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UST handa para sa ‘Big One’

NAKILAHOK ang Unibersidad sa malawakang shake drill na pinamunuan ng Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) noong Huwebes, Hulyo 30.

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NAKILAHOK ang Unibersidad sa malawakang shake drill na pinamunuan ng Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) noong Huwebes, Hulyo 30.

Ayon sa Direktor ng Office for Public Affairs (OPA), Giovanna Fontanilla, naging matagumpay ang pagsasagawa ng earthquake drill sa UST.

We’re very grateful that all the preparations have been implemented,” saad niya matapos ang isang oras na pag-obserba sa naturang drill.

Nagtalaga ang Disaster Preparedness Team, na kinabibilangan ni Fontanila, ng iba’t-ibang komite upang masigurado ang kaligtasan ng bawat Tomasino sa bawat gusali.

Makakaasa rin ang mga estduyante at empleyado na maayos ang mga istraktura sa loob ng kampus dahil ang mga ito ay pinangangalagaan ng mga inhinyero ng Unibersidad.

Tumulong din ang Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), UST Red Cross Youth Council (UST-RCYC), at mga volunteers sa iba’t ibang sanga ng kampus upang paigtingin ang pagsasaayos ng malawakang shake drill.

Stricter sanctions and twice in a semester drills should be implemented, one [drill] announced,” panawagan ng UST-RCYC upang matiyak ang kaligtasan ng bawat estudyante mula sa nasabing sakuna.

Pinayuhan din nito ang mga estudyante na magdala ng pito kahit saan sila magpunta.

Gayunpaman, mas mapapabuti pa raw ang paghahanda ng UST kung mayroong maayos na two-way radio na magagamit para sa mas mabilis na pagresponde sa mga biktima.

Kinakailangan rin ng mas malakas na alarm na maririnig hanggang sa UST Hospital dahil tila hindi raw ito gaanong narinig sa loob.

We would like to assure you that the University of Santo Tomas [with the help of the Disaster Management Team] are exerting all efforts to ensure that the University is prepared for the ‘big one,’” paninigurado ni Fontanilla.

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And as a Thomasian community too, headed by our Rector, we are also a praying community. We pray that all these things will not happen. So God’s unending grace for all of us,” dagdag niya.

May ulat mula kay Bruce Kyle Mallo
Kuha ni Johmar Damiles

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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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