Education

Subsidies (not studies) for the skills mismatch

A national apprenticeship program that provides subsidies to both employers and employees in areas where a skills mismatch has occurred would fix the problem.

The president in answering the questions submitted and rated by viewers on Youtube reiterated many of his “talking points” during his second State of the Nation Address. This comment was raised by many viewers of the 43 minute “Ask PNoy” event co-hosted by World View and the ABS-CBN News Channel.

The very first question asked concerned the plight of millions of Filipinos who seek employment overseas because of a lack of opportunities at home. The president’s reply was to cite the same statistic he noted during his SONA with regard to the skills mismatch of about fifty to sixty thousand job openings on the government’s PhilJobs.net website that have remained unfilled (see video below–at around the 1.30 minute mark to about the 3.30 minute).

The president’s solution as he declared during his speech last July was to instruct the agencies concerned to study ways to address this imbalance through the educational system. This is well and good, but the immediate concern of filling these vacancies, plus the prevailing unemployment of close to three million Filipinos needs to be addressed soon, not down the track.

During his interview, the president spoke of various government sponsored programs: (1) to address the need for “green” energy by replacing thousands of diesel powered engines and vehicles that make up our transport infrastructure, (2) to provide thousands of housing units to soldiers and policemen to address the peace and order situation in the countryside, (3) to beef up our coastline security through a defense modernization fund, and (4) to expand social insurance through conditional cash grants to indigent families to address intergenerational poverty.

But when it comes to addressing the first imperative of any government which is to provide jobs, jobs, jobs, it seems the solutions are not as solid or programmed, as such. A very quick and do-able solution would be for the government to provide employment and training subsidies to the firms unable to fill job vacancies.

The purpose of this subsidy would be to defray part of the costs of training cadets or apprentices on the role they will fill within the firms seeking to employ them. Part of this  subsidy could go to the employer to help pay for the wages of unskilled apprentices and trainees while they undergo a period of formal schooling, on-the-job training, or a combination of both.

This could last for a period of between eighteen-to-thirty-six months. To qualify for such a subsidy, the employer would have to show that an advertised job vacancy remained unfilled by qualified workers after a period of say six-to-nine months.

Another part of the subsidy could go to the apprentice or trainee for such things as transportation, uniforms, tools (if needed for the job) and other similar work-related expenses. Formal contracts of training would stipulate the responsibilities of each party under such a scheme and reviewed periodically.

Fifty-to-sixty thousand internet job ads on the government's website are not filled according to employment officials.

Fifty-to-sixty thousand unfilled vacancies is nothing to sneeze at. It constitutes about two percent of the nearly three million unemployed members of the workforce.  It would cost around one-and-a-half billion pesos annually to provide a two-and-a-half thousand peso subsidy per trainee each month (thirty thousand a year) assuming all of these vacancies are filled via this approach. That is a rounding error in the government’s total budget of over one trillion pesos.

It would provide presumably high paying, sustainable jobs in the end–something that social insurance programs cannot boast of. Surely with the “savings” PNoy was quite happy to highlight during his interview such an “investment” in people’s human potential would be worth making. Surely a new initiative such as this with a very modest budget impact and a significant contribution to raising employment would have earned the president praise from all sides (both employers and employees included). So why shouldn’t he do it?

That question sadly remains unanswered, but if the president were to temporarily overcome his strong aversion to criticism as he expressed by way of a Christmas wish to Santa towards the end of the interview, I am sure it could be made to work real soon.

Sexuality and Spirituality: Using art and contraceptives to teach sexual health

aRt-H: USING ART AND CONTRACEPTIVES TO TEACH SEXUAL HEALTH IN UP DILIMAN


SAS_ART-H poster

 

(Quezon City, Philippines—September 22, 2011) Sex and Sensibilities (SAS), in partnership with DKT Reproductive Health (Frenzy Condoms and Filipinay), will be holding a mandala art making contest using contraceptives on September 26-28 at theUniversity of the Philippines-Diliman. A cash prize of up to P15,000 is at stake for groups with a winning mandala design.

The word “mandala” is Sanskrit for both “circle” and “center.” Mandalas are a good way to communicate sexual health, because mandalas are seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself. Mandalas are also reflections of the spiritual self because they offer a unique and powerful way to self-discovery and healing through the use of imagery, symbolism, color and balance.

About 100 UP students are expected to participate in the ART-H contest. On Monday, September 26, registered groups will attend the ART-H primer: a sexual health workshop and mandala art making orientation in Palma Hall. This primer is open to all: contestants, bloggers, journalists, writers, students, RH advocates.

During the contest on Tuesday and Wednesday, the participants will create mandalas using Frenzy condoms and birth control pills to be provided by DKT-Reproductive Health. They are expected to create designs linked to the related key issues: reproductive health, maternal health, women’s sexual health rights, and informed choice.

The mandalas will be evaluated based on a panel of judges and the number of most “Likes” on the Sex and Sensibilities Facebook page. All artworks will also be displayed in front of the office of the College of Social Science and Philosophy Student Council, located at the West Wing of Palma Hall, for a week.

“By using art, students will get to touch, feel, and interact with condoms and birth control pills. We want to create an environment that will allow young people to ask questions about their sexual health and openly discuss sexuality issues. We see this as a concrete step in fostering a healthy and responsible attitude towards sex among young adults,” says Ms. Ana Santos, founder of SAS. “We highly encourage the participants to attend the workshop as a primer to the contest because the story has to be complete–it is not enough that you’ve touched or felt condoms or know about birth control pills. You need to know how to use them properly and responsibly,” she adds.

DKT Reproductive Health, manufacturer of Frenzy condoms and Filipinay line of contraceptive pills, has always been a staunch supporter of SAS in actively promotion positive sexuality and informed choice.

This project is supported by the UP-Diliman based network, RH AGENDA (Reproductive Health and Gender Advocates Movement).

Students must join in groups of 4-10 members, and must indicate time slot for the ART-H primer: 10AM-12PM or 12-2PM. The participants will then be divided in two groups for the contest on Tuesday, September 27, and Wednesday, September 28 from 11:30AM-1PM at the Palma Hall lobby. The group that lands first place will win P15,000, 2nd P12,000, and 3rd P10,000 in cash.

To inquire and/or register, students may email [email protected], or contact +63917-851-0209 or +63917-836-0345 from September 1-22, 2011.

For the complete mechanics and details, please visit www.sexandsensibilities.com and follow @dash_of_sas on Twitter.

=====================================

Sex and Sensibilities.com (SAS) is a non-profit website committed to improving the level of understanding of sexual reproductive health rights among Filipinos through the dissemination of accurate, practical and factual information on STI/HIV prevention and population and development in governance. SAS open to all, and is represented in other online media outlets, including popular social media networks Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

Towards a Strategic Development Road Map (Update)

The following is a matrix of the Strategies contained in the government’s Philippine Development Plan 2011-16  plotted against the five key results areas under the Cabinet Cluster system of the Aquino Cabinet.

The five themes include: 1) Good Governance and Anti-Corruption, 2) Human Development and Poverty Reduction, 3) Economic Development, 4) Security, Justice and Peace, and 5) Climate Change, Adaptation and Mitigation. This was contained in Executive Order 43: Pursuing our Social Contract with the Filipino People Through the Reorganization of the Cabinet Clusters.

The strategies under each theme were taken from the Philippine Development Plan 2011-16. In some cases, the actual targets were contained in it or some other announcement such as the renewable energy target. Some targets we are actually proposing here based on the intent of the PDP and other statements by the government. Some targets remain ambiguous or require quantification, but at least a measurement indicator is identified here.

This should form the basis for a periodic review of the government’s progress in meeting its official development plan and agenda. In the future, we will be revisiting these targets to hold this government to account. Comments on the construction of the matrix are quite welcome. Feel free to point out things that are missing or need to be revised.

Scorecard of Social Contract and Philippine Development Plan 2011-16 Targets

UPDATE:

Good governance targets

I chose to go with the World Bank’s Good Governance indicators because the government has adopted its whole philosophy of economic development from the Washington Consensus. It is only but fitting that it should benchmark itself against the indicators set by this Washington-based institution.

In setting the targets for the nation, I had to benchmark our rating with our East Asian neighbors. For instance under control of corruption, the Philippines and Indonesia were at 27.1 and 28.1 respectively, China and Vietnam were at 36.2 and 36.7, Thailand was at 51, and Malaysia was at 58.1 back in 2009. Hong Kong and Singapore were in the 90s.

It is only but fitting that we try to break into the range of Thailand and Malaysia. So I said we need to be achieving above 50%. I used a similar approach with the other indicators in this area.

Human Development and Poverty Reduction

Most of the targets found here were lifted from the government’s plan. The only target which I had to set on my own was the HDI target. To do this I simply projected the current trend from 2005 to 2010.  The target of reaching a 0.65 value for HDI means we would catch up to where Thailand and Sri Lanka were back in 2010.

All the other targets dealing with poverty reduction, literacy, land reform and distribution, Pantawid Pamilya recipients, housing and reaching the MDG targets were all based on official published documents by the government.

Economic Development

Most of the targets came from official published documents by the government. The only targets where I took the liberty of setting were the fiscal spending targets, but even there I took the policy pronouncements contained in the PDP into account.

For example, the PDP stated that its Medium Term Expenditure goal was to “substantially increase productive expenditures and catch up with the accumulated deficits in these areas.” It also noted that in 2007, the average expenditure on education among our Asian neighbors was 3.9% of GDP. To “catch-up” and make up for our accumulated deficits, we would need to at least match that spending, which is reflected in the target.

Aside from education, the PDP also made mention of our infrastructure spending which is woefully inadequate when compared with that of China, Vietnam, and Thailand which spent upwards of 7, 8 and 14% of GDP over the last decade. The 5% target was based on the World Bank’s recommended level for a middle income country such as ours. In other words, it was a modest but reasonable target in light of our regional peers’ spending.

The targets for achieving higher rankings in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness and World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business reports are self-explanatory. You can see by reading their most recent editions the countries in whose proximity we would be landing if we achieved the targets.

The consumer welfare and agricultural productivity targets are yet undefined and merit further discussion.

Security, Justice and Peace

The target for achieving political stability was arrived at similar to the other good governance targets already discussed above. The defense modernization target assumes that the government has a revised plan for this and will be working towards achieving 100% of it by the end of its term. Finally, the press freedom strategy and target, I had to personally add given the silence of the PDP on it. I based this on PNoy’s policy pronouncements at an AFP conference call. I further believe the Human Rights Commission should seek to publish official statistics in the area so that we can aim to bring that figure down.

Climate Change, Adaptation and Mitigation

The targets for reducing environmental damage and casualties are yet undefined but flow directly from the strategies outlined in the PDP. The rest of the targets contained here are from official published statements by the government, including the renewable energy target.

Why the Need for a Scorecard?

It has been nearly three months since the cabinet reorganization was announced, and yet it seems no further developments were made towards fleshing out the social contract in terms of major strategies and targets, which the EO that created it envisioned.

That is the reason why we have taken this bold step towards developing this strategic development road map. Of course, nothing would please us more than to see the government announce something similar. When it does, we will be sure to revise the document to reflect it.

The Propinoy Project began as an attempt to hold the government to account for its electoral promises. Now that the government has officially laid down its official policies and plan for its term, it is but fitting that we assess its future performance against its own targets with objective baselines and independent and reliable sources.

This matrix as detailed as it is cannot capture the complexities at the implementation or operational level. We leave that to the community service organizations who are partnered with various agencies to monitor. At least at the strategic level we can look at this scorecard to assess whether the government is doing the right things (and doing them right!) at the operational level to achieve its strategic goals.

Ibong Adarna is Philippines' first interactive eBook

Vibal Foundation announced that,

“the Filipino classicIbong Adarna, released as the country’s first interactive e-book. Relive the enchanting adventure of the brothers Don Juan, Don Pedro and Don Diego as they search for the mystical bird whose song alone can heal their ailing father Haring Fernando.

Crafted using cutting-edge technology, this historical e-book produced by Vibal Foundation’s Vee Press boasts a “read-to-me” feature that makes it play like an audiobook, and full-color illustrations and animations especially created with Filipino motifs.



Image: Ibong Adarna by Vibal Foundation, used under fair use.

Spain provides €3.5 million for community facilities

Spain provides €3.5 million for community facilities
BusinessWorld Online

SPAIN, through its Agency for International Development Cooperation, will contribute €3.5 million (about P215 million) to build schools, day care and barangay health centers in select provinces in Luzon and Mindanao, a statement of the Embassy of Spain in Manila read.

Specifically, the facilities will be built in Aurora in Central Luzon; in Albay, Masbate, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur in Bicol; as well as in Dinagat, Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur in Caraga region, Mindanao.

This financial support will be implemented under the fifth and sixth phases of the “Empowerment and Prosperity of the Community Project,” in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The Spanish government last year provided a total of €33.7 million (about P2.19 billion) for various ODA projects nationwide, the statement read.

Asean lists down causes of failure to meet MDGs

Asean lists down causes of failure to meet MDGs
Written by Estrella Torres
Business Mirror

LINGERING conflicts, fragile political situations and armed violence in Southeast Asia hamper the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) among the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

Dr. Surin Pits wan, Asean secretary-general raised the need to address these concerns of members, particularly developing countries like the Philippines, at the sidelines of the United Nations Review Conference of the MDGs in New York City.

Surin met with Timor Leste President Jose Ramos Horta; officials of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and of the World Bank and the United Kingdom, to identify programs to raise the importance of peace-building and state-building in achieving the MDGs, according to a briefing statement issued by the Asean.

Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines are having difficulty complying with the MDG commitments due to the lingering conflict and fragile political conditions in those countries.

In March 2009, Asean members agreed to align to the attainment of MDGs the road map to establish a single market by 2015.

The signatories to the MDG compact signed in year 2000 also set year 2015 as the end-year for compliance with the eight goals.

The declaration “reflects Asean’s serious commitment to reducing poverty and inequality and improve the standard and quality of life of the peoples of Asean,” Surin said

The MDGs are time-bound goals that aim to halve global poverty incidence by 2015 by eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal access to primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a global partnership for development.

Asean signed an assistance program with the European Union to develop statistical reports using the MDG indicators to support regional programs aligned to achieving the MDGs.

Infrastructure woes hinder MDGs

Infrastructure woes hinder MDGs
Written by Cai U. Ordinario
Business Mirror

DESPITE the country’s efforts to increase social spending through programs like the conditional cash-transfer (CCT) program to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) believes that addressing infrastructure constraints will still hold the key in achieving the goals by 2015.

In a statement, ADB president Haruhiko Kuroda said developing countries like the Philippines must address basic infrastructure constraints to achieve the MDGs in five years.

Kuroda said many areas in developing countries still do not have electricity, all-weather roads and other basic infrastructure. These limit access to health care and discourage children from completing their education.

He said the region is lagging in the targets for basic sanitation, infant mortality, maternal health, hunger and environmental improvements, and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

“Less developed countries, or those suffering from conflicts or disaster, will need more regional help to make progress, and the Asia and Pacific region must step up cross-border cooperation in trade, investment, knowledge and technology, to help bridge gaps in resources and capacities,” the ADB added.

Addressing these concerns is National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Director General
Dr. Cayetano Paderanga, who delivered the Philippines’ statement during the High-Level Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals in New York City.

Paderanga, who is also the Socioeconomic Planning secretary, said while the Philippines made considerable strides in meeting some of the MDGs, like cutting child mortality, and malaria and tuberculosis incidence; increasing access to sanitation and safe and potable water; and providing equal education for girls, there is still a lot to be done.

The Neda chief said the measures that will be implemented by the national government to help achieve the MDGs will be included in the Medium-Term Development Plan for 2010-2016.

He said the MTDP will make sure this growth is inclusive and can help protect the vulnerable by ensuring access of every Filipino to quality health, education and employment opportunities.

These, Paderanga said, will be done through an appropriate mix of physical and social infrastructures, and by strengthening social safety nets, like CCTs and universal health care.

“Despite the gains attained in the last decade, we need to push ourselves more to meet the MDGs, particularly where we lag behind. Moreover, the Philippine scenario is characterized by wide disparities. Our latest progress report also shows that climate change poses a threat to the achievement of our targets. The population above the poverty threshold is declining as a result of low capacities to cope with the effects of shocks leading to more ‘transient poor,’” Paderanga said in a statement.

He urged development partners to also keep their promise of sharing a portion of their gross national income (GNI) to developing countries for MDG achievement. The United Nations official development assistance target is set at 0.7 percent of GNI.

“Excellencies, as we enter the last stretch, the Philippine government is exerting all means to deliver on its promise to realize its MDGs, not just as an international commitment but because our people demand it. Let us remember that each and every one of our citizens deserves a life of quality, meaning and dignity,” Paderanga said.

For its part, the Manila-based ADB said it is targeting increased support for basic infrastructure, such as roads, power and sanitation, which are crucial for meeting MDGs.

It also intends to scale up assistance for education, and for environmental improvements, including the use of clean energy, where ADB investments have grown to more than $1 billion a year, and which are targeted to double to $2 billion by 2013.

Kuroda added that countries in the Asia and the Pacific region, which is home to three-fifths of humanity and two-thirds of the world’s poor, represent the world’s best hope for achieving the MDGs by 2015.

“With more than 500 million people having overcome poverty since 1990, the target for reducing extreme income poverty is in sight. The region is also likely to achieve near universal primary school enrollment by 2015, attain gender parity in education, meet the target on access to safe drinking water, and halt the spread of deadly diseases such as TB and HIV,” Kuroda said.

The country’s fourth progress report on the MDGs showed it had a low probability of achieving indicators—such as increase elementary education net enrollment rate, elementary education cohort survival rate, elementary education completion rate, reduce by three quarters maternal mortality, universal access to reproductive health, halt HIV prevalence among 15 year olds, and provide comprehensive correct knowledge about HIV/AIDS to 15 to 24 year olds.

The report also showed the country had a medium probability of achieving the indicators on halving the proportion of population below the poverty threshold or P15,057 per year per person, halving the prevalence of underweight children under five years old, halving the proportion of households with per capita intake below 100 percent dietary energy requirement, universal access for the proportion of the population with advanced HIV infection to antiretroviral drugs, and halve the proportion of the population with access to safe water.

The indicators also showed the Philippines had a high probability of achieving of halving the proportion of population below the food threshold or P10,025 per year per person, all the indicators of Goal 3 which pertained to gender equality and women empowerment, indicators under Goal 4 of reducing child mortality, the malaria morbidity rate, the malaria mortality rate, the tuberculosis case-detection rate, tuberculosis-cure rate, and the proportion of the population with access to sanitary toilet facilities.

The MDGs are a set of eight goals, 22 quantitative targets and more than 60 specific indicators meant to serve as a focus for international and national development policy.

The first seven goals are concerned with outcomes, identifying the progress toward certain standards of human welfare and development that should be achieved globally and nationally by 2015. The eighth goal is concerned with “global partnership for development” to support the realization of all the goals.

ADB, UNICEF agree to help countries achieve MDG goals

ADB, UNICEF agree to help countries achieve MDG goals
GMA News

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) signed an agreement to help some countries in Asia and the Pacific region, including the Philippines, to reduce poverty and inequalities and improve child welfare.
The agreement was signed with five years remaining until the 2015 deadline for the world to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Manila-based bank said in a statement released to media on Thursday.

The ADB said the two agencies will look for opportunities to work together to accelerate the achievement of the MDGs, including reducing infant and maternal mortality rates, improving the quality and relevance of basic education, promoting investments in water and hygiene, strengthening child protection systems, and combating HIV/AIDS.

They will also look at opportunities to cooperate on public-private partnerships and enable the poor to participate in and benefit from economic growth, the bank said.

The ADB said the agreement will run for five years from the date of the signing of the agreement, and it may be extended by mutual consent.

Apart from the Philippines, priority areas for the project include Armenia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Georgia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam, the bank said. —JE/VS, GMANews.TV

WB supports Aquino’s reform agenda

WB supports Aquino’s reform agenda
BusinessWorld Online

THE AQUINO government’s plan to fight poverty, promote economic growth and uphold good governance received approval from World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick, who met with President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III on Wednesday in New York.

“The Philippines has made a commendable commitment to expanding a modern social protection system, which not only protects the poor, but also encourages investments in health and education. Similar programs have made a real impact on achieving the MDGs in countries around the world,” Mr. Zoellick said in a statement following their meeting at the sidelines of the United Nations High Level Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals in New York.

Mr. Zoellick also recognized efforts to improve the country’s investment climate by rationalizing the regulatory system and tapping the private sector for infrastructure developments through the so-called public-private partnerships (PPP).

The government has vowed to cut the approval process for solicited proposals to six months and for unsolicited projects for nine months. Mr. Aquino has also ordered the creation of the PPP center that would supervise projects under the scheme pushed by the government.

“Tapping the resources and energy of the private sector through carefully designed public-private sector partnerships would go a long way in achieving sustainable growth that create more jobs for the poor,” said Mr. Zoellick noting that there has been increasing implementation of PPP for infrastructure development among developed and developing countries. — Ana Mae G. Roa

Dear Mr. President, Proposals for Public and Public Schools

Filipino school kids

September 07, 2010

President Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President of the Republic of the Philippines

Dear Mr. President,
Greetings!

Before we state the reasons for writing this letter, let me introduce ourselves. We are third year high school students from Sacred Heart School – Hijas de Jesus, a private school in the city of Cebu. Stated in this letter are our proposals for the different aspects in Arts: dance, music, cultural arts, and Sports, written by different people.

We believe that every Filipino is proud to be one, every Filipino is proud to live in the Philippines, a place rich in history and culture. Truly the Philippines is a wonderful place but as we travel along its roads and intersection we see the “Hope of the Motherland”, our youth walking in droves as young as ten years sniffing a plastic filled with “Rugby”.  Teenagers nowadays wearing black with faces full of pierced needles either members of rival gangs known and dreaded in Cebu, the Crisp Gang or the Tau Gamma. Clinging to each other in brotherhood but resulting in gang wars thus death is imminent. Mr. President, our hearts bleed for them and we know yours as well. We are coming out with proposals to your office and do hope that this will be given attention with.

We also believe that a sense of self is created when a child can look at a piece of art that they created and feel pride. Children typically do not have a very good grasp on emotion and often do not know how to express what they feel. Typically, their emotion comes out in negative behavior or registration, which those things lead to punishment and belittlement. It is good for a child to express emotion through art. They may not know what they are feeling, but if you set them down and give them the task of making something that looks like how they feel, they will find release. In the end and if able to release emotion, the children will behave better and act their age having less punishment and more praise. Praise is the best way to boost a child. It’s a chain reaction. For art, the possibilities are endless.

One of the possibilities to promote the arts and sports talent of a student, is to improve the different resources needed. Resources for arts and sports are very important.

Art and Music Resources by Katrina Po

One of the many things Filipinos excel in is arts and music. To be good in arts and/or music takes skill and talent, which is given by God. As gifts from our Father above, we should maximize them and put them into good use and to do this, good and decent resources for arts and music are needed.

If a budget is set aside by the Government to supply adequate resources for arts and music to both public and private schools, more students will be encouraged to enhance their capability in arts and music. The enhancement of the skills of the Filipinos may make them competent and proficient artists who can and will be able to bring pride to our country.

With the use of proper resources, such as books as reference, appropriate art materials and musical instruments, Filipinos will be able to practice and enhance their skills in the arts and music area. Along with teachers to guide them, Filipinos would be able to develop their skills and capability in arts and music. With this, they can represent our country in international events and bring honor to the Philippines.

The students need reference to orient them. These references will be the guide and inspiration for the students.

The achievements of the Filipino artist may give us hope to aspiring which will inspire them to do better. The constant success of the Filipinos will give the Filipinos an even better reputation. The triumphs of the Filipinos will be a continuous reminder that Filipinos are talented and will be another reason to be proud Filipinos.

Sports Resources by Joanna Ramas and Danielle Cang

Another thing Filipinos excel in is Sports. In sports, it does not matter what social status you have or how intelligent you are. Excelling in sports come from pure skill. These skills are talents given by God to be nurtured and cherished. Thus, the need of adequate resources and facilities.
Sports are an important part of every society, every country and every part of our planet, just like Arts and Music. Sports are not only for leisure, but it also keeps us fit and healthy, this would assist our country since the people would be in good shape to work which would be great for our economy. Regular participation in indoor and outdoor games and individual sports provide sufficient exercises to the body.

There are a lot of schools nowadays lacking the needed resources and/or supplies for sports, not necessarily rackets, balls and etc. but also books and reference materials about sports and how to play them. This would really help students learn more about sports education the importance of sports should be recognized therefore old materials should be replaced with new ones. Students would be more encouraged to participate in sports since the materials are new. Sports indeed play a significant role in creating one’s character where people are much more mature and mentally developed.

In one way or another, everyone is involved in sports or some sort, whether they’re playing or watching a game or knows someone who does. Sports can help the country earn money; some professional athletes receive millions of dollars a year.

In many ways, sports define a society. They show what people are interested in watching other people do and what they will pay to see. They show how people can make a living by being athletic and entertaining other people. They give people ways to test their athletic skill against other people. Most of all, they give people something to focus on and follow that is a sort of release from heavy cares of everyday life.

Playing sports improves the Math skills in children. It develops leadership qualities and fosters a team spirit in them. Sports involve competition; they involve winning and losing. This exposes the players to both aspects of life, successes and failures.

If a budget would be set aside to provide proper sport facilities to both public and private schools, I believe more students will be motivated to intensify their athletic ability and become competent and skilled athletes that would give pride to our country. With proper training and equipment, the Filipino students would be able to enhance their capability of succeeding in sports and become globally competitive.

These athletes give hope to our people. If trained well and prioritized by our government, the possibilities are endless for these youth as they continue to give us another to be proud Filipinos.

The improvement of resources is not the only possible way to enhance or to improve the skills of the children today. There should also be different programs facilitated for arts, music and sports.

Art Programs by Janica Echavez

1.    Sining At Kultura Sa Barangay

Mr. President, if we have the Botika sa Barangay how about having Arts and Culture in every Barangay which can use the room facilities of the day care centers facilities which I know is a requisite in all barangays. Expressions of Arts in painting, dancing, singing and other forms of art can be facilitated then by volunteers within the barangay or tapping Student teachers from Public and Private Universities and Colleges taking up Arts major and the like to render mandatory OJTs or Practicum through teaching. This way Mr. President, we can give them a different alternative learning through the Arts. Mr. President, we saw the different expressions of Arts shown in Pilipinas Got Talent hosted by Kris Aquino which produces Val Bino, a balut vendor.

2.    Revival Of The Arts And Craft Subject In Schools

Mr. President, because of technology and the fast paced living we loosed grip of the very basics. This goes with the arts. I recommend to the Department of Education the revival of the Arts and Crafts subject back to the curriculum. This will someday give them alternative way in living. My mother told me that her mother used to stitch and embroider and she did not mind knowing that it can be a very good business eighteen years from now.

Sports Programs by Arielle Tan

I write to you in order to convince you that the development of sports programs should be promoted in private and public schools because sports have numerous mental and physical benefits. Mot only do they keep you fit but they can also relieve your mind from everyday pressures that represent school life. Sports also instill value in players by teaching them to follow rules, respect people in authority, accept defeat, and remain humble. Among the very many sports, these are the sports that I would like to propose:
•    Basketball – This sport can build up teamwork and cooperation within the group. Thus, harmony can be achieved.
•    Volleyball – This sport can develop one’s trust within one’s own ability.
•    Soccer – This strengthens the person’s physical and mental capabilities.
•    Tennis or Badminton – These sports can build up the person’s physical strength.
•    Swimming – This sport can teach people that keeping an eye forward should be down no matter what happens.

Music Programs by Gabrielle Climaco

I would like to propose that all schools should be required to have good music programs. As a student I personally feel that music plays an important role in my life. Not only does it serve as a form of entertainment but it also exposes different people to different cultures and styles of music because just like dance and many other forms of art, music is universal. I think that in this generation, people are greatly influenced by music and it is a major factor that contributes to our development as people. With music programs on learning how to play different musical instruments, choir groups and other practical activities, the students will be able to develop their capabilities in the music aspect. I think that schools that are able to give such programs will be more successful in molding students to be more mature and diverse people and also open up more opportunities for us in the future.

Dance Programs by Katrina Po

With music comes dance. Maybe some Filipinos are not talented in Sports or Music but in Dance, thus, the need of Music Programs in the private and public schools around the Philippines. Like Music, Dance can influence people and can expose Filipinos to various cultures and lifestyles. Dance can also help educate the Filipinos about the history of our country for the knowledge of the dance steps of the native dances has different interpretations that relate to our history. With dance troupes, dance classes and extra-curricular activities, which involves dancing, the students’ imagination and creativity expands and with this, the students become open-minded.

The different programs, indeed, will expand the knowledge of the students and scholarships are opportunities for the Filipino students to pursue their dreams. Scholarships give students the chance to enhance their knowledge, and their creativity.

Art Scholarship by Andrea Go

As a student, I recognized the importance of arts. It is a way for all of us individual to express ourselves, it is an important tool to examine and express our beliefs in light of artists’ version or perception of truth. It has the ability to transport us to a different time and place. It allows us to gain historical perceptiveness and understanding. Art allows us to appreciate different periods in history and their impact and significant in our world. Through scholarships, even the less-fortunate ones will be able to achieve their dreams for they should also be given the chance to express themselves.

Music Scholarship by Kezia Sucalit

As we all know there are certain people who are not good at academics and there are those who are good and talented at non-academic activities, like sports, arts and music. And we believe in the saying, nobody’s perfect.

Musically inclined people are truly blessed since there are people who are not really talented in Music. Music scholarships are really needed in schools since there are man students that are good in music. Unfortunately, some schools here in the Philippines do not sponsor scholarships like this.

Music scholarships will provide more opportunities for our less fortunate brothers and sisters that are talented in music to achieve their dreams. Scholarships will also encourage more children to study in schools since there will be a scholarship program which will help them be who they want to be. Parents will also enroll their child, who is believed to have a talent in music, to school. Applying for the scholarship will encourage students to do their best and will give students the chance to learn new things about music. Most importantly, those who want to pursue their dreams in the music aspect will be able to do so educated and with proper knowledge on what they are doing.

Dance Scholarships by Aerika Tan

As a student, I believe that the promotion of dance scholarships will help the character excellence of the Filipinos and this can create positive changes in the society through education. Education is very important, yes. So, credit should be given to the students, who have the talent and ability in dancing, by giving dance scholarships. God gave each one of us talents to show to people, and it is something we should be proud of. This is why I believe that giving scholarships t Filipinos can be a big help. The dance talents of the Filipinos can take them to international competitions, representing the name of our country. At the same time, Filipino audiences will be proud and will look up at these dancers as inspiration.

Culture is a part of who we are. It is what makes us Filipinos distinct. Without our culture, there will be nothing unique about us. Even though culture is who we are, it doesn’t mean we don’t have to learn about it. We can always be like this, but some may never know how it’s called or it’s importance or even how it makes us distinct. This is why Cultural Arts should be a part of the curriculum of the private and public schools around the Philippines.

Cultural Arts by Romina Ricardo

The cultural values of a community give it an identity of its own. A community gains a character and a personality of its own, because of the culture of its people. Culture is shared by the members of a community. It is learned and passed from the older generations to the newer ones. For an effective transfer of culture from one generation to another, it has to be translated into symbols. Language, art and religion serve as the symbolic means of transfer of cultural values between generations. Culture is a bond that ties the people of a community, and even a nation together. It is that one common bond, which brings the people of a community together.

Having said that, we would like to propose for a Cultural History and Art Program to be adapted into the Philippines’ high school curriculum, especially for that of the public education system.

Cultural History would serve as an academic discipline that combines communication, literary theory, media theory, film/video studies, cultural anthropology, philosophy, museum studies and art history/criticism to study cultural phenomena in our societies. This program will concentrate on how a particular phenomenon relates to matters of ideology & nationality, by two specific means:

1) Study through Theory
Through this, students will be able to understand the backgrounds, foundation and history of the elements of our culture – from dance, music, visual art, art through media, literary art, and cuisine – through a subjective means.

2) Study through Application
As stated, it will be the application and practicality of the theory studied. Then again, it will cover the aspects of dance, music, visual art, art through media, literary art, and even cuisine.

We believe that with this program, a deeper sense of nationalism will be instilled within the Filipino students. It will develop pride in one self’s nation and will definitely help steer away from the losing of one’s identity. Not only will it be beneficial to the students in the present, but also for the youth of the future, for this will be the legacy that is to be passed on to the next generations.

Today, there are nearly six billion people in the Philippines, more than half are uneducated and are living with dreams that cannot be pursued. If approved, these proposals will be a big help to so many Filipinos. Not only will those benefiting these will be helped, but also the economy of the Philippines. Those benefiting these will also be an inspiration to those aspiring ones. They will be a sign that we should not give up, a constant reminder that there is always hope.
We thank you, Mr. President, for the time you allotted to read this. We hope that our proposals will be taken into consideration. May God bless you, Sir, at all times.
Thank you once again and May you have a good day.

Sincerely yours,
Third Year High School Students
Sacred Heart School – Hijas de Jesus