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Tourism senior is valedictorian of Batch 2018

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Photo by Earl Balce/TomasinoWeb

A student from the College of Tourism and Hospitality Management was named this year’s batch valedictorian during the 2018 UST Student Awards on Friday, May 18.

Travel Management senior Catherine Mondejar led this year’s recipients of the Rector’s Academic Award, the highest academic award given to students, after obtaining a general weighted average of 1.11.

“As students, we create our own masterpiece. We exert our efforts, use our knowledge, and show our out most dedicated to the task at hand and pursued for academic excellence,” Mondejar said in her speech at the ceremony held at the Quadricentennial Pavilion.

“The awards that we receive today were not handed to us on a silver platter. The road we travelled to reach this point was never easy. Our journey was rough and had many twists and turns. Challenges…ranging from trivial to serious matter, and yet these challenges molded us to be the best persons we are today,” she added.

Other recipients of the Rector Academic Award were Julius Ernhest Berame (Faculty of Philosophy), Bro. Jerone Geronimo, O.P. (Faculty of Sacred Theology), Rolter Lorenz Lee (Faculty of Pharmacy), Fermina Vergara (Faculty of Arts and Letters), Maria Kristina Cassandra Heukshorst (Faculty of Engineering), John Paul Combalicer (College of Education), Jacquelyn Marasigan (College of Science), Chrystelle Jean Fajardo (College of Architecture), Wan Ying Chen (College of Commerce and Business Administration), Denise Faith See (Conservatory of Music), Danielle Grace Tan (Faculty of Nursing), Edward Joseph Tañedo (College of Rehabilitation Sciences), Jelleine Joie Evangelista (College of Fine Arts and Design), Janela Love Nartates (Institute of Physical Education and Athletics), Lahaira Amy Reyes (College of Accountancy), and Bryan Matthew Reolope (Institute of Information and Computing Sciences).

Other Thomasians were also recognized for their leadership and excellence during the ceremony.

The Pope Leo XIII Community Development Award was given to students with outstanding involvements in community development activities. The recipients were Therese Anjhona Mhae Gorospe (Education), Maria Gieniv Valeriano (Nursing), Ma. Diana Kariza Maniti (Commerce and Business Administration), Nicholas Raphael Arcangel (Science), Hannah Mae Medes (Arts and Letters), and Christian Jonel Arnau (Pharmacy).

Thomasians who have led and organized activities that contributed to the welfare of the students were given the Quezon Leadership Award. The recipients were Christian Jonel Arnau (Pharmacy); Roland Roman Lim, Jr. (Engineering); Rafael Luis Lopez, Nicole Cruz, Ralph Gabriel Buella and I-Shan Kuo (Arts and Letters); and Michael Angelo Abad, Robin Renz Salvador, and Joel Joseph Arcamo (Commerce and Business Administration).

UST Red Cross Youth Council- Pharmacy Unit (Pharmacy), UST-ECO Tigers (Engineering), UST Golden Corps of Cadets, and UST Volunteers for UNICEF received Tradition of Excellence, the top honor for student groups that have garnered awards for five consecutive years.

Twenty-eight students and 16 student organizations were given the Benavides Outstanding Achievement Award, which is awarded to those whose performances in regional, national or international competitions, conferences or congresses signify the university’s commitment to excellence. – H.M. Amoroso

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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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