ta ug ang network." (Laughter) ABS-CBN's franchise will expire on March 31 and President Duterte has repeatedly threatened the denial of an extension.

Premature fear

Confusion and misinformation may be reduced by reading Senate Resolution #42 that the US Senate passed Thursday (January 9). The resolution authorizes sanctions against Philippine officials linked to extrajudicial killings in this country and the jailing of Senator Leila de Lima.

A few things that the resolution clarifies:

[1] The travel ban and restrictions are not yet in force, so the talk about this or that official being blacklisted by the US government is premature.

[2] The office of the US president, under the Senate resolution, will determine which Philippine officials and security forces are considered responsible for EJKs in the country and the detention of de Lima.

President Trump is given 120 days to report to the Senate who those persons are and whether he has sanctioned or intends to sanction them. Trump might just sit on the resolution or, if he submits a report, say he sees no evidence of human rights violation for which the Global Magnitsky Act will apply.

[3] While the resolution denounces the "harassment, arrest and unjust judicial action" against Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, the Senate resolution does not include her case as basis for any sanction against Philippine officials.

For VM, for congresswoman

Two members of the Cebu City Council are being watched more closely than others by their colleagues. The reason: they appear to be interested to run for higher office in 2022 and have been displaying overt acts to back up their plan.

The two are Franklin Ong of BOPK who represents the Association of Barangay Councils, and Nina Mabatid, one of the two Partido Barug survivors in the north councilors' race. Ong may seek the vice mayor's seat while Mabatid is reportedly casting her eyes on the congressional seat.

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