Expect higher taxes

The President has accepted the resignation of the National Treasurer, and the bond market plunged on fears (according to Bloomberg) that the government might change its budget deficit plans. Ricky Carandang, in a remarkable and fascinating blog entry yesterday, explains why those fears aren’t just a knee-jerk reaction to the resignation. He says, government’s slipping in its tax collection targets. One reason, he says, is the strengthening peso. Another reason is that there’s a kind of protest action taking place, among customs collectors. the result is that the gain of about 80 billion in income from the added VAT, may be offset by what the Department of Finance, in an internal memo, says is a possible shortfall of 110 billion:

What could this mean? That government finances could actually be worse off than they were before the passage of the VAT increase? If no action is taken to assure the markets, much of the money flowing into the stock market and into Philippine bonds could start flowing back out. Ratings agencies could reconsider those rosy credit rating outlooks. The few people who benefit from the narrow economic growth we see today could be fewer.

Carandang predicts that the easiest solution will be for government to once more raise taxes (and notes there’s mixed news on whether Omar Cruz resigned because of “policy differences” with other members of the President’s economic team). For now, the President can’t be prudent about public spending, because it’s an election year. Omar Cruz himself says he didn’t quit over policy differences, but his parting shot seems to validate Carandang’s entry:

Cruz warned the government that it needed to come up with new tax measures to ensure that it balances its budget next year, a much-vaunted goal that is under threat as tax collections fail to keep pace with increased spending.

Manila has a budget deficit goal of P63 billion this year, or 0.9 percent of gross domestic product, and Cruz said it was still “a reasonable target” because the government can use proceeds from asset sales to bridge the gap between expenditure and collections.

But he said such sales were unsustainable over the longer term.

“Until you come up with a new set of tax measures you will not generate revenue annuity.”

FinanceAsia says Cruz’s shoes will be hard to fill -and that a wait-and-see attitude is in the cards.

In other news… Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez has declared he’s offering a bounty to ward leaders that deliver a 12-0 senatorial shutout for the administration. His remarks have caused the usual ruckus, but this time, the resident loose cannon in the administration decided to unload on his partymates, too. At the same time, the President’s reduced the powers of the Bureau of Immigration and shifted them on to the Department of Justice. All “vital functions” of the immigration commissioner and the three-man board of commissioners have been transferred to the Secretary of Justice. This is an added vote of confidence, by the President, in Sec. Gonzalez. Good grief.

Look at this comparison of the Pulse and SWS senatorial surveys; compare the scores for the candidates, too, in bar graph format.

In the punditocracy, Arab News column for this week is Filipinos Are Cosmopolitan and Far Less Insular.
Manuel Buencamino comes up with some snappy lines, to show why Team Unity Team Arroyo (TUTA) shouldn’t be voted for. Ellen Tordesillas is convinced Gringo Honasan has sold out to the Palace and explains why. Ricardo Saludo begins to lay the predicate for the results the Palace predicts in terms of the coming elections:

Should 200 House seats go to the ruling coalition, that might be enough to block another impeachment bid. If it also controls the Senate, the continuity of national leadership till 2010 would lay a solid foundation for social stability, investor confidence, and economic advancement, and not return the country to disruptive protests and politicking.

The choice on May 14 is clear.

Actually, what’s clear are the priorities of the Palace: it fears impeachment above all things.

The Inquirer editorial says the Chief Justice is being combative out of necessity: most recently Chief Justice Puno’s raised the hackles of the Palace and the US Embassy.

Bong Austero writes on moveable holidays: the President’s declared May 1 a holiday, but no “sandwich day,” alas, covering April 30; meanwhile, she’s also proclaimed Election Day a holiday (will that be good or bad for voters?)

As Russia buried Boris Yeltsin, an op-ed piece by Nina L. Khrushcheva pointed out he was the first Russian leader chosen democratically, and who gave up power voluntarily to a constitutionally-ordained successor.

The blogosphere has History Unfolding predicting that the Maliki government of Iraq is poised to fall. Placeholder looks at the Jeffersonian and Madisonian models for economic development. In Inquirer Current, John Nery pays tribute to David Halberstam.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

37 thoughts on “Expect higher taxes

  1. Except for the names of the senatoriable candidates, the surveys of SWS and Pulse Asia have no point of comparison.

    1. respondents are not the same in number
    2. periods covered are not the same
    3. margins of error are not the same.

    How can you compare banana from apple when their similarity is only that they are the same fruit?

  2. Mr. Quezon, III

    Mr. Gonzales’ comments is interesting only in regards to the fact that he made a public statement of the underlying realities of Philippine politics, which everyone already knows anyways, i.e. that votes are bought, not earned.

    I don’t like him anymore than you do, especially with his comments last week about Julia Campbell being irresponsible for hiking alone, because it’s not his place to make such statements as a public figure.

    In fact, you’re the one in the proper position Mr. Quezon, III, as a commentator of Philippine politics and society, who should make such critical statements. My point is that Mr. Gonzales’ statements were true although it should’ve been you instead of him who should make such comments.

  3. On Raul Gonzalez

    Mose Allison used to sing “because your mind is on vacation and your mouth is working overtime…”

  4. Election day as a holiday is not good in my view, because it is never a holiday in our case and always on a Monday, otherwise people will be somewhere else, out of town, in cottages, or fishing instead of being at work or home and voting. A 3 hours window is required, after the polls open and close, to all workers to enable them to vote. (although it takes only a minute or less to cast the vote).
    But in the Philippines case it may be good for some voters who intend to sell their votes, have a lot of time to find the highest bidder…

  5. The SC officially interprets the law but everyone must have some sort of “correct” unofficial interpretation of it before such; otherwise we’d be waiting for the say of the SC before anyone does anything.

    But how Gonzales interprets that pertinent part of the Omnibus Election Code is so bad that he definitely needs a better lawyer than himself to defend him if his actions are brought to court.

  6. MLQ3,
    Just curious. What language or dialect was that petition to the Supreme Court against English as a medium of instruction written in? Filipino? Ilocano? Pampango? Cebuano?

    Also, I am mystified by the claim (at the end of your PDI column today) that students can best learn math and science in their native tongues. Tell me, what is the Filipino word for math? Science? Differential equations? Calculus? Gravitation? Quantum Mechanics?

    I guess we just aren’t satisfied with the Timss ranking of 43 out of 45 countries in math and science are we? We want the absolute bottom rank or none at all.

    It’s the Tagalog lobby in that 500,000-strong labor union fighting for its share of the 150 billion peso expenditure on education. I bet you every single one of those hypocrites that signed the petition write, think and speak almost exclusively in English, except when they are trying to win National Artist awards!

  7. Please publish the petition in full. I’m sorry, but for the life of me, I can’t remember the correct translation of “petition” today. Sayang! [Sigh!]

  8. “Also, I am mystified by the claim (at the end of your PDI column today) that students can best learn math and science in their native tongues. Tell me, what is the Filipino word for math? Science? Differential equations? Calculus? Gravitation? Quantum Mechanics?”

    do you need to have filipino words for them to explain the concepts behind them in filipino? there is no need to transliterate all mathematical registers if that is what you mean by having the subject taught in filipino. but certainly, because math is universal, this can be taught in any language. the question now is, which language contributes to more effective learning?

    commonly tested in schools: “subtract 4 by 3”. is the answer 1? ngunit kung bawasan mo ang 4 nang 3, ang sagot ay 1, di ba? but not “subtract 4 by 3”, because english does not allow the use of “by” in subtraction. and yet how often do we hear this filipinism in school. and we boast of our proficiency in the english language?

    is calculus an english word? is matematika not the same as mathematics? is siyensia not science? of course, i do not advocate the translation of every word, much as the english language is the most impure language for having adopted just about every language in the world.

    so what about if the petition is written in english? where’s the irony there is we claim ourselves to be bilingual?

    read the 1999 timss result: 10% of the 150 sampled schools from luzon to mindanao took the test in filipino (can you imagine that–the cebuanos taking the test in filipino?). the difference is statistically significant from the english test takers, in favor of the filipino takers. surprise, surprise.

    ayon nga kay fr. ferriols, ang putang ina ay mas malutong na mura sa sariling wika. yet the whores are found just about everywhere.

  9. “where’s the irony there is we claim ourselves to be bilingual?”

    that should read IF not is.

  10. Inidoro,
    The fact is there is no natural language called Filipino (they changed it by the way from “Pilipino” a few years back which now stands for the nationality and vice versa!).

    Strictly speaking Filipino is a purely artificial language, like Esperanto, officially defined by an institute somewhere in Diliman and by law to be some percentage of the dialects Tagalog, Ilocano, Cebuano, Hiligaynon etc.

    I’ve always said this here: we do not choose the language, the language chooses us through the accidents of history.

    The irony I refer to is the fact that those petitioners and their interlocutors, including the supreme court and almost everybody here, would be incapable of conducting the discussion over it in any meaningful way, except in English, because they ALL would have to translate the English in their heads into spoken Esperanto, err, Filipino.

    What most people fail to realize is that unlike religion or ideology, math and science are unfinished labors which rely almost entirely for further progress on the fruitful exchange of ideas, old and new, among its practitioners in all countries. NOthing is ever re-invented or re-discovered from scratch. Every generation of scientists and mathematicians, perforce stand on the shoulders of those who came before. Liberal notions of “to each his own nationalism” just don’t help things any in these realms because a commonality of language is key to checking each others’ work, and sharing both wrong and right ideas.

    Sure science and math could be taught in Filipino, but where are the textbooks? the scientific papers? the peer-reviewed journals? the lab manuals, etc that are crucial to such learning?

    It is a practical issue!

    Ngunit, kung iyon ang ninanais mo, kaya ko rin namang makipagtalakayan sa iyo hinggil sa masalimuot at kabighabighaning usaping ito na gamit ang panananalitang ganiri. Subalit naiiba ito sa suliranin na tinutukoy ko hinggil sa Math at Science, na kung saan ang hirap na ngang ipaliwanag ang mga pinagiisipang bagay sa kahit anong linguahe na pagpipilitan pa nating isalin sa Filipino–eh wala namang salita para sa mga konsepto — kailangang imbentuhin pa ng mga dalubhasa ang mga ito.
    Malaking kasinungalingan ang sinasabi nila na mas naiintidihan ng mga bata ang Filipino pagdating sa agham.

    Kaawaawa naman ang mga bata kung pipilitin ng mga mayayabang na ipako sila sa kadiliman.

  11. mlq3, do you or don’t you know that in our governmental scheme, the Bureau of Immigration is UNDER the Department of Justice; that a bureau is subordinate to a department
    and a bureau director reports to a department head? What is your problem with “reducing” the bureau’s power and “shifting” it to the department? Did you think the Bureau of Immigration had independent power over and above the DOJ? If your answer to all these is no, please rectify and explain your inaccuracy to your readers who might have been misled.

  12. djb,

    i have no argument that a frutiful exchange need to be made in math and science for ideas to prosper. but we need to contextualize your vision: you are certainly looking at posttertiary level where we can expect learners to have understood a high degree of the semiotics of mathematics, where verbal language would not matter much anymore because math already talks in its OWN language, facilitated only by natural language [how lengthly is the english you read in a math proposition anyway, if these are not peppered by prepositions? not that long]. you think the japanese mathematicians need to be proficient in english in order to have understood andrew wiles’ proof of fermat’s theorem, which naturally wiles have to verbally explain in english, but, hey, when written in the language of mathematics, certainly you can expect the japs to pick up the meanings of the integral and derivatives or what have you because these are universal registers. and who dictates that english has to be the common language of the language of math? last i read, the options are open, too, to french, german and russian. and japanese, of course, if you are taking your specialization in japan.

    okay, let’s talk on school level. textbooks: can we not use english-worded textbooks for this purpose, and do the explaining in the local vernacular (if you are allergic to the artificiality of filipino, which i agree)? i see nothing wrong with that. it only strengthens our bilingualism.

    “the scientific papers? the peer-reviewed journals?” that’s because you are already biased in your preference for english. do you think the leading academic countries i’ve enumerated earlier have all their journals written in english? you expect the french to bow to english? no way. but what i can expect is there are academicians who will take the extra mile to translate their works in other languages, where the need to share is foremost to their agenda and scientific concern.

    in a country of million illiterates like ours, shouldn’t we emulate this PRACTICALITY? educate our children in the best way we could, in the language that is best understood. eh kung mayaman ka, abaý who’s to stop your children from learning their maths and sciences in english? eh kung mahirap ka, baluktot na nga ang edukasyon mo, babaluktutin mo pa ba ito sa pagtuturo ng mga konsepto sa isang ibang lengwahe? no djb, nationalism has nothing to do with the issue–at least to me, but MOTHER TONGUE does.

    you said:

    “Malaking kasinungalingan ang sinasabi nila na mas naiintidihan ng mga bata ang Filipino pagdating sa agham.”

    i don’t buy that. look at the top ten countries that made it to timss–except for singapore (but there are other factors that come into play here, foremost is confusian ethics)–and check out the langauge they use in taking the tests and in learning the subjects.

    or i suggest you think out of the box: what is common with our experience with south africa, who is at the bottom rung in timss, be that 1999 or 2003? we are both countries who learned our mathematics and science in english.

  13. inidoro,
    there are other problems than language with our math and science education. Right off the bat is the outrage that the science subject has been abolished (since 2002) and is no longer taught at all at the Grades one and two level in ALL public schools. (dozens of posts on my blog about this vast stupidity by our curriculum developers). 60% of the Curriculum is actually taken up by MAKABAYAN subject. What this singular insanity did is to cut the legs out from under the Secondary Science program since the elementary school graduates now arrive with 33% percent less preparation. Shoot me already, somebody please, but if you don’t teach science–I don’t care what language you use–the kids will be there with South Africa, who by the way suffered more from apartheid than English.

    As for your point about “post-tertiary” — science is not a cultural topic. if you are going to train scientists and mathematicians they better be able to participate in it AFTER they get their formal schooling or what’s an education for? Moreover, the absence of textbooks and instructional materials in the various native tongues (since Tagalog is even more foreign to a Cebuano than English is!) is no trivial matter. It is not practical to use the English textbooks and then explain it in some other language, though I am not against that practice per se. It’s a good way to get the children interested in the subject matter anyway.

    Look I’ve got nothing against bilingualism–what really matters is what really works. What these academics are petitioning the Court to do however is B.S. pure and simple. There’s not a single one of them who is a mathematician or a scientist anyway I notice. They’re poets and social scientists or something.

  14. well and good. bring math and science back in at the early stage. in whatever language.

    and know what i think: only people who are competent in math and science should be registered to teach in these subjects. raise their salaries so they don’t get poached by u.s. department of education.

    on south africa: but it was also apartheid that impounded them to learn in english.

  15. inidoro:
    if it WAS apartheid that impounded them into English, why now do they still use English? As I said, you cannot actually make a conscious choice of what language you are proficient in to begin with–the language of your very thoughts and arguments are wired into you BEFORE you can make such a choice.

    “Poached by the US Dept. of Education” or forced out by the fact that our Deped is looking for Makabayan teachers!

    But we’ll take this all up again when all the usual sources begin wringing their wrists and bleeding their hearts in June over how “we are not spending enough on education”!

    I say there is more than enough to build all the school buildings and class rooms and science and language labs the kids really need–just get rid of about 20% of Makabayan and all the pious but useless subjects in it.

    If you want to understand the Philippine education system–follow the money by understanding what is wrong with the CURRICULUM and how it’s the biggest labor unions secret honey pot– and that of the money lenders that prey on the teachers and their guaranteed salaries.

    Definitely pay the science and math teachers more, but why would they even stay when you ABOLISH the subjects they teach. And why train to be a science teacher when we just CUT science by 33% and want to teach what is left in a language that doesn’t have the vocabulary for it, nor the textbooks, nor the math and science teachers competent to teach it in any language than what they learnt it in?

  16. BTW,
    Know why nobody reads Noli Me Tangere or El Filibusterismo, in English or Pilipino?

    Coz nobody understands the titles!

  17. DJB, I’ll be posting articles by educators where they say the poor Timms scores are as much a function of math and science being taught in English -and the tests taken in Englis- when the other test takers do both in their own native languages. That and the deteriorating educational system in general.

  18. bencard, you know as well as i, that there is the normal chain of command, but that presidents as part of their powers can reduce the responsibilities of certain officials to nominal authority; that what was normally the powers of an official can be taken away and added to a superior official who had nominal supervisory authority but can find that authority increased and the responsibilities enhanced. what the commissioner of immigration used to be able to do, very clearly, the president feels the secretary of justice should now do. that’s news worthy and is a mark of esteem (for the official getting more power) by any bureaucrat’s book.

  19. Jefferson vs. Hamilton. That dichotomy no longer exists. Jefferson believed in an agricultural based economy but Hamilton believed that the future lay in manufacturing and technology. When most of the small farms disappeared and together with the arriving immigrants who formed the foundation for the American labor force the Democrats became the party of labor while the Republicans became the party of bankers and industrialists. Alexander Hamilton founded the Bank of New York. Trained by Jewish bankers in his youth in the West Indies he became the First Secretary of the Treasury.

    That has served as the basis for the split of the Democratic and Republican party but the establishment of the Federal Reserve in 1913 proved that Alexander Hamilton was a man who had far insight into the future. He saved the Union from coming apart after the revolution by having the Federal Government guarantee the state scripts that was used to finance the states fight vs England. He got George Washington to impose the whiskey tax. He set up the basis for the high tariff wall vs Europe and this lasted till almost the Second World War that allowed the U.S. to industrialize. It was his ideas that influenced F. Lizst a German who passed on his ideas to the Germans and this became the basis for the establishment of the German industrial machine. The Germans then had regional central banks that eventually unified under one Central monetary Bundesbank along the same lines as what Hamilton had designed.

    Again during the Civil War Lincoln issued greenbacks to help finance the war. His ideas of a national financial system was the strategic policy tool that laid the foundation for the industrialization of the United States. Without a national financial system you do not have a modern economic system.

    It was the individual J.P. Morgan who saved the banking system in 1907 from collapse. When France and England started withdrawing their gold from the U.S. to fund the First World War, that set the stage for the consolidation of the banking system under the private corporate entity now called the Federal Reserve of the United States.

    Under the power of law it gave tremendous powers to bankers to issue credit with the implicit guarantee of the State which in turn monetized credit.

    Like the Bank of England both institutions are private entities owned by their stockholders the private banks.

    Today money which started out as commodities evolved to gold then to fiat national currencies based on faith in a national economy. Money that started out as a claim on goods and services has now evolved as a claim on money itself. Billions are made by trying to second guess the institution that sets the price for money, The Federal Reserve.

    Jefferson hated banks and paper money. During his time it was a capital crime to debase metal coinage. Today debasing paper money is an economic tool to pumprime economies in depression and also for corrupt government to steal.

  20. “if it WAS apartheid that impounded them into English, why now do they still use English? As I said, you cannot actually make a conscious choice of what language you are proficient in to begin with–the language of your very thoughts and arguments are wired into you BEFORE you can make such a choice.”

    that’s like asking why now do us Filipinos still use English despite having gained our independence from the U.S. a long time ago. that is because we are trapped in an uneasy situation of weighing on the imperatives of globalization, where english is deemed to be the universal language of commerce and trade. [which is debatable, because, you see, when money talks, trade can be done in any language.] so yes, us filipinos and them south afros end up semi-linguals in both english and mother tongue. sad no? language is indeed wired, but that’s where bourdieu’s notion of cultural capital makes for a strong argument: eh, if english makes you in, hala let’s speak in english na kahit walang laman yong sinasabi mo.

    i totally agree with you in regard curriculum requirement. for the life of me (if i were to borrow your expression earlier), why do we need to study rizal over and over again in grade school, when all we end up to is knowing how many siblings rizal have, and who the names of his parents were, without understanding his works which foment the revolution. if rizal had to use noli and el fili for titles in his novels, i suspect he was victim to the notion of globalization at that time, he probably thought he’d sell more of his works in the romance language of the european kind. makes me wonder if english was the global language during his period, would he had fallen for the kitschic “touch me not?” (but then that’s just me and my convoluted hypothesis).

  21. MLQ3,

    The claim that we beat out only countries like Haiti and Somalia in three successive TIMSS tests because we give the tests in English is utterly contradicted by the similarly dismal results of the national NEAT and NSAT testing, which are given in Filipino.

    So could it be because we teach these subjects in English? That claim is utterly wrong too because Filipinos who migrate to America or anywhere else, excel in math and science and they don’t study math and science in Fil-Esperanto.

    I say it is because we don’t teach them enough math and science, preferring to teach them patriotism and religion through that Makabayan subject invented by Roco–against the very specific recommendation of the TIMSS to Bro. Andrew Gonzalez to streamline and decongest our curriculum and concentrate on the basics: reading, writing and rithmetic. But Roco was gonna run for President see and wanted a large plantilla–which is why Makabayan is 60% of the curriculum (and 60% of the 150 billion pesos I might add) What do our friends in academe want: 99%? Instead of the three subjects Andrew wanted (Math Science Language) Roco and GMA have stuffed TWELVE subjects into the curriculum (Math English Science Filipino and Makabayan with seven sub-subjects–most of them worthless as academic subjects–what we used to call “extracurricular” )

    btw, for those who are wondering, Timss stands for Trends in Math and Science Study–a periodic international scientific survey that involves about 600,000 students at the grade 4 and 8 levels from up to 50 countries and school districts. The US typically ranks 20th or so, we are just above Haiti and Somalia at the bottom, toprankers are usually HongKong, Singapore, Japan, Korea and Finland!

    Regarding bilingual education, the debate over it was hot and heavy in California throughout the sixties and seventies in the Mexican American Community, where similar (very similar!) arguments were put forth on both sides. But the empirical data shows, and even the Mexicans now believe it, that the massive “politically correct” support for teaching Mexicans in Spanish at the early years of the education system, only deepened their ghettoization and delayed their integration into the wider society of America.

    I make a similar point for us today.

    Given the speed and volume at which scientific knowledge is being discovered and developed nowadays, we would only be building in an illogical disadvantage for our students, scientists and mathematicians, if they had to rely on translated works. Besides, you are assuming that there are enough linguists who are also good enough scientists and mathematicians to translate them into Filipino!

    Science and Math are more like Poetry than anything else–in that they are the Occam-razored sculptures of the truth, wrung from the clutching hands of God and the Universe by really smart, really lucky men and women, whose curiosity and intellects were unbound by ideologies like nationalism or superstition.

  22. i am speaking in a point of view of a student who at my young age experienced the issue of the MEDIUM of INSTRUCTION. you may oppose or not, but this is my experience.

    The Concept of Photosynthesis at 2nd grade. Of course, most terms are in English and we were taught in English. Lucky me, I easily understood the idea although at some point, I find myself confused with the process. Now at the end of the discussion, teachers would usually ask who failed to understand the idea, and grade school stuff as I call it, no one will admit it (some find it shameful to say they don’t understand). So my teacher asked who understood, and only a few raised their hands which meant that most didn’t fully understand the concept.

    Next day, our teacher explained it in Filipino still using English for the scientific terms. At the end of day, everybody understood how the process of photosynthesis go about.

    At a young age, I feel a sense of trouble. Why? Because I know that entrance exams or just the simple periodical exams will be given in English and there’s no way or time we would have to translate things to understood the concept and answer the questions.

    Now what am I saying.. even if subjects are taught in Filipino, examinations,tests and interviews will still be given in English. and that is where the trouble lies.

    I love our language, even more because i know i can right better using Filipino but the world, as we all know is becoming a global village, without barriers and speaking a language the world knows, is a weapon one must have if he wants to succeed in life (if success is defined as a good career with a competitive salary that provides your future, stability. and applies if you’re coming from a middle class family who needs to sweat everyday to live a decent life).

    All of these are experience, my own experiences.

  23. “So could it be because we teach these subjects in English? That claim is utterly wrong too because Filipinos who migrate to America or anywhere else, excel in math and science and they don’t study math and science in Fil-Esperanto.”

    but djb, consider who make up this sub-sample of migrants. what are the statistical chances that they already belong in the upper rank bracket from among the typical population of timss test takers? and don’t these students already have better learning conditions while they were still students in the philippines–i.e., private education trained, english-language support at home, where these conditions do not hold true for the majority of filipino students (use household income as proxy variable for english proficiency; and while at it, also use this as variable to determine probability of being able to migrate to english speaking u.s. of a.).

    am not sure if you are being cynical, but haiti and somalia are not among the timss participants. the children in these impoverished war torn countries cannot be bothered by education anymore, much less, takes the timss test in english or otherwise.

  24. janie:

    “Now what am I saying.. even if subjects are taught in Filipino, examinations,tests and interviews will still be given in English. and that is where the trouble lies.”

    question: are you tested for your competency in the subject content or in your english language proficiency?

    a dilemma indeed in congruency. but based on your learning experience (and i share the same with many concepts in biology: e.g., digestive system), a person who fully understand the scientific concepts in their native language is certainly not less knowledgeable just because he or she is unable to express them in english. if any, that renders the english test instrument invalid and unreliable.

  25. Could somebody please SUE GONZALEZ ALREADY??? Nobody can defend what he did in a court of law, and I’m sure the Supreme Court will deliver what is the clear-cut decision in this case. Put the bastard away, once and for all.

    Nga lang, I’m sure that Gonzalez’s new (unspoken) motto is “If I go down, I’m taking everyone with me.” While most of us would be delighted, I’m sure GMA will make sure it doesn’t happen. I’d like to see what she’ll do in this case, though.

    Raul Gonzalez: one huge reason to vote GO.

  26. inidoro ni emilie :


    “Now what am I saying.. even if subjects are taught in Filipino, examinations,tests and interviews will still be given in English. and that is where the trouble lies.”

    question: are you tested for your competency in the subject content or in your english language proficiency?
    but how will someone answer a question if he’s having a hard time understanding what the question is in the first place? it might be a shallow example.. but again, in my experience, i’ve encountered some people who knows the answer but can’t answer because they didn’t understood the question and will say “ah, un lang pala un! 🙂

  27. ^ You’ll be taught english, too, at a higher grade level.

    Common sense lang yang vernacular as medium of instruction. Nag-aaral pa lang mag-inggles yung bata, iinglisin mo na kaagad ang pagpapaliwanag ng science at math. Ok lang yun sa mga tulad natin na lumaki sa looney tunes at iniingles ng magulang, pero paano na yung mga talagang hindi naeexpose sa ingles? Doble pahirap sila, mahirap na nga yung science, ituturo mo pa gamit ang lenggwaheng inaaral pa lang nila?

  28. reminds me that our counting system in pilipino is more powerful than english, because by the time you reach counting 12 to 19, the concept of place value in english is lost. unlike in filipino: labing isa, labim dalawa, etc.,

    dalawapu’t(dalawa na tag-sampu), means 2 tens which the english twenty doesn’t capture with the same intensity. and we still claim english is more effective? only because we grew up believing it is.

  29. Agree with Ca T, on the survey comparison. No need for such comparison.

    The surveys is actually validating what we have been saying all along. That it will be 6-5-1 or 7-4-1 in favor of the administration.

    And to those who wanted to make this election as a referendum for Gloria should now start accepting fact that it simply not true that majority of the people wanted her out! And please drop that legitimacy issue now!

  30. mlq3, thanks again for the links! Just a minor correction, the topic was about Jefferson vs. Hamilton (not Madison). Come to think of it, Jefferson vs. Madison would be a good topic to write about next:-)

  31. mlq3,

    while your comparative data shows strong positive correlation in the results of the two surveys, the statistics behind them could be made more powerful using meta-analysis, a statistical approach which allows for the analysis of several surveys of varying parameters provided you are measuring the same phenomenon–which is not violated in this case for the phenomenon is electorate preference.

  32. Maybe lets set one thing straight –

    all efforts to make the vernacular the medium of instruction do not do away with English altogether. English will still be used, but only in English subjects. The rest of the subjects will be in the vernacular (the regional vernacular).

    and the use of the regional vernacular will only be for the first few years of grade school. as the level goes higher the medium will become all-English

  33. anthony:

    “and the use of the regional vernacular will only be for the first few years of grade school. as the level goes higher the medium will become all-English.”

    and that is, i reckon, how the european bilingual education model works. first 3 years, generally, because basic concepts (the 3 r’s) are better taught in the first language. and by the time to get to middle school they learn and teach their english seriously. a model to emulate.

  34. DECS officials blaming head lice for poor performance in NSAT examination make more sense than those who blame the medium of instruction for it.

    Fact is, mahirap talaga turuan ang estudyanteng gutom at kumakalam ang tiyan, na pawis na pawis pa kung dumating sa eskwelahan dahil sa paglalakad sa init. Idagdag mo pa dito ang problema sa paaralang punong puno ng estudyante, walang blackboard, at wala ni isa mang libro, pilipino man o ingles.

    My point is, malaki na ang problema, wag ng nating palakihin pa! Bagong konstitusyon, bagong medium of instruction, bagong batas, bagong pamunuan… yan ba talaga ang solusyon? O, di kaya yang pabago-bagong isip na yan ang siyang mismong problema?

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