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Jaimie R. Aberia

New DepEd secretary: Arts, culture, and K-to-12 system

An appreciation for the arts and culture, a strong belief in the value of education, and the significance of the K to 12 system will be what Leonor Briones will take with her when she takes over the Department of Education and Culture (DepEd) on July 1, 2016. In an exclusive interview with the Manila Bulletin recently, Briones said that under her watch, she will bat for the students’ appreciation of culture. “After all, education includes culture, sports, and theatre, because this is where you get the soul of the country,” the professor emeritus at the University of the Philippines-National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG) explained. “We can be a nation of technocrats and experts, and so on. But where will you get your political leaders? Where will you get your …

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Church to LGBT ‘sagala’: We respect you

He waves at the excited crowd, smiles when he sees a familiar face cheer for him, and poses for the blinking cameras. He walks with poise on his three-inch heels, unmindful of the uneven pathways. Quite unsurprisingly, 58-year-old Bing Custodio has been taking part in this Mayflower tradition for the past 44 years, as he is among the pioneers of the annual Santacruzan for the members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in Barangay Sta. Elena in Marikina, dubbed “SaGAYlahan.” “Residents here have always been so welcoming,” Custodio said. “We’ve never had any issue in terms of their acceptance and appreciation of gays like us.” Second-timer Potch Sacramento, 27, agreed, saying that it’s the “good feedback” from the community that inspired him to join the tradition again this year. “One of …

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Electioneering: Did everyone understand the law?

With the smoke of the election campaign settling down, let’s take a look at how the law on electioneering has been understood or misunderstood. A barangay in Valenzuela City is a good example.  At first glance, no one can miss their political color. There are campaign posters hanging at the barangay hall veranda and posted on a bulletin board. People are wearing the colors of a political party.  And someone is distributing campaign paraphernalia. Those are actions that violate Article IX (B), Section 2, Paragraph 4 of the 1987 Constitution, which states that “No officer or employee in the civil service shall engage, directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan political campaign.” Civil Service Commission (CSC) Assistant Commissioner for Legal Affairs Atty. Ariel Ronquillo defines electioneering as “committing acts that intend to …

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People hungry for change – Alunan

Three days before the national elections, former Interior and Local Government secretary and now senatorial candidate Rafael Alunan III said the Filipino people is growing “hungry for change.” “They are looking for permanent relief from their miseries, because year after year, their hopes are raised but nothing happens,” he said during Manila Bulletin’s “Hot Seat,” a roundtable interview, yesterday. “When I talk to them and look into their eyes, some are already resigned while others are hopeful.” Alunan, who is running under the ticket of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, said that the presidential candidate is seen by the people as a symbol of “revolt” against all the lies, inaction, and failures they have endured during the past administrations. FIVE-POINT AGENDA In the roundtable discussion, Alunan set out a five-point agenda should he win …

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Miriam wants power to zap, probe surveys as president

With the anti-cancer coded pill working its magic on her, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago wants to have the superpower to zap people and wants an investigation on what she called the “voodoo surveys” as her first act as president if she wins in the May 9 national elections. “My first executive order will be to order an investigation of the commercial surveys. We have to be very careful of these ‘voodoo surveys’ because they have become the kingmakers and not the voters,” Santiago said as she capped Manila Bulletin’s Hotseat roundtable interview with all five presidential aspirants yesterday. “By the means of their surveys, they dictate to us and precondition our minds which candidatesare going to win, so in effect, they have the power to choose. That is very dangerous, it is anti-democratic,” …

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Santiago to probe commercial surveys if elected

  Should Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago be elected the 16th President of the Philippines, she would immediately order an investigation on the conduct of commercial surveys that have been coming out one after the other in the days leading to the May 9, national elections. “By the means of their surveys, they dictate to us and precondition our minds which candidates are going to win, so in effect, they have the power to choose,” she said during the Manila Bulletin (MB) Hot Seat discussion at MB’s main office in Intramuros, Manila on April 28. “That is very dangerous, it is anti-democratic.” In the recent Pulse Asia survey, Santiago maintained her position in the last spot with two percent, while Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte placed first with 34 percent. Sen. Grace Poe came in second …

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Teachers: The unsung heroes of elections

After going through what he calls the “biggest nightmare in his life” when he served as a Board of Election Inspector (BEI) in 2007, Artemio Calamayan, 59, a public school teacher, is looking forward to finally saying “no” to poll duty backed by the recent signing of the Election Service Reform Act. Republic Act No. 10756 or the Election Service Reform Act was signed into law by President Aquino last April 8 stating that Electoral Boards shall now be composed of public school teachers who are willing to render election service. The law came almost a decade after Calamayan and two colleagues were accused of “deliberately or otherwise wrongly” declaring the winners in the Kagawad bid of the first District of Barangay 142 in Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City, an experience he considers …

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MB job fair set at TriNoma mall

The latest batch of college graduates, along with graduates from earlier batches, employees seeking better options or a career shift should can land their dream jobs during the third leg of the Manila Bulletin (MB) Classifieds Job Fair 2016 series at TriNoma Mall in Quezon City from April 12 to 13. “Job hopefuls can expect openings in BPO (business process outsourcing), sales, banking and finance, insurance, real estate, and manufacturing,” Assistant Manager for Classified Advertising Edna Perlada said. She added that while it is right to take a break for a while after graduation, they should not allow themselves to be idle for too long. “Millennials have the tendency to be lax and think that jobs are just out there waiting for them, so they would just apply later,” she said. Perlada also said …

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Woman’s healing formula: Faith, obedience, happy environment

The Bible says that those who want to be a disciple of Christ should carry their own cross and follow Him. To Bernardita Veri, 51, her cross came in the form of an illness. “Even the saints had their own sufferings. The cross may come in the form of a child, spouse, or in my case, illness,” Bernardita Veri, 51, said. Diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer in July last year, Bernardita accepted her cross and turned to faith to help in the healing process. It was a cross that came just before a significant event – her 25th wedding anniversary in May, 2015. A throbbing pain in the breast came while she and her husband Rogelio were delivering invitations to the renewal of marriage vows ceremony.  A consultation with a doctor at …

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Fighting fire: A duty that cannot wait

The alarm bell sounded at 12:30 p.m., just as the firemen at the Gagalangin Fire Station were set to eat lunch. Without hesitation, each man responded to the call of duty following the standard operating procedure for a swift drill – be in the fire truck in a minute; arrive at the scene in five minutes. The quick response brought them to a residential-commercial structure at the corner of Lavezares and Madrid Streets in Binondo that was being gobbled up in flames. The fire, which had reached third alarm, was finally put off about three hours later.  There was not any fatality. Swift response and skill had won some victory over a menace that brings tragedy and loss to many people each year. After extinguishing the fire, the firemen of Gagalangin station boarded …

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