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Jun 20

Wild goose chase in Maguindanao

The Comelec Chairman and company are off to Maguindanao, in what the Inquirer editorial calls a wild goose chase. Meanwhile, Koko Pimentel appeals to the Supreme Court.

House intramurals update: Jose de Venecia insists on an open caucus of majority and his allies put the heat on Winston Garcia of the GSIS.

Reuters reports It’s red flag for gov’t budget; 2007 target in danger:

Analysts said improving economic fundamentals, including low inflation, low interest rates and the sustained remittances from Filipinos working overseas, would probably offset the negative fallout from missed fiscal targets, for now at least.

But over the medium term, a reversal of the state’s fiscal fortunes after three straight years of lower-than-targeted deficits could hurt foreign investors’ renewed interest in the Southeast Asian country.

The Philippines needs to root out endemic tax evasion and improve collection to win an upgrade from credit rating agencies, which would reduce debt payments that currently gobble up around a third of the annual budget.

The government is relying on the sale of its stakes in Manila Electric and San Miguel to raise around P55 billion. Teves has been aiming to sell the San Miguel shares in the third quarter of this year.

Despite selling a stake in Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. for P25 billion, the government overshot its P45.8 billion deficit goal in the first quarter. The actual deficit was P52 billion.

And so: Arroyo appoints BIR officer-in-charge:

Buñag on Wednesday said taxes paid in advance, mostly due to the request of Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, affected BIR’s target collection for the first quarter of 2007.

BIR said one of the major factors for the low tax collection was taxes paid in advance by large taxpayers last year, which, it said, Teves was fully aware of.

“Such advance payments were made by various taxpayers upon the personal calls and requests made, as is well-known in the BIR, by no less than Finance Secretary Margarito B. Teves himself to the President/CEOs of taxpayers,” a statement released by the Office of the BIR Commissioner said.

It said the requests made by Teves were strongly criticized by Buñag and Assistant Commissioner Nestor Valeroso of BIR’s Large Taxpayers Service.

“The impact of the advance tax payments made in 2006 has affected the 2007 performance of the BIR’s Large Taxpayers Service in particular, which would have seen a more remarkable increase,” it added.

The statement said the practice of advance tax payments was prohibited when Buñag was appointed as BIR commissioner.

So Teves won, if the background in Alvin Capino‘s column is any guide?

The latest news from highly reliable sources within the Ateneo alumni community is that Bureau of Internal Revenue chief Jose Mario Buñag is not inclined to accept the offer of Finance Secretary Gary Teves for the former to take on a diplomatic post in exchange for vacating the plum BIR seat.

Teves has reportedly told Buñag that he has convinced the President to give the latter the ambassadorship to Jordan or The Hague. Buñag is reportedly cold to the Teves offer and is heard to have said that he will simply wait till Teves announces his replacement, then quietly pack up and go back to the private sector.

The view of some members of the Ateneo HS class of 1960, to which Teves and Buñag belong to, who have followed this very disappointing ending to the Buñag-Teves saga, is that the BIR chief “has too much delicadeza to accept a diplomatic post after what is perceived as an unfair ouster scenario.”

And others begin to get the axe. Also, one faction favors accomodating Antonio Trillanes. Good cop, bad cop? Leaving Ricardo Saludo to be the bewhiskered bad cop?

AFP Chief of Staff will invoke Executive Order 464 if summoned to testify before the Senate.

President’s husband makes a rare TV appearance and formally withdraws some of his libel suits.

An interesting cluster of articles: an overview in Koreans ‘invade’ the Philippines, with reports on Only Korean businesses earn from Korean tourists while Korean businesses are bullish in Davao and Who’s afraid of Korean businesses in Baguio?

My Arab News column for this week is Philippine Cabinet’s Catch-22. The Business Mirror editorial focuses on presidential appointments to government-owned corporations as a means of political payback.

Manuel Buencamino advises Miguel Zubiri to cut, and cut cleanly.

Ellen Tordesillas on the Estrada trial -and the possible verdict.

Overseas, Seymour Hersch in the New Yorker, who helped expose the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, reports on Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba and his efforts to investigate abuses at Abu Ghraib. If only Filipino officers showed the same zeal here at home. Here’s the zinger:

“From the moment a soldier enlists, we inculcate loyalty, duty, honor, integrity, and selfless service,” Taguba said. “And yet when we get to the senior-officer level we forget those values. I know that my peers in the Army will be mad at me for speaking out, but the fact is that we violated the laws of land warfare in Abu Ghraib. We violated the tenets of the Geneva Convention. We violated our own principles and we violated the core of our military values. The stress of combat is not an excuse, and I believe, even today, that those civilian and military leaders responsible should be held accountable.”

Taguba’s father was a veteran and survivor of the Death March: for the surviving veterans, a light at the end of the tunnel: 18,155 WWII vets to benefit from equity bill in US Congress.

In the blogosphere, have neglected keeping up-to-date on the invaluable blog of Dave Llorito, so a massive update required. First, he suggests RP’s 6.9 percent GDP grwoth is trickling down, but…

Are wages rising? It’s possible. That is quite observable in the case of the fast growing industry like the call centers, other cyberservices, and electronics. It’s also possible that the continued flow of skilled workers abroad has started to tighten labor supply. Or it’s also possible that the 6.9 percent growth rate may have really created more job opportunities. The rise in underemployment may suggest that those who are working simply took advantage of the opportunity by moving into those higher paying jobs. Maybe. That’s only my initial thoughts after looking at the aggregate numbers.

He follows this entry up with A second look at the April 2007 labor force survey:

According to the April labor force survey, the country’s unemployment rate, using the International Labor Organization definition, went down from 8.2 percent to 7.4 percent.

That’s not really miraculous because it simply means seven out of a hundred are jobless, compared to eight out of a hundred a year ago. In absolute terms, there are 33.7 million employed people in April this year, compared to 32.7 million in the same month last year – translating to about a million extra jobs.

But given our chronic high jobless rate, that’s an encouraging sign – more so because underemployment has gone down by almost 7 percentage points from 25.4 percent to 18.9 percent…

…Underemployment has gone down but the gains are largely confined in the industry and services. That seems to validate our earlier observations that so far the major beneficiaries of the recent surge in the economy are urban dwellers. And they are concentrated in the 35-years-and-over category, indicating that those who benefited most were probably supervisory or managerial level workers. Underemployment in the farm sector has actually worsened.

In summary, the major beneficiaries of the 6.9-percent growth are primarily those who are urban dwellers working in the industry and services sectors, mostly in the supervisory and managerial levels. The secondary beneficiaries are those engaged in the farm, construction and real estate sectors whose jobs are probably seasonal or cyclical. More so because those construction jobs were probably triggered by electoral considerations and may therefore vanish once the government feels they are not collecting enough revenues.

His globalized nationalism entry reminds of an experience I had during a forum at Miriam College in which Atom Araullo and I spoke. Atom pointed out Charter Change would open not just the economy to foreign investors, but also open up the educational system, too: something apparently horrible to him, but when he said it, the students’ eyes all glazed over. He’d lost them. He’d lost me, too.

Think of how AIM pioneered business management as an academic discipline in our part of the world, but now it’s struggling to attract students. Its fees are in US Dollars, but why go to AIM when all sorts of prestigious Western colleges and universities have tied up with regional counterparts in Hong Kong and Singapore? But imagine, say, if Harvard (of which a large chunk of our business community count themselves as alumni) or Wharton (ditto) were to tie up with AIM? But it’s not allowed.

I myself attended an International School for the last two years of my high school studies, and the International Baccalaureate Diploma gained me a whole bunch of academic credits at UP. I have to wonder why we don’t have more Philippine schools adopting the IB Curriculum. Which brings up another entry of great interest: Addressing the skills-job mismatch in the Philippines:

If we want this country to move a lot faster, we need a critical mass of engineers, mathematicians, software developers, physicists, and other fields in the sciences like biotechnology. These courses are the ones that really bring in the money and progress, as shown by countries that invested heavily in uplifting their school systems capability in mathematics and the sciences. We are talking here of places like Israel, Taiwan, China, Vietnam and India.

But if indeed these courses do give high economic returns for graduates, why is it that only a few students are taking up these subjects? There are several reasons.

First is that there is probably no market signal for students to take these courses, essentially because parents and students are not really aware of economic opportunities in these disciplines. If this is true, one reason is that there is no labor-market information system that could help students in making career decisions…

…Financing education is really a major problem in the Philippines. Many private universities want to invest in laboratories and faculty development. Yet they can only do that through expensive tuition, an option that is constrained by low purchasing power.

The only way to address this is by setting up some kind of a student loan program where students could pay the State later once they are able. Australia has that kind of system and Britain is learning from it. We could probably have the same here…

…The third factor: there are simply fewer people who can endure the rigors of science and engineering courses. If this is true, then the problem goes back to the poor quality of basic education. The solution, therefore, is reforming the elementary-schools system.

One possible solution is by strengthening subjects that really matter: mathematics, science, English and Filipino with laboratories on said subjects. Longer school hours can be assigned to these subjects so the students could have more time to learn new science or math concepts.

At the same time, there is an urgent need to train teachers in science, math and English. It is common knowledge that for lack of science and math teachers, many current teachers in these subjects had backgrounds in social studies, or even physical education. The government should also send these teachers to scholarships for higher learning.

Reforming the elementary-school system would take some time. But we can also take a few shortcuts by investing in science high schools. The local government units and the national government could do this through a counterparting arrangement. With more science high schools in cities and the big municipalities, we could probably increase the number of students who will eventually take science courses.

Finally, take a look at his article on From brain drain to brain circulation.
Blogger commentary on Maguindanao, the Comelec, and Zubiri: james jimenez loyally reports on the activities of his bosses; Alleba Politics thinks the Comelec boss bungled the job. Field of Dreams considers the probability two Pimentels were victimized by dagdag-bawas as very high; Partly Cloudy has little sympathy for Zubiri; The Philippine Experience is frankly hostile.

Philippine Commentary on moving the Rizal holiday from December 30 to June 19; On higher Grounds Defying Gravity has a similar opinion.Reactions to my piece on Rizal’s philosophy, from the Four-Eyed Journal and Stellify and Big Mango.

Prudence and Madness wants to use her blog to help raise political and social awareness.

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  1. the jester-in-exile

    “If we want this country to move a lot faster, we need a critical mass of engineers, mathematicians, software developers, physicists, and other fields in the sciences like biotechnology. These courses are the ones that really bring in the money and progress, as shown by countries that invested heavily in uplifting their school systems capability in mathematics and the sciences. We are talking here of places like Israel, Taiwan, China, Vietnam and India.”

    many of those who finish such courses would rather be call center agents than practice their profession, seeing that employers by and large won’t pay us what we deserve.

  2. inodoro ni emilie

    apart from allowing tie-ups with international schools and improving the quality of education, the deped should get serious in pushing for vocational/training schools. this will professional many of the works in the service-oriented industries (e.g., hotel staffing, waitering, call-center attendants [drat, engineer, med graduates ending as telephone operators? what kind of job matching is this?!?], etc.]

  3. cvj

    oh no…i can sense the language wars coming again:-)

  4. Shaman of Malilipot

    “We are talking here of places like Israel, Taiwan, China, Vietnam and India.”

    Sorry, cvj, can’t help it, but it’s the language, really.

    Do you suppose those countries teach mathematics and the sciences (at least to elementary and high school students) in English? We Filipinos have been doing it since the Americans came over at the turn of the last century, and where did it get us? Diagnostic test after diagnostic test has shown that the average Filipino student is poor in math and science. Should we be surprised that very few of our students take up engineering and science courses in college? Takot nga sila sa mga subjects na iyan dahil wala silang masyadong natutunan sa elementary at high school. Bakit? Tinuturuan sila ng basic math at science in English at a time when their comprehension of the language is still very low. Resulta? Very poor foundation on the subjects.

    Using the mother tongue as the medium of instruction for math and science at the elementary level, or up to the secondary level if necessary, doesn’t mean that we will no longer teach our students English from Grade 1. We still will. They can still be proficient in English as they grow up.

    And yet, people would want to continue with a failed method. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s the height of stupidity to expect different results by doing the same thing.

  5. cvj

    Shaman, very well said, and i agree with you 100%. I was just worried that we may end up going over the same ground as the previous recent threads but as you say, language is an integral (if not central) part of the issue but maybe other aspects/angles can be explored as well.

  6. Beancurd

    Wow, Israel, Taiwan, China, Vietnam and India. My impression about the school systems in these countries is that they are heavily subsidized by the public sector which is at the other end of the pole in this country where privatization and liberalization is the policy. With respect to Ivy League schools, a large part of the school’s sustenance in terms of faculty and research support come from grants, many of which also come from the public sector.
    The difference therefore is not in the language used in schools but the public sector investment in affordable and quality education.

  7. janie

    http://www.gov.ph/news/default.asp?i=15950

    DBM’s site seems to be inaccessible at the moment. the link is a news about 2007 national budget, which points the top 10 agencies that’ll receive the biggest slice of the budget.

    the department of science and technology is not of those.

  8. Shaman of Malilipot

    Beancurd, you’re right in saying that the public sector must invest more in education. I voted for Dr. Martin Bautista who advocated reducing the allocation for debt payments and putting the extra money in education.

    We may have the most modern schools in the world but if we continue teaching our kids basic math and science in a language they hardly understand, we will never get those engineers, technologists, and scientists that they say will “really bring in the money and progress” to our country.

    The language and the “more public sector investments in education” tracks are not mutually exclusive.

  9. benign0

    “Using the mother tongue as the medium of instruction for math and science at the elementary level, or up to the secondary level if necessary, doesn’t mean that we will no longer teach our students English from Grade 1. We still will. They can still be proficient in English as they grow up”

    Just because we have the resources to teach Tagalog alongside English doesn’t mean we should.

    The key question is this: Why should we?

    What kind of returns do we get from our investment in Tagalog?

    Does Tagalog proficiency increase employeability?

    Does Tagalog proficiency increase access to much need technical, scientific know-how, not to mention the right philosophies to replace our no-results attitudes?

    Does Tagalog proficiency BRING HOME THE BACON?

    A resounding NO for all!

    Education resources are already scarce as it is, yet we continue to foolishly squander them on a no-results field of learning.

    And yet here we are presuming to advocate being a tall participant in the global economy. Even more ironic, we are so addicted to the foreign currency we suck in from OFW’s and foreign “investors”. All this is clearly not aligned with our bizarre nostalgia for a language that has proven to be utterly divisive (any Cebuanos here?) and so effective at imprisoning the Pinoy mind for decades.

  10. Shaman of Malilipot

    An interesting element has been introduced in the Senator Trillanes saga. The 3rd Infantry Division has sent “cheerful” greetings to the new senator. Is it Maj. Gen. Jovenal Narcise’s subtle way of letting the AFP leadership (and the other field commanders) know where he stands? Will other Division Commanders follow?

    I wonder.

  11. Ka Enchong

    “Tinuturuan sila ng basic math at science in English at a time when their comprehension of the language is still very low. Resulta? Very poor foundation on the subjects.”

    Agree. How can it be easy to learn Math and Science in English while, learning English at the same time? English must be treated as just one of the subjects, at least, in elementary schools.

    This may sound crazy but, would we have better results (in Math, Science and English subjects) if our school children are taught English using Filipino as the medium of instruction?

    Copernicus sounded crazy when he said that the sun is the center of the SOlar system, anyway….

  12. Jeg

    Just because we have the resources to teach Tagalog alongside English doesn’t mean we should.

    The key question is this: Why should we?

    This is way off from Shaman’s point. He was not commenting on English and Tagalog as subjects. He was commenting on medium of instruction for elementary school students who probably dont have parents who speak English to them at home.

    Why should we teach Tagalog (or other native languages)? Because it’s part of who we are. We have a rich heritage of literature and song in the native tongues. And because teaching Tagalog isnt a return-on-investment thing.

  13. benign0

    “Because it’s part of who we are.”

    While we are on the subject, who are we nga ba?

    We take Tagalog and arbitrarily call it “Pilipino”. And all of a sudden we have an identity?

    It’s kinda disturbing that something as foolish as this are taken by many to be the key definer of our so-called “identity”.

  14. Jeg

    While we are on the subject, who are we nga ba?…It’s kinda disturbing that something as foolish as this are taken by many to be the key definer of our so-called “identity”.

    You edited in ‘key definer,’ benny. The statement was “…part of who we are.” Not “key definer of who we are.”

    Your question “Who are we nga ba?” Could be taken as another clue as to who we are. We’re probably a bunch of ingredients on the stove on its way to being a delicious stew… or an inedible concoction. That’s really up to us to work out. My question is: Can you categorically say that youre one of us? If so, we need your ideas. We need your solutions.

  15. cvj

    We take Tagalog and arbitrarily call it “Pilipino”. And all of a sudden we have an identity? – Benign0

    If you read the history of other nations (e.g. French, Italians, Germans, Indonesians & Malaysian etc.), you will see that choosing a national language is part of nation-building. For this topic, i recommend that you read E.J. Hobsawm’s ‘Nations and Nationalism since 1780: Progamme, Myth, Reality’. You may even find yourself in agreement with some of the things the author says.

  16. Ka Enchong

    benign0,

    “Does Tagalog proficiency increase access to much need technical, scientific know-how, not to mention the right philosophies to replace our no-results attitudes?”

    Excellent question. You’re right, the resounding answer is NO.

    English it is that allows the “access to much needed technical, scientific know-how”. English it is that BRINGS HOME THE BACON.

    Filipinos, therefore, must LEARN English first before anything else. But, how can one learn English or any other foreign language if it is taught in that language? Try learning Arabic using Arabic as the medium of instruction and see if you can even understand the instructions.

    I won’t claim that proficiency in Tagalog would give me all the desired results. But I got my poor English from mentors who instructed me in Tagalog.

    ———————————————

    “All this is clearly not aligned with our bizarre nostalgia for a language that has proven to be utterly divisive (any Cebuanos here?) and so effective at imprisoning the Pinoy mind for decades.”

    Matagal nang natapos ang debate sa pagitan ng mga Cebuano at mga Tagalog.

    Divisiveness is a result of having a ruling class so well-educated that they can only understand your global language, and a mass of subjects who do not understand what the rulers are talking about. It is for this reason that, most of the educated ones are trying to push for a native language to better understand the ordinary folks. Reason why ordinary folks want to learn English is that they want a crack at being part of the ruling class.

    —————————————————-

    Finally, it’s good to see your posts again.

  17. Bokyo

    Sa mga matatalinong estudyante ok lang ang present structure ng education natin, pero sa mga ibang estudyante maitanong ko lang, mas maige ba na mamaster ng mga estudyante ang basic math o pag aralan nila agad ang algebra at iba pang mahirap na levels ng math. Marami sa ating mga graduates ang let’s say na nag-graduate having poor grades in math. So is it more important for them to undergo all the levels of math or teach them well and master basic math

  18. benign0

    Ka Enchong,

    I don’t know about you but I am a refugee from the intellectual bankruptcy of Ellen’s blog (not to mention that I got banned there). 😉

    I agree Pinoys must learn English from their native language. But Pinoys learn it anyway from watching TV/moviews and listening to FM radio. There is no shortage of exposure to English outside the classroom. So why cotinue to squander funds on teaching it within our public school system?

    It is highly presumptious of us to assume that the masses will be better off exposed to Tagalog. They should, instead, be taught that there is nothing wrong or there is no stigma associated with aspiring to be excellent English speakers.

    We should eradicate these expressions…

    “Inggles ka pa diyan, sobra ka namang pa-sosyal”
    “Wow, English yan a”
    “Tagalugin mo na lang pare”

    …and other underclass mouthings like that.

  19. Ka Enchong

    benign0:

    “It is highly presumptuous of us to assume that the masses will be better off exposed to Tagalog. They should, instead, be taught that there is nothing wrong or there is no stigma associated with aspiring to be excellent English speakers.”

    There really is nothing wrong with everybody aspiring for excellence in English. This is actually my point. The masses would want to learn the language, so let’s allow them to learn the language right. Mas maganda nga ‘yan, they will begin to understand the workings of government better. Maybe then, we will begin witnessing the end of the collective apathy you (and I) so despise. MAybe then, they will realize that holding their leaders accountable is more than just a privilege but a responsibility altogether.

    Learning the language through exposure, though helpful, is not enough. I have quite a number of friends who speak the language effectively fluent- just don’t ask them to write what they’re saying and forget about the rule on subject-predicate agreement.

    The expressions you cited, while common, are mere excuses coming from those who, for some reasons, find it hard to understand the language.

    On a side note, I still post on Ellen’s blog occasionally. However, I am missing your posts and those of Anthony Scalia. They were challenging, to say the least. They made me think, and they proved the fact that while we may disagree on issues, we can still be respectful of each other.

  20. Nash

    Positive GDP and economic numbers is not enough.

    We need the POPULATION rate to go down.

    We could have 10% increase in all economic indicators tomorrow or meet fiscal targets, it won’t make any difference with a country growing nearly 2% every year.

    Filipinos love to have sex. We should use the current surplus to give free condoms. Especially to those members of Couples for Christ who have on average 4 children.

  21. benign0

    “There really is nothing wrong with everybody aspiring for excellence in English. This is actually my point. The masses would want to learn the language, so let’s allow them to learn the language right. Mas maganda nga ‘yan, they will begin to understand the workings of government better”

    Agree 100%. And not only understand government but understand a whole world of meaning and concepts that Tagalog is utterly useless at equipping peoples’ minds to grasp.

  22. camry

    I believe teaching in English at an early stage (preschool)would allow students a better preparation when they go to college.

    South Koreans come to the Philippines to learn a better English.

  23. vic

    Whatever language in use, here is the program (four-year to 2008) that our govt. introduced during the start of its four year mandate to even improve the quality of our children education. Of course it is a very expensive program on top of 100 % public funding from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 (High School) but it will have a great payback for the future.

    EVERY CHILD PROGRAM: INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION FOR BETTER STUDENT LEARNING

    Publicly funded schools in Ontario are in the third year of a four-year plan to boost student learning through a coordinated effort between the provincial government and local school boards.

    The Every Child program, an expansion of the Education Foundations program, is built on several premises — the most important of which is that every child in the province should be able to read, write, do math and comprehend at a high level by the age of 12 as the necessary foundation for later educational and social choices.
    The Every Child program includes:
    *Smaller class sizes for all primary grades (JK to Grade 3) working to a real cap of 20 in 2007-08 for 565,000 students
    *Teacher training for four lead literacy/numeracy teachers in all elementary schools (16,000 total)
    *Training resources for teachers of 1.1 million primary and junior students
    *Training and professional development for principals and vice-principals and team building to raise performance capacity in 3,700 JK to Grade 6 schools
    *Helping Ontario’s children be well prepared for learning through Best Start
    *A clear target of 75 per cent of 12-year-old students achieving the provincial standard on provincewide tests in reading, writing and math by 2008
    *Provincially funded local innovations and sharing of over 160 successful programs across school systems to improve students’ reading, writing and math skills
    *2,000 new specialist teachers in key areas such as literacy and numeracy, music, the arts and physical education (approximately 600 teachers will be in place for this school year)
    *New textbooks, library books and other learning resources for elementary students

    PARENTS PARTICIPATIONS:
    Parents will be able to participate in the government’s Every Child program by tracking how class sizes are shrinking in their child’s school. The Ministry of Education will be launching an on-line class size tracking tool that will allow the public to access information about the progress school boards have made, school by school, in implementing the government’s class size reduction plan.

    ACCOUNTABILITY:
    To track progress and ensure that the government remains on target, school boards were asked to report back to the ministry by August 31(each year) on their progress. Information on the ministry’s website will be updated. Boards are also required to submit a final report in December (every year) that demonstrates the actual number of teachers hired and the size of all primary classes.
    The ministry will continue to audit primary class sizes to provide the public with up-to-date information and ensure that funds are producing the desired results.

    Boards have also been asked to make their plans available to the public by posting them on their websites.
    ******
    ACCOUNTABILTY, where parents can track down on their government programs progress is one tool that makes all kind of Government programs to fruition.

  24. supremo

    It doesn’t matter if the medium of instruction is English or Filipino. There is nothing in our culture that rewards people who excel in the academics anyway. What we have is a culture which rewards people who can sing My Way better than the next person. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Who do we admire more the kid who can sing or the kid who can multiply 10 digit numbers? Let’s accept it Filipinos are not the cerebral type. We are more of the artistic type. Who cares if we are at the bottom in the math and science department? We can at least sing and dance better than 90% of the world population.

  25. baycas

    There were rumors of photographs in a criminal prosecution chain back sometime after January 13th . . . I don’t remember precisely when, but sometime in that period of January, February, March. . . . The legal part of it was proceeding along fine. What wasn’t proceeding along fine is the fact that the President didn’t know, and you didn’t know, and I didn’t know.

    “And, as a result, somebody just sent a secret report to the press, and there they are,” Rumsfeld said.

    Yes, blame Maj. Gen. Taguba and the press. That’s the way to do it!

    I read Sy Hersh’s article and wept for the Fil-Am General…

  26. Jeg

    Was that a serious post, supremo? Or were you being sarcastic?

  27. janie

    maybe supremo was being both.

  28. Beancurd

    Sa dami ng nasabi na tungkol sa wika sa eskwelahan, yung tanong na napakahalaga ang nakalimutan subalit tila baga ipinapapalagay na siya ang sinasagot. Yung katanungan ay kung aling wika baga ang mas epektibo para makaintindi ang mga tao ng mga bagay-bagay. Sa mga mayayaman, maykaya at nakakaranas ng pakikipagtalastasan sa Ingles, marahil ay mas epektibo ang Ingles. Sa mga maralita kung saan dun din umuuwi ang mga bata pagkagaling sa eskwelahan, mas madali siguro silang makaintindi sa wikang gamit nila sa bahay at palipaligid, maging Tagalog man iyon o bisaya, atbp. Ang importante, kung ano ang itinuturo, maging wika man, matematika or siyensya ay naangkop ang pagtuturo sa antas ng kanilang kakayahang umintinde. Siyempre, di naman nangangahulugan na huwag ng pag-aralan at gamitin and ibang wika.
    Sa Tagalog pa nga lang hirap na, sa Pranses pa kaya? Easy lang po.

  29. ricelander

    There must be an incontestible way of determining scientifically whether or not students learn better using their native tongue instead of English. That should end the debate. In my case I think I have not learned enough math but I am not sure whether language has anything to do with it.

  30. hvrds

    My goodness is there still a debate about foreign groups being allowed to invest in Philippine education.

    The Roman Catholic Church is also considerd a nation state. All Catholic schools indirectly are owned by the Church which is under the Vatican.

    The reason for the conflict between some Chinese Catholics under the PRC and the Vatican is the PRC insists that the Catholics in China not be under another sovereign state but under the state. The state appoints the bishops in China and not the Vatican.

    The same with some Protestant schools here.

  31. hvrds

    The primary sector in the Philippine economy is still the agricultural sector. Over 35 percent of employment is linked to this sector. However the rest of the sectors (industry and service are also predominantly linked with this sector.) 70% of the service sector are integrated with the agricultural sector and not with the industrial sector.

    Manufacturing accounts for more than four fifths of the industrial sector. Almost half of that is food processing. Once again linked to agricutlural productivity. Farmers grow palay and the manufacturing sector turn that into rice.

    Palay is not harvested at the end of every quarter of every year. It is grown based on mainly rain fed water. Some areas of the Philippines have only one harvest of play a year.

    Simple question for simple minds. Do we harvest crops on the clock at the end of every quarter? Rice corn etc. That means that the growth rate from agriculture is really a stretch on the imagination. Nature does not operate on the government number crunchers time frame.

  32. realist

    On Erap: i-rarailroad ang kaso. Si gloria pa. Sang katutak na demo na naman yan!

    On Ingles o Tagalog: Just listen to gov’t officials responding to interviews – isip tagalog, ingles ang spokening. I’m not questioning their intelligence. I’m sure they are intelligent, just can’t express themselves clearly. Ano ba medium of instruction ng nag-aaral ang mga yan?

    On COMELEC: Ang kapal talaga ng mukha ni Abalos! What’s wrong with this guy? Oops, sa fantasy island ni gloria nga pala siya namamahay. That explains a lot.

  33. Urqhuardt

    My take is that Filipinos just does not have the mental capacity to compete with the minds of Chinks, Jews, and Indians.

    Hope you don’t get mad at my assessment. Just an outsider’s point of view. By the way, I’m German.

  34. vic

    “My take is that Filipinos just does not have the mental capacity to compete with the minds of Chinks, Jews, and Indians.”

    How about the Canadians? Did you ever stop to think that Canadians are Pilipino, Chinese (Chinks is a disparaging term)Indian and Jewish, and sprinkling of Germans and collectively they have the mental capacity to compete with anyone, especially those that have prepared their brains properly during their formation years. Give the Pilipinos that luxury and maybe they will beat all of the others mentioned….

  35. the jester-in-exile

    sig heil, urqhuardt, mein fuhrer!

  36. Bencard

    urqhuardt, it figures. no wonder you are such a racist. world war ii hasn’t taught you and your kind a lesson on the perils of prejudice and ethnocentrism. hope you can take it as well as you dish it out. there’s a few things we can say about your kind too, you know.

    if you and your people were so smart, how come you were taken so easily for a fool by an austrian demagogue, huh?

  37. cvj

    Not sure if ‘Urqhuardt’ is who he says he is so it’s best not to feed the troll.

  38. Bencard

    you’re right, cvj. but an alias does not give him full protection or impunity. at least, mlq3 knows who or what he/she/it is. if it is a joke, i’m not laughing.

  39. cvj

    Here’s some passages from a paper by economist Dani Rodrik that i came across which is relevant to the topic. Concerning the lack of scientists and engineers, Rodrik says:

    It is innovation that enables restructuring and productivity growth…innovation in the developing world is constrained not on the supply side but on the demand side. That is, it is not the lack of trained scientists and engineers, absence of R&D labs, or inadequate protection of intellectual property that restricts the innovations that are needed to restructure low-income economies. Innovation is undercut instead by lack of demand from its potential users in the real economy—the entrepreneurs. And the demand for innovation is low in turn because entrepreneurs perceive new activities to be of low profitability. – page 5 INDUSTRIAL POLICY FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY, Dani Rodrik, September 2004, Harvard University

    Concerning the returns on schooling, Rodrik adds:

    For quite a while, policy makers thought that the solution to poor human capital lay in improving the infrastructure of schooling— more schools, more teachers, more textbooks, and more access to all three. These interventions did increase the supply of schooling, but when the results were in, it became evident that the increase in schooling did not produce the productivity gains that were anticipated (Pritchett 2004). The reason is simple. The real constraint was the low demand for schooling—that is, the low propensity to acquire learning—in environments where the absence of economic opportunities depress the return to education. – INDUSTRIAL POLICY FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY, Dani Rodrik, September 2004, Harvard University

    From the above, i take it that Rodrik will not be totally sympathetic to David Llorito’s proposition that If we want this country to move a lot faster, we need a critical mass of engineers, mathematicians, software developers, physicists, and other fields in the sciences like biotechnology. Demand for innovation from the [local] business sector and a corresponding return on education (i.e. Jester’s pay us what we deserve) are what drives investment in schooling.

  40. cvj

    Apart from the above however, i think David Llorito’s main recommendations toward improving market signals (if there is indeed market failure in terms of matching skills and jobs) and encouraging government collaboration with the private sector to compensate for these market failures are, to my understanding, in close agreement with Rodrik’s approach as described in the referenced paper.

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