[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 14 October Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Fri Oct 14 10:51:32 PHT 2005

Newsbriefs 14 October Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Luz mulls complaint vs Palace over his transfer (news.inq7.net)


"DISMISSED Education Undersecretary Juan Miguel Luz is considering filing a complaint against Malacañang with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) for transferring him to the labor department.

Luz on Thursday told reporters that he had no intention of heeding a Palace order transferring him to the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) nor does he accept the transfer.

"I am an educator. I'm not a labor expert. (If) that's what they want to do, I am just studying my options," Luz said.

One of those options would be to file a complaint on Friday with the CSC, he said.

"I will get a civil service ruling first. If the CSC rules in my favor, I will stay. If the CSC rules against me, I will leave. If they rule against me, why would I go to the labor department? I will just go back to the private sector and make more money and I can stay in education," Luz said.

Before joining the Department of Education (DepEd), Luz was an instructor at the Asian Institute of Management. He is actually on leave from AIM. He also has written some papers on the education sector.

Luz said the transfer to the labor department virtually meant he was being fired from the DepEd and from the government service."

Palace won't let go of Gonzales (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"THE more he talks about the controversial lobby deal, the deeper he gets into trouble. 

But Malacañang made it clear yesterday it would not abandon Norberto Gonzales, the beleaguered national security adviser who is fending off attempts by the Senate to unravel details about the government's controversial contract with the US lobbying company Venable. 

Rejecting a call from Senator Joker Arroyo to fire Gonzales, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo stood firm yesterday. 

"Secretary Norberto Gonzales still enjoys the trust and confidence of the President and his head is not up for payment for the whims of any politician," Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio Bunye said." 

House mutiny threatening JDV leadership? (www.philstar.com)

"Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. and other leaders of the House of Representatives are facing a mutiny from dissatisfied members who suspect that they are giving too many concessions to the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi) in the impending reorganization of the chamber. 

At least three De Venecia allies expressed dissatisfaction with what they believe were concessions that Kampi received Wednesday night, just minutes before Congress adjourned for a month-long break. 

Antonio Cerilles of Zamboanga del Sur, who belongs to the Nationalist People's Coalition, moved to declare the position of Speaker and all other posts vacant. Sensing trouble, the presiding officer, Deputy Speaker Emilio Espinosa of Masbate, broke tradition and did the unthinkable. Espinosa himself questioned the quorum and promptly adjourned the session before any one of the 15 or so members remaining in the session hall could support the Cerilles motion. 

Shortly before adjournment, Eric Singson of Ilocos Sur and Juan Miguel Zubiri of Bukidnon, who are De Venecia loyalists and members of the majority bloc, tried to question the quorum. It was their way of sending a message to their House bosses. 

The STAR learned yesterday that Singson, who chairs the public works committee, received information that he was about to lose his committee to Kampi. 

Singson's party mates in the Liberal Party were naturally angered by the development. 

On the other hand, Zubiri and Cerilles were apparently making noise to derail the assumption by Amelita Villarosa of Mindoro Occidental of the chairmanship of the committee on accounts, which Robert Ace Barbers of Surigao del Norte is giving up. 

House members from Mindanao, including Zubiri and Cerilles, are recommending Mindanao colleague Herminia Ramiro of Misamis Occidental for Barbers' post. 

Besides the fact that Villarosa belongs to Kampi, members of the ruling Lakas are blaming her for the "inequitable" distribution of funds from billions in road user's tax collections that are managed by the Road Board, whose executive director is a brother of Kampi president and Antipolo City Rep. Ronaldo Puno." 

Procession near Palace to test police reaction (www.abs-cbnnews.com)

"Nongovernment organizations, bishops, priests and nuns will hold a prayer rally in Plaza Miranda Friday and a religious procession to churches near Malacañang.

The procession to the churches of San Sebastian, San Beda and Saint Jude will test the government's calibrated preemptive response (CPR) and the no-permit, no-rally policies. Saint Jude's is right next to the Palace and within the zone where demonstrations are forbidden.

At a press conference Jimmy Olegario, Kilusang Makabansang Ekonomiya chairman, said, "The activity is not at all political but a religious exercise that also seeks truth amid the political crisis."

"This is a prayer assembly and religious procession. Plaza Miranda is supposed to be a freedom park, so we don't need to ask for a permit but nevertheless we still applied for one, but our application has not been acted upon," he told reporters.

Olegario said the prayer rally will last from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the procession will immediately follow. 

"They should not block us. Religious processions have not been disallowed in the past. This is covered by the rule on the separation of the State and the Church," he said.

The Kilusan expects 5,000 people from its group to join the prayer rally and the procession, held as part of the celebration of October as "the Month of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary."

Olegario said all are invited, including militant groups, but they should not bring along streamers, banners and posters.

Expected to attend the religious activities are Bishops Julio Xavier Labayen, Antonio Tobias and Deogracias Yniguez, Fr. Rudy Abao and other priests, and nuns from various congregations.

"It is time for us as a nation to storm the heavens to heal our divided land. Now is the time to let the voices of the silent majority of Filipinos who do not have any ideology or interest, and who believe in genuine reforms to let their voices be heard," Sen. Maria Ana Consuelo Madrigal said at the press briefing."

Lawyers ask court to void EO creating ConCom (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"A group of lawyers asked the Supreme Court yesterday to declare as unconstitutional Executive Order 453, which created the Consultative Commission to propose changes to the 1987 Charter. 

In a 19-page petition for prohibition, lawyers Samson Alcantara, Ed Vincent Albano, and Rene Gorospe also asked the court to issue a temporary restraining order to stop the work of the ConCom, arguing that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had no legal authority to create the commission." 

75% of elem graduates can't read, House told (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

"THE House of Representatives expressed alarm over the dismal report card turned in by the Philippine educational system. 

Members of the House committee on appropriations chaired by Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. were shocked to learn that 75 percent of elementary graduates could not read. 

Furthermore, out of 100 first-grade pupils, only 43 complete high school and 14 of them complete a college education. 

"We now have a full-blown educational crisis," Andaya declared. "The attrition starts too early." 

The Department of Education reported to the Andaya panel that for every 100 children entering Grade 1, 15 would not reach Grade 2. Of the 85 left by the end of Grade 2, another nine will drop out by Grade 4, leaving 76 children from the original 100. 

At least 68 percent of the remainder will reach Grade 6, with close to 66 percent graduating. Of this number, 58 will move up to secondary education with 43 graduating. 

Of the 15 that drop out of high school, it is five times more likely that these are boys than girls. 

Of the 43 that finish high school, 23 will go to college and only 14 will graduate with a university degree. 

"Over a six-year period, we are looking at adding a million pupils and students not through population growth, but by simply keeping these kids in school," the DepEd report said. 

The DepEd also lamented the "dismal failure" of public school students to meet the "acid test" in learning as gauged by several national standardized tests. 

In a test given last May, only one in five graduating elementary students showed "mastery in all required competencies" such as English, science and mathematics. 

For high school students, less than 1 percent had mastery in all required competencies. 

"What is worse is that 3 out of 10 Grade 6 pupils and 6 out of 10 fourth year students showed, in the words of DepEd, no mastery at all," Andaya lamented. 

DepEd traced the reasons for "poor achievement" in science and math to, among others, poor English reading skills. 

"The 75 percent of elementary school graduates are not able to read independently, thus affecting their learning for the next higher level," the DepEd report said. 

"Correlations show that English proficiency translates positively into higher science and math abilities," the DepEd said. 

Equally dismaying, the DepEd said, was that too many nonscience and nonmath majors are teaching these subjects at the high school level." 

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