Health and Environment

Data Privacy Act ‘not a subterfuge’
to redact SALNs – NPC Chair Liboro

THE DATA PRIVACY ACT “is not meant to serve as a subterfuge to prevent the processing and/or disclosure of personal information sanctioned under law.”This, according to Chairman Raymund E. Liboro of the National Privacy Commission (NPC) is a core principle that should inform the discourse on the right to information of citizens to get true […]

Spotlight on Agriculture

AS OF the latest official census in 2015, there are now a total of 100.98 million Filipinos. One in every three lives, works, and draws sustenance from agriculture.The agriculture sector consists of four sub-sectors: farming, fisheries, livestock, and forestry, which altogether by the year 2000 employed 39.8 percent of the labor force. Yet still, farmers […]

Health, nutrition, and our children

ON June 25, 1974, or exactly 43 years ago, the late strongman President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 491 or The Nutrition Act of the Philippines. By this edict, the National Nutrition Council was created and the month of July declared as Nutrition Month. Yet still, malnutrition continues to stalk Filipino children five […]

Innocent until proven guilty, yes!
Guilty until proven innocent, no!

BY LAW, only certain acts or actions are clear grounds for any citizen to be investigated, arrested, or compelled to surrender, despite the vigorous push by the Duterte administration to crack down on illegal drugs use and abuse.In free and democratic societies, the time-honored principle of due process upholds a person’s innocence, until he or […]

503 requests on e-FOI portal

183 denied, 166 granted, 154 pending

MORE THAN three months after the Freedom of Information (FOI) Executive Order took effect on Nov. 25, 2016, requests for data from state agencies have been coming in, but not at the volume expected by government officials.Yet the relative low number has not meant quick processing for several of the requests, leaving some requestors in […]

R2RKN report on first 3 months of FOI EO

Action, inaction on requests
for People’s FOI Manuals

HAVING HAILED Executive Order No. 2 (s. 2016), operationalizing for the Executive branch the people’s constitutional right to information, as a major step forward, the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition (R2RKN) committed to engage processes related to it, and launched a new round of FOI practice centered on its implementation. This report covers the […]

FOI Practice projects of 6 CSOs

Slow & quick action, open & opaque agencies

SUPER QUICK or interminably slow action, a few or all documents, and clear or vague policies and lines of authority — a mix of good and bad practices marked the conduct of state agencies and personnel that recently received access to information requests from six civil society organizations (CSOs) of the Right to Know, Right […]

Deficit in education, health
services weighs down CCT

SOCIAL WATCH Co-Convener Marivic Raquiza considers it “very one-sided” that the government monitors compliance by beneficiaries – the so-called demand side – of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, but not the supply side, which the national and local government should take care of.

After all, a lack in the latter would make it harder for the beneficiaries to comply with the conditions tied to their cash grants and for the government’s stop-gap poverty alleviation program to meet its goals.

Sidebar

A Future in Pieces

DESPITE the many laws that recognize the rights of children with special needs, there is still no comprehensive law that mandates special education in the Philippines. As educator Dr. Edilberto Dizon points out, nurturing children with special needs is simply not a priority in the Philippine educational system. The thrust of education in this country, he says, has always been in the provision of more facilities for the growing school population – and even that has been a chronic problem for the government.

“Will the education of special children be more important than mass education?” Dizon asks. “The needs of the majority have yet to be fulfilled. How much more for those in the minority?”

“If (education) priorities are met,” he says, “there should have been more SPED programs and inclusionality programs. More teachers (should have been) trained and retained and not encouraged to leave the country.”

Dilemmas on the ‘Different’

Are you still ‘special’ if you’re poor?

MARAGONDON, Cavite – In theory, Jaime ‘Jay’ Divina Jr. should have been able to go to school, despite the poverty of his family and his own physical shortcomings. After all, education up to the secondary level is supposed to be free in this country, and there are laws to ensure that even children with special needs like him are not deprived of learning opportunities.

Yet at 16, Jay, the eldest in a brood of four, has yet to step inside a classroom. In fact, in 2009 his 13-year-old sister Jaciel was the only one among his siblings who remained in school. The other two – Jonathan, 15, and Carlinnette, 10 – had to stop because their mother Diana could no longer afford expenses such as the children’s day-to-day baon, school supplies, and other requirements that do not go free in public schools. In 2010, Jonathan and Carlinnette have resumed schooling, but are at least two grade levels behind their age groups.

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