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PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

EL NIÑO, DRY SEASON POSE APRIL DOUBLE WHAMMY - PAGASA


APRIL 2 -Exercise caution against extreme heat as the Philippines expects to experience this April the twin onslaught of the dry season’s peak and the prevailing drought-driving El Niño phenomenon’s brunt.
This reminder was issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) to the public yesterday, warning of higher temperature and further rainfall shortage this month. “We must prepare for such simultaneous occurrence,” said senior weather specialist Analiza Solis from the PAGASA. She warned of higher temperature and further rainfall shortage this month, noting El Niño is exacerbating the hotter- and drier-than-usual weather conditions that generally prevail during the dry season’s peak. According to Department of Health (DOH), exposure to high temperature can cause heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat injury, heat stroke and other illnesses. DOH also warned that water scarcity can lead to diarrhea, skin diseases and red tide-induced paralytic shellfish poisoning. NEARLY 40 DEGREES CELSIUS Data from PAGASA this week show the Philippines’ maximum temperature in April 2016 can soar to nearly 40°C in lowlands and northern areas of Luzon. READ MORE...

ALSO: Air Force to deploy 2 more helicopters to fight Mt. Apo fire on 6th day


APRIL 3 -A Philippine Air Force Huey helicopter. Philippine Air Force
 The Air Force will deploy two UH-1D helicopters to help put out the fire in Mt. Apo in Davao, which has destroyed more than 300 hectares of forest and grassland. Air Force spokesman Col. Araus Robert Musico said a Super Huey helicopter is now being used to drop buckets of water on affected areas. A UH-1D helicopter, meanwhile was deployed to bring supplies to responders.
Musico said the local government is requesting the Air Force to provide two more helicopters for the operations, which started on March 29. “A bambi bucket was used to collect water and to douse the fire. More than 50 bucket drops of water have been poured. They also drop crushed ice donated by volunteer groups,” the Air Force spokesman said. “From what I understand, we’ll be sending two more. But the Hueys are still in other areas and we are still monitoring their movement,” he added. The two additional UH-ID helicopters will come from Luzon and were expected to reach the Mt. Apo area Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. “We want to contain it (fire) as soon as possible,” Musico said. The military has also sent a company of soldiers or more than 100 troopers to Mt. Apo to assist firefighters and volunteers in putting out the forest fire. THE FULL REPORT. RELATED, Fire rages on Mt. Apo

ALSO: Public school classes to start on June 13


APRIL 2 -PHOTO ON JUNE 2014 OPENING: Parents wait for their children outside the gates of President Corazon Aquino Elementary School in Quezon City at the opening of classes, June 2, 2014. AP/Bullit Marquez
The Department of Education (DepEd) has announced that the start of classes for public elementary and secondary schools for school year 2016-2017 will be on June 13. While DepEd has not yet released the official school calendar for SY 2016-2017, Education Secretary Armin Luistro announced the schedule of opening of classes this June. Private schools, just like in previous school years, are allowed to deviate from the scheduled school opening. Luistro, however, reminded school administrators “they may not start classes earlier than the first Monday of June and not later than the last day of August,” as provided in Republic Act (RA) No. 7797 entitled “An Act to Lengthen the School Calendar from Two Hundred (200) Days to Not More Than Two Hundred Twenty (220) Class Days.”  Luistro also noted that private schools which will deviate from the school opening schedule “should notify the appropriate DepEd officials in advance regarding any deviation.”  The DepEd chief also announced the administration of this year’s Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) in commemoration of the 118th celebration of the Philippine Independence Day. However, instead of conducting the test on June 12, DepEd has moved the schedule to June 19 due to the start of classes on June 13. DepEd, through the Bureau of Education Assessment (BEA) formerly National Education Testing and Research Center (NETRC), together with the assistance of personnel from schools division offices (SDOs) and schools, is scheduled to administer the PEPT in all schools divisions nationwide. Luistro said that administration of the said test is “for free.”  Luistro said that registration of interested test takers started on March 31 at the SDOs nationwide. The Division Testing Coordinators (DTCs) were also directed to submit the actual number of registrants to the BEA on or before June 13, 2016. THE FULL REPORT. RELATED, LAST YEAR'S REPORT -The challenges of basic education: dealing with K-12...by Lila Ramos Shahani...

ALSO: Domestic flights canceled over NAIA power outage, 5 hours Apr 2-3


APRIL 3 -Cebu Pacific was prompted to cancel some of its flights because of a five-hour power interruption. Philstar.com/File
Several domestic flights were canceled on Saturday and Sunday because of a five-hour blackout at Ninoy Aquino International Terminal 3 on Saturday night.
Since the power outage lasted from 8:45 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., a number of planes had to land in other terminals and Cebu Pacific announced the suspension of some of its flights. The airline said it arranged the re-accommodation of affected passengers on the soonest available flights and is allowing them to rebook their flights for travel within 30 days from original departure or avail of a refund or travel fund. Cebu Pacific apologized for the inconvenience and advised its passengers to defer their flights if they have no urgent need to travel. “We sincerely hope for our guests' understanding, as this situation is beyond our control. We will provide updates as soon as available,” the airline said. Here is a complete list of canceled flights: READ THE LIST OF FLIGHTS...RELATED, NAIA-3 blackout strands thousands: 82 flights cancelled...

ALSO: Meralco: No scheduled power outage; Probs at NAIA's system


APRIL 4 -Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga explained that Meralco personnel inspected the site and found no problem with the substation circuits, leading them to conclude that the problem lies with the NAIA and its system. Philstar.com/file
The five-hour power outage at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA-3) on Saturday night was not caused by a technical glitch at the airport substation of the Manila Electric Co., Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said yesterday.
He explained that Meralco personnel inspected the site and found no problem with the substation circuits, leading them to conclude that the problem lies with the NAIA and its system. “Our team’s inspection revealed that Meralco has nothing to do with the power outage at the NAIA Terminal 3 for five hours,” Zaldarriaga said. The Meralco inspection team, he said, arrived at the NAIA substation at around 1 a.m. yesterday to conduct inspection and repairs on wirings that could have caused the power outage but found nothing wrong with the facility. READ MORE...RELATED, Power restored at NAIA Terminal 3...

ALSO: The Smell of Summer – The Season for Dendrobium anosmum


APRIL 3 -Dendrobium anosmum var. huttonii Dendrobium anosmum is one most inappropriately named orchids that occurs in the Philippines. The reason for this is that the Latin word anosmum means without smell, and we all know that this is not true of this wonderful species, as frequently the perfume is noticeable well before the actual flowers are seen. The Tagalog name of “sanggumay” describes this species perfectly: overwhelmingly strong odour. This species is also found in India, Myanmar (Burma), Peninsular Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, the smaller Indonesians islands, and New Guinea. It usually grows on the branches and trunks of trees, and has also been observed growing on limestone, and sandstone rocks. In the Philippines it is found throughout the islands, and is even known to occur in the mountains of central Luzon. It is normally a plant that is found at low elevations, but I have seen plants at elevations of about 1,200 metres in the forests of Nueva Vizcaya. As would be expected for such a widely spread species, there is considerable variation in the colouration of the flowers, and a number of these variations have been named over the years. Dendrobium anosmum var. dearei is the pure white form of the species; Den. anosmum var. huttonii refers to the form of the species with white sepals and petals, and two large purple blotches on the interior of the white labellum; there is also a variety called Den. anosmum var. coerulescens where the purple blotches of the previous variety take on a somewhat bluish tinge. It should be noted that the colouration of the blotches found in the labellum varies considerably between individual plants, as does the intensity of the colouration of the sepals and the petals, which in the nominate form of the species can vary from pale pink to pale purple. There is also a variety called Den. anosmum var. giganteum, alluding to the larger than usual blooms of this form. READ MORE...

ALSO: PHL is 2nd country worldwide where Pope Francis gets most favorable opinion – survey of 64 countries


APRIL 3 -Pope Francis waves to the crowd after the "Urbi et Orbi" blessing for Rome and the world from the central loggia of St Peters' basilica following the Easter Sunday mass on March 27, 2016 at St Peter's square in Vatican. Christians around the world are marking the Holy Week, commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, leading up to his resurrection on Easter. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (FILE)
The Philippines, the only Catholic nation in Asia, won another accolade as the second country in the world where Pope Francis received the most favorable opinion, second only to Portugal, according a recent global survey conducted by the WIN/Gallup International. The survey asked the question: “What do you think is the country where the Pope Francis is most favored?” His native Argentina? Mexico? The Philippines?” The result of the worldwide survey was Portugal was first with 94 percent, followed by the Philippines, 93 percent, and Argentina, the homer country of Pope Francis, 89 percent. WIN/Gallup International “sought the views of more than 63,000 people in 64 different countries.”
The survey also showed that “Pope Francis’ image is recognized on a worldwide scale by people of other religious beliefs.”  “This study argues that 54 percent of the world population has a positive opinion of the pontiff. Whereas, 12 percent have an unfavorable opinion and 34 percent do not have an opinion,” WIN/Gallup International, pointed out. The survey also showed that Pope Francis was ahead of other world leaders like US President Barrack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron or French President Francios Hollande, among others. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

El Niño, dry season pose April double whammy – PAGASA

MANILA, APRIL 4, 2016 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Philippine News Agency April 2, 2016 - Exercise caution against extreme heat as the Philippines expects to experience this April the twin onslaught of the dry season’s peak and the prevailing drought-driving El Niño phenomenon’s brunt.

This reminder was issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) to the public yesterday, warning of higher temperature and further rainfall shortage this month.

“We must prepare for such simultaneous occurrence,” said senior weather specialist Analiza Solis from the PAGASA.

She warned of higher temperature and further rainfall shortage this month, noting El Niño is exacerbating the hotter- and drier-than-usual weather conditions that generally prevail during the dry season’s peak.

According to Department of Health (DOH), exposure to high temperature can cause heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat injury, heat stroke and other illnesses.

DOH also warned that water scarcity can lead to diarrhea, skin diseases and red tide-induced paralytic shellfish poisoning.

NEARLY 40 DEGREES CELSIUS

Data from PAGASA this week show the Philippines’ maximum temperature in April 2016 can soar to nearly 40°C in lowlands and northern areas of Luzon.

READ MORE...

Such forecast is higher than the 26.6°C mean annual temperature PAGASA reported for the country.

All regions nationwide except Region II (Cagayan Valley) face this April up to an entire month of dry days each having rainfall 1.0 millimeter or less, PAGASA further said.

BELOW NORMAL RAINFALL

PAGASA also forecast way below-normal rainfall this April in the National Capital Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Negros Island Region as well as Regions I, II, III, IV-A, IV-B, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX and X.

DROUGHT

Some 38 percent of the country or about 30 provinces –mostly in Mindanao –will likely experience drought by April 2016’s end, PAGASA said.

According to PAGASA, drought is a condition marked by three consecutive months of way below-normal rainfall.

Drought can also be five consecutive months of below-normal rainfall condition, PAGASA noted.


PHILSTAR

Air Force to deploy 2 more helicopters to fight Mt. Apo fire By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated April 3, 2016 - 8:00pm 3 14 googleplus0 0


A Philippine Air Force Huey helicopter. Philippine Air Force

MANILA, Philippines - The Air Force will deploy two UH-1D helicopters to help put out the fire in Mt. Apo in Davao, which has destroyed more than 300 hectares of forest and grassland.

Air Force spokesman Col. Araus Robert Musico said a Super Huey helicopter is now being used to drop buckets of water on affected areas. A UH-1D helicopter, meanwhile was deployed to bring supplies to responders.

Musico said the local government is requesting the Air Force to provide two more helicopters for the operations, which started on March 29.

“A bambi bucket was used to collect water and to douse the fire. More than 50 bucket drops of water have been poured. They also drop crushed ice donated by volunteer groups,” the Air Force spokesman said.

“From what I understand, we’ll be sending two more. But the Hueys are still in other areas and we are still monitoring their movement,” he added.

The two additional UH-ID helicopters will come from Luzon and were expected to reach the Mt. Apo area Sunday afternoon or Monday morning.

“We want to contain it (fire) as soon as possible,” Musico said.

The military has also sent a company of soldiers or more than 100 troopers to Mt. Apo to assist firefighters and volunteers in putting out the forest fire.

-----------------------------

RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Fire rages on Mt. Apo SHARES: 311 VIEW COMMENTS @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Mindanao 12:34 AM March 28th, 2016


THE VIEW of Mt. Apo’s slopes in Bansalan town in Davao del Sur province are obscured by a thick haze from a forest fire that started on Saturday. ELDIE AGUIRRE / INQUIRER MINDANAO

KIDAPAWAN CITY—About 1,000 trekkers and climbers had been evacuated from a camp site and areas near the peak of Mt. Apo after a massive fire broke out on the country’s highest peak on Saturday and burned more than 100 hectares of forest cover there as of Sunday afternoon.

Firefighters from towns and cities surrounding Mt. Apo continued to battle the fire that had been raging for more than a day.

Reports from disaster response officials in Magpet, Makilala and this city on the mountain’s North Cotabato side; Bansalan, Digos City and Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur; and Davao City showed that no one among the about 1,000 trekkers, eight of them foreigners, was hurt in the fire that started around 1 p.m. Saturday.

But a trekker from Talomo, Davao City, identified only as Noemi Nicole, 20, was hurt when she tripped during evacuation on Sunday, said Jojit Cabato, a rescuer from the Bansalan town disaster risk reduction management office.

Noemi Nicole was among several climbers who left Mt. Apo via the Bansalan trail on Sunday as the fire continued to spread.

Lake Venado

Joey Recimilla, Kidapawan City tourism officer, said most trekkers had been evacuated as early as Saturday night when the blaze was approaching the camp site.

Recimilla said the fire was spreading toward Lake Venado on Sunday noon, noting that firefighters were finding it difficult in putting out the fire.

Lake Venado is fed by runoff water from Mt. Apo’s higher areas. It is the country’s highest lake at 2,194 meters above sea level (masl), after Bulalacao Lake on Mount Tabayoc in Benguet province.

The area around Lake Venado is a popular camping site.

Recimilla said the fire was expected to reach the Kidapawan and Magpet sides of Mt. Apo.

A report from Agence France-Presse said firefighters dug ditches that were 2 meters (7 feet) deep to contain the blaze.

Philippine Air Force helicopters were sent on Sunday to survey the damage, provincial disaster official Harry Camoro told AFP.

Camp site

Recimilla said initial reports showed the fire started from the camp site at the peak of Mt. Apo, but it was not certain if campers had started it.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Southern Mindanao said the fire broke out on the Davao side of Mt. Apo.

Edward Ragaza, DENR’s park operation superintendent based in Davao City, his agency had yet to determine what started the blaze.

Digos City Mayor Joseph Peñas said responders from the city disaster risk reduction and management office had been sent to Mt. Apo to help trekkers evacuate as soon as the fire was developing into a major problem on Saturday.

Dionie Tenorio, one of the responders from Digos City, said out of the 200 climbers who went to Mt. Apo via the Kapatagan trail, 150 had been evacuated and were on their way home. Others, Tenorio said, were on their way to the Baras station in Kapatagan proper as of 2 p.m. Sunday.

Nilo Cobrado, a reporter of Bombo Radyo Davao who climbed Mt. Apo a few days ago, said operations by firefighters and rescuers were slowed down by thick smoke on the trail from Kapatagan.

Tenorio confirmed Cobrado’s information. “The fire continues to rage but the heavy smoke along the Digos trail was preventing us from entering the affected area. Other responders had decided to go to Kidapawan and climb from there,” Tenorio said.

Peñas said representatives of local governments near Mt. Apo had been called on Sunday to discuss ways to address the situation.

These local governments had agreed to regulate the number of climbers and allowed only 1,000 people to go to the country’s highest peak to prevent forest and grass fires amid the drought.

Officials had prohibited the use of firecrackers, burning of debris and setting up of campfires. Wood, logs and charcoal used for cooking meals had been banned to prevent fires.

Earlier, Davao City businessman Philip Dizon, who has a coffee farm on the mountain, had warned of forest fires in Mt. Apo, the country’s highest peak at 2,956 masl, due to slash and burn farming (kaingin) by people who were expanding their farms.

Mt. Apo was also hit by forest fires in the past but the more serious incidents happened in 1998 and 2003, damaging large portions of the mountain.

Last week, Recimilla said Mt. Apo may be closed to climbers after the Lenten season trek until the rainy season. Williamor Magbanua, Allan Nawal, Eldie Aguirre and Orlando Dinoy, Inquirer Mindanao, and AFP


MANILA BULLETIN

Public school classes to start on June 13 by Merlina Malipot April 2, 2016 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share0


LAST YEAR JUNE OPENING: Parents wait for their children outside the gates of President Corazon Aquino Elementary School in Quezon City at the opening of classes, June 2, 2014. AP/Bullit Marquez

The Department of Education (DepEd) has announced that the start of classes for public elementary and secondary schools for school year 2016-2017 will be on June 13.

While DepEd has not yet released the official school calendar for SY 2016-2017, Education Secretary Armin Luistro announced the schedule of opening of classes this June.

Private schools, just like in previous school years, are allowed to deviate from the scheduled school opening.

Luistro, however, reminded school administrators “they may not start classes earlier than the first Monday of June and not later than the last day of August,” as provided in Republic Act (RA) No. 7797 entitled “An Act to Lengthen the School Calendar from Two Hundred (200) Days to Not More Than Two Hundred Twenty (220) Class Days.”

Luistro also noted that private schools which will deviate from the school opening schedule “should notify the appropriate DepEd officials in advance regarding any deviation.”

The DepEd chief also announced the administration of this year’s Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) in commemoration of the 118th celebration of the Philippine Independence Day.

However, instead of conducting the test on June 12, DepEd has moved the schedule to June 19 due to the start of classes on June 13.

DepEd, through the Bureau of Education Assessment (BEA) formerly National Education Testing and Research Center (NETRC), together with the assistance of personnel from schools division offices (SDOs) and schools, is scheduled to administer the PEPT in all schools divisions nationwide.

Luistro said that administration of the said test is “for free.”

Luistro said that registration of interested test takers started on March 31 at the SDOs nationwide. The Division Testing Coordinators (DTCs) were also directed to submit the actual number of registrants to the BEA on or before June 13, 2016.

--------------------------------

LAST YEAR  REPORT FROM PHILSTAR  (JUNE 2015)

The challenges of basic education: dealing with K-12 CONJUGATIONS By Lila Ramos Shahani (philstar.com) | Updated June 15, 2015 - 12:00am 6 512 googleplus8 30


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An astonishing number of petitions have been presented to the Supreme Court about a matter that, in the minds of many, should have been settled years ago. I’m not referring to the Bangsamoro Basic Law here or some other equally momentous piece of legislation. I’m referring to the implementation of the K-12 law mandated by the 2013 Enhanced Basic Education Act (RA 10533).

And what is the issue being brought before the nation’s highest court? The question: should our country have the same number of years (12) of basic education as virtually the rest of the entire world—except for Djibouti and Angola?

For people who love to roll their eyes and exclaim, “Only in the Philippines!” this puts basic education right in there with divorce. And it would be bad enough if the situation were merely an embarrassment.

In fact, the downsides of our globally outmoded 10-year basic education program are all too real, dumping millions of underage high school grads on our already bloated labor market, requiring three to four effectively wasted semesters of remedial work on the part of our colleges and universities, and, in the larger world, damaging the prospects of the nation’s youth both in foreign universities and foreign jobs.

Though some of the points of the less self-interested petitioners have genuine validity, trying to insist—by court order—that our educational system should cling to its antiquated K-10 mode of operation for even another day are understandable, they remain short-sighted.

Does our educational system have problems? Many.

Are there rough spots ahead in the implementation of K-12? Without a doubt.

Is the transition going to cost money and cause personal and institutional discomfort? You can count on it.

But does the preponderance of all these issues combined in any way call for a continuation of the presently inferior K-10 rather than proceeding—even in haste—to the globally accepted K-12 system? Not for a minute.

We can return to some of these issues below, but first we should get an idea of what’s about to happen: Students in Grade 10 are on their final year in Junior High School as they are set to enter Senior High in 2016 upon the full implementation of RA 10533. That makes them the first batch to embark on the additional two years of basic education made compulsory by the new law.

Despite five petitions having been filed at the Supreme Court to prevent the implementation of K-12, the Department of Education (DepEd) is certain that the new curriculum—which covers Kindergarten, six years of Primary Education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School—will enhance the quality of education in the Philippines, and they are equally confident that they are prepared for the pioneering batch of Senior High School students in June 2016.

THE K-12

So what exactly is the nature of the K-12 curriculum and how does it differ from the previous 10-year basic education curriculum?

Aside from the additional two years of Senior High School (SHS), the K-12 program totally restructures the basic education system in the country, aiming to provide some solutions to the widespread unemployment of the youth. As Isagani Cruz put it, “The whole point of the entire K to 12 reform is to answer the needs of about 30 million young people (those below 24 years of age) who have not finished Fourth Year High School. Of the out-of-school youth of employable age, more than six million are unemployed, primarily because they do not have the skills that employers want.”

The two years of SHS consists of two parts: Track Subjects—covering the development of skills for immediate employment or entrepreneurship, and Core Subjects—to ensure college readiness of K-12 graduates. It also facilitates four career tracks for students to choose from: Academic, Technical-Vocational-Livelihood, Sports, and Art & Design.

The four different career tracks provide flexibility. Depending on the goals of the student, as well as the community and industry requirements in a particular region, the Track Subject Curriculum enhances the value and relevance of the high school diploma. Equally important, the Core Subject Curriculum,remaining invariable for all schools,provides an opportunity for everyone to be equally well-prepared for a college education academically.

By integrating the awarding of TESDA National Certificates at the high school level, K-12 students—now of employable age upon graduation—would already qualify for decent entry-level jobs. This also increases the financial capabilities of high school graduates who desire to pursue advancement through higher education.

Moreover, the SHS curriculum also addresses the redundancy of college-level general education programs, which presently cover material that should have already been mastered at the pre-university level. This can result in higher education institutions being more focused on the specifics of various degrees, rather that consuming so much of the first two years remedying the inadequate competencies of the old 10-year program.

The K-12 curriculum is the present world standard and would be too difficult, if not impossible, to compress into only 10 years. Globally, the Philippines remains far behind, the only Asian country—and one of only three countries in the world—providing only 10 years of basic education.

Inevitably, there are also downside implications resulting from this shift in the education system.

With the introduction of K-12, there will be an increase in student population, translating into a requirement for 20,000 to 28,000 additional classrooms for each additional year-level; 40,000 to 56,000 classrooms for the two years of SHS.Another pressing issue is the retrenchment of teaching and non-teaching college personnel. An estimated 25,000 are being held at bay.

DepEd, however, says that it has closed the gap of 66,800 classroom shortage in 2010 and has built 86,478 classrooms between 2010 to 2014. This year, an additional 27,499 classrooms are on line to be constructed to cover the SHS implementation in 2016.

DepEd has announced that it will be hiring 39,000 additional teachers in 2016 to meet the personnel requirements of the program. This demand for SHS teachers is proposed as mitigation for the faculty lay-offs in higher education institutions. This is an important point, since many junior faculty look to their teaching careers for funding to pursue higher academic degrees. Thus, the roughly 50 percent cut in pay that comes from the move from college to SHS teaching is particularly bad news.

PARENTS WORSENING EXPENSES

But, besides student and teacher concerns, there is a third factor: the additional cost to parents for food and transportation expenses to send their children for two more years of high school.

Worsening parental expenses, well over half—5800 out of 7,976—of the nation’s public high schools are set to implement SHS.

As a result, DepEd is in talks with 2,000 private education institutions to accommodate incoming seniors that would not be able to attend public SHS schools. The current plan is for DepEd to subsidize the cost of private tuition—but this is one of the most controversial issues around RA 10533’s implementation.

Many parents—and others—complain that the proposed subsidizes are too low and will constitute their child’s high school diploma being held hostage to costs they might find impossible to meet. Still others object to giving a taxpayer financed windfall to private schools.

All these complaints are valid.

Until recently, our school system has suffered much neglect in many areas, including a chronic shortage of classrooms. Likewise, the almost criminally low pay our public schoolteachers receive is scandalous.

There is a very serious loss of junior college teachers as well—many of whom are pursuing higher degrees that will benefit the nation. That they should be forced into lower paying jobs even as they struggle to advance needs to be dealt with—it is an all-too-typical example of how neoliberal pressures such as privatization can gut the aspirations of a developing country and force it into the “race to the bottom” that has become a linchpin of globalization.

TEACHERS ANXIETY

Among teachers, there are deep-seated anxieties about the new duties expected of them. DepEd has been conducting numerous teacher trainings to address these concerns, but there is a sense that things remain confused and unsettled. Most likely, uneasiness and suspicion among teachers will linger until the new system is in place and they have a chance to actually work through it and make the needed adjustments.

In addition, there still remains the problem of language: what to do with Filipino, how to sustain its place in the curriculum, and what will the changes mean for teaching the language in colleges and universities?

For that matter, has the English curriculum been chosen in haste, as some critics allege?

What of the adequacy and quality of some of our textbooks and instructional materials?

Can schools coordinate better to strengthen job placement for their students?

Likewise, tuition costs for parents whose children have no public SHS available should not hold those students hostage to the financial capabilities of the parents.

That is not what we mean when we talk about “public education” as a constitutional right. And, sadly, anytime large sums of government money are being passed out, we come face to face with the ubiquitous problems of potential corruption.

All that said, I still tend toward proceeding with K-12. The K-10 approach is as problematic as—indeed, is part of—the continued neglect our public educational system has suffered since the Marcos years. It is time and past time to begin making amends.

We should not ignore the serious challenges of shifting to a K-12 program. At the same time, we should seize upon its very real potential to improve the lives of everyone. K-12 is obviously a work in progress that will go through many changes as it is implemented. Top-down planning will invariably be reshaped and modified by bottom-up concerns and existing practices of teaching and learning.

What remains imperative is that we provide our youth with all the skills they need, especially education, to prepare them to live meaningful and productive lives.

This means, among other things, preparing for the constantly changing demands of the workplace. But they should also be able to question those changes and craft alternatives for a better world.

There are many problems to be fixed in education and we should pursue these solutions with zeal. To do so means dealing with the many challenges of K-12 rather than simply putting them on hold.


LIST: Domestic flights canceled over NAIA power outage By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated April 3, 2016 - 2:11pm 7 81 googleplus0 0


Cebu Pacific was prompted to cancel some of its flights because of a five-hour power interruption. Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines – Several domestic flights were canceled on Saturday and Sunday because of a five-hour blackout at Ninoy Aquino International Terminal 3 on Saturday night.

Since the power outage lasted from 8:45 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., a number of planes had to land in other terminals and Cebu Pacific announced the suspension of some of its flights.

The airline said it arranged the re-accommodation of affected passengers on the soonest available flights and is allowing them to rebook their flights for travel within 30 days from original departure or avail of a refund or travel fund.

Cebu Pacific apologized for the inconvenience and advised its passengers to defer their flights if they have no urgent need to travel.

“We sincerely hope for our guests' understanding, as this situation is beyond our control. We will provide updates as soon as available,” the airline said.

Here is a complete list of canceled flights:

READ MORE...

April 2, 2016 (Saturday)

5J579/582 Manila – Cebu – Manila
5J467 Manila – Iloilo

April 3, 2016 (Sunday)​

5J487/488 Manila – Bacolod – Manila
5J483/484 Manila – Bacolod – Manila
5J485/486 Manila – Bacolod – Manila
5J487/488 Manila – Bacolod – Manila
5J785/786 Manila – Butuan – Manila
5J381/382 Manila – Cagayan de Oro – Manila
5J383/384 Manila – Cagayan de Oro – Manila
5J397/398 Manila – Cagayan de Oro – Manila
5J379/380 Manila – Cagayan de Oro – Manila
5J391/392 Manila – Cagayan de Oro – Manila
5J553/580 Manila – Cebu – Manila
5J567/568 Manila – Cebu – Manila
5J551 Manila – Cebu 5J555 Manila – Cebu
5J586 Cebu – Manila
5J887/888 Manila – Cotabato – Manila
5J963/964 Manila – Davao – Manila
5J975/966 Manila – Davao – Manila
5J955 Manila – Davao
5J625/626 Manila – Dumaguete – Manila
5J989/990 Manila – General Santos – Manila
5J457/458 Manila – Iloilo – Manila
5J468 Iloilo – Manila
5J333/334 Manila – Kalibo – Manila
5J339/340 Manila – Kalibo – Manila
5J323/324 Manila – Legazpi – Manila
5J325/326 Manila – Legazpi – Manila
5J781/782 Manila – Ozamiz – Manila
5J771/772 Manila – Pagadian – Manila
5J643/644 Manila – Puerto Princesa – Manila
5J637/638 Manila – Puerto Princesa – Manila
5J373/374 Manila – Roxas – Manila
5J513/514 Manila – San Jose – Manila
5J649/650 Manila – Tacloban – Manila
5J659/660 Manila – Tacloban – Manila
5J615/616 Manila – Tagbilaran – Manila
5J617/618 Manila – Tagbilaran – Manila
5J619/620 Manila – Tagbilaran – Manila
5J504/505 Manila – Tuguegarao – Manila
5J821/822 Manila – Virac – Manila
5J857/858 Manila – Zamboanga – Manila

Passengers affected may also visit Cebu Pacific in their ticket offices: NAIA Terminal 3 Sales Office, NAIA Terminal 4 Express Ticket Office, Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Place Imus, Robinsons Place Manila, Cebu Airport Ticket Office, and Robinsons Fuente or contact them at the reservation hotlines: (+632)702-0888 or (+6332)230-8888 for any booking concerns.

Cebu Pacific said it is coordinating with airport authorities "to ensure that on-ground activities remain safe and proceed with minimal delay."

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

NAIA-3 blackout strands thousands: 82 flights cancelled By Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 4, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Passengers wait outside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 during a blackout on Saturday night. Electricity was restored before dawn yesterday. BERNARDO BATUIGAS

MANILA, Philippines – Thousands of passengers were stranded at Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) after a power outage hit the facility at 8:45 p.m. on Saturday and lasted more than five hours.

Power was restored at about 2 a.m. yesterday, but by then, at least 82 domestic flights had been cancelled and four international flights delayed.

Cebu Pacific Air, which uses the terminal heavily, said in a statement that 78 one-way flights were cancelled, affecting at least 13,950 passengers.

NAIA-3 officials said a sub-station of power provider Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) tripped and caused the blackout.

However, Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga denied the allegation.

Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said NAIA-3 has about 10 generator sets, but these failed to transmit enough power to keep the terminal operations going.

“The genset kicked in (when the blackout occurred), but it failed to transmit power…there is drainage in the battery-powered switch gear,” Abaya told GMA News.

Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo expressed disbelief, saying, “I am appalled by the fact that NAIA 3 had no contingent or back-up plan for such an event.”

He said the incident was “shameful, to say the least.”

“It showed the lack of competence and foresight of those running the airport and the country’s transportation network, including the breakdown-prone Metro Rail Transit 3,” Romulo added.

Valenzuela Rep. Rex Gatchalian called for the ouster of Abaya and NAIA general manager Jose Angel Honrado.

“This is no longer a laughing matter. A five-hour blackout resulting in cancelled and delayed flights is proof that the transportation secretary and the NAIA general manager have been sleeping on their jobs. They should be sacked immediately,” the lawmaker stressed.

Gatchalian, who is the spokesman of presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe, said the public deserves better services from the government. He lamented that the lack of a back-up power source reflects the kind of leaders that President Aquino has installed at the NAIA.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) senior assistant general manager Vicente Guerzon said power was partially restored at 12:30 a.m. yesterday and fully normalized at around 2 a.m.

Free rebooking The country’s national carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), which operates PAL Express, is waiving the rebooking fees and charges for all the affected passengers within 30 days. They are also giving passengers the option to get a refund.

PAL had four cancelled flights and 62 delayed flights. Many passengers missed their connecting flights after opting not to push through with their schedules following the long queues outside the dark airport terminal.

Cebu Pacific Air, which canceled at least 78 domestic flights, also gave its passengers the refund or rebook options.

“We sincerely hope for our guests’ understanding, as this situation is due to factors beyond the airline’s control,” an airline statement read.

International carriers Cathay Pacific, Emirates, KLM and Singapore Airlines reported at least one delayed flight each.

Exhausted passengers lay sprawled on the floor as check-in counters and luggage carousels shut down. Long queues formed outside the terminal as entrances were closed for security reasons until power was restored.

Terminal 3 of the NAIA, named after the assassinated father of incumbent President Aquino, handles an average of 350 domestic and international flights daily, according to data from the transportation department.

It is one of four terminals in a complex that was once dubbed by the travel website Guide to Sleeping in Airports as the world’s worst due to leaking toilets and creaking facilities.

Gatchalian said the NAIA is an embarrassment given its history of flight delays due to runway congestion, tanim-bala (bullet planting in passengers’ luggage) and ill-maintained infrastructure.

The airport authority, Guerzon stressed, apologizes for the inconvenience and said that “measures are now being worked out to make sure that a power outage does not occur again in the future.”

He added that NAIA officials and Meralco would analyze and assess the incident today.

NAIA 3 manager Octavio Lina said they had all generators operating during the outage, but that this was limited only to airport lights and air-conditioning systems.

During the incident, all NAIA 3 systems were down, especially at the departure area, he added. Operations at the arrival area continued, although with “limited resources.” – With Jess Diaz, Tina Mendez, Non Alquitran, Louella Desiderio


PHILSTAR

Meralco: No scheduled power outage; Probs at NAIA's system By Non Alquitran (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 4, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga explained that Meralco personnel inspected the site and found no problem with the substation circuits, leading them to conclude that the problem lies with the NAIA and its system. Philstar.com/file

MANILA, Philippines – The five-hour power outage at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA-3) on Saturday night was not caused by a technical glitch at the airport substation of the Manila Electric Co., Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said yesterday.

He explained that Meralco personnel inspected the site and found no problem with the substation circuits, leading them to conclude that the problem lies with the NAIA and its system.

“Our team’s inspection revealed that Meralco has nothing to do with the power outage at the NAIA Terminal 3 for five hours,” Zaldarriaga said.

The Meralco inspection team, he said, arrived at the NAIA substation at around 1 a.m. yesterday to conduct inspection and repairs on wirings that could have caused the power outage but found nothing wrong with the facility.

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He also said that establishments near the terminal did not have the same problem, suggesting that the fault lies with the NAIA.

Zaldarriaga pointed out that Meralco has jurisdiction only up to the metering point. Beyond that, the responsibility rests with the customer.

NAIA 3 lost its power at 8:45 p.m. Saturday and regained it about 2 a.m. of Sunday. An initial report blamed a technical glitch as the culprit.

Although Zaldarriaga confirmed that the lines tripped, he clarified that this lasted only less than a minute.

“Further power outage at the terminal was caused by load pressure from the internal electrical facilities,” he said. – With Danessa Rivera

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RELATED: Power restored at NAIA Terminal 3

Power restored at NAIA Terminal 3 (philstar.com) | Updated April 3, 2016 - 11:21am 7 32 googleplus0 0


A power outage hit Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 around 8:45 p.m., Saturday. Mithril Cloud/Wikipedia

MANILA, Philippines – The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) on Sunday morning said power was fully restored at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 at 2:00 a.m.

The airport authority said a Meralco substation at NAIA tripped, causing the power outage around 8:45 p.m. on Saturday. The substation however, relayed stable power to the terminal starting 12:30 a.m and terminal facilities were functional an hour and half later.

Meralco did not specify what caused the substation to trip.

Due to the power glitch, a number of planes had to land in other terminals while some airlines were prompted to cancel flights.

Cebu Pacific earlier announced the suspension of four of its flights following the blackout. It advised its passengers to rebook flights within 30 days from original departure or resort to full refund or travel refund.

The following flights were cancelled because of the blackout:

April 3, 2016 (Sunday)​

5J 381 / 382 Manila – Cagayan de Oro – Manila
5J 550 Cebu – Manila April 2, 2016 (Saturday)

5J 579 / 582 Manila – Cebu – Manila
5J 467 / 468 Manila – Iloilo – Manila​

Airport management has since apologized to passengers affected by the power interruption and thanked them for their patience.

NAIA Terminals 1 and 2 were unaffected by the blackout.

The MIAA assured the public that they are conducting measures to prevent power interruptions in the future. —Rosette Adel


MANILA BULLETIN

The Smell of Summer – The Season for Dendrobium anosmum by Jim Cootes April 3, 2016 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share0


Dendrobium anosmum (“sanggumay”)

Dendrobium anosmum is one most inappropriately named orchids that occurs in the Philippines. The reason for this is that the Latin word anosmum means without smell, and we all know that this is not true of this wonderful species, as frequently the perfume is noticeable well before the actual flowers are seen.

The Tagalog name of “sanggumay” describes this species perfectly: overwhelmingly strong odour.

This species is also found in India, Myanmar (Burma), Peninsular Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, the smaller Indonesians islands, and New Guinea. It usually grows on the branches and trunks of trees, and has also been observed growing on limestone, and sandstone rocks.

In the Philippines it is found throughout the islands, and is even known to occur in the mountains of central Luzon. It is normally a plant that is found at low elevations, but I have seen plants at elevations of about 1,200 metres in the forests of Nueva Vizcaya.

As would be expected for such a widely spread species, there is considerable variation in the colouration of the flowers, and a number of these variations have been named over the years.

--Dendrobium anosmum var. dearei is the pure white form of the species;


Dendrobium anosmum var. dearei

--Den. anosmum var. huttonii refers to the form of the species with white sepals and petals, and two large purple blotches on the interior of the white labellum;


Dendrobium anosmum var. huttonii

--there is also a variety called Den. anosmum var. coerulescens where the purple blotches of the previous variety take on a somewhat bluish tinge.


Dendrobium anosmum var. coerulescens

It should be noted that the colouration of the blotches found in the labellum varies considerably between individual plants, as does the intensity of the colouration of the sepals and the petals, which in the nominate form of the species can vary from pale pink to pale purple.

--There is also a variety called Den. anosmum var. giganteum, alluding to the larger than usual blooms of this form.


Den. anosmum var. giganteum

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Dendrobium anosmum and its numerous colour varieties flower regularly in the Summer season, and it should be noted that the first orchid show of the Philippine Orchid Society each year, is centred around the blooming of this species.

The second show of the year is centred (hopefully) in conjunction with the flowering season of the magnificent Euanthe sanderiana.

The growth habit of the plant is pendulous, and well-grown plants can reach several metres in length, but usually the plants are about one metre long. Flowering buds appear after the leaves have fallen. Several blooms appear from each node of the pseudobulb, and if the length of the pseudobulb is covered with flowers it is a most spectacular sight.

In the highly regarded book entitled Dendrobium of Borneo by J.J. Wood (Natural History Publications, Borneo, 2014) he notes that there are fruit-flies which visit the flowers of Dendrobium anosmum, and they go there to lick the chemicals on the floral segments, which are thought to assist the insects to reach sexual maturity.

The chemical reward from the flowers is thought to convert into sex pheromones, to supposedly attract the fruit-fly of the opposite sex.

Plants of Dendrobium anosmum, and its colour varieties, will often produce small plants from along the pseudobulbs, which be exact replicas of the mother plant.

This is one of the most desirable of all Dendrobium species to be found in the Philippines, and if one has a place where a plant can be attached to a tree it is not too difficult to grow. Dendrobium anosmum is worthy of a place in any orchid collection.


MANILA  BULLETIN

PHL is 2nd country worldwide where Pope Francis gets most favorable opinion – survey  By Ben Cal -by Philippines News Agency April 3, 2016 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share3


Pope Francis waves to the crowd after the "Urbi et Orbi" blessing for Rome and the world from the central loggia of St Peters' basilica following the Easter Sunday mass on March 27, 2016 at St Peter's square in Vatican. Christians around the world are marking the Holy Week, commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, leading up to his resurrection on Easter. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (FILE)

The Philippines, the only Catholic nation in Asia, won another accolade as the second country in the world where Pope Francis received the most favorable opinion, second only to Portugal, according a recent global survey conducted by the WIN/Gallup International.

The survey asked the question: “What do you think is the country where the Pope Francis is most favored?” His native Argentina? Mexico? The Philippines?”

The result of the worldwide survey was Portugal was first with 94 percent, followed by the Philippines, 93 percent, and Argentina, the homer country of Pope Francis, 89 percent.

WIN/Gallup International “sought the views of more than 63,000 people in 64 different countries.”

The survey also showed that “Pope Francis’ image is recognized on a worldwide scale by people of other religious beliefs.”

“This study argues that 54 percent of the world population has a positive opinion of the pontiff. Whereas, 12 percent have an unfavorable opinion and 34 percent do not have an opinion,” WIN/Gallup International, pointed out.

The survey also showed that Pope Francis was ahead of other world leaders like US President Barrack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron or French President Francios Hollande, among others.

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The same survey shows that Algeria is the country where Pope Francis received the most unfavorable opinion with 28 percent, followed by Palestine and Turkey with 27 and 26 percent, respectively.

It may be recalled that the Pope visited the Philippines last year where sea of humanity flooded every place Holy Father went, particularly in Manila where over six million Filipinos attended the Mass officiated by the Pontiff at the Rizal Park.

It was the largest gathering for a papal event anywhere in the world. The figure has surpassed the five million people who attended the Holy Mass officiated by Pope John Paul II also held in Manila during the celebration of the World Youth Day in 1995.

Pope Francis was the third Pontiff to visit the Philippines. The first was Paul VI in 1971, followed by Pope John Paul II now a saint, who visited twice the first in 1981 and second in 1995.

The huge crowd shouted repeatedly in unison “Pope Francis, we love you! Pope Francis, we love you!” During his visit to the Philippines the Pope also made a side trip to Tacloban City where he saw the huge damage wrought by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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