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Thomasians join broad mobilization, people’s SONA

Thomasians joined the thousands of Filipinos who marched along Commonwealth to condemn the Duterte administration’s policies and to show the true ‘state of the nation.’

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As President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday, July 22, Thomasians joined the thousands of Filipinos who marched along Commonwealth to condemn the Duterte administration’s policies and to show the true ‘state of the nation.’

Before joining the protest along Commonwealth, various progressive groups in the University held a mobilization in front of UST Gate 2.

Among the calls are in condemnation of the recent forced closure of 55 Lumad schools, de facto Martial Law, the revival of the mandatory ROTC in senior high school, UST’s tuition fee increase, and issues concerning the national sovereignty.

Struggles of the Youth

Angelic Villanueva, a Thomasian student-activist, said that she joined this year’s SONA protest to show her support for the youth sector, as well as the whole Filipino people who suffered from the three-year rule of the Duterte “regime”.

She said that the youth plays a big role and they should join those kinds of events to show support for their fellow Filipinos.

“Siyempre sobrang important—lalo na yung pinakagasgas nang sinasabi, pero alam naman nating totoo—na kabataan is sila yung pag-asa ng bayan,” Villanueva shared to TomasinoWeb.

Kumbaga, sa atin nakadepende kung paano nga ba natin gugustuhin ‘yung magiging buhay natin sa [hinaharap]. Kaya sobrang importante na makilahok tayo sa ganitong klaseng activities para ipakita yung pagsuporta natin sa kapwa natin,” she added.

She also expects the same content from President Duterte in this year’s SONA like promises not to be fulfilled and misogynistic jokes. 

“Puno na naman siya ng mga pangako niya na hindi naman natutupad. […] Asahan na rin natin na meron na namang mga misoginistang biro, mga biro na hindi naman [dapat] ginagawang biro,” she said.

Villanueva also said that the past three years of his rule has been filled with promises not fulfilled and the country’s situation worsened.

“Ang nangyari naman sa tatlong tao na pamumuno niya sa’tin ay lalo lang lumalala yung paghihirap natin. So ayun, puro mga bogus na pangako puro ganun,” said Villanueva.

For Villanueva, there is no progress in the country as the “progress” done by the government are only used to silence the people and suppress their anger.

“Wala kasi akong makita eh. Kumbaga kung meron man silang binibigay na progress ‘yun ay para pansamantalang patahimikin yung mga mamamayan. […] Ginagawa nila ‘yung mga ganun para pansamantalang pawiin ‘yung galit ng mga mamamayan,” she added.

SONA on the streets

Despite the heavy rain, an estimated 40,000 protesters in front of St. Peter Parish – Shrine of Leaders along Commonwealth Avenue staged this year’s United People’s SONA to show their situation.

The crowd of protesters was comprised of different groups and sectors like farmers, fisherfolks, workers, religious groups and indigenous groups from different parts of the country.

A short program in front of the Commission on Human Rights at the University of the Philippines – Diliman was held before they marched to St. Peter Parish.

Before the program, a “Mass for Truth” was held inside the church concelebrated by Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo and retired Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iniguez, and was joined by religious and other individuals who all joined the protest later on. 

Senator Risa Hontiveros gave a short speech after the mass saying that she does not know what to expect in this year’s SONA since, for the past three years, it has always been filled with cursing, threats of violence, and harassment.

During the program, different individuals addressed the crowd regarding the country’s current ills and problems.

Labor leader and 2019 Senatorial Candidate Leody “Ka Leody” de Guzman said that the current administration does not support workers.

“Binubusabos ng gobyernong ito ang ating mga manggagawa. […] Ang gobyerno ni Duterte, mga kasama, ay pagpapatuloy lamang ng malupit na gobyerno,” Ka Leody told the crowd of protesters.

He reiterated that the current government is for capitalists, for the trapos, and not for the Filipinos, as contractualization law is the last spike of the government in oppressing workers.

“Nagbabago lang ang pamamaraan, si Duterte ay marahas,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares also addressed the crowd, reiterating the government’s weak stand in the issue on the West Philippine Sea.

“Tayo ang nanalo pero tayo ang astang talo,” said Colmenares.

He also urged the people to stand for the country and their rights.

State of different sectors under Duterte

Fernando Licap, a fisherfolk leader also shared the same sentiments and expressed his frustration on the administration’s weak stance towards China. 

“Sukdulan ang pagiging kontra-mamamayan ni Duterte. Lantaran ang pagpapakatuta ni Duterte sa Tsina,” said Licap.

Licap further said that the administration continuously defends China after Filipino fishermen’s boat collided with a Chinese vessel and despite the destruction of the West Philippine Sea.

“Binabaliwala, hindi kinilala ni Duterte ang United Nations Tribunal na [kumikilala sa] karapatan ng Pilipinas sa West Philippine Sea,” he added. 

Different indigenous groups from different provinces also joined the SONA protest.

Nenita Condez, a Lumad leader from the Zamboanga Peninsula also expressed her disappointment and anger on the current administration as their communities are continuously being threatened by military and investors. 

“Sa tatlong taon po ni Duterte, sa una po ay pinaasa niya ang mga katutubo na tutulong talaga. Tapos pagdating nung anim na buwan ba ‘yun, lumabas na ‘yung totoong kulay ni Duterte,” Condez shared with TomasinoWeb in an interview.

She said that their lives under the Duterte administration has been difficult since they frequently experience displacement from their native lands, their schools are forced to close, and many of them became victims of trumped-up charges.

Condez shared that her father and 17-year-old brother were only the few of the many victims of trumped-up charges in the area. His father was charged for murder while his younger brother, who was shot last February, was charged with rape, arson, and robbery right after being hospitalized.

“Grabe ang atake ng militar sa aming komunidad. ‘Yun ‘yung mga example niya sa aming kominidad, laging nagbo-bombing, tapos interogasyon, kahit saan po sa mga komunindad sa Mindanao,” she asserted. 

She also expressed her strong stance for their native lands, which for them is their true home and their life where they can truly practice their culture.

“Yung lupa namin, lupang ninuno [namin], ito yung kinikilala naming buhay, ito yung ospital [namin], ito yung merkado [namin]. Kahit wala kaming pera, mabu[buhay] kami,” said Condez.

Duterte’s State of the Nation

In his longest SONA which lasted for two hours, President Duterte still highlighted the “terrible” drug problem in the country as well as crime and corruption in some government agencies. 

He also asked the Congress to pass the proposed reinstatement of the death penalty and showed his support for the passage of mandatory ROTC and the second package of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion program.

The President also boasted of the rehabilitation of Boracay Island as he allowed it to “heal naturally,” and promised to give the forest behind the island to the natives of the place, and the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

His plans for the Manila Bay rehabilitation and the Build-Build-Build Program were also discussed, as well as the tempered actions of the government in the dispute with China on the West Philippine Sea due to the “times and realities that we face today,” as he said.   John Aaron Pangilinan

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“Kantahan sa Lansangan”: Thomasians organize benefit street gig for farmers

Progressive Thomasian students held a street performance event in commemoration of Peasant’s Month echoing the demand for better policies and the call to end the killing of farmers, Thursday, Oct. 17.

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Photo by Jacqueline Martinez/TomasinoWeb

Progressive Thomasian students held a street performance event in commemoration of Peasant’s Month echoing the demand for better policies and the call to end the killing of farmers, Thursday, Oct. 17.

The event “Kantahan sa Lansangan” was spearheaded by Anakbayan-UST to gather funds to aid farmers and be able to register the call by featuring spoken open mic performances and busking. 

Angelo del Rosario of Anakbayan-UST highlighted the benefit gig’s role in joining the plight of farmers in registering and asserting their rights. 

“Yung street gig na ito ay in support sa mga peasants natin. Gusto rin natin na makiisa sa laban ng mga magsasaka para sa mga iba’t-ibang karapatan nila […] at makakamtan natin sa pamamagitan ng tunay na reporma sa lupa,” del Rosario said. 

Peasant workers were also set to talk in the event to share their experiences which, however, did not push through due to heightened police presence in the area, citing safety and security concerns in line with the alleged spur of targeted killings of farmers.

Del Rosario also expressed his frustration in the surveillance of the local police in the area for the event: “Sobrang nakakafrustrate siya, kasi karapatan naman na mag-perform hindi lamang ipanawagan yung mga legitimate na calls ng mga magsasaka, [pati na] yung mga calls ng mga estudyante.”

He added: “Itong tinitiktikan tayo parang kumbaga ikino-consider tayong threat of security sa public. Well in fact, gusto kong sabihin na sila pa nga ang mas karapat-dapat bansagan bilang threat of security.”

Farmers burdened by rice tariffication law, militarization

Moreover, peasants’ rights group spokesperson lambasted the government’s policy of Rice Tariffication Law, saying that farmers’ rights, as the producers of the country, must be addressed by the government. 

Eddie Billolas, spokesperson of Katipunan ng Samahan ng Magsasaka – Timog Katagalugan, in an exclusive with TomasinoWeb, said: “Ang magsasaka ay tagapaglikha ng pagkain ‘yan. [Na] pakainin ang sambayanang Pilipino na walang bahid ng paglabag sa karapatan at dapat nga tugunan ang kanyang pangangailangan.” 

Billolas added that even though the law has already passed, farmers have no control on what they sell. He also implicated that the price of palay has deflated for as low as P9, making the local farmers suffer more in this current bill. 

A farmer from Mindoro, who had an exclusive interview with TomasinoWeb, stated that there is an ongoing militarization which targets the farmers and also the indigenous people specifically the Mangyan tribe. He decided to disclose his personal information for  safety reasons.

“Sa kasalukuyan ay marami ang militar sa amin at ang mga katutubo ay dinadaya at sinasaktan. Pumili rin [sila] ng mga lugar na malapit sa tinitirhan ng mga katutubo at binabantayan sila,” he said. 

Pertaining to the Rice Tariffication Law, he stated that he wishes the government would hear their plights and make an action towards the dreadful situation of the local farmers. “Ang panawagan namin ay sana itaas manlang ang produksyon namin hinggil sa aming pinagkakakitaan tulad na lamang ng niyog, saging at kung ano pa,” he added. 

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Pagtuturo ng agham sa Filipino, isinulong

‪Isinulong ng ilang dalubhasa ang kasanayan sa wikang Filipino sa agham at pananaliksik sa idinaos na 2019 Pambansang Kumperensiyang Pang-agham: Masulong na Agham sa Wikang Filipino, Miyerkules, ika-17 ng Oktubre. ‬

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Kuha ni Vince Imperio/TomasinoWeb

Isinulong ng ilang dalubhasa ang kasanayan sa wikang Filipino sa agham at pananaliksik sa idinaos na 2019 Pambansang Kumperensiyang Pang-agham: Masulong na Agham sa Wikang Filipino, Miyerkules, ika-17 ng Oktubre. 

“Ang pinakapangunahing layunin ng ating batas—ng ating konstitusyon—para sa wikang Pambansa ay gamitin ito bilang wika ng akademya—bilang wika ng pagtuturo—hindi lamang sa batayang edukasyon [kung hindi pati] sa lahat at buong sistema ng edukasyon sa Pilipinas,” wika ni Virgilio Almario sa kanyang talumpati sa bulwagan ng Thomas Research Aquinas Complex.

Ayon kay Almario, Pambansang Alagad ng Sining sa Panitikan at tagapangulo ng Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF), layunin natin ngayon na gamitin ang wikang Pambansa sa mga usaping teknikal at maglikom ng mga salita mula sa Tagalog at iba’t ibang wikang katutubo ng Pilipinas upang ipantumbas sa mga teknikal na salitang Ingles.

“Hangga’t maaari ay magsimula na tayo talaga na gumamit ng Filipino [sa larangan ng agham] dahil puwede namang gamitin. Nakikita natin [ngayon na] kahit yung napakahirap na topics ay puwedeng gamitin ang Filipino…Mas maiintindihan yung ating pinaguusapan kung nasa Filipino, kaysa nag-iInglesan tayo [ngunit] hindi naman tayo nagkakaintindihan,” aniya sa isang panayam sa TomasinoWeb.

Hinimok din ni Almario ang lahat na maging mahilig sa wika at sa paggamit ng diksiyonaryo upang mapaunlad ang kaalaman sa agham at wikang Pambansa.

 Wikang Filipino bilang wika ng agham

“Naniniwala ako [na] higit tayong makukumbinsi na [ang] wikang Filipino ay wika rin ng agham,” ani Engr. Albert G. Mariño, deputy director ng Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute.

Ayon kay Mariño, maliit lamang na hakbang ang paggamit ng sariling wika ngunit malaki ang epekto nito sa pagsusulong ng kaalamang agham at teknolohiya.

“Masasabi kong higit na epektibo ang paggamit ng wikang Filipino… Sa aming karanasan, mas matututo at aktibo ang mga mag-aaral dahil higit nilang naipapahayag ang kanilang mga ideya at karunungan,” wika niya.

Nabangggit naman sa malayang talakayan ni Dr. Raphael A. Guerrero, Outstanding Young Scientist 2013 mula sa Pamantasang Ateneo de Manila, na hindi madali ang pagsasalin sa Filipino ng karamihan sa mga terminolohiyang ginagamit sa agham.

“Talagang ‘pag tinatalakay ko ang [agham], Ingles ang ginagamit ko. Ngunit ngayon parang masaya siya [kapag Filipino]. Kaya siguro sa pagtuturo ko ulit, paminsan-minsan susubukan kong ibigay yung lecture gamit ang [Filipino],” aniya.

Pinuna naman ng dalubgurong si Fortunato B. Sevilla III ang masyadong pagiging kritikal sa pagsasalin sa Filipino ng mga wikang ginagamit sa agham.

“Yung ‘alon,’ gagamitin sa ‘wave.’ Sakto naman ‘yon. So puwede nating sabihin [na ang lightwave ay] ‘alon ng ilaw,’” wika niya. “Kunwari [yung] ‘wavelength,’ literal nating gawing Filipino…‘haba ng alon.’”

Dagdag pa ni Sevilla, “Ang problema [ay] hindi lang tayo sanay [kasi] hindi natin ginagamit. Pero kung gagamitin lagi, matatanggap natin. Kung umpisahan natin ngayon at gamitin lagi, madaling tanggapin.”

Kasama sa mga nag-ambag ng panayam ay sina Dr. Rhodora V. Azanza, pangulo ng National Academy of Science and Technology at Dr. James Anthony C. Bautista at Dr. Marilyn A. Rimando ng UST Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences (RCNAS).

Ang 2019 Pambansang Kumperensiyang Pang-agham ay inorganisa ng RCNAS, Kolehiyo ng Agham, at Departamento ng Filipino ng UST, sa pakikipagtulungan ng KWF.

Ang Sentro ng Salin, sa pamamahala ng Departamento ng Filipino, ay una ring itinayo sa UST at kaisa-isa pa lamang sa buong Pilipinas.

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Thomasians rank in chemist, chemical technician boards

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The University garnered a 98.63 percent passing rate in the October 2019 chemical technician licensure exam, and 83.87 percent mark in the chemist licensure examinations.

Maria Patricia Diño was the lone Thomasian making it to the topnotchers taking the eight spot with a mark of 89.50 percent in the chemical technician licensure examinations. Milton Dela Rosa Jr. of Adamson University was named this year’s topnotcher with 93.50 percent mark. 

The Visayas State University-Baybay was the lone top performing school in the chemical technician licensure exams having a perfect passing rate. 

Only schools with perfect passing rate having 50 examinees passing are included in the top performing schools in the chemical technician licensure examinations. There are 73 Thomasian examinees with 72 passing the exam.

Meanwhile, Justin Allen Lim was also the lone Thomasian in the Chemist licensure examinations placing sixth with 88.60 mark. Andrew Exequiel Tabilog of the University of the Philippines – Los Baños claimed the top spot with 92.25 percent rate.

The University of the Philippines (UP) – Diliman was named one of the only two top performing school in the chemist licensure exams claiming the top spot with a 93.44 percent passing rate, followed by UP Los Baños with 88.52 percent rate. 

Only schools with 50 examinees passing with at least 80 percent passing rate are included in the top performing schools in the chemist licensure examinations, and there are only 31 Thomasians who took the exams with 26 making it to the cut.

The national passing rate for chemical technician licensure exams declined to 81.09 percent or 2,298 out of 2,834 passing from last year’s 87.32 percent or 1,673 out of 1,916 takers passing the exam.

The national passing rate for the chemist licensure exams also waned to 42.12 percent or 457 out of 1,085 making it to the cut from last year’s 45.05% or 496 out of 1,101 making it to the cut.

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