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TEACHERS SEE 'DISASTER' WHEN K-TO-12 STARTS IN 2016


–Is the government ready for the full implementation of the K-to-12 program?  Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) national chair Benjamin Valbuena foresees a “disaster” when the program goes into full implementation next year. The K-to-12 program—which calls for a year of kindergarten, six years of elementary school, four years of junior high school and two years of senior high school—was officially adopted in 2013 when President Aquino signed the Enhanced Basic Education Act. This means today’s Grade 10 students would go to senior high school instead of college in the school year 2016-2017.  “Teachers, parents and students will be facing disaster with the forced implementation of K-to-12,” Valbuena told a press conference at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. With the decline in enrolment, teachers and nonteaching staff face the risk of losing their security of tenure, underemployment, contractualization, lower pay and lower load, he said. An estimated 56,771 out of 111,351 teachers and 22,838 nonteaching staff will be displaced when K-to-12 goes into full implementation, according to the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd). Valbuena said said there are not enough classrooms to accommodate the incoming senior high school students. READ MORE...

ALSO: Ateneo to offer coed senior high school in 2016

The school will open its doors to 300 new students – 'both boys and girls' – who will be chosen from 'public, parochial and select private schools' in the Philippines MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo de Manila High School – an exclusive school for boys – will offer senior high school starting 2016 and will open its doors to more than 300 students outside Ateneo, including girls. Ateneo de Manila University president Jose Ramon Villarin made the announcement in a memo on Friday, March 13, which was posted on the official Facebook page of the Ateneo de Manila High School. "The co-ed nature of the Senior High School is part of preparation for college," Villarin said. He added that the 300 new students – "both boys and girls" – will be chosen from "public, parochial, and select private schools" in the Philippines. The K to 12 program, formally known as the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, will be fully implemented nationwide starting 2016. READ MORE...

ALSO: K to 12 Program implementation to push through, Belmonte says


HOUSE leaders have reaffirmed their support for the implementation of the K to 12 Program being pushed by the Department of Education (DepEd), despite the growing clamor from certain sectors to scrap the program. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., in a recent joint hearing of the House committees on Basic Education and on Higher Education, said the K to 12 Program is needed to elevate the country’s education system. Belmonte made a statement, despite the admission of Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro before lawmakers that some 39,000 college faculty and non-teaching personnel of higher-education institutions (HEIs) will be displaced by the full-blown implementation of the K to 12, or Republic Act 10533, next year. READ MORE...

ALSO: Suspend K to 12?  But PH ready for it – Luistro


LAST MILE. Education Secretary Armin Luistro asks critics for their support as DepEd finishes preparations for the full implementation of K to 12. Photo by Jee Geronimo/Rappler LAST MILE. Education Secretary Armin Luistro asks critics for their support as DepEd finishes preparations for the full implementation of K to 12. Photo by Jee Geronimo/Rappler MANILA, Philippines – Amid calls to suspend the K to 12 program, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said preparations must continue, or basic education reforms for the last 5 years will go to waste. "Nakagastos na tayo, nakalimang taon na tayo na binubuno ‘to…Napakalayo na natin dun sa mga problema natin 3, 4, 5 years ago. Ready na ready na tayo," Luistro said after his department presented the K to 12 midterm report at the House of Representatives Wednesday, March 11. (We've already spent on this, and we've been working on this for the last 5 years...We've already seen improvements from our problems from 3, 4, 5 years ago. We're very, very ready for this.) READ MORE...

ALSO: '80,000 TO LOSE JOBS DUE TO K-12' | Palace rejects call to hold program's implementation


Teacher and elementary pupils in Manila. FILE PHOTO BY BERNARD TESTA  A broad coalition of teachers, labor unionists, and non-teaching staff was launched at the weekend, with a senator's support, seeking to persuade the government to suspend the implementation of the K-12 program on the grounds of unpreparedness of the school system and the massive job losses among teaching and non-teaching personnel. Malacanang Palace, however, practically rejected the suspension call, saying the Cabinet's education cluster is hard at work attending to all problems, and encouraged the coalition to meet with concerned officials The Coalition for K to 12 Suspension, headed by Professor Rene Luis Tadle, said the program would cause some 80,000 people (56,771 of 111,351 college teachers and 22,838 non-teaching staff) to lose their jobs as a result of zero college enrollees starting Academic Year 2016-2017. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pope Francis predicts his papacy to be 4-5 years, misses pizza


VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Friday marked the second anniversary of his surprise election by predicting that he won't be pope for long — and by calling a special Jubilee Year to focus the church on his top priority while he's still around: mercy.
"I have the sensation that my pontificate will be brief: Four or five years," Francis said in an interview with the Mexican broadcaster Televisa. "I don't know. Or two or three. Well, two have already passed!"  Francis has previously said he thought he'd be pope for two to three years and that the precedent set by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI's resignation in 2013 shouldn't be considered exceptional.  Francis also said he didn't dislike being pope but that what he really missed was his freedom.  "The only thing I'd like to do is to be able to go out one day without anyone recognizing me and go get a pizza," he said, laughing. READ MORE...

ALSO: Loren pushes women’s role in disaster risk reduction


In Japan, Loren pushes women’s role in disaster risk reduction  Sen. Loren Legarda chaired yesterday the High Level Multi-stakeholder Partnership Dialogue on Mobilizing Women’s Leadership in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Sendai, Japan.  Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered the keynote speech at the same event, one of the important dialogues at the 3rd United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.  “Through this forum, we want to be able to contribute to making the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction a document that would not only urge nations to mobilize women’s leadership in DRR, but also guide them on how this commitment could be effectively carried out,” Legarda said in a statement. She said that stereotypical gender roles have no place in the critical fight against disaster risk and climate change. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Teachers see ‘disaster’ when K-to-12 starts

MANILA, MARCH 16, 2015 (INQUIRER) Rima Granali @inquirerdotnet –Is the government ready for the full implementation of the K-to-12 program?

Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) national chair Benjamin Valbuena foresees a “disaster” when the program goes into full implementation next year.

The K-to-12 program—which calls for a year of kindergarten, six years of elementary school, four years of junior high school and two years of senior high school—was officially adopted in 2013 when President Aquino signed the Enhanced Basic Education Act.

This means today’s Grade 10 students would go to senior high school instead of college in the school year 2016-2017.

“Teachers, parents and students will be facing disaster with the forced implementation of K-to-12,” Valbuena told a press conference at the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

With the decline in enrolment, teachers and nonteaching staff face the risk of losing their security of tenure, underemployment, contractualization, lower pay and lower load, he said.

An estimated 56,771 out of 111,351 teachers and 22,838 nonteaching staff will be displaced when K-to-12 goes into full implementation, according to the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd).

Valbuena said said there are not enough classrooms to accommodate the incoming senior high school students.

He said the “Broad Alliance to Suspend K-to-12” would file a petition with the Supreme Court on Thursday for the high court to suspend the full implementation of the program next year.

Teachers and other members of the academe nationwide will also join students in campus walkouts to call for President Aquino’s resignation on Friday the 13th, he said.

He described it as a national coordinated protest action involving different provinces.

In Davao, there will be a march rally while Iloilo will hold a candle-lighting apart from a march rally and a black protest in Cotabato.

In Metro Manila, teachers will troop to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) at 2 p.m. on the issue of teachers’ research fees and salary increases and will march to Mendiola at 4 p.m.

Youth Act Now spokesman Mico Pangalangan said the different colleges in the UP system will stage different kinds of protest actions such as face painting at the College of Fine Arts and noise barrage at the College of Mass Communication. The protesters will converge at the Palma Hall at 1 p.m. and march around the Academic Oval.

By 5 p.m., the students will join Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and Miriam college students.

“We are doing this not only for justice but for truth and accountability, not isolated from the sad state of education in the country and the Mamasapano incident but also the education policies that do not benefit the Filipino people,” said Pangalangan, a social development student.

Pangalangan said about 500 students will join the protest in UP Diliman alone.

Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan chair, said the group expects more students to join the protest tomorrow.

Last Feb. 27, around 20,000 students from different universities in Metro Manila and key cities across the country joined protest actions.


RAPPLER.COM

Ateneo to offer coed senior high school in 2016 Jee Y. Geronimo Published 6:13 PM, Mar 13, 2015 Updated 6:13 PM, Mar 13, 2015

The school will open its doors to 300 new students – 'both boys and girls' – who will be chosen from 'public, parochial and select private schools' in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo de Manila High School – an exclusive school for boys – will offer senior high school starting 2016 and will open its doors to more than 300 students outside Ateneo, including girls.

Ateneo de Manila University president Jose Ramon Villarin made the announcement in a memo on Friday, March 13, which was posted on the official Facebook page of the Ateneo de Manila High School.

"The co-ed nature of the Senior High School is part of preparation for college," Villarin said. He added that the 300 new students – "both boys and girls" – will be chosen from "public, parochial, and select private schools" in the Philippines.

The K to 12 program, formally known as the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, will be fully implemented nationwide starting 2016.

(READ: INFOGRAPHIC: 10 things about K to 12)

The first batch of students under the K to 12 program will enter senior high school’s grade 11 in 2016, and grade 12 in 2017.

(READ: What senior high school tracks fit your locality?)

But Villarin assured the Ateneo community that the Ateneo Grade School and the Junior High School will remain exclusive for boys.

Ateneo's Board of Trustees approved the decision to offer senior high school starting school year 2016-2017 on February 7.

(READ: Gov't told: Ease K-12 transition woes, tap private schools)

"The creation of the SHS is a milestone in our ongoing K-12 Basic Education Reform program.

This completes the planned restructuring of our basic education program into six years of grade school and six years of high school," Villarin explained.

Even before Friday's announcement, Ateneo is already set to open its grade 9 to a limited number of transfer applicants for school year 2015-2016 as part of its transition to K to 12.

To date, 5,020 existing Department of Education high schools will offer senior high school, while 274 private schools already have permits to offer the program. – Rappler.com


BUSINESS MIROR

K to 12 Program implementation to push through, Belmonte says News Nation by Philippines News Agency - March 14, 2015 0 15

HOUSE leaders have reaffirmed their support for the implementation of the K to 12 Program being pushed by the Department of Education (DepEd), despite the growing clamor from certain sectors to scrap the program.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., in a recent joint hearing of the House committees on Basic Education and on Higher Education, said the K to 12 Program is needed to elevate the country’s education system.

Belmonte made a statement, despite the admission of Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro before lawmakers that some 39,000 college faculty and non-teaching personnel of higher-education institutions (HEIs) will be displaced by the full-blown implementation of the K to 12, or Republic Act 10533, next year.

“There’s absolutely no suspension that come from us. It’s only themselves who and I call upon them to be realistic and say we cannot do it. We gave them the law, and it cannot be suspended anyway just like that. We have to go on. Based on discussions, I think they [DepEd] are on the right track,” he said.

Belmonte also expressed confidence that the DepEd can implement the government education program.

“I don’t think everybody will be able to say that I am ready 100 percent, but, I think, they are substantially ready. I think there are inevitably some initial glitches, but I’m very confident they are up to their job,” Belmonte said. Luistro had earlier assured that the DepEd is ready to implement the K to 12 Program in 2016.

To help the 39,000 college faculty and nonteaching personnel of HEIs, Luistro said tertiary schools are planning to construct senior high school, where professors to be affected by the program can teach, adding that the DepEd can also hire them.

Party-list Rep. Terry L. Ridon of Kabataan, meanwhile, sought the scrapping of the K to 12 because of so many problems besetting the basic-education system.

“Even as the K to 12 Program enters its last phase, the DepEd has not yet resolved the shortages in the basic- education sector,” Ridon said.

Liberal Party Rep. Roman Romulo of Pasig, chairman of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education, insisted that the DepEd and the Commission on Higher Education are not prepared to implement the K to 12 Program.

He also urged the government officials to exert effort to resolve some glitches before the program is fully implemented by 2016.

“At this point in time, they are not ready,” Romulo said. Among the problems that hound the K to 12 Program are the lack of classroom, absence of safety nets for displaced teachers and academic personnel, poor technical-vocational model and others.

For the classrooms, Romulo said the DepEd needs about 37,000 additional rooms to accommodate students starting school year 2016 to 2017.


RAPPLER.COM

Suspend K to 12? But PH ready for it – Luistro Jee Y. Geronimo Published 4:42 PM, Mar 11, 2015 Updated 4:46 PM, Mar 11, 2015

While displacements will likely happen because of the K to 12 program, Luistro says the government is working on safety nets for workers in higher education institutions


LAST MILE. Education Secretary Armin Luistro asks critics for their support as DepEd finishes preparations for the full implementation of K to 12. Photo by Jee Geronimo/Rappler LAST MILE. Education Secretary Armin Luistro asks critics for their support as DepEd finishes preparations for the full implementation of K to 12. Photo by Jee Geronimo/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Amid calls to suspend the K to 12 program, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said preparations must continue, or basic education reforms for the last 5 years will go to waste.

"Nakagastos na tayo, nakalimang taon na tayo na binubuno ‘to…Napakalayo na natin dun sa mga problema natin 3, 4, 5 years ago. Ready na ready na tayo," Luistro said after his department presented the K to 12 midterm report at the House of Representatives Wednesday, March 11.

(We've already spent on this, and we've been working on this for the last 5 years...We've already seen improvements from our problems from 3, 4, 5 years ago. We're very, very ready for this.)

With the signing of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, two years have been added to the basic education system of the Philippines. (INFOGRAPHIC: 10 things about K to 12)

The first batch of students under the program will enter senior high school’s grade 11 in 2016, and grade 12 in 2017.

Because of this, higher education institutions (HEIs) expect a drop in enrollment during these two years all the way to school year 2021-2022 when things are expected to normalize.

Based on Department of Education (DepEd) estimates, about 1.2 million to 1.6 million students will enroll in senior high school in 2016.

Safety nets

Critics are calling on the government to suspend K to 12, saying the country is not yet ready for it and the expected massive displacement of teaching and non-teaching staff in HEIs come 2016.

While displacements will likely happen, Luistro said the government is working on safety nets for workers in HEIs. (READ: College professors fear massive retrenchment due to K to 12)

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said that on a worst-case scenario, 38,071 teaching staff and 14,351 non-teaching staff will be displaced because of K to 12 in the next 5 years, starting 2016. (READ: Worst-case scenario: K to 12 may displace 78K workers)

But DepEd will hire 30,000 to 41,000 senior high school teachers every year for 2016 and 2017. The department will prioritize the displaced teaching and non-teaching staff during their hiring.

CHED is finalizing a draft bill that will seek a P29-billion ($654.72 million)* transition fund to mitigate the impact of K to 12 on the tertiary education sector.

'Let's do it together'

As for HEIs that will establish their own senior high school programs, Luistro is confident those schools will not let go of their best teachers.

"Ang ayaw kong mangyari, yung mga teacher diyan na magagaling ay ma-pirate ng ibang eskwelahan, kahit ng DepEd. Papangalagaan ko yung mga teacher na yan at hahanap at hahanap ako ng paraan para either magka-scholarship sila o di kaya magkaroon sila ng another position para during the transition, hind sila mawala," he added.

(What I don't want to happen is for the good teachers to be pirated by other schools, even DepEd. If I were the school, I'd take care of that teacher, and I would find a way so that they can get scholarships or get another position so I don't lose them during the transition.)

To date, 5,020 existing DepEd high schools will offer senior high school, while 274 private schools already have permits to offer the program. About 196 proposed stand-alone senior high schools are also on the way. (READ: What senior high school tracks fit your locality?)

Instead of calling for K to 12’s suspension, Luistro asked critics for support.

"Maraming puwedeng baguhin [at] i-improve, bukas na bukas kami diyan. Pero sana sabay tayo, sabay sa batikos, sabay yung tulong na 'Kaya mo yan,'" he added.

(There are many things we can change and improve, we're open to that. But let's do it together. Let's criticize together, and let's help each other say 'You can do it.') – Rappler.com


INTERAKSYON.COM

'80,000 TO LOSE JOBS DUE TO K-12' | Palace rejects call to hold program's implementation By: Ernie Reyes, InterAksyon.com March 8, 2015 11:59 AM


Teacher and elementary pupils in Manila. FILE PHOTO BY BERNARD TESTA InterAksyon.com The online news portal of TV5

MANILA – (UPDATE 8:22 P.M.) A broad coalition of teachers, labor unionists, and non-teaching staff was launched at the weekend, with a senator's support, seeking to persuade the government to suspend the implementation of the K-12 program on the grounds of unpreparedness of the school system and the massive job losses among teaching and non-teaching personnel.

Malacanang Palace, however, practically rejected the suspension call, saying the Cabinet's education cluster is hard at work attending to all problems, and encouraged the coalition to meet with concerned officials

The Coalition for K to 12 Suspension, headed by Professor Rene Luis Tadle, said the program would cause some 80,000 people (56,771 of 111,351 college teachers and 22,838 non-teaching staff) to lose their jobs as a result of zero college enrollees starting Academic Year 2016-2017.

Tadle his group was formed because “based on the consultations we conducted, we found out that the country’s education system is woefully ill-prepared for this program."

He said most of the country's high schools did not have enough classrooms and facilities to accommodate "the additional number of students as a result of this program" and added that K to 12 was "an additional burden for our already grossly underpaid teachers."

"Even most of the parents are not aware of the details of this program, including the financial burden it would bring them,” Tadle said.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who had voted against the K-12 bill in Congress, joined the coalition at the launch.

Palace defends program, nixes suspension call

Malacanang Palace, however, has doused water on Trillanes' proposal to suspend K-12's implementation.

The Cabinet cluster on education is currently addressing concerns before the K-12 program is implemented in the academic year 2016-2017, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said on Sunday.

In a radio interview with dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, Coloma said the government is encouraging all stakeholders to have a dialogue with the Cabinet cluster on education to discuss their concerns on K-12, which he said "aims to enhance the competitiveness of the Filipino in the global economy."

The Cabinet cluster on education is composed of the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Coloma said the K-to-12 became national policy upon the enactment of Republic Act 10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, which became effective on June 08, 2013.

”Since the effectivity of the law and the implementing rules and regulations, DepEd, CHED, and TESDA have conducted consultations with various stakeholders from public and private schools, so that there will be a clear understanding of the K-to-12 program and to ensure a smooth and proper transition by school year 2016 from the current school program,” Coloma said.

Those who still have issued with the program were encouraged to continue to dialogue with the Cabinet education cluster so that “all concerns can be addressed.”

”According to Secretary (Armin) Luistro, “we are in constant contact with CHED and DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) as to the actual number of general education faculty in private higher education institutions (HEI) who would be affected,” Coloma said.

Supreme Court petition

The coalition against K-to-12 is preparing to conduct an aggressive nationwide information campaign through various media to culminate in a massive protest scheduled on 9 May 2015, at Luneta Park in Manila.

Tadle said the group will also file a petition in the Supreme Court to ask for its suspension.

"We must work together and let our voices be heard by PNoy and the Supreme Court. Our goal is to make them realize that our country doesn’t need the K to 12 Program and the people cannot afford it,” Trillanes explained.

“The present system worked for the earlier generations, and there is no reason why it shouldn’t work for the present crop of students. We just need to fill in the shortages in classrooms, teachers, desks, and books; and increase the salaries of teachers.”

Under the K to 12 Program, two more years, referred to as senior high school, will be added to the current education system. The new system covers kindergarten and 12 years of basic education: six years of primary education, four years of junior high school, and two years of senior high school.

During Senior High School, students are expected to specialize on the areas or career tracks they want to pursue, which include: Academic; Technical-Vocational-Livelihood; and Sports and Arts.

The academic track includes three strands: Business, Accountancy, Management (BAM); Humanities, Education, Social Sciences (HESS); and Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM).

Inadequacies due to unpreparedness

In a statement, Trillanes said the coalition, mostly from members of the Council of Teachers and Staff of Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (COTESCUP), is unconvinced the country is prepared for the new education program.

Trillanes, a known critic of the program who voted against the law that created the program (Republic Act 10533) during the deliberations on the law, said: “I have reviewed the policy environment, consulted various stakeholders, and conducted inspections of various schools nationwide.”

"Lumalabas sa lahat ng pagsusuring ito na hindi handa ang Pilipinas para sa K to 12. Sa halip, mas nararapat tawagin ang programang ito na K minus 12 (K-12) dahil sa mga problemang nakikita dito (From all the researches, the Philippines appears not prepared for K to 12. Instead, the program should be called K minus 12 because of all the problems it entails),” he said.

Trillanes said among the problems besetting the program include inadequacy in: resources, tools, classrooms, teachers, preparation and planning, time to prepare for its implementation, information dissemination among its stakeholders, consultations among affected sectors, coordination between the government and private sectors, opportunities for those who will graduate from the program, capacity of parents to send children for additional two years in high school, and heart.

Estimate of job losses now down to 8,000 - Coloma

Coloma said the estimated number of personnel seen to lose jobs in the first year of implementation in June 2016 has since gone down to around 8,000.

Coloma said the DepEd will be hiring around 30,000 and those who will apply to teach in the senior high school program will be given priority.

According to reports, many college teachers and non-teaching personnel will be affected by the K-to-12 program once implemented.

Coloma said many private higher education institutions are already preparing and have requested DepEd for a permit to open a secondary high school that could further bring down the number of affected faculty members.

“There is also a proposal from CHED for a stabilization fund which could be tapped by private higher education institutions during the transition,” Coloma said.

Under the K-to-12 program, graduating fourth year students will undergo an additional two more years in the “senior high school” instead of proceeding to college.

“Kaya para mapunan ‘yung gap na ‘yon, ang nakikitang alternatibo ay ang pagtatatag ng isang senior high school at doon pwedeng magturo ang mga dating nagtuturo sa first two years ng college habang ipinapatupad ang transition na ito,” said Coloma.


PHILSTAR

Francis predicts his papacy to be 4-5 years, misses pizza Posted on Sunday Mar 15th at 12:00am By Nicole Winfield image

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Friday marked the second anniversary of his surprise election by predicting that he won't be pope for long — and by calling a special Jubilee Year to focus the church on his top priority while he's still around: mercy.

"I have the sensation that my pontificate will be brief: Four or five years," Francis said in an interview with the Mexican broadcaster Televisa. "I don't know. Or two or three. Well, two have already passed!"

Francis has previously said he thought he'd be pope for two to three years and that the precedent set by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI's resignation in 2013 shouldn't be considered exceptional.

Francis also said he didn't dislike being pope but that what he really missed was his freedom.

"The only thing I'd like to do is to be able to go out one day without anyone recognizing me and go get a pizza," he said, laughing.

At Mass later Friday, Francis announced a special Jubilee Year starting Dec. 8 to focus the church on forgiveness and mercy. It's only the 27th time in the history of the Catholic Church that there has been a Holy Year. The last one was called by St. John Paul II in 2000 to mark the start of the third millennium.

Holy Years allow the faithful to receive special indulgences, ways to repair the damage of sin beyond the absolution granted by going to confession. The year begins with the symbolic opening of the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica.

In his homily announcing the Jubilee, Francis said the church must always keep its doors open so no one is excluded from God's mercy.

"The bigger the sin, the greater must be the love that the church shows to those who convert," he said.

Francis covered significant ground in the Televisa interview, including the recent diplomatic incident he caused by referring to the "Mexicanization" of Argentina because of drugs.

He said Mexico has had many martyrs because of the religious persecution it has endured, and because of its "privileged" place in the church thanks to the role the beloved Virgin of Guadalupe plays in its popular faith.

"I think that the devil has punished Mexico with a lot of anger," Francis said, referring to the country's problems with violence and drugs. "I think the devil can't forgive Mexico."


PHILSTAR

In Japan, Loren pushes women’s role in disaster risk reduction Posted on Sunday Mar 15th at 12:00am By Rhodina Villanueva image

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Loren Legarda chaired yesterday the High Level Multi-stakeholder Partnership Dialogue on Mobilizing Women’s Leadership in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Sendai, Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered the keynote speech at the same event, one of the important dialogues at the 3rd United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.

“Through this forum, we want to be able to contribute to making the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction a document that would not only urge nations to mobilize women’s leadership in DRR, but also guide them on how this commitment could be effectively carried out,” Legarda said in a statement.

She said that stereotypical gender roles have no place in the critical fight against disaster risk and climate change.

“It is time that we take action by putting women at the forefront of DRR efforts. Women are not victims. They constitute a formidable first line of defense against disaster risks. We must acknowledge their capacity to take action and lead,” she said.

Legarda, who sponsored the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 and authored the Climate Change Act of 2009 as well as several laws on women empowerment, said by allowing women to become part of DRR and management efforts, the risks that they face are also being addressed.

She added that the Post-2015 Framework to the Hyogo Framework for Action should be “a tool towards a dramatic shift in the degree and scope of women’s involvement in climate change and disaster risk reduction efforts.”

“From the quiet but steady work they perform at their communities, women should move into the frontlines of delivering decisive action towards a sustainable and resilient planet,” she said.

Climate Change Office

In Manila, the World Bank has urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to create a Climate Change Office within the agency to complement the positive steps that have been taken on the issue.

The World Bank, through its sector leader for environment and natural resources Christophe Crepin, said the agency should take the “necessary steps” in arranging with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) the creation of a Climate Change Office.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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