Thursday, October 1, 2015

Bill doubling public teachers’ monthly base pay

“Teachers are a special breed and to teach is a special calling. One writer once said, ‘Students are actually better off in a bad school with an excellent teacher, than in excellent school with a bad teacher,’” he said in an event in celebration of the National Teachers’ Month.

The senator has also filed a bill that seeks to provide grants and scholarship with return of service agreements to academic and non-academic personnel to upgrade their qualification through masteral, doctoral or post-graduate studies.

There is a need, he said, to retrain teachers “to meet the instructional aptitude needed to teach an entirely new curriculum provided under the K-to-12 program.”

Angara said the scholarships and grants will also attract new teachers and researchers to the higher education sector.

“I think every teacher realizes deep in their heart that they are not doing this for personal glory or for personal riches but definitely, to leave a legacy. Ito ang nag-iisang propesyon kung saan nasusukat ang kanilang tagumpay sa tagumpay ng iba (This is the only profession wherein its victory is measured by the success of others),” the senator further said.

Angara, a known advocate of educational reforms, said Senate Bill 61 aims to upgrade the minimum salary grade (SG) level of teachers from SG 11 to 19, “nearly doubling their current monthly base pay from P18,549 to P33,859.”

“As we celebrate our teachers’ role in the society and nation building—most especially as molders of our children’s future—we should also give priority to the welfare of our hardworking teachers,” the senator said in a statement on Friday.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Survival Sex in Iloilo City

A survey conducted by Mass Communication students of the West Visayas State University among 100 taxi drivers in Iloilo City showed a high incidence of premarital sex among college and high school students, and even among elementary pupils.

A report on "Survival Sex in Iloilo City" by Professor Ma. Rosario Victoria de Guzman during a City Council committee hearing also showed the rampant survival sex for pay, especially during midterm and finals seasons.

The hearing was conducted by the City Council committee on women and family relations chaired by Councilor Dylee Zulueta Salazar, Task Force on Moral Recovery chaired by George Duron, City Health Office, and City Social Welfare and Development.

The committee is drafting an ordinance regulating the operation of lodging houses, motels, inns and other similar establishments in Iloilo City and providing mechanism therefore and other purposes.

Zulueta Salazar said the committee is gathering inputs to be incorporated in the proposed regulation ordinance.

Based on the survey, De Guzman said that 65 percent of those who frequent lodging houses are students of the same age level, 14 percent are of same age as their father, and 10 percent are of grandfather age.

Majority are students who frequent the places with age bracket of 12 to 24 years old, she said.

The survey report also showed that in one week, 63 taxi drivers brought the students to Katrina Lodge, 45 drivers to Anita, 44 to The Q, 43 to Sofia Lodge, 39 to Green Dragon Lodge, 31 to Queens Court, and eight to Moonlight Lodge.

Mostly wearing civilian clothes, the students or those going to the lodging houses have pick-up points in the vicinity of the University of Iloilo, Iloilo Doctors College, plazas, Arroyo St., Mabini St., Small Ville complex and the White House in Baluarte, Molo district.

see details at :

Students engaging in ‘survival sex’ is a clear manifestation of a commercialized education system in the Philippines, according to Anakbayan Panay.

“We cannot deny the fact that some people sell their bodies to pay for their needs but students engaging in ‘survival sex’ to pay the high cost of tuition and other school fees collected by the schools especially as final exam approaches clearly manifests a commercialized Philippine education system ,” said Bryan Bosque, Anakbayan Panay Spokesperson.

According to a research by West Visayas State University College of Communications Professor Ma. Rosario Victoria de Guzman, more students in Iloilo City are engaging in ‘survival sex’.

“In the middle of this issue, the government is doing nothing to take action. Commercialization of education is perpetuated by the government to neglect its financial responsibility and pave the way to privatize education and leave the fate of the students to private educational capitalists that increases tuition fees and other school fees at unprecedented rate which forces students to engage in anti-social activities such as ‘survival sex’ or even commits suicide,” Bosque added.

Meanwhile, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said, “What we can do is, probably, to hold a meeting with all the owners of lodging houses and motels in the city and remind them of minor checking in at their respective motels.

story :

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Mamasapano issue

Former President Fidel V. Ramos issued a statement on the Mindanao peace process and enumerated what he believes are the possible reasons behind Sunday's bloodshed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

Ramos, who founded the police Special Action Force as chief of the Philippine Constabulary in 1983, found the irreparable loss of 44 commandos in Mamapasano town needless as the operation's targets are yet to be confirmed dead.

"The intended mission of the SAF contingent was to capture Malaysian Zulkifli Abdul Hir (also known as Marwan) and Filipino Basit Usman, both notorious terrorists," Ramos said. "Ironically, it has not been confirmed if these wanted criminals were fully accounted for."

"It is ... clear that the tragic happening was a combination of these factors," he said.

  • Inadequate confidence-building measures (CBMs) among the civilian-military-police stakeholders
  • Poor or lack of coordination
  • Faulty written SOPs and rules of engagement
  • Slipshod monitoring of the existing "ceasefire"
  • Between maneuver and fire support elements, lack of teamwork
  • Poor unit troop leadership
  • Poor tactical intelligence
  • Lack of sincerity to pursue peace on the part of the MILF
  • Inadequate command guidance from the higher commander
  • Poor strategic direction from the Commander-in-Chief

Ramos also said government peace negotiators should have consulted retired military and police officers who were assigned in Mindanao.

The Mamasapano operation—which involved nearly 400 PNP-SAF members—took a bloody turn. Some 44 elite cops were killed, while 12 were wounded in clash against members of the MILF.

According to MILF chief peace negotiator Mohaquer Iqbal the bloody clash erupted due to "the lack of coordination between the police and the proper governing bodies."

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Maipagmamalaki talaga ang edukasyon sa Pilipinas. Patunay nito ang pagpasok ng mga dayuhang mag-aaral sa ating bansa para makapag-aral. Nakatutuwang isipin na sa dinarami-raming magagaling na paaralan sa buong mundo ay ang inang bayan pa natin ang napili nila. Ano ba talaga ang meron sa edukasyong pinoy?  O ano ba talaga ang maipagmamalaki ng pinoy pagdating sa ganitong usapin?

Bigyang diin natin ang mga kapatid nating koreanong nag-aaral sa Pilipinas. Tingin nyo, bakit ang bansa natin ang napili nila? Simpleng tanong na may simpleng sagot, pero may malalim na pag-unawa.

Masasabi bang, dahil mura ang edukasyon dito? O dahil, maganda talaga ang sistema ng edukasyon satin? Madali lang sagutin ang tanung ko, kung pag-iisipan mo! Di na kailangan patanung pa sa iba dahil proweba na ang kanilang pagpunta. Isipin mo man ng may duda, makita naman ang ibedensya.

Nung una, maraming nagtataka satin kung bakit may ibang lahi sa ganito o ganyang paaralan, maiintindihan ba nila yung tinuturo dito? Tanung na kahit yung iba satin dati ay di alam ang kasagutan. Pero ngayong mga panahon, kahit sino yata alam na ang dahilan. Sa totoo lang, napakalaking tulong sa iba nating kababayan ang kanilang pag-iistay sa lupain natin. May mga nalilikhang trabaho para sating lahat, at kapalit nito ay ang pagbibigay ng ating mga kaalaman sa kanila, pagdating sa edukasyon at iba pang aspekto. Nakikita natin yung pagtutulungan ng bawat isa pagdating sa lahat ng bagay, pagbibigay ng kaalaman at tulong, at magandang samahan sa iisang bansa.

Ano man ang dahilan ng kanilang pananatili sa ating bansa, isa sila sa mga dahilan kung bakit ang Pilipinas ay nananatili sa kanyang dapat kalagyan sa aspekto ng edukasyon. Dahil hanggang ngayon, pinagkakatiwalaan ang ibang lahi ang edukasyong sa Pilipinas. At sana mapukaw din tayo ng kanilang determinasyong ipagmalaki at ikarangal ang Pilipinas pagdating sa ganitong usapin.

Marami mang hirap ang pinagdadaanan ng dalawang lahi, makikita ang magagandang dulot sa bawat isa at ito ay ang pag-unlad ng bawat indibidwal. Dapat nga ipagsigawan ang lahing ating pinagmulan, dahil tayo ang perlas ng silangan. Huwag ding kalimutan, ang nagbigay ng kaganapan sa ating mga buhay. SIYA lang ang tunay na  nakakaalam.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago wants the Senate president to shut up!

This comes after Enrile made a new allegation that Trillanes' contacts included a Chinese military intelligence officer from Chinese embassy.

Enrile cited a new "reliable source" apart from Philippine Ambassador to Beijing Sonia Brady, whose notes about the dispute between Philippines and China over Scarborough Shoal had been revealed in a Senate plenary session last week.

"The question is why did the senate president obtain a copy of that report, which was not meant for him and how did he manage to do that?" Santiago said.

"That must never be revealed. You will never tell our antagonist or the other country who is having difference with us on any foreign policy. These are basic principles of international negotiation," she added.

The female senator expressed fear that the Chinese government might take advantage of Trillanes' tiff with the Department of Foreign Affairs.

"It always the best procedure when there is a perceived confusion such as this is for everybody to zip up your mouth. Nobody should talk," the feisty Senator says of Enrile, who still freely talks about the alleged "real story" behind Senator Antonio Trillanes' back-channel negotiations with China.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Philippine universities among world's best English-teaching schools

Ateneo de Manila University posted the highest rating of all Philippine schools, ranking 24th in English language and literature. University of the Philippines ranked 32 while De La Salle University ranked 44th.

World-renowned universities in the United Kingdom and the United States took the top five spots (in this order): Cambridge, Harvard, Oxford, Yale and University of California Berkeley.

In a statement sent to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, QS said the country's specialist strength in the English language was affirmed in results of its latest World University Rankings by Subject, an index that rates universities across 29 disciplines.

Three Philippine Universities are among the top 50 universities in the world when it comes to teaching English according to a new survey by the London-based research and ratings firm Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

The specialist strengths of Philippine universities in English language and literature are clearly shown in these rankings. The country should be proud of their achievements," Ben Sowter, QS research chief, said in the statement sent to the Inquirer.

The Philippines rated in only one other discipline, with UP placing within the 101-150 bracket in Geography.

QS ranked schools on 29 subjects ¿based on academic reputation, employer reputation, and citations per paper," QS said.

Amid strong showing in English, Philippine universities have been slipping in world rankings in the past few years.

Friday, April 27, 2012

K12 Program

Most countries have only ten years of compulsory education. Compulsory education in the US varies from state to state, but the average requires anyone who is under 16 years of age to be either enrolled in a school or home-schooled. This means that on average, the US only has 10- 11 (including kindergarten) years of compulsory education. The last two years in the US K-12 education already include courses in tertiary education. These are called advanced placement (AP) or international baccalaureate (IB) courses. Examples are calculus (up to multivariable) and AP chemistry. Students who take AP chemistry usually have already finished one year of basic chemistry and one year of advanced chemistry, so in sum, a student could have taken three years of chemistry while in high school. Some schools in the US can not offer these, and consequently, there is great heterogeneity among US schools.

The administration’s plan is a plain insult to poor parents and students who are trying hard to make ends meet. As it is, families can barely afford to get their kids through 10 years of education. Aquino is being insensitive to the plight of majority of the Filipino people, and we may need to remind the president that unlike him, not everyone is born landlords or business tycoons.

We are aware that while there is no tuition fees being paid in public schools, there are fees and expenses that parents have to shoulder to get students through school. Last year, the government allotted only P2,502 a year, or P6.85 per student per day for education. More than P30,000-P35,000 is needed for school fees, fare and food expenses per year. Poor parents are not able to afford this as proven by the rising drop-out rates.

Addressing basic education is a matter of prioritization. Adding kindergarten and two years to high school is estimated to cost more than 100 billion pesos. On the other hand, to solve the two pressing problems, as UNESCO has advised, 6% of the GDP must be assigned to education. At the current funding (2.3% of GDP) of the Department of Education (DepEd), additional years will only lead to a greater demand for resources. Adding two years to high school essentially increases the needs of a high school by 50% – teachers, classrooms, desks, toilets, learning materials, etc. The DepEd can only answer less than half of what UNESCO deems is necessary for the 10-year basic education program. Adding two more years will stretch the budget of DepEd even further.

Implementing a new curriculum requires strong leadership at the school level. The success of a school depends a lot on the principal. A significant fraction of public schools in the Philippines currently do not have a principal or a head teacher. This clearly needs to be addressed first before any reform in curriculum is initiated. Otherwise, a new curriculum has no hope of being implemented successfully.

Instead of trying to attack the problem at the end of high school, efforts must be focused on the early years of education. This is where the dropout rate begins to escalate and these are the years where students are failing to learn as diagnosed by the standard test scores. Resources are very much needed in the first ten years of education and kindergarten and DepEd can do a better job on these years if DepEd does not have to worry about the added senior years in high school. The government should allow its citizens to work out on their own a solution for the desired two years that aim to prepare students either for college or the workforce. College preparatory schools or community colleges can do this job and TESDA could address those who are leaning towards vocational training.

During the past years, only 4 out of 10 students entering the school cycle manages to finish high school, and only one will be able to get a degree. More than 8 million Filipino school aged youth are out-of-school because of hardships.

The additional two years will mean additional burden to the poor families and will lead to more students dropping-out and more young Filipinos being deprived of their right to education.

For any overwhelming policy that involves dramatic changes and budget requirements, it is important that the policy is based on good data and statistics. The Philippines, with its financial condition, cannot afford to waste. The ten-year basic education program can work as demonstrated by a Philippine school in Qatar (see “Do Filipino schools make the grade?”. The Philippine school at Doha, Qatar participated in PISA 2009 and their scores were: Science (466), Math: (461) and Reading: (480). These scores place the Philippines near the average scores of participating countries.

It is amazing how the proponents of this program could stand firm on their twisted analysis that adding years to the current education system will solve the problem of quality.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that no matter how many years they add to education, as long as classroom to student ratio remains 1:70, as long as there are no textbooks or they are riddled with errors, as long as teachers are underpaid, and facilities remain dilapidated, no improvement in quality can be expected.

The budget for DepEd proposed this year will not be enough to address the shortages in facilities and stop the deteriorating condition of our schools. The government aims to acquire only 18,000 new classrooms out of the 152,000 needed, 10,000 new teachers out of 103,599 shortage, and only 32 million new textbooks out of 95 million shortage.

The problems concerning basic education that developing countries face are enormous and complex. A few years from now, the international donor community will look at how close governments they have funded to improve education have reached the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). It is highly likely that the Philippines will not meet the second item in the MDG, universal primary education:

The K12 proponents try to further amuse the public by promising that the 12 year cycle will make the youth “employable” and that this will enable the young people get jobs. This is a ridiculous claim as the more than 500,000 college graduates annually do not manage to get jobs. There are no jobs not because there is a lack of “employable” young people but because there is no clear plan for national development which will lead to sustainable job generation.

The statements, however, expose what the real intention of the government for this project. The program is primarily designed to serve foreign needs for cheap “semiskilled” labor. The K12 project is a being pushed by foreign banks and companies for them to be able to profit by further exploiting our people.
The proponents do not deny the fact that this is in fact a foreign-recommended plan. Miguel Luz, one of the main advocates of the program, is consulting for and working for the World Bank projects in the Philippines.
Is it “matuwid” to model Filipino education system after foreign needs? Isn’t education supposed to be for the people and for national development?