Computer Programming to graders

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III is urging the Department of Education (DepEd) to include teaching computer programming, in the K-12 program in grade school.

Pimentel said “Coding is now an essential skill due to the prevalence of computers in our daily lives. It should be treated like reading, writing, and arithmetic, not just as a career option,”

“By teaching code, we can take advantage of children’s fascination with technology to help them learn mathematical concepts in a manner they find entertaining,” he said.

The Senate chief added that the subject  to learn of the grade schoolers “life skills” such as perseverance and problem-solving.

Pimentel said it would also improve the performance of the schools in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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LTO Campaign produces different outcome

Filipino commuters and drivers reacted to the campaign of Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) “Oplan tanggal bulok, tanggal usok” for public utility vehicles (PUV) which started last January 8, 2018.

This campaign was made by the government as part of modernization program and to help restraint air pollution in Metro Manila. This was also intended to keep the safety of the commuters from those dilapidated jeepneys that have bald tires, and have problems in headlight, signal light, hand break and sphere that can cause an accident.

On the day it was implemented it brought problem to the passengers because they didn’t receive a notice that the government will conduct this kind of activity.

   “Dapat nag advice muna sila, para ganito aware kami, kasa may pasok kami, male-late na kami eh” one commuter said.

However, commuters are not against to this campaign because this is for their safety but they should provide an alternative vehicle for them not to experience interruption. Though they know that this is for the sake of the nation.

     “Sobrang hirap eh, kasi hinuhuli po nila yung old na jeepney nakaka apat po na sakay ako, dati isang way lang.” Ruben Quibral, commute.

The most affected of this campaign was the jeepney drivers. This was their only way to have an income and they had no extra money to fix the jeep that they use because other drivers didn’t have their own jeepney they also pay their boundary to their operators.

   “Ipapaayos ko naman itong jeep na ito eh, kaya lang kapos pa sa pera, sabi ng operator kotagotago lang.” Fernandi Tungol, jeepney driver.

Cutting their trip was the only hope of the Jeepney drivers to avoid I-ACT and LTO personnel, aside from that jeepney operators encounter unfairness because they need to pay the fine and pay on their own for the repair of their jeepneys.

       “Wala po kaming pakundangan, gagawin ho namin ito. Sana maintindihan ng lahat, hindi ito dahil sa modernization lang para ito sa kaligtasan ng ating pasahero.” Department of Transportation (DOTr) undersecretary for roads Jim Orbos said.

The campaign is for the orderliness of everyone and for the sake of the people who are involved in this new implementation of the government.

Last quarter of 2017 Agriculture Performance

Philippine Agriculture production increase a  2.20% in growth for the last quarter of 2017 between October to December. These includes the growth in the production of crops, livestock and poultry subsectors.

In contrast to this, fisheries subsectors recorded a 1.18% reduction in the production for the same quarter of 2017.

Lower production levels were noted for tiger prawns, roundscad and skipjack yet subsector’s gross earnings at current prices amounted to Php66.3  billion, up by 7.80% from last year’s record which is Php61.8 billion.

While the crop subsector recorded an increase in production by 2.66% which contributes the 51.20% to the total agricultural output for the year. 4.37% was the recorded increase in the Palay production while that of corn weaken by 5.73%.

Increments were noted in the production of coconut, sugarcane, banana, pineapple, peanut, cassava, sweet potato, eggplant and rubber. In total of the whole year of 2017, 6.69% was the recorded increase growth in production of crops.

In the livestock subsector, a total of 1.84% of output was gained in the fourth quarter of 2017. It is because of the increased 2.75% growth in the Hog production which was the major source of subsector’s growth.

The subsector grossed a total of Php 85.5 billion for the year representing a 14.39% of increase over last year’s record.

Production of poultry had expanded by 4.73% that accounted for about 15.40% of the total agricultural output for the last quarter of 2017.

The poultry subsector’s gross output went up by 4.62%, earning a Php59.3 billion or 15.22% more than the previous year.

On an annual basis, farmgate prices went up by an average of 4.97% in 2017.

 

Source: Philippine Statistics Authority

Are dengue vaccine considered as a mess?

All the news that spreading around about the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia could do more harm to those have not been infected previously with the mosquito borne dengue virus.

And it is really understandable to be bothered for the parents of those among the estimated 700,000 students who were administered with the vaccine even without being tested first if they had previously been infected with dengue.

According to Sanofi, the French Pharmaceutical company that developed Dengvaxia, said that “analysis confirmed that Dengvaxia provides persistent protective benefit against dengue fever in those who had prior infection for those not previously infected by dengue virus, however, the analysis found that in the longer term, more cases of severe disease could occur following vaccination upon a subsequent dengue infection.”

The alarm has been raised and has caused many parents of children now at risk to fear the worst, the lack of information on what exactly is the severe disease that is to come has ignited more speculation.

It is essential to intensity exerting at getting rid of breeding places of dengue mosquitoes and seeing to whereas our surroundings are kept clean and orderly. It should go a long way in to achieve the lasting protection against the ultimate enemy that has caused so much misery to about 200,000 Filipinos each year.

ARC Bids Farewell

After almost a year and a half of broadcasting, the ABS-CBN Regional Channel, along with sister channels Hero TV and Tag, has ceased broadcasting due to “a change in business directions”. In this piece we will discuss the various reasons why such a promising channel closed down.

Lack of programming choices

When this channel opened up, probably most of us (me included) were expecting the entire library of ABS-CBN Regional programming, alongside occasional live programming such as festival coverages and simulcasts from the regional stations, but those haven’t materialized. Also noticeable were the never-ending repeats of dubbed movies, magazine shows, MOR programs, and the airing of select TV Patrol editions.

Lack of support from the mother station

ABS-CBN Regional is also noticeably one of the least prioritized divisions of the network. When the main channel 2 is airing most of its programming on high-definition, the regional stations remains on standard definition. Also noticeable that when TV Patrol relaunched its graphics on July 2016, the rollout was slow. Even until now, TV Patrol Tacloban is still using the 2013 graphics.

Lack of distribution

ARC was only present on Sky Direct, Sky Cable and Destiny Cable Manila, and select cable providers, if any. Add to that a lack of advertiser support, these factors contributed to the channel’s demise.

This was ABS-CBN’s second experiment in having a channel broadcasting regional content, after the Sarimanok channel. ABS-CBN should be able to learn a lesson in this experience, and other networks should seize the opportunity and create a similar channel which will not fall into the same mistake.

A New Aksyon

Yesterday, TV5’s flagship newscast Aksyon unveiled an updated graphics package and a new theme music, which is an updated version of the one used since its inception in 2010. 

What is noticeable is that PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar is still being used as voiceover when he is in fact already a public official.

Moving along, this change should be a first step in repositioning itself as a worthy alternative to the established newscasts of GMA and ABS-CBN as it first appeared to be seven years ago, until it began losing momentum due to numerous missteps (which is a very long list, an over-exposed news chief is among those). That void is now being filled by CNN Philippines. Add to that is Radyo5 92.3 News FM’s programming issues. 

Despite the MVP Group’s resources, News5 has a long way to go, even if it manages to utilize social media through News5 Everywhere. We can only hope this small change help News5 in regaining the public’s trust. 

How about a “Buwan ng mga Wika”?

Once again we will celebrate the “Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa” which commemorates the decision of the now-Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino to adopt Tagalog as basis for our national language, which will again reignite debates on whether we should keep it as it is or not.

The author of this blog is firm in its position in making fundamental reforms or changes in our official language policy, complementing the shift from a unitary form of government dominated by Manila-based, Tagalog-speaking elites to that of a federal government which reflects the reality that we are a multi-ethnic, multilingual nations and such reform will recognize that diversity.

Filipino has long been seen as merely a variant of the Tagalog language spoken in Metro Manila and its peripheral provinces, or even Tagalog itself just being repackaged as a national language. And because of its prevalent usage in mass media and government, this is being seen as reason why usage of other regional languages are in decline, complicated by the prevailing discrimination among non-Tagalogs, in other words, Imperial Manila. We’re also used in the wrong notion that the non-Tagalog languages (Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Kapampangan, Maranao, Tausug, Ilokano, Bikol, etc. etc. ) are mere dialects of the Filipino language. Is it really that so? How are we going to change this?

One of the ways to rectify this is to change the way we celebrate the month. It is time to celebrate the diversity of languages and start calling it Buwan ng mga Wika, or Month of Philippine Languages, as there are 176 languages existing in this country and they are among what makes us Filipino. This only a small way in helping to correct the decades-long injustice created by our existing language policies.

What do we propose other than changing the character of the celebration every August?

  • Establish a Philippine Language Institute, which will act as the common regulator of all the languages in this country which will help in their protection and preservation for future generations, and will also act as a learning institution to help Filipinos in further studies in learning other languages
  • Encourage the use of 3 or more languages, which can be achieved through constitutional provisions and an educational curriculum which will promote multilingualism
  • Promote a multilingual mass media, with newspapers in national circulation and radio and television stations broadcasting in the various languages in the country
  • A provision in the Constitution which establishes all our languages as co-official alongside English and Spanish

And as a bonus, reform Filipino as a language combining all the existing languages in the country, fulfilling what it was supposed to do, which is bridging the islands with a common language with vocabulary from all languages in the Philippines, and not just a mere extension of Tagalog.

With this month, we hope we can help in fulfilling meaningful change in our language policy, rectify long-held misconceptions, and embrace our diversity. Malipayong buwan sa mga Nasudnong Lengua! (A happy Month of National Languages!)