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Pagpapanatili ng Filipino at panitikan sa kolehiyo, ikinagalak

Nagalak ang marami nang sa wakas ay sinunod na ng Komisyon sa Lalong Mataas na Edukasyon ang utos ng Korte Suprema na panatilihin ang Filipino at panitikan bilang mga pangunahing asignatura sa kolehiyo.

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Nagalak ang marami nang sa wakas ay sinunod na ng Komisyon sa Lalong Mataas na Edukasyon ang utos ng Korte Suprema na panatilihin ang Filipino at panitikan bilang mga pangunahing asignatura sa kolehiyo.

“Masaya tayo sa paunang tagumpay na ito, tagumpay ito ng kolektibong pagkilos at pagkakaisa,” sabi ni Jonathan Geronimo, ang namamahalang patnugot ng HASAAN, ang interdisiplinaryong journal sa Filipino ng Unibersidad ng Santo Tomas.

“Bilang bahagi ng napakahabang kampanya nitong laban para sa Filipino at panitikan sa kolehiyo, masaya tayong matapos ang isang taon ay kinilala ng [komisyon] ang kautusan ng Korte Suprema,” dagdag pa niya.

Naglabas ng memorandum ang Komisyoon noong Lunes, Hulyo 18, bilang tugon sa desisyon ng Korte Suprema noong nakaraang taon na pansamantalang itigil ang pagpapatupad CMO No. 20, series of 2013, o ang “General Education Curriculum: Holistic Understandings, Intellectual and Civic Competencies.”

Ipinahayag ng komisyon na susundin na lamang nito ang CHED Memorandum Orders (CMO) No. 59, series of 1996 at No. 04, series of 1997, na nagtatakda ng hindi bababa sa siyam na yunit ng Filipino para sa mga mag-aaral ng humanidades, agham panlipunan at komunikasyon at hindi bababa sa anim na yunit ng Filipino para sa mga mag-aaral sa ibang larang.

Ngunit, ani Geronimo, “[P]roblema lamang, masyadong huli na ito, dahil maraming mga departamento ng Filipino ang nilusaw na at [ang] mga gurong nagtuturo nito ang tinanggal dahil nga sa ganitong matagal na pag-aksyon.”

“Kung bakit ngayon lang [naglabas ng memorandum ang komisyon], marahil, dahil sa atmospera na rin ng bagong luklok na presidenteng bukas makinig sa hinaing ng bayan at naipaliwanag din natin sa [komisyon] na kailangan nilang kilalanin ang TRO,” sabi ni Geronimo. Kasama na rin daw dito ang “ginawang mga public pressure, protesta, at dayalogo.”

Ang temporary restraining order ang naging tugon ng Korte Suprema sa petisyong inihain ng Tanggol Wika, isang samahan ng mga kaguruan at mga mag-aaral na nagsusulong sa paggamit ng Filipino, na siyang tumututol sa pagpapatupad ng CMO No. 20, series of 2013.

Binuo ng memorandum na ito ang isang panibagong kurikulum sa kolehiyo kung saan inalis ang ilang pangunahing asignatura, gaya ng Filipino at ng Panitikan, at dapat sana ay ipatutupad sa taong panuruan 2018-2019.

Binansagan ng Tanggol Wika na “kontra Filipino” ang memorandum dahil sa umano’y paglabag nito ang Saligang Batas, lalo na ang mga probisyong patungkol sa pambansang wika at sa kulturang Pilipino.

Kabilang sa mga lumagda sa petisyon si Geronimo at iba pang mga guro mula sa UST Department of Filipino, kabilang sina Crizel Sicat-De Laza, Wennielyn Fajilan, Reynele Bren Zafra at ang tagapangasiwa nito na si Roberto Ampil.

Sa kasalukuyan, sinabi ni Geronimo na ang UST Department of Filipino ay “mas aktibo sa mga nakaraang taon lalo nang maglunsad ito ng HASAAN journal at maging engage sa pananaliksik at gawaing ekstensyon.”

“Nakilala rin ang UST sa pagtindig sa mga adbokasiyang gaya nito at kasalukuyang nagsasagawa ng pagsasanay sa mga guro para sa pagwo-workshop ng bagong GE (General Education) courses,” dagdag pa niya.

Pagpapahalaga sa ‘sariling atin’

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Para naman sa pangulo ng UST Central Student Council na si Janela Love Nartates, makakatulong ang pagpapanatili ng mga kursong Filipino dahil “mas matatangkilik ng mga estudyante ang sariling atin lalo na sa panahon ngayon na mas nawiwili ang marami sa Ingles.”

Upang patuloy na isulong ang wikang Filipino at ng panitikan, nais ni Nartates na hikayatin ang mga mag-aaral na tangkilikin ang mga babasahin na nailimbag sa wikang pambansa at gawa ng mga artistang lokal.

Aniya, “sa pamamagitan ng pagbabasa ay magkakaroon sila (mga mag-aaral) ng mas matinding pag-unawa at pagmamahal sa ating wikang Filipino.” Caryl Christine Manabat

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Counter military, police propaganda-based disinformation—veteran journalist

Rappler managing editor urged aspiring journalists Friday, Oct. 23, to fight propaganda-based disinformation caused by law enforcers.

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Photo grabbed from Rappler.com

Rappler managing editor urged aspiring journalists Friday, Oct. 23, to fight propaganda-based disinformation caused by law enforcers.

Glenda Gloria, a journalism alumna of the University, said that the military and the police do not seem to understand the role of the media as the fourth estate because of their “very utilitarian” view of information. 

“They use information as propaganda because they think it has to achieve something for the organization, whether that means further securing the country or defeating the enemies of the state,” Gloria said in a fact-checking webinar. 

According to her, the attempt of law enforcers to speed up their propaganda is due to the tremendous pressure to eliminate insurgency before President Duterte steps down in 2020. 

“The biggest factor behind the politicization of the armed forces is the commander-in-chief. Whatever the President wants will determine the political influence of the military,” she said. 

Gloria reminded aspiring journalists that no war has been won using propaganda as a primary tool and to “continue the fight against lies” that are being weaponized for the mass destruction of the country.

The webinar titled, “Propaganda, State Secrets and Other Issues in the Security Sector,” was hosted by MovePH, the civic engagement arm of Rappler. Vhey Tapia and Raheema Velasco 

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Flatten curve to revive economy, solon says

The government should remain in its goal of flattening the curve to revive the economy, a lawmaker advised Saturday, Oct. 24.

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Photo courtesy of the UST Central Student Council

The government should remain in its goal of flattening the curve to revive the economy, a lawmaker advised Saturday, Oct. 24.

“Klaro naman na hindi natin kailangan pumili between saving lives and livelihood. Hindi na tama na ang trade-off between the two…[b]ecause we can save both,” Marikina 2nd District Representative Stella Quimbo said. 

Quimbo, who is also an economist, stressed the importance of evidence-based policymaking and monitoring, as well as business continuity and job projection interventions. 

The solution and interventions included grants for technical assistance, subsidies for COVID-19 testing, and wage subsidies with retention clauses. 

“We can afford to rise, pero dapat balansehin so as not to fall into a debt crisis… [b]ecause as we all know napakadali po to become poor pero napakahirap mag-exit sa poverty. Importanteng importante ang datos,” Quimbo said.

Quimbo also laid out the framework for the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy of the Philippines (ARISE), which she is one of the principal authors. 

Under the ARISE, a comprehensive plan will be followed to address the pandemic-brought economic crisis with a proposed P1.3 trillion budget over three years.

In the bill still pending in the Senate, Quimbo specified transitional, financial, sectoral, and structural support that, according to her, were the basis of the framework for the “mini-version” of the Bayanihan 2 that is in effect until the end of this year.

‘Reform the economy’

IBON Foundation executive director Sonny Africa urged the government to “reform and shape” an economy that benefits everyone. 

According to Africa, the government’s current response is focused on a “very artificial poverty reduction” by granting cash transfers without addressing the structure that continues poverty.

“The government is very keen on infrastructure to promote economic growth, but the Philippines is so lacking in economic fundamentals as it uses infrastructure as a short-cut to growth,” he said.

Africa also criticized that while the government is focused on infrastructure development, decades of neoliberal health privatization eroded  the public health system, which worsened the mortality rate even pre-pandemic.

The webinar “EkonDisyon: Philippine Economic Recession and COVID-19” is a part of the MulaTalakayan organized by the University’s Central Student Council. 

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Tourism recovery to revamp economic sectors, officials urge

Tourism officials stressed the importance of a responsible and “new normal-ready” recovery in the tourism sector amid gradual easing of health protocols in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Photo courtesy of the UST Research Center for Social Sciences & Education

Tourism officials stressed the importance of a responsible and “new normal-ready” recovery in the tourism sector amid gradual easing of health protocols in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Officer Alfonsus Tesoro called for sustainable and strategic recovery efforts to support and revamp economic sectors.

“Tuloy-tuloy dapat ang pag-conduct ng tourism site assessment and planning kasama ang iba’t-ibang stakeholders from the national government agencies, provincial government offices, and the private sector,” Tesoro said in a webinar, Thursday, Oct. 23. 

According to Department of Tourism (DOT) Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes, a survey conducted in Eastern Visayas showed that 66 percent of the respondents admitted that health risks affected their decision to travel, while 80 percent are now eager to visit tourism sites within the region only. 

“This gives us an idea of what tourism activities we should prioritize when we reopen our [tourism] sites. A large majority expect health and safety protocols in place, there should be value for money, and that fun activities will still be offered even under the ‘new normal,’” she said.

Tiopes added that despite the steady reopening of the tourism sector, health protocols would still be strictly employed to ensure safety of tourists and residents. 

The webinar titled, “Philippine Tourism Development and COVID-19 Pandemic: Recovery through Sustainable Development,” was spearheaded by the University’s College of Tourism and Hospitality Management in partnership with the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines, Inc., and co-organized by the UST Research Center for Social Sciences and Education. Paolo Alejandrino 

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