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Budget secretary’s ”carrot and stick” approach to education scored

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

 Budget secretary’s ”carrot and stick” approach to education scored

“Tertiary education is really a privilege.” – Budget Secretary Florencio Abad
MANILA — As student and grassroots organizations gear for more big protests against the railroading of the 2012 Budget, a professor of the University of the Philippines (UP) slammed what she termed as a “carrot and stick lecture” of a ranking official of the administration of Benigno Aquino III to administrators of state colleges and universities. She said the government continues to betray its mandate to prioritize education as a public service.

Professor Judy M. Taguiwalo of the UP College of Social Work and Community Development in Diliman said Budget Secretary Florencio Abad has exposed his low regard for SUCs.Taguiwalo’s criticism of the budget secretary took off from Abad’s statement reported in the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s November 14 story that “Tertiary education is really a privilege” and given this “ spending money on state colleges must be directed to top-performing institutions. “

In an audience with SUC officials in the Cordillera and the Ilocos region, Abad said school officials should survey and profile their students. Through this survey , he said, schools could determine if they are really serving the poor in the provinces. If not, Abad said, these SUCs should initiate “reforms.” If they do not initiate reforms, the government will no longer invest in these SUCs. By “reforms,” Abad meant instituting measures to generate more funds such as tuition increases.

He added that the government has a limited fund for education and this has prompted it to put together a new policy regarding tertiary education.

According to Abad, gathering empirical data to illustrate how state schools actually serve “their intended clientele” will enable the SUCs to determine which of them could serve as regional universities instead of being state-run. He also said the government has to select state schools with skilled faculty and equipment to promote courses best suited for priority industries.

He named these priority industries as business process outsourcing (BPO), electronics and semiconductors, agriculture, infrastructure and tourism.

Education remains a privilege

Taguiwalo said Abad’s statement contradicts Article XIV, Section 1 of the Philippine Constitution which states “the State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels, and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.”

“But it is not just the clear failure of Abad, who keeps reminding us that he was Education secretary, to uphold the constitutional provision on education at all levels as a right. It is his low regard for state universities and colleges and their role in ensuring access to quality tertiary education,”she said.

Based on the Commission on Higher Education data as of August 2010, there are only 110 state universities and colleges (57 universities, 53 colleges) out of a total 607 public higher education institutions in the country..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/12/04/budget-secretary%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Dcarrot-and-stick%E2%80%9D-approach-to-education-scored/

Fukushima 45 tonne radioactive leak 'reaches ocean' (w/ Videos)


Fukushima 45 tonne radioactive leak 'reaches ocean'

Experts warn Japan faces more danger from radioactive particles in consumer food, after reports of a new toxic water leak from the Fukushima nuclear plant.

­Some 45 tons of radioactive toxic water has reportedly leaked out of the shattered plant and may have found its way into the ocean during the weekend, according to David Wagner from Country Risk Solutions in Tokyo.

 Watch RT's full interview with Dr. Robert Jacobs

The nuclear station’s reactor hot zones melted down after a 11 March quake, and the tsunami which followed devastated the site altogether..... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/fukushima-leak-radionuclide-wagner-141/

Syria has WMDs or how they learned to love the lie

Pinheiro Report against Syria is as truthful as the tale of 'weapons of mass destruction in Iraq'

Syria has WMDs or how they learned to love the lie

by Nathaniel Braia

The recent "report" of the Commission of inquiry on Syria by the UN Human Rights Council stands for its bombastic accusations against the Syrian government, but entirely omitted to present material evidence, or evidence corroborating the charges. It is based upon testimony from unidentified, unqualified people. The "investigative" method used is no different than the "cover" provided by the western corporate media wtih "information" that is without confirmation as to its truthfulness, yet repeated to exhaustion nevertheless.

In the preamble to the "report" of the commission headed by the Brazilian, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, (photo) it says that the "the standard of proof has 'reasonable suspicion'" and recognizes that this is "a lower standard of evidence than that used in criminal proceedings."

How were the testimonies collected? Very simple: a public appeal was launched. A UN official says they responded to the call for "organizations and persons interested" in "helping the commission."..... MORE


URL: http://english.pravda.ru/hotspots/terror/03-12-2011/119827-Syria_has_WMDs-0/

It’s not always the season to be jolly NO HOLDS BARRED Armida Siguion-Reyna 12/06/2011

It’s not always the season to be jolly

Armida Siguion-Reyna
You read this on the day of the Aawitan Kita Christmas party. My husband Sig attended the last one, as he did our daughter-in-law’s birthday party, in 2010. A week later, he was gone. Remembering his abrupt departure has put me in sentimental mode, though not necessarily depressed, and wondering about sad Christmas songs. Here are some of them.

“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” first sung by Judy Garland in the 1944 movie Meet Me in St. Louis. The lyrics aren’t at all melancholy, but World War II was yet to end when the song was first released, so whatever stories there were on film and radio that spoke of families being uprooted really made people cry.

“Have yourself a merry little Christmas / Let your heart be light
From now on / our troubles will be out of sight / Have yourself a merry little Christmas / Make the Yule-tide gay / From now on /
our troubles will be miles away.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111206com4.html

Assange granted Supreme Court appeal (w/ Video)

Assange granted Supreme Court appeal

Julian Assange has been granted an appeal to the UK Supreme Court to halt his extradition to Sweden over sex crimes allegations. If the appeal had been denied the WikiLeaks founder would have been en route to Stockholm within 10 days.

Assange himself says he is thankful for this opportunity, and “the long struggle for justice for him and others continues.”

“The issue of extradition safeguards is a concern to many people. There are many aggrieved families in the UK and in other countries in Europe that are struggling for justice,” Julian Assange said. “This afternoon the parliament of the United Kingdom is considering in depth the matters that arise from various extradition cases in the UK, including my own. Today the High Court has decided that an issue that arises from my own case is of general public importance and may be of assistance to other cases and should be heard by the Supreme Court. I think that is a correct decision and I am thankful.”.... MORE


URL: http://rt.com/news/wikileaks-assange-granted-appeal-045/

Market economy misconceptions AN OUTSIDERS VIEW Ken Fuller 12/06/2011

Market economy misconceptions

Ken Fuller
This columnist often saves articles and news stories with a view to opening or contributing to a discussion based on their content. And sometimes I’ll forget I’ve saved them. This is one of those occasions, although the piece in question is well worth discussing because it illustrates several of the most widespread misconceptions regarding how a “market” economy works.

A year ago, in a column entitled “Business Sense” (Inquirer, Nov. 16, 2010), Conrado de Quiros referred to Lucio Tan’s plan to shed 3,000 Philippine Airlines workers by outsourcing a number of its operations. Although the column referred to this as a “scare tactic,” a year later we see that Tan wasn’t bluffing. But, said De Quiros, the problem “goes beyond Tan… The problem is the general attitude or instinct of capitalists in this country to think of themselves first particularly during hard times, or indeed to use those very hard times as an excuse to employ sweatshop methods of cost-cutting.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111206com5.html

Hacienda Luisita VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 12/06/2011

Hacienda Luisita

Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
There was the bloody Mendiola Massacre. There were the bitter strikes of the farmers staged in the Hacienda. There were the gross killings in Tarlac intimately connected with the same hacienda — inclusive of the murder of a good and kind Aglipayan bishop simply showing concern and extending assistance to the aggrieved farmers. One big piece of land owned by one big dynasty causative of one big long standing social problem in the country — this is the Hacienda Luisita.

“Supreme Court (SC) junks Luisita stock option deal.” — so read the headline of a national broadsheet dated Nov. 24, 2011. This was even followed by the news that no less than 14 Justices unanimously agreed to a “total distribution of land.”

This is the stark reversal of the maneuvering of a long previous government that supposedly had agrarian reform as the centerpiece of its avowed socio-economic program. But specifically in the case of Hacienda Luisita, instead of parting with the land in favor of the farmers, some kind of a stock distribution was ingeniously conceived and implemented..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111206com7.html

Senate mulls summoning Pangilinan to dbp probe By Angie M. Rosales 12/06/2011

Senate mulls summoning Pangilinan to dbp probe

By Angie M. Rosales 12/06/2011

The Senate is now considering to summon businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of telephone giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT), to its probe on the alleged insider trading of Philex Mining Corp. shares, an issue that branched out from allega-tions of a behest loan to former trade minister Ro-berto Ongpin by state-owned banks during the term of former President Arroyo after initially waiving the need for Pangilinan’s testimony in the controversy.

The Senate had initially indicated that since Pangilinan was the mere buyer of the Philex shares which is the subject of the insider-trading allegations on Ongpin, his presence will not be required at the Senate probe but the other day Sen. Sergio Osmeña III claimed that Pangilinan executed an affidavit that may pin Ongpin on insider-trading charges.

Another key player in the alleged questionable sale of Philex shares using loans acquired from the
(DBP), who is Ongpin’s personal secretary Josephine Manalo, is being considered to be slapped contempt charges by the Senate for failing to appear in yesterday’s executive session related to the probe..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111206hed5.html

Noy attacks, insults Corona to his face By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 12/06/2011


Noy attacks, insults Corona to his face

By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 12/06/2011

Throwing good manners, presidential dignity and respect for a co-equal and independent branch, as well as proper breeding out the window, President Aquino went much too far yesterday as he insulted Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Renato Corona to his face in a Justice Summit organized by the high court with the Department of Justice and and the Interior and Local Governments department.

Midas Marquez, the spokesman of the SC said Aquino’s remarks against the tribunal and Chief Justice Corona was “quite disturbing” as it was delivered during the first National Criminal Justice Summit — a gathering organized by the high court itself.

In a statement read by Court Administrator Marquez, the SC said that while it is not unusual for the executive branch to disagree with the judicial branch, “what is considerably unusual is for the chief executive to look down on members of the judiciary in public at a Justice Sector Coordinating Council session and to their faces, denounce the court’s independent actions.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111206hed1.html

Military vows to end insurgency in Central Luzon by next year By Mario J. Mallari 12/06/2011

Military vows to end insurgency in Central Luzon by next year

By Mario J. Mallari 12/06/2011

The military has vowed to end insurgency problem in Central Luzon by next year with the full implementation of its internal peace and security plan (IPSP) “Bayanihan.”

Newly-installed Army 7th Infantry Division (ID) chief Maj. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. made the self-imposed deadline to defeat insurgency in Region III during his assumption speech. As 7th ID commander, Mabanta has jurisdiction over the seven provinces in Central Luzon.

“My vision for the 7th ID is very straightforward — clear Central Luzon by 2012… we will win peace through the 4P strategy,” said Mabanta, referring to his four-point strategy in line with the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) IPSP “Bayanihan.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111206nat1.html

21 OFWs infected with HIV By Mina Diaz 12/06/2011

21 OFWs infected with HIV

By Mina Diaz 12/06/2011

There are 21 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were among the 200 new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diagnosed on October, up by 92 percent against 104 recorded in the same month of 2010.

According to former labor leader and now partylist Rep. Arnel Ty, four of new cases were acquired through sexual contact while 17 from illegal drug who were all infected after sharing contaminated needles.

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) has already issued policy guidelines on the occupational safety and health of workers in the country following the rise of HIV cases..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111206nat3.html

Brillantes death threat to be investigated By Gina Peralta-Elorde 12/06/2011

Brillantes death threat to be investigated

By Gina Peralta-Elorde 12/06/2011

Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Nicanor Bartolome yesterday said he asked a police team to personally conduct on verification into the alleged death threat against Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr.

Bartolome said that since of this posting they have not received any intelligence information regarding the issue.
The PNP chief, however, said that they will pursue their investigation to determine the veracity of the alleged report.

It will be recalled that on Sunday the PNP urged Brillantes to give more details of a supposed death threat he received recently..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111206met3.html

Government assailed for dropping int’l designers for NAIA rehab By Angie M. Rosales 12/06/2011

Government assailed for dropping int’l designers for NAIA rehab

By Angie M. Rosales 12/06/2011

Sen. Manuel Villar yesterday criticized the apparent disregard to the renovation plan of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) produced by international designers saying that the government should instead showcase their work of art.

Highlighting their contribution in rehabilitating the once premiere international airport facility of the country is a way of promoting Filipinos as world-class artists, Villar said referring to the group of designers Kenneth Cobonpue, Budji Layug and architect Royal Pineda.

“It’s ironic that in other countries, they would even employ the services of known artists to add significance to their undertaking. We could probably do the same to give a different ‘projection’ on the new NAIA,” he said in an interview.

Recent developments show the group of Cobonpue held a dialog with representatives of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) which is on top of the operations of NAIA 1..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111206met1.html

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