Monday, October 31, 2005

Relearning English in public schools

DEMAND AND SUPPLY By Boo Chanco, The Philippine Star

It is no secret that we are no longer as proficient in speaking and writing in English because over the last 20 years or so, public education has downgraded English instruction. There was this theory that using Pilipino as the medium of instruction would increase comprehension among other things and deliver better educated Pinoys.

Well, that didn’t happen. The crazy thing is, most of our regional neighbors were going the other way – emphasizing English instruction to better equip their people to compete in today’s globalized world. Even China and Vietnam, whose current regimes couldn’t be faulted for lacking a sense of nationalism, are investing on teaching their people how to speak and write in English. They often hire Filipino English teachers.

In China, there is a feverish effort to make even taxi drivers able to communicate in English. I was told during my recent visit to Shanghai, ability to communicate in English is necessary for taxi drivers to renew their driver’s license. This is probably in preparation for the Olympics. It is also because China is now visited by a large number of foreigners, tourists and investors, something made obvious by the nearly hour-long wait behind long immigration lines at the airport.

The waning of our English-speaking and writing skills couldn’t have come at the worst possible time. Thousands of our graduates remain unemployed and many are unemployable here or abroad because of, among others, inadequate English language skills. Thousands of good jobs requiring ability to communicate in English are unfilled, even as our unemployment rate remains high.

Last I heard, only three out of 10 applicants for call center and other back office jobs are hired because of this problem. Henry Schumacher of the European Chamber of Commerce was telling me of a project wherein they provide English language training for some of those rejects and manage to get a good number of them hired after.

As even our DepEd now admits, our problem is also rooted in lack of teachers. A high percentage of current teachers have poor English skills. That’s because the younger teachers are products of the Pilipino curriculum we have had until recently. The older Filipino English teachers have left to work in China, Thailand, US, Vietnam.

The need to train teachers is obvious. The American Chamber of Commerce, working together with the Makati Business Club and the Philippine Normal University had a pilot group of teachers trained by DynaEd, a computer based interactive language course. Now, I am told by Bambina Buenaventura that they have gone beyond training teachers and have actually gone into the classrooms in selected public schools.

Two of the actual classroom applications of the DynaEd system are sponsored by Philip Morris Philippines in Batangas and by Pilipinas Shell Foundation at the Zamora Elementary School in Pandacan, Manila. Beneficiaries of the Philip Morris project are their scholars and college students from Lyceum of Batangas, Lipa City Colleges & Christian College of Tanauan.

The one from Pilipinas Shell Foundation benefits the Teachers‚ SPEECH (Specialized English Enhancement Course for High School and Elementary Teachers) Program. The beauty of the DynaEd system is that our public school teachers and students get trained not just in English proficiency but also in the use of computers as a multi-media teaching tool.

Incidentally, the DynaEd system also works in the workplace environment. Some corporations have actually started training programs for their employees to gain English proficiency as a tool to improve productivity. Solid Cement Philippines and PHINMA are examples of companies that used the DynaEd system for training their employees.

I imagine there are other systems that can be used to quickly upgrade the English language skills of our young people. There are those who say that preparing students for future jobs shouldn’t be the main concern of education. But then, we don’t have the luxury of educating our people for education’s sake. After going through our educational system, they have to already possess the skills needed for them to land jobs here or abroad.

Even those who seek employment as nurses, or even those who want to work as sailors, need to have better English language skills than the typical high school or college graduate now have. The time may soon come when China, Vietnam and other Asean countries would have better English language proficiency than us. We need to work overtime to regain our historical head start in this area.

The problem now seems too daunting. But if individual companies or groups adopt schools or classes the way Philip Morris and Shell did, the combined effort would yield a better result than if we just waited for government to get its act together in the public schools. Special programs for the currently unemployed would also help them improve their chances of landing a job. Language training is an area ripe for companies to take on as part of their corporate social responsibility projects.

Of course language skills are but one of the skills we need to invest on. But it is a very good place to start.
=======================
A real 8th Grade test from 1895
GOTCHA By Jarius Bondoc
The Philippine Star 10/31/2005

Remember how our grandparents said they only had up to 8th Grade education from the Americans before the War? Yet they always seemed a lot smarter than us when we were in high school or college. Know why?

This is a real 8th Grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, Kansas, picked up from files at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library. The Thomasites – American teachers whose first batch of 48 arrived in Manila in Aug. 1901 aboard the U.S. transport ship Thomas – must have used similar exams on our grandparents. Except for the U.S. history part of the test, you might remember your lolo and lola mentioning these items learned from public schools that the U.S. Army set up during the Occupation. No wonder they were qualified to teach after graduating from 8th Grade. And wonder too how today’s college grads would score on this:

Grammar (Time: 1 hour)

1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.

2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.

3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph.

4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of "lie", "play", and "run".

5. Define case; illustrate each case.

6. What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.

7-10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time: 1.25 hours)

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.

2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 ft. long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?

3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts per bushel, deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?

4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?

5. Find the cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.

6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.

7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per meter?

8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.

9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?

10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U.S. History (Time: 45 minutes)

1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.

2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.

3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.

4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.

5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.

6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.

7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?

8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.

Orthography (Time: 1 hour)

1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?

2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?

3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals.

4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u’.

5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e’. Name two exceptions under each rule.

6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.

7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.

8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.

9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.

10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication. * * *
Incidentally, our Department of Education presently is under a secretary who has yet to be confirmed. Our Commission on Higher has a chairman who is but an officer-in-charge. Only 6 out of every 1,000 Grade 6 elementary graduates are prepared for high school. Only 2 of every 100 4th Year high school graduates are fit to enter college. Filipino students rank 41st in Science and 42nd in Math among 45 countries. Only 19 of every 100 public school teachers have confidence and competence to teach English. * * *
E-mail: jariusbondoc@workmail.com

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Child pornography sa RP malala na!

Ang Pilipino STAR Ngayon

ISA sa mabigat na problema ng bansa ay ang child pornography. Pero dahil sa pagiging abala ng administrasyon sa pagsangga sa banat ng oposisyon, hindi na napag-uukulan ng pansin ang problemang ito. Tsk-tsk-tsk!

Malala na ang pornograpiya sa mga bata. Mas matindi ang mga pinagagawa sa kanila ng mga hayok na pedophiles. Pinagkakakitaan sila ng mga hayok sa laman na Australians, Briton, American at iba pang dayuhang pedophiles. Paboritung-paborito ng mga pedo na puntahan ang Pilipinas. Masayang-masaya sila kapag pumupunta rito para mangaray ng mga menor-de-edad ma-babae man o ma-lalaki. Hindi natatakot ang mga pedo kung pagsamantalahan o kunan nang hubo’t hubad ang mga bata habang nagtatalik. Paano matatakot e wala namang batas ang Pilipinas para harangin ang pagpunta ng mga pedo rito. Malayang-malaya sila ritong kumaladkad ng mga batang hubo’t hubad.

Habang ang ibang bansa ay may matibay na batas laban sa child pornography at cybersex ang Pilipinas naman ay wala man lang panlaban sa mga hayok. Kakatwa pa ngang sa ibang bansa pa nadadakma ang mga pedo habang patungo rito sa Pilipinas. Katulad ng isang Briton na nasabat sa airport sa kanilang bansa habang patungo sa Pilipinas. Nakuha sa kanyang luggage ang santambak na tsokolate, mga sex gadgets at mga kamera para sa computers. Hindi na nakatuntong sa bansa ang hayok. Kung nakapagpatuloy ang hayok na Briton sa Pilipinas, maraming menor-de-edad ang kanyang madadagit. Hindi lamang kasi ang mga bata ang pinangangakuan ng mga hayok kundi pati na rin ang kanilang mga magulang. Matagal nang isyu ang ganito. Gaano karaming kabataang lalaki ang naging biktima ng pedo noon sa Pagsanjan, Laguna; Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro at sa Olongapo? Napakarami. At sa kabila niyan walang batas na makapagparusa sa mga hayok na pedo.

Ngayon ay sopistikado na ang mga gamit at sa pamamagitan ng computer webcam ay maaari nang magpose nang hubad ang mga kabataang lalaki at babae. Mas lalo pang naging talamak ang pornography at wala pa rin namang nagagawang ma- bigat na hakbang ang pamahalaan. Ang tanging nagagawa ay ang salakayin ang mga internent cafe at kumpiskahin ang mga gamit pero ang pedo na operator ay hindi nila magalaw. Wala kasing batas laban sa cybersex at child pornography.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Gov’t eyes 65,000 jobs in new program

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) expects to offset the 55,000 jobs lost from Japan’s new hiring policy with 65,000 new hires of high value and professional jobs from emerging sources and traditional markets as the agency mounts the first international labor mart in the country.


POEA deputy administrator Carmelita S. Dimzon said there are several foreign employers from about 20 countries participating in the forthcoming DOLE Labor Opportunities Program (DOLOP).

"This is the first in the history of the employment programs of the POEA that employers are coming here instead of local licensed agencies going abroad to get job orders," Dimzon said.

So far, employers from about 20 countries are participating in the DOLOP scheduled on November 911 and there are still others that are registering.

"We are looking at high value jobs," Dimzon said noting "It is high time we forget about construction workers but focus on the deployment of professionals and highly skilled workers," Dimzon said.{s:r}{s:r}{s:r}

Dimzon said that part of the POEA strategy is to "look at decent and productive jobs."

According to Dimzon, the loss from the Japan job market may be offset from jobs generation in Israel, Macau, Singapore and China, Australia, the Caribbean countries Norway, Trinidad and Tobago and South Africa, Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, United Kingdom, Kazakhstan and Iran.

"We have OFWs working in the hotels in the Caribbean countries," Dimzon said.

"The strategy is to strengthen hold of traditional markets and tap new and emerging markets.

The new procedure hiring permits of Korea will ensure a 200 percent increase over last year’s deployment of over 900. The new immigration requirements of Singapore for foreign workers specifically the English language proficiency test, are seen to work in favor of the Philippines and will translate to more hirings.

The special hiring program for Taiwan is expected to generate at least 100,000 production workers from the Philippines.

With increased world oil demand, Dimzon said this also translate to increased number of seafarers who will be hired to man oceangoing vessels. The deployment of seafarers is expected to continue to grow by at least 6 percent.

Dimzon further said that POEA is pushing for the hiring of Filipino workers in the supervisory levels in the huge construction projects in the Middle East countries.

For this year, the POEA expects, for the first time, to hit its target of deploying one million workers and attain a 13 percent annual growth for the next five years.

"We and the private sector will continue to achieve one million overseas jobs target annually," said POEA administrator Rosalinda Baldoz.{s:r}

Last year, there were a total of 933,588 workers deployed by POEA or 7.6 percent from 867,969 deployed in 2003. As of October 17 this year, there were 777,724 OFWs deployed by the POEA or an average daily deployment of 2,700 workers.

Last year, official figure released by the Bangko Sentral placed the remittances of the country’s 7.76 million OFWs through the formal banking system breached $8.55 billion. Estimates placed the total remittances to $12 billion inclusive those remitted through the informal nonbanking sector.(BCM)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Dual citizenship rules liberalized—Fernandez

By William B. Depasupil, Manila Times Reporter

THE Bureau of Immigration said Wednesday it will be easier for former Filipino citizens to regain their Philippine citizenship under Republic Act 9225, the Citizenship Reacquisition and Retention Act.

Immigration Commissioner Alipio Fernandez Jr. said on Tuesday that the new implementing rules of the law, which were approved by the Department of Justice, would take effect 15 days after their publication in a national newspaper.

Fernandez said the stringent requirements under the old rules had been removed. The rules were revised, he said, in response to the problems of former Filipino citizens who find it hard to produce certain documents required under the old rules.

Among these required documents is a birth certificate authenticated by the National Statistics Office. Many applicants could not produce their birth certificates, because these were lost during World War II.

Fernandez said that instead of the NSO-authenticated birth certificates, applicants may submit those obtained from the local civil registrar or any other document proving that they are natural-born Filipinos.

The required documents may include an applicant’s old Philippine passport, his voter’s affidavit and marriage contract indicating his Philippine citizenship.

Fernandez said applicants for dual citizenship who are living overseas may apply with the Philippine diplomatic missions abroad

Please pass this on to our fellow Filipinos.

Dear Ms. Hart,
 
According to the Immigration Customs Enforcement Agency, Filipino citizens who are caught with pirated dvds/vcds will not be allowed to enter the United States and their U.S. visa will be revoked.  American citizens who are caught with less than 50 pirated dvds/vcds will be subject to fines and the disks will be seized.  And, American citizens who are caught with more than 50 pirated dvds/vcds will be subject to fines, arrest and criminal prosecution.
 
I hope this information is helpful.
 
Sincerely,

Sigrid T. Manalang
ACS Assistant
U.S. Embassy, Manila
Tel. No.: (02) 528-6300 ext. 2246
Fax No.: (02) 522-3242
 
Travelers to US bringing pirated DVDs to face visa-cancellation: DFA 10/07 3:32:13 PM
The Department of Foreign Affairs Thursday reiterated the warning issued by the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. to all Filipino travelers to the United States against bringing into the country any pirated item or items.
The Philippine Embassy said that based on the travel advisory from the U.S. Commercial Service, anyone bringing any pirated item or items "would face automatic deportation in violation of intellectual property rights, or arrest and criminal prosecution, in addition to civil fines and penalties." The Embassy further warned that: "Please remember that even ONE pirated item could jeopardize your trip."
Based on the advisory, the Philippine Embassy said that US Customs officials are also looking into fake bags like Louis Vitton, Coach, Gucci, Prada, etc. but even cosmetics, too!
And not only pirated VCD/DVDs are on the hot list, the American Association of Publishers (AAP) has also alerted the American customs officers to check out for pirated books.
For this reason, the Philippine Embassy reiterated the warning from the U.S.
Commercial Service to all nursing graduates who plan to take the NCLEX and CGF exams in the US not to bring in these pirated books because there will be a penalty of automatic deportation as violation of intellectual property
rights.
This warning goes especially to anyone going from the Philippines and coming back to the US with "pasalubong and padalas," the advisory added.
The advisory cited a report that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) searched the bag of a Filipino entering the US on NW 72 in Detroit.
During the search, 70-80 compact discs, 30-40 empty DVD jackets and 10-20 DVDs were found. Since the travelers were not American citizens, their visas were canceled and they returned to the Philippines.
If they had been Americans, they could have been subject to arrest and criminal prosecution in addition to civil fines and penalties, the advisory added.
The Philippine Embassy further reminded Filipinos traveling to the US that, also based on the advisory, the fingerprinting system has successfully been instituted in all port of entries and they would bring extra identification
cards in addition to the Philippine passport to facilitate the entry in the US Immigration.
 
Visit  http://SubicBay.Ph
for latest developments in Olongapo Freeport City, GawangGapo, Sanggunian, BagumbayanVolunteers, InterGapo Wow Wow Win Subik

Candaba's migratory birds are flu-free

CLARK ZONE: Mayor Jerry Pelayo of Candaba, Pampanga, on Thursday assured that the 8,000 migratory birds which have begun swarming to his town have so far been free of avian-influenza virus.

Pelayo said that under “Oplan Iwas Bird Flu” they have already established quarantine centers and a mobile laboratory to monitor possible bird-flu virus in the area.

Personnel of the Department of Health, the Philippine National Police, the Department of Agriculture and Barangay councils man the quarantine centers.

He also said that checkpoints have been set up in key areas in Candaba to monitor the transport of live poultry products to possible prevent bird-flu infections.

There have been no specific findings yet that migratory birds carry the virus.

Pelayo warned that smuggled birds from Indonesia such as lovebirds are susceptible to bird-flu virus.

He said that a nationwide caravan supported by sectoral organizations would generate awareness on the prevention of the virus in the country.

Candaba swamps have become a tourist attraction because of the migration of birds from other countries every year. Pelayo noted, “Candaba is only one of the 24 migratory sites in the country.” Migratory birds come mostly come from China, Siberia, Australia, Taiwan, Korea and Japan

Thursday, October 13, 2005

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GMA biased against poor buyers of second-hand cars

POSTSCRIPT By Federico D. Pascual, Jr. The Philippine Star

BIAS SHOWING: The Arroyo administration’s bias against the poor is showing with its selective harassment of owners of used motor vehicles that had been converted to left-hand drive (LHD) before registration.

Many buyers in good faith of such used vehicles are complaining that the Land Transportation Office has been subjecting them to harassment not inflicted on other car-owners presenting their vehicles for renewal of registration.

These used vehicles, imported as right-hand-drive (RHD) and converted to LHD before taken out of the free trade zone, had been checked for smoke emission, roadworthiness, etc., and the proper taxes paid on them BEFORE they were originally registered by the LTO.

Having inspected and registered them after finding all the requirements to have been complied with, the LTO has no more business singling them out now for unusual harassment. * * *
NO VIOLATION: Their objective must be to discourage buyers of cheap converted cars that have been competing with the exorbitantly priced brand-new models imported or assembled by "automotive manufacturers."

Everybody must be reminded that the law prohibits the DRIVING of right-hand drive vehicles on Philippine roads, not their IMPORTATION.

So before the imported RHD cars are taken out of the free trade zone, such as Subic, they are converted to LHD with the use of industry-accepted conversion kits and thereby made safe and legal for use on public roads. Where is the violation?

Before the used cars are brought out of the free trade zone, they are tested to satisfy the government’s stringent requirements. Taxes due are paid before they are registered by the LTO and sold to the public.

Having checked compliance and registered them in a regular procedure, the LTO cannot now arbitrarily stop them on the road. The LTO must stop harassing buyers in good faith and making life miserable for them when they present their vehicles for re-registration.
* * *
HOW MUCH?: It is obvious that some LTO officials are working to advance the business of the importers and assemblers of brand-new vehicles whose units they do not subject to the same scrutiny.

But why should government personnel go out of their way to do that? Are they being paid to harass buyers in good faith of tax-paid converted second-hand vehicles?

People should not be punished for being able to afford only second-hand cars. It is not their fault that, because they are not wealthy, they cannot buy the overpriced models being peddled by the "automotive manufacturers."

We place their name in quotation marks, because despite the many decades that they had been given a chance to show they are deserving of government incentives, these big businessmen in the automotive business have failed to manufacturer even one unit.

They just import the vehicles already assembled or bring in the knocked-down parts and assemble the units locally to escape paying the correct duties and taxes for completely built units.
* * *
SUDDEN, SELECTIVE: There are charges every now and then that these converted vehicles had been smuggled – meaning no duties had been paid on them.

If this were the case, by all means the vehicles must be seized. But government agents should not do that after they had accepted the correct tax payment, issued receipts and certifications, and registered the vehicles.

They should not pretend to enforce the law by spot-checking and running after the vehicles in the streets.

When one buys one these converted vehicles, he gets full official documentation as to taxes paid, smoke emission compliance, etc., and LTO registration. Where is the violation?

If indeed there were/are violations, then the vehicles should not have been registered by the LTO in the first place.

Who is paying LTO officials for their sudden interest in enforcing the rules selectively and their harassing the buyers in good faith of converted vehicles?

If the government wants to collect taxes, it should press the tax case, for instance, of a giant distributor who reportedly cheated the government of more than P1 billion by putting small seats in the luggage section of its van to make it appear to be a 10-seater and therefore exempted from excise tax.
* * *
RHD IMPACT: The harassment of buyers in good faith of second-hand converted vehicles has been on-and-off.

Last May, we already noted this in POSTSCRIPT. We said then that imported second-hand vehicles have been the busy backbone of the building and construction industry, as well as small and medium-sized businesses.

Their use has been crucial also in relief and rescue operations in disasters and calamities. They have been the fallback of families looking for inexpensive but reliable vans and utility vehicles.

Importers and vendors of used vehicles point out that no registered indentor, manufacturer, and assembler of brand-new vehicles can claim as much involvement in infrastructure projects and in countryside development.

For every RHD car converted, the importer pays workers a package price ranging from P25,000 to P40,000. Considering the package price and the number of vehicles registered in Subic in 2004 alone, some P1.9 billion was infused to the local economy last year.

The 8,000 workers in the second-hand motor vehicle industry in Subic include contractors, painters, mechanics, tinsmiths, converters from RHD to LHD, air-con mechanics, upholsterers, electricians, suppliers of parts, glass and accessories that are locally sourced.

Add to these peso figures the billions in taxes paid on the used vehicles. Contrast their contribution with the P1 billion-plus in taxes that just one prominent distributor of brand-new cars had avoided paying by distorting the configuration of his luxury model.
* * *
SMUGGLING REPORT: Sen. Richard Gordon, meanwhile, said that officials of the Poro Point Development Corp. had told him that a ship with 400 used RHD vehicles from Korea unloaded without import permits 56 of the vehicles in Poro Point, La Union, with the rest bound for the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

By all means, if the report is true, the government should seize the vehicles and punish the culprits. It is only when the government shows it means business that taxpayers behave.

"Imagine the audacity of these smugglers who seem to not have any fear of the law, that they find every means possible and move from port to port, if necessary, to engage in these illegal activities that are obviously very profitable for them but detrimental to our country," Gordon said.

He noted that while the government asks the people to pay more taxes, such as the controversial Value-Added Tax, "a powerful few are growing rich by breaking the law, and laughing all the way to the bank!"

The senator said that Juanito Antonio and Tony Manguiat, president and vice president, respectively, of the PPDC, refused to issue entry permits for the vehicles because the shipment did not have import documentation.

Despite this, the importers managed to obtain a court order to release the cars. See how even the courts get into the act? Is it the hard times or sheer force of habit? * * *
TPL RACKET: Also on motor vehicles, former Insurance Commission chief Benjamin Santos is asking senators to investigate a vehicle insurance scam that he said has deprived the government of at least P410 million in annual revenue.

Santos said he is willing to testify on the irregularities in the non-life insurance sector, which allegedly involved at least four majority congressmen connected to vehicle insurance companies.

These congressmen reportedly asked him to spare vehicle insurance companies who had insufficient capital to fund their Compulsory Third Party Liability (CTPL) policies for private vehicle owners.

Santos insinuated that some of the congressmen whom he failed to please had worked for his removal from his IC post. He was served his walking papers last Wednesday.

Insurance companies dealing with CTPL policies earn over P2.6 billion annually, P500 million of which should go to the government. But fake insurance policies are being sold for as low as P600. Owners of the fake policies are never paid their claims when they meet with accidents.
* * *
ePOSTSCRIPT: You can read POSTSCRIPT at www.manilamail.com even before it sees print. Old columns dating as far back as five years ago can be accessed in the ManilaMail archive. E-mail comments to manilamail@pacific.net.ph. You can also use your cellphone. Type POSTSCRIPT, (space), followed by your name and message (not to exceed 149 characters), and send to 2960.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

TAGBOARD CONTENT

WebMaster: This TagBoard will be for exclusive use during the World Scouts Jamboree On The Internet (JOTI) starting 14 October to 17 October 2005. Thank You and Mabuhay!
GENER: The gesture of SBMA Chairman Fil Salonga and Administrator/CEO Armand Arreza to work closely with LGUs is truly commendable.
Bernard: The home-made chocolates at Gawang Gapo Exhibit was excellent.
nashflip69: poor people makes the country poorer...as long as the "MY BUAYANG INGITERO,MY LALABAS NA BAGONG ISYU"....Tssk!Tsssk! kawawang GOBYERO!WLA NG MATINO...LAHAT MANGUNGULIMBAT!
franc Nat'l Council: good day sir i was just wondering how you keep discipline in your council. among the Central Conclave the best ang un lang
darwin: tama yon bawal ang tamad at magnanakaw kac nung huling camping namanin nawalan ako ng 500 sa wallet ko
Investor: I believe the president made the right choice this time. Expect our full support!
Sa bagong SBMA: “bawal ang tamad, bawal ang tanga, at lalong bawal ang magnanakaw at mangongotong!”
:-(: anak ng teteng, ano ba yan, balik smuggling nanaman!
BatangGapo: I think the logical sequence is for Zambales and Bataan to develop itself . . at hindi umasa at agawin ang pinaghirapan ng Olongapo Volunteers
v1: its long overdue dude bring back the pride and the prestige
nice one v1: how about s.b.m.a Subic Bay Missed Arreza and the volunteers (its about time right?)
v1: s.b.m.a. S.muggling B.y M.agsaysay A.uthority???
v2: payumo divine retribution for your misdeeds
v1: look around sbfz it turned into a cheap low class zone ie. street urchins, beggars,stray dogs, cheap carinderias,vendors of all sorts,what a way to impress foreign investors
ab: turncoats will once again try to position themselves in sbma to protect their interest beware to the new chair do away with those undesirables there better and dedicated people to make subic a success
volunteer: according to the grapevine, God punished payumo for maltreating the volunteers. he suffered a stroke. if he does't show up anytime next week, the info may be true. let's wait and see.
JunK: Nasaan na po si Mr. Tong Payumo? Bigla yata siya nawala sa eksena?
mAx: 27Aug: see i told ya! . .
mAx: 25Aug, Licuanan resigned, Antonio to be relieved!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Plastic bags, hirit ibawal

Ang Pilipino STAR Ngayon

Mahigit sa 5,000 tonelada ng basura ang itinatapon araw-araw ng mga taga-Metro Manila kung saan mahigit 50 porsiyento nito ay pawang mga plastic bags, plastic containers at plastic materials na pawang mga non-biodegradable.

Ayon kay Western Samar Rep. Catalino Figueroa, nangangahulugan na ang bawat indibidwal na naninirahan sa Metro Manila ay nagtatapon ng kalahating kilong basura kada araw. Nangangahulugan din aniya na sa tinatayang populasyon na 10.5 milyon, ang total waste na itinatapon sa Metro Manila ay 5,250 metric tons per day; 162,750 metric tons per month o 1.95 million metric tons per year.

Ang mga plastic bags at containers na ito ang isa sa pangunahing sanhi kung bakit nagbabara ang mga estero, kanal at ilog at kadalasan ay lumalabas maging sa karagatan dahil na rin sa walang habas at maling pagtatapon ng basura. At habang nalalapit ang panahon ng Kapaskuhan ay tiyak na lalo pang lalaki ang bilang o bigat ng itatapon na basura na lalong magpapadagdag sa nasabing problema.

Dahil dito, umapela si Figueroa sa Kamara na isama sa mga priority bills ang kanyang panukalang-batas na nagbabawal sa paggawa ng plastic bags na ginagamit sa mga department stores, supermarkets, private at public markets, sari-sari stores at iba pang kahalintulad na establisimiyento. Noon pang nakalipas na taon naihain ng mambabatas ang naturang panukala subalit hanggang sa ngayon ay wala pang aksyon mula sa House Committee on Ecology na pinamumunuan ni Bukidnon Rep. Nereus Acosta.

Sa ilalim ng kanyang House Bill 3086, sinabi ni Figueroa na gumamit na lamang ng paper bags na biodegradable o natutunaw at bayong na maaaring gamitin ng ilan daang ulit. Sandaling maging ganap na batas ay papatawan ng parusang prison correccional at pagmumultahin din ng hindi bababa sa P100,000 ang mga lalabag. (Malou Rongalerios)
 
Visit  http://SubicBay.Ph
for latest developments in Olongapo Freeport City, GawangGapo, Sanggunian, BagumbayanVolunteers, InterGapo Wow Wow Win Subik

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Payatas now a tourist destination


The Philippine Star

From a symbol of death and poverty, the Payatas dump in Quezon City has been dramatically transformed into model garbage-to-power generation facility, making the area a major tourist destination in the country.

Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr. led city officials in welcoming last week a large delegation from the People’s Republic of Vietnam, all of them eager to see how the city government transformed a mountain of garbage into a controlled dump facility.

The Vietnamese delegation was among the hundreds of foreign and local tourists who have visited the facility since its conversion last year.

Among those who visited the site were foreign dignitaries, representatives from local and international non-government organizations, students and local government officials who want to replicate the program in their respective localities.

The foul odor emanating from the accumulated methane is now being extracted and converted to generate electricity in the 12-hectare facility.

Landscaping of the Payatas would soon transform the area into a park.

Ret. Army Col. James Jaymalin, chief of the Payatas Operation Group, said the energization of the old Payatas site benefits at least 33 scavenger families who earn an average P250 to P300 a day.

The city government had converted Payatas in compliance with the Ecological and Solid Waste Management Act, which extended the life of the dump for at least two years.

The city government initiated the methane extraction project with the Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC) last year.

Jaymalin said the extraction initially intended to contain gas buildup and prevent future accidents in the area. Methane is a highly combustible gas.

"However, the PNOC found out that there was enough gas to generate electricity within the area, so the city government decided to tap that energy," he said.

The Quezon City government is the first local government in the country to extract methane and use it to generate electricity.

The city government also signed a memorandum of agreement with Union Cement for the collection of used tires embedded in the heaps of garbage in the dump.

The tires will be used to process high quality cement. – Perseus Echeminada

What is the secret of this rock?

By Russell Arador Inquirer News Service

IN AN AREA THAT IS PART OF Pangasinan on the slopes of the Zambales mountain range, an amateur archaeologist discovered in 1985 a stone tablet overlaid with embossed markings.

For nearly 20 years, Ronnie Alonzo, 40, studied the "geometrical composition" on the surface of the basaltic rock, spending close to P1 million of his own money in research.

What he found out more than compensated the money, time and effort he had spent in unlocking the secret of the rock.

The lines and other markings on the stone slab, which measures 11 inches wide, two inches thick and seven inches high, and weighs 4.8 kilograms, turned out to be a "code" believed to reveal the location of the lost island of Atlantis.

In a paper presented before European and American scientists in July this year in Greece, Alonzo concluded that the "stone code" was a "map of the world" containing a "reference to Atlantis' location."

But it was a map like no other, he told the Inquirer.

Aside from giving geographical information like an ordinary map does, he explained that the "key stone" also shows the "forces that help reshape the earth's surface by creating geological stresses around the planet."

He said the lines on the artifact matched those on the Dynamic Earth Map and the World Stress Map developed by the United States Geological Survey and the Smithsonian Institute.

"This is strange because if the stone is as old as the age of the general area where it was discovered, which is about three million years, then this means that whoever made those markings three million years ago already knew about seismic zones and the location of massive forces that reshaped the surface of the earth - knowledge that came to modern day scientists only recently," he said.

Natural or man-made?

While the age of the stone has yet to be determined, he said the bigger puzzle is whether the embossed markings are natural or man-made.

Alonzo is set to go to the United States to have the age of the stone analyzed. He is also looking for an expert on patterns following the advice of a Greek geologist who told him that "the most important work for you ... is to demonstrate that the image is man-made and [that it is] beyond nature's capacity to do it."

In an electronic mail message to Alonzo on Aug. 30, Stavros Papamarinopoulos, a geology professor at the University of Patras in Greece, said an "excellent mathematical treatment (involving the determination) of the rigorous relation between the image and known geological map at the proper epoch" was required to "calculate the possibility of the image to be nature-made (or) the opposite."

Papamarinopoulos co-chaired the organizing committee of the international conference where Alonzo read the findings of his 20-year study on the stone map.

The July 11-13 conference in Milos Island, Greece had for its theme, "The Atlantis Hypothesis: Searching for a Lost Land." Conference participants included more than 30 scientists and scholars from Greece, Italy, Israel, the Czech Republic, Germany, Chile, the United States, France, Spain, Australia and Denmark.

Alonzo, who is pursuing his master's degree in archaeology at the University of the Philippines, was the only representative from Asia.

In a Power Point presentation summarizing his paper "A stone code from Zambales mountain range-A link to the Atlantean myth," Alonzo identified 16 "features" of the stone map.

Aside from the Atlantis and the equally mysterious Bermuda Triangle, the stone also shows the locations of the Philippine Islands, Bay of Bengal and the Ninety East Ridge group; the Hawaiian Islands, Aleutian Trench and the Queen Elizabeth Islands group; the Wrangel, Fletcher, Pole and Barents Abyssal Plains group; the Svalvard Island, Spits Bergen and North East Land group; the Franz Josef Land, Graham Bell Island, George Land and Alexandra Land group; the North Land, Bolshevik Island, October Revolution Island and Komsomolets Island group; the Ural Mountains, Great African Reef Valley and the African Magnetic Anomaly Zone group.

The "14th feature" is a human-like figure under the Kerguelen Islands (below the southern tip of Africa) that is also visible in the World Ocean Floor Map, the Dynamic Earth Map and the satellite altimetry reading of the US' National Geophysical Data Center.

Alonzo's paper was one of 34 papers selected from almost 200 entries to the Milos conference.

It drew mixed reactions from the Greek academic community, who generally believe that the lost city of Atlantis could be found in the Greek island of Thera.

The Greek philosopher Plato was the first to write about Atlantis, a "utopian paradise" that submerged 11,500 years ago after the global sea level rose following the melting of glacial ice in the North Pole.

Plato described Atlantis as "larger than Libya and Asia put together."

Alonzo stumbled upon the stone with a group of fossil collectors in the Zambales mountain range in 1985. The stone map caught their attention.

At first he thought the lines on the surface of the rock were fossilized insects.But geologists, anthropologists and archaeologists he consulted had differing opinions.

A geologist from the National Museum said the lines were due to the presence of ore or lode. Another said they were natural formations due to exposure to different weather conditions across time.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Pinatubo Funds

>>>Some posts back, this topic was raised by Gene. I wonder though
how far this "palliative" measure can go or is it just another way
of lining the pockets of politicians who will benefit from
kickbacks? Why even bother to resort to band-aid solutions that are
only short-term in nature. This government is embarrassingly short-
sighted and useless.<<<


Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. has directed the Mt.
Pinatubo Rehabilitation Project Division to go full blast in the
excavation and pilot channeling of the Sto. Tomas river near the
Maculcol bridge in San Marcelino and San Felipe, Zambales. DPWH
regional director Aquino said that the Department of Budget and
Management has initially released P10 million for the de-silting and
pilot channeling of the river.

Ebdane inspected the channeling project last September 15 in which
he said that "in critical times, it is better to implement
palliative measures rather than not doing anything at all."

Assistant DPWH regional director Marcelina Ocampo, concurrent chief
of PRPD, said that the 400-meter Maculcol bridge has been inundated
many times by lahar flows from Mt. Pinatubo. Those inundations have
caused the accumulation of silt underneath the bridge and have since
been feared of being overtopped. The project is being implemented by
administration using government-owned scrapers, bulldozers and
backhoes.

Ocampo said DPWH would save a lot in implementing the channeling
project by administration.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Wi-Fi to boost growth of SMEs

 
 
  TECH TIMES
By JING GARCIA, Tech Times Editor
 

  Smart Communications expressed confidence that the full deployment of its new wireless broadband service will eventually help the growth of small and medium enterprises, Mon Isberto, Smart Communications head for public affairs, said.  
 
 

Smart Communications expressed confidence that the full deployment of its new wireless broadband service will eventually help the growth of small and medium enterprises, Mon Isberto, Smart Communications head for public affairs, said.

"The PLDT group gives more and more emphasis to Internet connection, and the significance of this latest service is creating affordable broadband access to a wider population," said Isberto.

Dubbed Smart Wi-Fi, the high-speed broadband Internet access was launched on June 15 in selected provincial areas to stress-test the service before full nationwide commercial deployment on October 1.

"With fast Internet access at home, we expect a lot of growth in Metro Manila and other key cities, and Smart has the tool to do this," said Isberto, referring to people working at home or in a small office, home office environment.

Although a Smart competitor is currently offering a similar service called ‘Wi-Fi ng Bayan,’ it remains limited to certain areas in Metro Manila and has yet to be formally launched.

Smart Wi-Fi brings broadband Internet access directly to homes by using the company’s nationwide cellular network to wirelessly connect the desktop computer to the Internet even if the customer is beyond the reach of a phone line.

The service works by simply installing a CPE (customer premises equipment) antenna to the subscriber’s home, which is directed to the nearest Smart BTS (base station) cellsite to give the user the strongest connection signal possible.

Once the antenna is cabled to the subscriber’s home computer, PC notebook, or router via a UTP or LAN cable, they’re ready to go online.

Maximum data speed transfer is rated at 256Kbps, which is more than twice the speed transfer rate any dial-up connection could offer.

However, Smart Wi-Fi may probably be a misnomer because it is categorized by Smart as fixed line, which appropriately competes directly with the likes of MyDSL (also from PLDT) rather than Wi-Fi hot-spot providers such as Airborne Access and GlobeQuest.

Nonetheless, Smart Wi-Fi offers an attractive package fee of P788 for the 128Kbps transfer speed and doubles it at 256Kbps for P988, which both provide 24/7 ‘always online’ connection. A one-time P1,000 installation fee is included in the one-year contract.

According to the telco’s officials, the primary market for their services include residential

areas, particularly in the provinces where landline phone coverage is limited.

By end-September, an estimated 8,500 customers had already signed up for the service and they are seen to grow at 10 percent a month.

Another identified potential market is business process outsourcing done at home, which, according to Isberto, is the way these businesses are serviced in other countries. "BPO is one of the growth areas we want to exploit. Broadband access can certainly help in this growth," Isberto said.

Aviation institute up soon at Clark ecozone

By Ding Cervantes The Philippine Star

CLARK FIELD, Pampanga — The Clark Development Corp. (CDC) announced that it has linked up with an international aviation company to put up an aviation institute here with P19.6-million state-of-the-art flight simulation facilities for the training of commercial pilots.

The institute will be the first of its kind in the country, said Clark Development Corp. (CDC) president Antonio Ng.

The CDC signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Aviation Group Development Corp. (IAGDC), led by its director Eduardo Dayot, which will install at least four flight simulators for the Aviation Technical Institute to be put up at the Clark Polytechnic Foundation Inc.

"A flight simulator is a system that simulates the actual flying of an airplane as closely and realistically as possible," Ng said.

"The different types of flight simulator range from videogames to full-sized cockpit replicas mounted on hydraulic or electromechanical actuators, controlled by state-of-the-art computer technology," he added.

The aviation industry and the military extensively use flight simulators for pilot training, disaster response simulation and aircraft development.

The IAGDC, according to the CDC marketing department, will initially invest about $350,000 or P19.6 million for the flight simulators at the Aviation Technical Institute.

IAGDC officials said the institute will train not only student pilots, but also those who want to become aviation engineers, cabin crewmembers, and aviation operations support personnel, CDC information head Sonny Lopez said.

"Once pilots become familiar with the operations of flight simulators, they will shift to cockpit procedure trainers or CPTs, which are fixed, exact replicas of an aircraft used to train flight crews in normal and emergency procedures," he said.

Lopez said the CPTs "duplicate the atmospheric environment," simulating wind, temperature and turbulence, as well as the sounds produced by the aircraft’s engine and landing gear, with visual systems.

CDC marketing officer Benedict Rivera said a flight simulator costs about $12 million to $16 million. Four such systems will eventually be installed at the Aviation Technical Institute, he added.

Ng said the aviation institute, which will offer "extensive modules," is expected to attract not only Filipino student pilots, but also foreign students.