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Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Last Monday, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro instructed parents and students to simply follow the storm signal updates coming from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), and stated that the DepEd will no longer issue statements suspending classes, in order to reduce confusion.

As of last Monday, Metro Manila was under storm signal no. 1, which meant that only pre-schools would not have classes; everybody else would have to prepare for school or work. Yesterday, Metro Manila was still under signal no. 1, so I got ready for work.

Yesterday, at around 10 am, with constant rain coming down from early morning onwards, the DepEd announced that classes were suspended as of 12 noon, which brought both joy and consternation to students and teachers alike. For the students, there was joy tempered with the worry about how they would get home with the sudden announcement. For the teachers, the announcement meant that lessons and tests had to be rescheduled, although there was still a feeling of joy since a day-off is still something to look forward to.

At the same time, the suspension meant that students who commute or walk to school would have to be exposed to the elements, or, worse, have to wade through flood waters.

I can't help but feel sore at the DepEd's inconsistency. If there was a possibility that classes would be suspended due to heavy rains, then Bro. Luistro shouldn't have announced that we should simply follow the PAGASA bulletins. By making that announcement, Bro. Luistro was divesting himself of the responsibility of properly informing students and parents regarding the status of classes during stormy weather.

It should also be noted that not a word of his inconsistency was in the newspapers this morning. Maybe the editors thought that it was not newsworthy?

The DepEd's inconsistency in dealing with such situations would have been disastrous had there been an "Ondoy"-type deluge; it should be remembered that, when "Ondoy" dropped a month's worth of rain in a day last year, Metro Manila was only under storm signal no. 1. The DepEd should be more proactive in dealing with situations like these, instead of the hand-washing that happened.


Dino said...

Just a thought: I think it's better if they go back to the old system regarding suspension of classes in the grade school in cases of storm signals. In the past, signal no. 1 included grade school in the suspension of classes. They just changed it three to five years ago, for a reason I still do not understand up to today.

Off-topic: Incidentally, while Typhoon Juan dominated the news, last Tuesday was the third anniversary of the Glorietta "bombing" or "gas explosion" (depending on who we believe). Regardless of the true cause, it seems that this case has been added to the list of forgotten unresolved cases. The Arroyo administration did file cases against Ayala. What happened to those, I wonder?

Frederick Tomas said...

Regarding the cases against the Ayalas, it's likely to have been buried under a ton of litigation.

That's an idea, though, for a post. What are the various issues that have cropped up over the years which remain unresolved?

Dino said...

Some unresolved/not yet fully resolved issues I can think of for the moment:

Marcos admin. - still pending cases against the Marcoses; although they're being slowly dismissed one by one

Aquino admin. - land reform issues, particularly in Hacienda Luisita: According to some, the recent settlement is still unjust overall for the farmers. Although this issue is a bit technical in terms of the business and agrarian reform aspects. Some links discussing it are here and here.

Estrada - Dacer-Corbito Murder Case: Sen. Lacson, where art thou?

I'll separate Arroyo's, since there's lots. Regarding the Ramos administration, I don't have much idea about it.

Dino said...

ARROYO ADMIN: (I might be wrong, though, some may be solved already)

(1) Nani Perez scandal
(2) Macapagal Highway scandal
(3) Fertilizer Fund Scam
(4) Hello Garci scandal
(5) NBN-ZTE scandal
(6) Bribery in the Palace scandal - the big headlines before the Glorietta blast contain this

(7) Euro Generals scandal

(8) Extra-judicial killings - for this one I think we should talk about real militants and NPAs disguised as militants separately. In any case, though, ideally the government should not take shortcuts in dealing with criminals. At the same time, though, thanks to our flawed legal system, influential criminals get away because of technicalities.

(9) Maguindanao massacre - still no verdict
(10) Coup attempts - still no verdict, but there's an amnesty anyway

Dino said...

Others I'm interested in:

(1) Villar's C5 Scandal

(2) Glorietta blast and who was really guilty: regardless of the true cause, though, I believe the Ayala Corp. is in some way liable. If it's a bomb, then it's because of their security lapses. More in the wikipediaarticle related to the case.

Dino said...

Not really political in nature but interesting anyway because debates never seem to end:

There's the issue of adding years to education. Of course it's nice, but only if they can fix the shortages and corruption problems in government.

There's also the one on opening of classes. I think they should just keep things as it is. Milenyo, Reming, Ondoy, Pepeng, and now Juan all happened after September.

And speaking of typhoons, when will they ever learn to suspend classes on time if needed?????


(2) OIL
To scrap or not to scrap the Oil Deregulation Law? I just wrote about this in my latest facebook note, actually. Got inspired to do so because of the recent oil price hike and the firms' seemingly insensitivity to the situation in Northern Luzon. Though the discussion about this can get technical, my simple personal opinion would be not to scrap the law. If they scrap the law and regulate the oil firms again, that would mean the government would need to subsidize oil prices.


Discussion on the RH bills are heating up again. Personally, I disagree with people who say overpopulation is not a problem. First of all, children don't become useful human capital until they become educated. More importantly, the Earth's resources are not infinite. Therefore I think populations should grow at a normal pace only.

It's debatable though if the Philippines is overpopulated. Metro Manila definitely is overpopulated, but I think they may have a point when they say the provinces aren't. As for the methods, that's another debatable aspect of it. Although reading more about it, I'm inclined to believe that ideally, natural methods are still best, i.e. no sex when couples can't afford children yet. Although that's difficult for sexually active people, of course. That's where the debate begins really.

Dino said...

There we have it. At least those I can think of for the moment.

For the political/crime-related issues, the most common themes are Filipinos' short term memories, the tendency of news headlines to change over time, and the slow slow justice system.

For not really political issues, the most common theme is Filipinos' never ending debates.

As for the most interesting as of the moment, where is Ping Lacson? I thought he was merely hiding from GMA??? hehehe

And of the things from the Arroyo administration, the most forgotten seems to be the Euro Generals case and the Bribery in the Palace scandal.

Dino said...

And oh, almost forgot. There are some issues in sports too.

Who shot Mac Baracael of FEU and why? The case is still a mystery to date. Although it must also be emphasized that some sore losers use this issue to attempt demolition jobs on winning programs such as Ateneo's. Again, watching the UAAP over the years tells me that game-fixing is done by gambling syndicates (not by the teams themselves). And two, game-fixing affects the point-spread in a game, not directly the teams themselves.


(2) Corruption in Philippine sports - This is the primary reason why we can't join the World Cup or win an Olympic gold. To make matters worse, Filipinos aren't interested in sports other than basketball, boxing, and billiards. So our sports agencies in other sports seem to be free on sleeping on their jobs. Rick Olivares wrote some nice pieces on the Philippine Football Federation. Some links are on my Facebook account.


Again, almost forgot. Was the Jose Pidal issues resolved already?


There's indeed too many. I'll try writing too, some other time.

Frederick Tomas said...

Throw in the Ozone fire tragedy (I'm not sure if that case has been resolved), and the Princess of the Stars, and there's enough material for a lot of posts. :D

Dino said...

I forgot the Princess of the Stars issue indeed. Although that's probably not getting resolved anytime soon, because there's no boat sinking incident lately, and maybe also because our Coast Guard seems to be getting the job done on strictly not allowing ships to travel even if it's just signal#1.

It appears that the Ozone Disco Club fire is also unresolved:


Dino said...

Some more I see, although they're floating in the news lately:

(1) Did Dinky Soliman benefit from PEACE bond float issue?

(2) Is Hubert Webb really guilty?

(3) Should Ombudsman Gutierrez be impeached? (slightly offtopic: it's interesting to note how she claimed credit regarding the country's slightly improved corruption rating)

(4) Bar Exam Blast - appears to be slowly but surely progressing

Dino said...

Some interesting links:

(1) Dinky Soliman:

(2) Ombudsman's "accomplishment":

Frederick Tomas said...

Yeah, I read about the Ombudsman's strutting. I'm not one to believe that it was Gutierrez who was responsible for the improvement in our corruption rating; if anything, our rating improved despite the Ombudsman's efforts.

Dino said...

More on the Glorietta blast - the Inquirer wrote about it in its editorial.

At first it's kind of logical to believe in the cover-up angle. Considering that before the Glorietta blast, the headlines were filled with the bribery in the Palace case and NBN-ZTE cases. So who had the motive to divert public attention?

But, the Inquirer failed to mention this: that the government claimed that they consulted foreign experts on the matter, such as people from the FBI, who helped investigate and conclude about the methane gas angle. If this is true, then I don't see how a cover-up can be done.

Problem is, the Ayalas also claim that foreign experts (this time I think from Malaysia) were consulted. This time, they proved the bomb explosion angle. The Inquirer also cited the arguments of two UP professors regarding this.

So, who's telling the truth?