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Japan, UNICEF provide educational tablets to Region VIII learners

July 29, 2022 3:37 p.m.

The Government of Japan and UNICEF Philippines turned over 400 educational tablets containing digital learning materials in select mother tongues of Eastern Visayas to support at least 800 Samar and Norther Samar learners classified as non-readers and struggling readers.

As young children learn most effectively in their mother tongue, the tablets will be provided to Grades 1 to 3 learners of 30 schools to support the development of their foundational skills in early literacy.

This is part of the UNICEF-supported Learning Recovery Programme being rolled out by the Department of Education (DepEd) Region VIII, which aims to mitigate learning loss caused by school closures during the lockdowns in the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aside from the digital learning materials, Japan and UNICEF are also supporting the development of the Comprehensive Rapid Literacy Assessment in Mother Tongue and the training needed to effectively utilize the tool.

Evelyn Fetalvero, Regional Director for Department of Education Region VIII, Chihiro Kanno, First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan, and Isy Faingold, UNICEF Philippines Chief of Education, pose for a photo with students and their parents at the handover ceremony of digital devices by UNICEF Philippines and Embassy of Japan to DepEd Region VIII and Multistakeholders in Tacloban City on Thursday, 28 July 2022.

This is a crucial intervention, as results from the administered assessments will determine learner profiles and necessary interventions needed for each student.

“Today’s event is a testament to our commitment to helping every child learn despite the most difficult circumstances. We have always believed in meeting children where they are. Providing them with resources in the language they know best, through digital learning, will give them the confidence and skills needed to become lifelong learners,” said UNICEF Philippines Chief of Education Isy Faingold.

To further make instruction more conducive for learners, UNICEF will also roll out a professional development programme to capacitate teachers and school heads on effective early literacy strategies.

The Government of Japan’s support is part of its US$ 2.5 million donation to UNICEF Philippines through its Humanitarian Assistance for Asia Pacific.

Since the start of the pandemic, Japan has donated $5.87 million (approximately PHP 331 million) of COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines through UNICEF.

“I am hopeful that this intervention will be effective in mitigating learning loss on children that is aggravated by the pandemic. As a long-standing partner of the UNICEF, the Government of Japan is grateful to add this programme to our roster of development cooperation with the UNICEF Philippines,” said First Secretary KANNO Chihiro from the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines.

All schools in the Philippines were closed between March 2020 and October 2021 due to the pandemic and Filipino children mostly experienced distance learning as way to continue education. This has aggravated a serious learning crisis in the country, leaving the most marginalized children further behind. However, with DepEd expressing plans to re-open in-person classes in all schools in late 2022, efforts are now focused on learning recovery. The Government of Japan and UNICEF Philippines remain committed to working with DepEd in ensuring that every Filipino child regains all learning lost during the pandemic.

NEWS

Australian delegates visit Clark

August 18, 2022 7:23 p.m.

CLARK FREEPORT – As part of their business mission in the Philippines, a delegation from Australia composed of industry leaders on various business sectors recently visited this Freeport to explore potential trade, tourism, and investment opportunities.

In a simple activity held at the New Clark City (NCC) on Wednesday, the delegates were given presentations on the current developments in NCC, Clark Freeport Zone, Clark International Airport, and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).

Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and CEO Aileen Zosa, Clark Development Corporation (CDC) Chairman Atty. Edgardo Pamintuan, CDC Vice President for Engineering Services Group (ESG) Dennis C. Legaspi, Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) Officer-In-Charge Darwin Cunanan and TIEZA Division Manager Donald Maldonado welcomed the delegation led by Philippine Ambassador to Australia Hellen De La Vega.

Former President and Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo also delivered a message for the delegation through a video message.

“The province of Pampanga has already prepared its land development plan with Clark as its hub, and implementing this is underway. The BCDA has integrated four major contiguous investment districts, mainly the Clark Freeport Zone, Clark Global City, Clark International Airport, and Subic. My wish related to your visit is for the Philippines to have closer ties and expand the depth of scope of our economic cooperation with Australia and New Zealand,” Arroyo said. 

Meanwhile, in his speech, Pamintuan thanked the delegation for visiting Clark and for choosing the Philippines as an investment destination. He also mentioned that the business mission will fortify the economic cooperation between Australia and the investment hubs in the Philippines.

“Your visit signifies the strengthening of the economic partnership between Australia and the Freeport Zones in Clark, Subic, represented by Bases Conversion and Development Authority, Clark International Airport Corporation, Clark Development Corporation, and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority,” he said.

Pamintuan also cited how new investment opportunities will intensify the promotion of inclusive development that will benefit the communities surrounding the Freeport.

“The forging of new investment and trade cooperation will benefit the local government units that form massive economic and investment corridor traversed by the Subic-Clark- Tarlac Expressway,” he added.

For her part, Zosa, in her presentation, underscored the suitability of Clark as an investment hub.

“Our jewel is really Clark. It’s the biggest and has the best potential for unlocking the value of these prime properties,” she added.

Aside from Clark, the delegation also visited the areas of Bataan and Subic for other set of activities that include investment briefings and business-to-business meetings.

USHERING MORE OPPORTUNITIES IN CLARK.  Delegates from Australia, led by Philippine Ambassador to Australia H.E. Hellen De La Vega (8th from left, first row) and Tourism and Multicultural Affairs Minister Zoe Bettison (7th from left, first row), recently visited Clark Freeport Zone and New Clark City to learn about the areas’ developments and potential investment opportunities.  BCDA President and CEO Aileen Zosa (5th from left, first row), Clark Development Corporation (CDC) Chairman Atty. Edgardo Pamintuan (6th from left, first row), CDC Vice President for Engineering Services Group (ESG) Dennis C. Legaspi (9th from right, second row), Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) Officer-In-Charge Darwin Cunanan (3rd from left, first row) and TIEZA Division Manager Donald Maldonado welcomed the delegates and presented some of the developments in Clark.  Also in the photo are MTD Philippines Chairman Engr. Isaac David (3rd from right, 2nd row), and MTD Philippines President Patrick Nicholas David (extreme right, 2nd row). (CDc-CD Photo)
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NEWS

Rep. Matibag files ‘Anti No-Permit, No-Exam Bill’

August 17, 2022 11:30 p.m.

The Anti No-Permit, No-Exam Bill of Rep. Ann Matibag of San Pedro City of the first district of province of Laguna passed on first reading in the House of Representatives.

The proposed house bill (1486) seeks to allow students to take their preliminary, midterm or final examinations without the need to secure a permit as proof of payment of tuition and other school fees.

“It is really high time to get rid of the ‘no permit, no exam policy’ being imposed in schools and most universities,” said Matibag, whose anti-trans fat bill was also passed on first reading.

 “Every student has a right to finish his/her studies. Now that the opening of classes is near, no student should have his/her education interrupted just because he or she cannot pay tuition fees at the moment,” added Matibag, who is known for her initiatives for the youth and mother sectors.

Despite the ongoing global economic inflation caused by the pandemic and the rise in fuel prices, Rep. Matibag explained that the right of Filipino students to study in private and public universities must not be affected by their economic status.

Matibag believes that education is not a privilege, but an absolute right — reassuring parents that their children should be able to pursue their education without the heavy pressure to settle debts.

“In my explanatory note, it is time to have an act penalizing the ‘no permit, no exam policy’ in all educational institutions,” said Matibag, also a former Laguna provincial board member. “This is consistent with State policy to prioritize education, science and technology, arts and sports to foster patriotism.”

She added despite this mandate, many schools and college universities still prohibit their students to take their exams if they don’t settle or pay their tuition fees.

Matibag added that she is sad to learn that some colleges and universities are also capitalizing on hybrid classes, which cost them less on overhead expenses such as electricity and maintenance.

“We cannot allow our students and their parents to be exploited and used as milking cows especially during these hard economic times. The present condition is very depressing. We must correct it to guarantee the universal right to education of the Filipino youth,” Matibag added.

The Department of Education, meanwhile, announced the resumption of classes on August 22, 2022, while the full implementation of face-to-face classes will start on November 2, 2022.

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Obiena back with PH team

August 17, 2022 9:15 p.m.

Olympian Pole Vaulter Ernest John Obiena has been formally reinstated to the national team after Philippine Athletic Track and Field Association (PATAFA) endorsed his re-inclusion along with five other athletes to the Philippine Sports Commission. 

This happy development came after majority of PATAFA Board members voted on it during their special board meeting held last Saturday, August 13.

This was bared by PATAFA Executive Vice President Willie Torres, as instructed by PATAFA President Terry Capistrano.  

PSC Executive Director Atty. Guillermo Iroy Jr. said that this decision takes effect this month and that the changes fall within the existing team quota of athletics.

Current PSC Officer in charge, Commissioner Bong Coo is pleased with this turn of events saying that “we are thankful to the PATAFA leadership” for taking this step to solidify the strength of our national athletics team. 

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