Saturday, April 11, 2020
Home Blog Page 3

DepEd Bicol: Still unvalidated, no 70,000 “non readers”, but yes to “struggling readers”

0

PILI, Camarines Sur – Department of Education [DepEd] regional office on Monday clarified some issues published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer regarding the number of 70,000 elementary students who “cannot read” in the Bicol Region.

DepEd’s clarification is more of a semantic, numbers game, but it did not deny the existence of thousands of students in the region who cannot read, but “lumped” them together as “struggling readers”.

Regional Director Gilbert T. Sadsad said the reported number of 70,000 is the initial, unvalidated report from the Schools Divisions Offices at the beginning of School Year 2019-2020 (SY 2019-2020.)

“For SY 2019-2020, we have a total of 1.61 million enrolled public school learners in the Region. The total population of Grades 3 to 6 is 521,676. Based on our validated data, about 20,587 pupils out of the 315,161 from Grades 4 to 6 who took the English test and 18,143 of the 336,849 from Grades 3 to 6 who took the Filipino test can be considered as ‘struggling readers’,” Sadsad made a clarification.

He said these numbers are considered as “struggling readers” based on the tests administered by the Philippine Informal Reading Inventory (Phil-IRI.)

As explained, Phil-IRI, an initiative of the DepEd’s Bureau of Learning Delivery, only covers Grade 3 to 6.

“It is an informal reading inventory consisting of graded passages designed to determine a student’s performance in oral reading, silent reading and listening comprehension,” Sadsad said, in a statement, sent to Bicol Today in Naga City.

However, Sadsad pointed out the same Grade 4 to 6 pupils who took the English test were the same pupils who took the Filipino test, thus the absolute numbers who failed in the two exams could not be combined to arrive at an exact figure.

As mentioned, only Grades 3 to 6 were covered by the tests as there is no standard tool yet for assessing the reading abilities of pupils in Kinder up to Grade 2 and Grade 7 to Grade 12.

He said DepEd-Bicol is not trying to downplay the report by PDI, but is merely clarifying the figures and the process to present the true picture of the situation.

“We wish to assure the public and all our stakeholders that we at DepEd-Bicol are taking this matter seriously and that we are consistently initiating programs and activities to address this concern,” Sadsad said. [Joey Natividad/Bicol Today]

RED VALENTINE NIGHT FOR ABS-CBN

0

CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region – A large “red” crowd had turned out in support for ABS-CBN which is under siege as it faces a hostile Congress which is not keen in renewing its franchise, and a legal battle before the Supreme Court after the Solicitor General filed a quo warranto against the firm the other week.

The “red crowd” converged Friday night, Valentine’s Day, at Esguerra Gate, ABS-CBN, after various media groups spearheaded by National Union of Journalists of the Philippines [NUJP] appealed publicly to media colleagues and supporters to show up, wearing red, in solidarity of support for the media giant.

Watch drone video Red Friday night at ABS-CBN.

On Wednesday, organized media groups had called for colleagues and supporters to converge before twilight, Friday, Valentine’s Day, at Esguerra gate, ABS-CBN. in Quezon City, in support for the renewal of franchise and continuity of the media giant to operate in public service.

NUJP called to its members for solidarity with ABS-CBN, a statement for mobilization had reached Bicol Today in Naga City on Thursday.

The support for ABS-CBN has been snowballing among concerned sectors which have been seeing the machination and systematic curtailment of press freedom by the power-hungry Duterte Administration.

ABS-CBN franchise to operate shall expire on March, and it needs Congressional action for franchise renewal. Rumors going the rounds among Congressmen say franchise renewal for ABS-CBN may not happen owing to pressures from Malacañang.

To reinforce Malacañang’s intent to shutdown the media giant, the Solicitor General other week filed a quo warranto against the firm before the Supreme Court.

President Duterte was perceived as harboring hatred on the media giant, which has become critical on him for his controversial decisions and policies.

Media groups such as NUJP, Altermidya, and other organizations are seeing Duterte’s actions as “harsh measures in suppressing press freedom.”

Duterte has “red-tagged” critical media practitioners who are now placed in dangerous risky situations of being assassinated by “right-wing groups”

There had been several harassment’s, and killings of media men, and several of them had been critical on his administration. [Joey Natividad/Bicol Today]

Chainsaw “massacre” of good lumber, narra trees in Sorsogon City-owned Eco Park

0

SORSOGON CITY — Mystery deepens on who ordered the cutting of good lumber, including state-protected narra trees, as Environment personnel investigated the remnants of about 40 narra trees that were illegaly cut inside the city-owned Eco-Park on January 2020.

According to locals at Barangay Cabarbuhan, Bacon District, this city, the pieces of cut lumber were taken out by men identified as working at City Hall, and the vehicles used have official Sorsogon City logo markings.

Media interviews disclosed that the local DENR-PENRO was not aware of the illegal cutting of trees and it did not issue any permit to anybody to cut trees at the city-owned Eco-Park.

Some residents in the village said the felled trees, and what had remained of them – barks, wood waste, and branches, were discovered last week of January, this year.

A village official said City Hall people had taken the pieces of lumber and loaded them into government vehicles. She and other villagers thought the activities were entirely legal and official.

Cabarbuhan Barangay Captain Rowena Dongsao said, over media interview, she learned about the illegal cutting on January 27, this year, when the Park caretaker discovered the remnants of the trees felled by chainsaw.

When the initial reports were exposed by media, City Hall has not yet issued any statement with the alleged excuse that the incident is still under investigation by the provincial Environment and Natural Resources office.

Rumors are already coming out that an official of Sorsogon City is involved in the illegal cutting of trees. Pending the outcome of the investigation, the official is not yet named.

WHY CLOSE ABS-CBN WHEN IT HAS BEEN DOING ITS HOMEWORK, WITH OPEN REPORT CARD?

0

[BICOL TODAY STATEMENT]

There were times when President Duterte urgently needed the media to know what has been happening around, and by a click of finger, he got the news he wanted to know.

The same is true when the entire nation watched nervously on what has been going on at Taal Volcano, and the fate of the Batangas people who has been sacrificed and, for them, to endure the lockdown of their towns.

The threat in the country by the coronavirus that has been causing illness and deaths in Wuhan, China, the Filipino people turn to media for updated information.

ABS-CBN has been fulfilling its corporate mandate as the purveyor of news and issues of public interest. It has been doing its mission since the time it was founded.

This media organization has been at the front seat, becoming a spectator, on the unfolding and developing of events that would have significant historical value in the future, and reporting these events at the receiving room of every Juan and Juana in the country. It has been doing well its homework, ready to inform the nation at the immediate time possible.

Why close the ABS-CBN when it is doing its job and service to the Filipino people, the public and private sectors? Why stop the horse when it has been galloping and, instead, replace it with a new untested horse?

We strongly urge the legislators to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN. And, for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to step back and think again before pouring out his hatred toward this media organization.

We suspect Duterte’s intention to axe ABS-CBN is to smoothen the path for his favored cronies and rising, new breed of oligarchs which have the intention to grab a secured niche in the media industry. To consolidate their power, these emerging oligarchs must control media, and eliminate the media groups who, they perceive, are “unmanageable, uncooperative, and independently motivated.”

Let’s fight for Press freedom. Freedom of the press is not given, it is fought for and attained with honor, respect, and deeply valued.

RED FRIDAY FOR ABS-CBN

0

CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region – Organized media groups shall converge before twilight, Friday, Valentine’s Day, at Esguerra gate, ABS-CBN compound, Quezon City, in support for the renewal of franchise and continuity of the media giant to operate in public service.

This was announced Thursday by National Union of Journalists of the Philippines [NUJP] to freedom loving stakeholders in the media sector.

The announcement reached Bicol Today in Naga City on Thursday.

NUJP has numerous local chapters in cities and provinces nationwide.

The support for ABS-CBN has been snowballing among concerned sectors which are seeing the curtailment of press freedom by the power-hungry Duterte Administration.

ABS-CBN franchise to operate shall expire on March, and it needs Congressional action for franchise renewal. Rumours going the rounds among Congressmen say franchise renewal for ABS-CBN may not happen owing to pressures from Malacañang.

To reinforce Malacañang’s intent to shutdown the media giant, the Solicitor General last week filed a quo warranto against the firm before the Supreme Court.

President Duterte was reported as harboring hatred on the media giant, which has become critical on his administration and on his controversial decisions and policies.

Media groups such as NUJP, Altermidya, and other organizations are seeing Duterte’s action as “harsh measure in suppressing press freedom.”

Duterte, in several occasions, has “red-tagged” critical media practitioners who are now placed in dangerous risky situations of being assassinated by “right-wing groups”

There had been several harassments, and killings of media men, and several of them had been critical on his administration.

NUJP advises those, who are participating in the Red Friday rally for press freedom, to wear red. [Joey Natividad]

Aftermath of NCoV scare: Suspension of national gatherings, athletic activities, costs millions from DepEd

0

By Elmer Bandol

LEGAZPI CITY — As an aftermath behind the scare of the deadly novel corona virus, the suspension by the Department of Education (DepEd) of the national gatherings, athletes’ competitions & trainings including activities of huge convergence, has cost millions of pesos overhead expenses.

“This is happening in Bicol and might be true in other regions”, DepEd Bicol Dir. Gilbert T. Sadsad told media practitioners in a regional press conference held today. Under his responsibility, Sadsad has 13 districts with more than 76,000 school children to be educated and protected at the onset and spread of the killer respiratory virus.

Based on Sadsad’s explanation, Bicol alone spent about P25 million for concentration training and re-training of athletes aside from the expenses incurred by the local government units (LGUs) in hosting Palarong Panlalawigan (Provincial Meet) and Palarong Panglunsod (City Meet).where athletic activities were temporarily postponed.

This year’s Palarong Bicol (Regional Meet) scheduled on Feb 29 to March 7, to be held in Camarines Norter, was moved to March 21 to 29.

This, according to Sadsad, school children could fully participate as regular classes are almost over and graduation exercises could be held in the first week of April 2020 while Palarong Pambansa (National Meet) on March 21 to 29 was re-set on May 1 to 9 and athletes will have less than two weeks to practice. [Bicol Today]

Conservatives urged to probe gov’t population program on Filipino women being used for “drug-testing human guinea-pigs”

0

By Joey Natividad

PILI, Camarines Sur – Conservatives and the religious sectors are urged to conduct probe on the government population program being implemented in remote villages.

Upon reaching the age of 9, young elementary girls, still in Grade 3, are already handpicked by village health workers for vaccination of anti-cervical cancer drug. The vaccinations are being implemented in far remote areas, this government program is mandatory, whom parents cannot freely refuse.

These young students, still considered children and minors, by Philippine cultural standards are not yet considered as sexually-active. Their rights as minors are being violated in this population program.

In the United States, vaccination for anti-cervical cancer are being applied to 11-12 years old, allegedly a preventive measure among the young who start early as sexually-active individuals.

Government rationale, as dessiminated by village health workers, is deceptive, conveying the belief that the children will be free from diseases, and that they will not contract cervical cancer, an ailment that usually strikes women at middle age.

Government policy is targetting to vaccinate about 700,000 young girls this year 2020.

QUESTIONABLE “IMPLANTS”

In another population program application, poorly-trained village health workers are injecting implants to rural mothers on their buttocks or upper arms with the promise that they will not get pregnant in three years.

According to reports, the injection of implants is free, but the government has no program on how to surgically remove the implants when their usefulness are nearing expiration.

Reports say the implant inserted under the flesh of the uppen arm is about 2 inches long, syringe-like, allegedly containing hormones that are gradually released impacting the fertility and menstrual cycle.

Several young mothers have reported to Bicol Today that they had suffered migraine, nausea, loss of appetite, periodic pain, lumps on their breasts, after getting injected of the implants. They were told by health workers the implant is effective for three years whose removal shall be on the third year.

Complaining mothers who want the implants removed must visit a doctor to remove surgically the implant which is costly among mothers who are poor. They find out later the government has no program to remove the implants when they reach expiration.

There is speculation that these anti-cervical cancer vaccinations and implants are “under medical- or drug-testing,” research-and-develpment phase of pharmaceutical companies wnich require dispensing these to thousands of human patients before getting final approval for general application. If proven true, rural Filipino women are being used as “human guinea pigs for large-scale drug-testing.”

According to concerned citizens only the conservative and religious sectors have the strong motivation to conduct a deeper probe on this government population program.

The conservative bloc had opposed the passage of the Reproductive Health law which has opened the widespread use of population control measures under the guise of “family planning and health-care.”

Old village watchman electrocuted in Sorsogon

0

SORSOGON CITY – A village watchman (barangay tanod), 63 year old, was found dead by electrocution in a rice field Thursday morning, January 2, 2020.

When found dead, he was still holding a live wire.

Investigators identified the victim as Querubin Hadap, a barangay tanod, of Tigbao, Casiguran, Sor.

According to his wife, on Wednesday, Jan. 1, her husband told her that he was going to fix their electrical lines from their neighbor, but when night time fell, he never came back.

She thought her husband had a drinking get-together with friends.

When morning came, his body was found at a nearby place.

Authorities are now investigating the incident. [Bicol Today]

Catholic parish priest succumbs to pneumonia and dengue in Sorsogon

0

BULUSAN, Sorsogon — Sorsogon Catholic priest Msgr. Gerry del Prado died of pneumonia and dengue Monday. He was rushed to a hospital Sunday night, but he died around 4:00 morning of Monday, Dec 30, 2019. He passed away due to sepsis and cardiac arrest, source said.

Del Prado was the parish priest of Bulusan.

He was former Vicar General of the Diocese of Sorsogon, former general manager of radio station dzGN FM and had handled various positions in the Diocese of Sorsogon.

Del Prado was a big loss in the clergydom.

Town folks were shocked and felt sad upon hearing the news of Msgr. del Prado sudden death. He had been active in the church activities, days covering the celebration of Christmas. [Bicol Today]

Camarines Sur ‘dirty’ politics heating up as typhoon Tisoy steaming in full force

0

SAGÑAY, Camarines Sur – While this local government has been sending out evacuation teams that started Saturday in anticipation of Typhoon Tisoy’s forecasted barreling toward Camarines Sur on Monday night, provincial politics at play is pressuring a burden on the local government initiative.

A well-informed source said Camarines Sur Governor Migz Villafuerte has ordered forced evacuation of residents in high-risks areas province-wide, but on Sagñay town, the provincial government wants the evacuated residents be quartered in an evacuation center on the mountain village of Aniog.

Barangay Aniog is high-risk, vulnerable to landslides, but the provincial government wants them there, while ignoring the safety and convenience offered by the evacuation center in the town centro (proper).

In Camarines Sur politics, Sagñay Mayor Jovie Fuentebella is at odds with Governor Villafuerte.

The town evacuation center is very near to a hospital and health center, with power and communication facilities, and road network.

According to another source, the 2 officials do not coordinate with each other on activities of public importance.

During last year’s tragic landslides in Patitinan village where dozens of people died during the landslides, the Sangay local government had launched rescue operations in extended periods, while the provincial government did its own rescue and relief activities.

At present, in anticipation of Typhoon Tisoy barreling on the town, the local government is preparing evacuation centers within the town proper, while the provincial government is focusing on the mountain village of Aniog, about 5 kilometers from the town centro.

Local residents are anticipating that after the typhoon, the town and provincial governments will conduct their own rescue and relief operations separately. [Bicol Today]