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Barangay agent from North Samar turns over 71/2 kilos of suspected cocaine bricks to police

Zumarraganhons warmly welcomes Chief PNP in their island and in their home

Call for Subiran Regatta 2010 participants

Rotary Club of Tacloban named best club in Philippine Rotary District 3860

To attain HOPE, PNP augments force to Buenos Aires

Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival tradition goes on

Leyte court sentences forest law violator; orders DENR to dispose confiscated items

Saludaga makes it again for Lavezares over Balag

PNP VIII to diffuse 430 cops Samar-wide

Bishop Varquez asks parishioners “to rise from sinful politics”





DENR 8 prioritizes rehabilitation of 9 critical watershed areas in East Visayas

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 22, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The Department of Environment and Natural Resources will prioritize this year, the rehabilitation of the nine critical watershed areas in Eastern Visayas under its "From Ridges to Reefs" program.

Guesting at the Harampang Ha PIA in connection with the month-long celebration of the National Environment Month, Regional Executive Director Primitivo Galinato Jr. informed that his Agency has made a roadmap of the 9 critical areas in the Region so that development and rehabilitation works will be prioritized in the areas.

DENR has identified 9 critical watershed areas namely: the 64,209 hectares Catarman Watershed in Northern Samar; the 84,969 hectares Dolores/Jicontol Watershed and the 7,168 hectares Linal-an Watershed in Eastern Samar; and the 21,699 Calbiga Watershed in Samar.

Also among the 9 critical watershed areas are the 36,939 hectares Binahaan Watershed and the 15,719 hectares Salug Watersheds in the province of Leyte; the 11,325 hectares Hinabian Watershed and the 4,869 hectares Maasin Watershed in Southern Leyte; and the 3,444 Almeria Watershed in the province of Biliran.

RED Galinato said that the critical watershed are called such because of their importance to man. A critical watershed area is a source of potable water, water for irrigation, production of steam, serves as eco-tourism and recreation areas and potential source of medicine because of the presence of economically and ecologically important fauna and flora and other organisms.

Because of their importance to men, there is a need for immediate rehabilitation for economic and environmental sustenance of the population depending on these critical watersheds, RED Galinato said.

The management and conservation of a watershed’s natural resource base and the orientation of technological and institutional change are very important so as to ensure the attainment and continued satisfaction of human needs for the present and future generations.

Earlier, Regional Technical Director Felipe Calub of the DENR Forest Management Service pointed out that timber poaching, forest conversion to abaca plantation, soil erosion, and flood occurrence are the primary threats to the existing watershed areas in Region 8.

RED Galinato said that the abuse of the watershed areas is not only due to the lack of alternatives or options but also ignorance of the long term impact of economic impact to the natural resource.

More information and education campaigns to conserve watershed areas as well as the deployment of more forest patrols to the areas and going after the timber poachers have been suggested as solutions.

RED Galinato added that multi-sectoral initiatives have to be sustained to insure that the utilization and development of watersheds are undertaken in such a manner that is economically efficient, where the benefits are commensurate with the costs.

Together with RED Galinato during the media interaction were MGB Director Roger de Dios, Regional Technical Director for Land Management Service Ramon Unay, Regional Technical Director for Ecosystems Research and Development Service Manolito Ragub, Regional Technical Director for Protected Areas Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service Ricardo Tomol and the representative of EMB Director in the person of Engr. Reynaldo Barra, chief of the Environmental Quality Division.

Also present were the Provincial Environment and Natural Resource Officers in the different province in Eastern Visayas, namely: Robin Tomulva of Leyte, Ranulfo Arbiol of Southern Leyte, Danilo Javier of Eastern Samar, George F. Guillermo of Samar, Herminigildo Jocson of Biliran and Fidel Adal of Northern Samar; and Elias Aya-ay, the CENRO for Maasin City.





Training for newly-elected mayors of Region 8 starts today

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 21, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The newly elected mayors in Region are set to start on June 21 a two-day training at Sabin Resort Hotel in Ormoc City, to prepare for their duties and responsibilities as leaders in their respective localities.

The training dubbed as “My First 100 Days,” aimed at helping the newly-elected local chief executives get acquainted with their tasks and responsibilities, will be conducted by the Department of Interior and Local Government through the Local Government Academy led by its Executive Director Marivel C. Sacendoncillo.

With the just-concluded elections bringing forth new faces and new hopes in local governance, the LGA-DILG in partnership with development partners and other stakeholders, designed the 2010 Newly-Elected Officials (NEO) Program to strengthen the individual and institutional capacities of the local government units and improve the delivery of basic services and be able to map out the development direction of their respective localities.

The NEO program has four major components, namely: Ensuring Smooth Transition; Laying the Foundation; Building Alliances; and Sharpening the Saw.

The first component aims to facilitate smooth transition of powers and authorities from the outgoing to the incoming local officials through the creation of transition teams in each LGU.

On the other hand, "Laying the Foundation" is implemented in two tracks: Track 1-A or "My First 100 Days in Office" – a rundown to the critical steps of the first 100 days in office of the local chief executives; and Track 1-B or "Knowing My LGU" is a presentation of the state of local governance report, state of development report and financial capacity in their respective LGUs.

Track 2 or "Fine Tuning My Competencies" is a venue for peer-based sharing of innovative ways of tackling the duties and responsibilities of local officials.

In "Building Alliances," the output will be a Provincial Development Roadmap which identifies the common points of collaboration and cooperation of cities and municipalities to bring about development in the province.

The fourth and last component of the NEO program or "Sharpening the Saw" is a market-driven program where LGUs match their requirements with the existing capacity development services and training packages.

The training “My First 100 Days” is a component of the Laying the Foundation component, the LGA Executive Director informed.

Among the modules in the training is that on Financing LGU Operation which will provide the participants an overview of the LGU Fiscal Management so that they will understand the LGU financial condition, learn the sources of local revenue and alternative external sources of revenue, formulate the LGU financial strategies, thus promoting financial accountability of LCEs.

The other modules include Understanding My Environment; the Local Official as Agent for Development; Common Pitfalls in LGU Management; and Jumpstarting the First 100 Days Governance.





Leyte municipalities get its share of 4Ps beneficiaries

By Provincial Media Relations Center
June 21, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The poverty alleviation program of the government, the expanded Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, continue to hit in far-flung villages as at least 16,134 new household beneficiaries are set to receive their cash cards in the province of Leyte.

In the latest release of conditional cash grants under this poverty reduction initiative of the outgoing administration, at least 500 beneficiary-households in Capoocan town in Leyte were personally given of their conditional cash grants.

Capoocan is part of the total 23 other municipalities and two cities in the province of Leyte identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-8) with validated 4Ps beneficiaries.

More or less 450 beneficiaries queued to claim their cash subsidies at the Capoocan Gymnasium after the Launching of the Conditional Cash Grant ceremony was held and attended by key officials that include DSWD Assistant Secretary Ruel Lucentales, Land Bank of the Philippines Regional Head Alex Lorayes, DSWD-8 Regional Director Letecia Corillo and Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla.

Capoocan Mayor Federico Carolino said the beneficiaries were elated upon receiving the cash grants for they now have money to spend for their children’s uniforms and school supplies as classes opened this week.

According to Dir. Corillo, one household beneficiary can get a cash grant of P500 to a maximum of P1,400 depending on the number of children of one household. The same amount would be provided to them through the Land Bank every month for then next five years.

Dir. Corillo however warned that the cash grant may be easily given, but the beneficiaries should strictly follow the conditions under which it was released, otherwise they would be stricken from the list of beneficiaries and would not receive in the five-year time the cash grant is in effect.

“That is why we call it conditional grant because this subsidy is for certain reasons and not to be spent on anything we can think of,” Dir. Corillo said in her speech.

She added that the amount is meant at helping poor families meet some of their family requirements. For a family to avail of the 4Ps benefits, their income must be less than P5,000 a month.

The money given to them must be spent properly, especially for the health of the family and the education of the children, Corillo said.

The children must go to school, the health of the family must be well taken cared of and the children must have complete immunization and pregnant mothers must have their prenatal check up, she added.

The 4Ps is one of the flagship programs of the government in fighting against poverty. The program provides cash grants to extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition and education and to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty through human investment.





Leyte guv takes his oath of office before Supreme Court Administrator

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 20, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla disclosed that he will take his oath of office on June 28 before Supreme Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez.

At the Harampang Ha PIA held recently at Gerry’s Grill, Governor Petilla bared that the oath taking will be conducted at 9:00 o’clock in the morning at the Provincial Capitol Terrace.

The other provincial officials to include Vice Governor Mimyet Bagulaya and the Provincial Board Members from the five Districts of Leyte, will also take their oath before the Supreme Court Administrator.

Governor Petilla intimated that several mayors and several Tacloban City councilors will also take their oath of office on the same day before the Supreme Court Administrator.

Governor Petilla who is in his third and last term as Governor of Leyte, ran unopposed in the just concluded elections.

The Supreme Court En Banc appointed Deputy Court Administrator (DCA) Jose Midas P. Marquez as the newest Court Administrator on January 26, 2010, filling the vacancy left by newly-appointed SC Justice Jose P. Perez.

Court Administrator Marquez, who took his oath of office before Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno last January 27, is, at age 43, the youngest to be appointed to the post after besting eight other applicants who were all interviewed by the Court En Banc.

He is the 15th person to be appointed to Court Administrator and now oversees the administration of all lower courts in the country. He, however, remains Spokesperson and Acting Chief of the PIO for the time being.

The new Court Administrator started his career in the SC in 1991 as a law clerk for several Justices of the SC, among whom are retired Justice Abraham F. Sarmiento, Senior Justice and former PhilippineJudicial Academy Chancellor Ameurfina A. Melencio-Herrera, and Senior Justice Josue N. Bellosillo.

He later on acted as Deputy Secretary of the Senate Electoral Tribunal, detailed at the Office of the Chairman of then Senior Justices Bellosillo in 1999 and Puno in 2003.

From 1998 to 2000, he was the Project Director of the Supreme Court-United Nations Development Programme Project on Technical Assistance to the Philippine Judiciary on Justice and Development which served as the forerunner of the World Bank-assisted projects of the Court and the present Action Program for Judicial Reform of the Court.

Marquez gradually rose from the ranks until he was appointed as the Chief of Staff of the Office of Chief Justice Puno, and the Supreme Court’s second spokesperson and PIO Chief in 2007.

Marquez finished his Juris Doctor degree in 1993 at the Ateneo de Manila University, from where he also obtained his undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Arts, major in Economics in 1987.  He is also a law professor in a law school in Makati and has written several law books.

Marquez is married to the former Liezl Sarmiento. They are blessed with two children, Galo, 16 and Maia, 14.





Baybay encouraged to be a more competitive city

By Provincial Media Relations Center
June 20, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  –  Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla has given the green light to the city of Baybay to be the province’s next alternative business district.

He encouraged Baybay city officials and hundreds of city residents in attendance during the 3rd Charter Day Celebration of Baybay City that by being more competitive in investment and business promotions, the city can bag new locators to the area that would help the city’s economy.

He said that if nearby cities of Maasin and Ormoc were able to make a headway into the business scene, the city of Baybay, which he said may still be in its infancy, can easily be at par with the rest of them business and investment wise.

Already, he said, the province for its part is already readying the groundwork for more investments to come to this new city by inviting locators in the business process outsource field.

The governor, who was instrumental in the location of APAC Customer Services Inc to Leyte via the Leyte ICT Park in Palo, said that similar businesses could also consider the city of Baybay as the next ICT hub.

It was learned that for its part, Baybay City in 2005 developed and implemented a five-year Tourism and Investment Plan. After two years of implementation, Baybay improved tourism and investment collaterals which resulted in more investors locating in Baybay, tourism sites developed that helped generate more employment in the city.

Through the set up of the Baybay Tourism and Investment Promotion Office, the city has aggressively promoted the municipality as a location for business and provide better services to potential and actual investors.

Since 2005, it was learned that more or less P125 million was invested in Baybay, which according to the governor is a clear demonstration that Baybay has improved its business climate and institutional environment.

Baybay is home to several of the province big companies particularly in the oil and fiber industry.

The city has also packaged itself as a tourist destination with direct established links to hotels and tourism operators in the Visayas.

With this call, Gov. Petilla has also called on the Department of Budget and Management to restore Baybay’s Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) under its cityhood status.

The governor explained that returning the IRA to Baybay as a city, would help the local government to operate as a city and perform its other functions and responsibilities to its constituents.

The governor also added that with Baybay operating on a municipal status IRA, their capacity are being limited.

However, Gov. Petilla expressed confidence the DBM could restore Baybay City’s IRA as questions on its cityhood has already been established and decided upon through a Supreme Court ruling.





June 30 is special nonworking day per Proclamation No. 2085

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 19, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  –  President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has signed on June 17, 2010, Proclamation No. 2085 declaring Wednesday, June 30, 2010 as a special nonworking holiday all throughout the Philippines.

In signing the Proclamation, President Arroyo said that it is fitting and proper that all citizens of the country be given the full opportunity to witness and welcome this historic event in the life of the nation.

President Arroyo noted that the Presidential inaugural ceremonies for the incoming President of the Republic of the Philippines will be held on June 30, 2010.

President Arroyo’s move bespeak of her consistently being a stateswoman, always advocating that the rule of law must prevail.

President Arroyo right after the May 10 elections created the Transition Committee so that basic services could continue and to facilitate the coming in of the next Administration.

As protocol and tradition dictates, President Arroyo will not mind sharing a farewell limousine ride with the incoming President on his way to his inauguration as the Philippines’ 15th President.

The June 30 holiday would be a chance for Filipinos to show oneness with the outgoing and incoming Administrations.

With June 30 having been declared a special holiday, it would be safe to expect an overflow crowd to converge at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila to witness the inauguration of the 15th President of the Republic.

Among others, President Arroyo will always be remembered for making the smooth transition of power, her final act of governance.





Only high school studes must be taught sex education, mayor Samaco advises

June 18, 2010

MAASIN CITY  –  If he has his way, elementary pupils must be spared lessons on sex education, and the subject must be taught only for high school students.

This was the reaction of City Mayor Maloney Samaco on the raging issue now hounding the Department of Education (DepEd) as the controversial subject is being pilot-tested in select schools around the country – 80 public elementary schools and 79 high schools – for the present 2010-2011 school year.

Luckily, for this city and Southern Leyte province, no elementary or secondary school here was listed as among the randomly selected areas for teaching sex education, based on published reports.

“That is my personal opinion,” Mayor Samaco stressed in an interview at his office Tuesday, as he voiced his concerns that the matter may not be handled properly by competent teachers at the intermediate levels, or the grades IV, V, and VI, in which it was targeted to be taught.

His worry was that the topic may end up rousing the curiosity of boys and girls, and questions on sexuality or the reproductive processes may cause confusion rather than enlighten the children.

It will be fitting to be taken up during high school, since this is the onset of a teen-ager’s growth development, otherwise known as the puberty period, wherein many physical changes can be expected, and the teens can relate and understand better.

In fact, it was only when his children were in high school, Mayor Samaco stressed, that they discussed the topic on sexuality, not during their elementary years.

According to reports, DedEd Secretary Mona Valisno declared there will be no discussion on things about contraception on the pilot-tested project.

The lessons have been limited to reproductive system, proper peer behavior, personal hygiene, and problems on unwanted pregnancy.

But teachings on the different systems of the human body, be it a man or a woman’s body, had been integrated into such subjects as Science especially biology and Health, it was learned.

The loud uproar soared only when the word “sex” was written, for if another term was used, such as “gender” for “gender education”, it may not have mattered at all, many keen observers noted.  (PIA-Southern Leyte)





ABS-CBN Tacloban sponsors jobs, livelihood fair

June 18, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The ABS-CBN Tacloban headed by its Station Manager Clifford Nolido is sponsoring a jobs and livelihood fair to be held on Saturday, June 19, 2010 from 8:00AM to 3:00PM at the Leyte SMED Center located beside the Leyte Provincial Capitol.  The fair is expected to draw job seekers from the various municipalities in the region.

Dubbed as “Trabaho Patrol”, the employment activity is in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment’s Northern Leyte Field Office and its attached agency, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

During a meeting with DOLE Regional Director Forter G. Puguon, Ms. Marites Z. Viñas, Chief Labor and Employment Officer (Chief LEO) and head of DOLE Northern Leyte Field Office, reported that sixteen (16) local employers have confirmed their participation in the one day jobs and livelihood fair.  These are APAC, Accudata, Dranix, Jollibee/Chowking/Greenwich, Opportunity Bank/Taytay sa Kauswagan, Trisean ventures/Bayantel, Gaisano Central, MJ Prime Ventures, New Leyte Edible Oil, Andoks, Vision Janitorial & Allied Services, Inc., LEYECO II, AMA Computer College, ABE International College of Business and Economics, M. Lhullier & J Gourmet Partnership Co. and the Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Office No. 8.

The local employers will be bringing in openings for various professional, skilled and unskilled jobs, including seventy five (75) customer service representatives or call center agents, credit analyst, billers, programmer staff, accounting clerk, cashiers, bagger, utility worker, sales assistant, assistant store managers, management trainees, bookkeeper, accountant, restaurant supervisor, restaurant receptionist, waitress/waiters, kitchen crew, company driver and messenger.

Likewise, seven (7) Tacloban-based private recruitment agencies will also take part in the jobs fair with several job orders for employment abroad.  These are 10th Story placement agency, Ascend Overseas Recruitment Agency, Mondial Recruitment Agency, Mother’s Way Overseas Manpower, New Era Placement Agency, Pacific Mediterranean.

The livelihood component of the fair will feature opportunities for self employment through livelihood or entrepreneurship.  Among the livelihood exhibits are the vegenoodles of Burak Magkaisa Small Business Association in Tolosa, Leyte, deboned bangus of Tanghas, Tolosa, Leyte, processed meat products of DORELCO Independent Workers Union in Tolosa, Leyte, roscas, decania and torta of Barugo Roscas Producers Association and Barugo Food Delicacies Association, mushroom and bath soap of Tabon-tabon, Leyte and food supplements of Lifestyles Inc.

A unique feature of the Livelihood Fair is the participation of Lifestyles Inc. which will offer opportunity either for additional income or income augmentation to those already employed, for self employment to those unemployed.

Interested applicants should bring with such them basic documentary requirements such as resume, diploma, transcript of records, NBI Clearance, Passport for overseas applicants, employment certification and other relevant documents.

For more information, you may contact Ms. Marites Z. Viñas, Head of DOLE Northern Leyte Field Office at telephone number (053) 325-5236.





Leyte Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival stages first Sto. Niño Exhibit

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 17, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  –  For the first time in Tacloban City, an exhibit of various Santo Niño images  was organized by the Leyte Pintados Foundation to highlight the month-long celebration of the feast of the Patron of the entire province of Leyte.

The Sto. Niño Exhibit was officially opened on June 15 at the activity area of Robinsons Place Tacloban, with the cutting of the ribbon by Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla who was represented by Vice-Governor Mimyet Bagulaya, together with this year’s Hermanos, the Agaton Family, and the Leyte Pintados Foundation officers.

Before the opening of the exhibit, all the images of Sto. Niño including the Teniente of the Parish were toured around the main thoroughfares of Tacloban and were met at the entrance of the Robinson’s Mall in Marasbaras by the Pintados group of Anibong.

The exhibit of the Santo Niño images in different presentations and sizes will run for three days only, from June 15 to 17, Mr. Eugene Tan, the president of the Pintados Foundation disclosed.

The exhibit was blessed by Rev. Fr. Erwin Balagapo of the Sto. Niño Parish of Tacloban City and was followed with the reading of the Message of Gov. Icot Petilla by Vice Gov. Mimyet Bagulaya.

In his speech, Gov. Icot lauded the Pintados Foundation for spearheading the exhibit as it will bring more awareness of and devotion to Senor Sto. Niño.

About 15 Sto. Niño images were loaned by their owners to the Pintados Foundation and each of them has a donation/love offering box.  Many devotees dropped some amount and when counted at the end of the day, the total amount donated or offered reached to more than P30,000 which will go to the Sto. Niño Parish of Tacloban.

In the afternoon, the Our Lady of Lourdes Choir of V&G entertained the shoppers. It was learned from the organizers that for the duration of the exhibit there will always be a group to entertain the shoppers.





SALAG marks 6 years as haven to drug-abuse victims in Region 8

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
June 17, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The only treatment and rehabilitation center for male drug abuse-victims in Eastern Visayas, the Saving Lives at a Common Ground (SALAG) Treatment and Rehabilitation Center, the only treatment and rehabilitation Center in Region 8, is celebrating its 6th Anniversary on June 17, 2010.

Dr. Teresita M. Cajano, the chief of the Center disclosed that the anniversary celebration will coincide with the Inauguration of the new dormitory and staff house of the Center, the Recognition Day and the 4th Commencement Exercises of the recovering drug dependents who are ready to graduate from their rehabilitation program.

The Department of Health Treatment and Rehabilitation Center – SALAG uses the Therapeutic Community Modality in helping individuals to be free from their dependence on drugs while developing productive and healthy lives.

No matter how serious the addiction of a drug dependent maybe, it is always possible to free oneself from it so long as the conditions, the motivation, and the right part of help are present. And the fight against drug abuse will never be successful without the support of the different sectors in our society. On our part, we in the community must have a hand in the treatment of a drug dependent and in his rehabilitation which will aid him to start a new and clear life.

Residents at SALAG must be 15 years up to 45 years old upon confinement. Before one can be rehabilitated, one must secure an endorsement from the Local Government Unit, accomplish a contract for the family’s payment scheme and secure a social case study from the Department of Social Welfare & Development Region 8. After which, he will have to undergo a series of medical and psychiatric examinations.

The SALAG Regional Drug Rehabilitation Center in Dulag, Leyte, was conceptualized when then Governor and former Congresswoman Remedios L. Petilla was the chairperson of the Regional Development Council, in answer to the need for one such center which would cater to the drug dependents in the Region.

The project was continued by the Regional Development Council during the term of Southern Leyte Governor Rosette Lerias.

Later, the Center was turned over to the Department of Health Region 8 pursuant to a department circular that Rehabilitation Centers must be under the care of the Department of Health, with Dr. Teresita Cajano as chief designate.

Considered to be a hallmark project, the SALAG Drug Rehabilitation Center stands as a proof of the Government’s continuous support and care to every Filipino including the drug dependents.





Sex education in English, please

Press Release
June 17, 2010

QUEZON CITY  –  If the Department of Education (DepEd) must push through with the pilot testing of basic sex education in selected public schools, Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas wants the new program to be taught wholly in English.

"This way, the DepEd also gets to use the new program to advance the English skills of our children at an early age," said Gullas, an educator and principal author of a bill seeking to reinforce the use of English in schools.

Assuming the trial run of sex education will proceed, Gullas said the Deped has the option to teach the new program in English, Filipino or in the regional/native language.

"Of course we would prefer that it be taught entirely in English, as a language is best learned and mastered through constant exposure and use in school and elsewhere," Gullas said.

Despite resistance from the Catholic Church, the DepEd said it intends to carry out this school year the pilot testing of sex education in 80 elementary and 79 high schools nationwide.

Gullas's bill, the proposed Act Strengthening and Enhancing the Use of English as the Medium of Instruction, was actually passed by the House of Representatives on third and final reading in the 13th Congress. However, the Senate failed to act on the bill in that Congress.

In the outgoing 14th Congress, the House failed to pass the bill, although an overwhelming majority of its members, or 202 of them to be exact, co-authored the measure.

Gullas vowed to re-introduce the bill on July 1. In the bill:

English, Filipino or the regional/native language may be used as the teaching language in all subjects from preschool to Grade 3;

English shall be the teaching language in all academic subjects from Grades 4 to 6, and in all levels of high school;

English and Filipino shall be taught as separate subjects in all levels of elementary and high school;

The current language policy prescribed by the Commission on Higher Education shall be maintained in college; and

English shall be promoted as the language of interaction in schools.

A previous survey by the Social Weather Stations indicated that while most Filipinos are convinced that English mastery leads to greater employment opportunities, many still lack competency in the language.

In that survey, only 76 percent of voting-age Filipinos said they could understand spoken English. Of those polled, only 75 percent said they could read English; only 61 percent said they could write English; only 46 percent said they could speak English; and only 38 percent said they could think in English.

Gullas stressed the need to provide the country's future labor force participants with the language skills necessary for them to compete aggressively in all gainful job markets here and abroad.



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