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With the K to 12 Enhanced Basic Education Act now a law, it’s time to focus on action. No more excuses. As the so-called centerpiece of President Aquino’s administration, K to 12 must now live up to its promise of reforming basic education from the ground up.
After a blazing start on Monday night, the unofficial count managed by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting has slowed to a crawl. The official tally maintained by the Commission on Elections itself, which began the day after the elections, has been even slower. After the excitement over the speed by which election results were being reported right on Monday night, we are back on much more familiar territory: the slow count, vulnerable to manipulation and fraud.
We do not have to look far to find sources of hope, inspiring stories of unexpected or eagerly anticipated election victories, from the May 13 vote. But the setbacks are real, too, and threaten to undo or undermine many of these same victories.
Last Wednesday, as if on cue, five or six power plants in Luzon stopped generating electricity, plunging the island back to the “dark ages.” And yesterday (Monday), the midterm elections were marred by outages in Batangas and parts of Laguna, reportedly due to a transformer malfunction.
Various dictionaries agree in defining “mother” as a woman who has given birth to and/or raised a child. But what if half of that equation is removed, abruptly, perhaps even violently?
A clueless morning radio host called it a “priapic explosion,” which naturally elicited giggles from listeners and denizens of social media.
This creature has a humble moniker but it’s part of the Philippines’ wondrous wealth in marine life. It’s called the “bubble shark” (because it can puff up to twice its size when threatened), and it’s a brand-new species discovered only last year in the Verde Island Passage Marine Corridor (VIPMC).
The ridiculousness of it all is mind-boggling. Reports say former police officer Cezar O. Mancao II, who was being held at the National Bureau of Investigation in connection with the 2000 murders of Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and Dacer’s driver Emmanuel Corbito, escaped from his NBI detention cell last Thursday by walking out of his cell alone.
In a candid article cowritten for Sports Illustrated and circulated a few days ago, the seven-footer Jason Collins became the first active National Basketball Association player to come out as gay. His magazine essay began with three simple declarations: “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.”
Another day, another accolade for the country’s economic performance. The latest comes from Moody’s Analytics, which, in a report released six days ago, called the Philippines “Asia’s rising star” with a potential to become “one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.” Its 6.6-percent growth in 2012 is “impressive,” said the report—a growth that “looks sustainable, as risks are low and most sectors of the economy are growing solidly.”
In nation with so many young people, education is crucial for progress and development. This is particularly important because as of 2010, 41.8 percent of the Philippine population (or some 38.5 million people) were of school age (5 to 24). Education presents a way out of poverty or a leg up in a career path.
“Ayoko na.” Thus did Commission on Elections Chair Sixto Brillantes rather dramatically throw up his hands in the quest for the all-important source code of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines that will be used in the May elections. “I’m no longer interested because it’s too late already,” he said. “Election Day is so close, and even if they give us the source code now, it can no longer be reviewed for lack of time.”