[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 3 September 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Mon Sep 3 17:16:42 PHT 2007

Newsbriefs 3 September 2007 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



RP rejects Catholic bishops' plea to stop war vs Abu Sayyaf (Agence France-Presse)

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine government rejected Monday an appeal from influential Roman Catholic bishops to end an offensive against Al Qaeda-linked militants that has displaced thousands.

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro said silencing the guns against Abu Sayyaf militants on the southern island of Basilan could only lead to further terrorist attacks.

"Combat operations in Basilan were surgically executed in order to prevent collateral damage," Teodoro said in a statement.

On Sunday, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) called on the government to stop the fighting and allow families to resume their daily lives. It said among those most affected were children.

The CBCP said the military should also respect the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in the mainly Muslim island of Basilan.

"There were no reported civilian casualties during several clashes between the government troops and other lawless elements in the area," Teodoro stressed.

CBCP wants truce in south during Ramadan (www.philstar.com) 

Catholic bishops called yesterday on the government to suspend the military offensive in Sulu and Basilan in respect to the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar when Muslims a fast from 4:24 a.m. to 5:52 p.m., is expected to start this month.

Speaking in Filipino over Catholic Church-run Radyo Veritas, Archbishop of Antonio Ledesma, Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) vice president, said a ceasefire during Ramadan in Muslim-majority provinces could help the two parties to the conflict to reflect and agree to solve the issues through diplomatic and peaceful means.

"This season for them is like the time of Lent for us Christians," he said. "As holy season, our Muslim brothers and sisters would try to stress more on human life, human dignity and protect homes of their communities. We expect them to do just this."

The prelate from Cagayan de Oro stressed that the military should instead "just contain the violence and spread of terrorism in the area and protect the innocent third party."

Ledesma said the CBCP hopes the military offensive against the Abu Sayyaf and the Moro National Liberation Front in Basilan and Sulu would end immediately.

"What the bishops and the Bishops-Ulama Conference want is really to promote peace," he said. "We are worried about violations of human rights, especially those affecting innocent third parties in the area."

DepEd to build disaster-resistant schools (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- Disaster-resistant school buildings, which will also serve as temporary evacuation centers, will be built, an official of the Department of Education has announced.

The buildings will be part of the Learning and Public Use School Buildings, or "LAPUS Buildings," after Education Secretary Jesli Lapus.

Nineteen of the structures will be built across Camarines Sur, Albay, Legaspi City, known to be hit by the most number of storms during the typhoon season, 

Annabelle Ramos, DepEd assistant chief for Physical Facilities and Schools Engineering Division, said in a presentation Monday.

These are also expected to be earthquake-resistant, said Ramos.

Educator says one more school year needed for elementary, HS (www.philstar.com) 

Two more years must be added to the basic education curriculum to raise the dismal performance of Filipino students in achievement and diagnostic examinations, according to an educator.

Speaking at the National Education Forum at the Traders Hotel in Pasay City on Friday, Dr. Chito Salazar said a 12-year basic education curriculum (BEC) is necessary to improve the quality of education in the country.

"There is nothing we can do, short term. to immediately improve the quality," he said.  "The problem is overall."

Salazar, Philippine Business for Education (PBED) executive director, said the problem is not confined to improving competencies of students in the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science, but also includes the basic education skill of reading.

"If they can't read, how can they read Math," he said.

"This will be our number one advocacy of PBED: To push for a 12-year Basic Education Curriculum. We hope that you will support us on this."

House deliberates on P1.227-Tr budget proposal for 2008 (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines -- The appropriations committee at the House of Representatives, headed by Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, has started deliberations on the proposed P1.227 trillion budget proposal for 2008.

The proceedings started with briefings by the development budget coordinating committee (DBCC) on the micro-economic assumptions and implications of Malacañang's proposal as well as its sources of financing.

The DBCC is composed of the head of the Department of Budget and management as chairman with the secretary of finance, director general of the National Economic Development Authority and the governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank) as members.

In his opening statement, Lagman expressed concern over the rapid population growth, which he said has "negated any economic gain" that the country has achieved. He likewise expressed concern over the huge allocation on debt service by the Palace.


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