Philippines begins pilot test of limited in-person classes

Robie de Guzman   •   November 15, 2021   •   247

MANILA, Philippines – Select schools in the Philippines on Monday reopened its doors to students in basic education as pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes begins.

The pilot resumption of physical classes was implemented after nearly two years of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the Department of Education (DepEd) welcomed the participating learners, teachers, and personnel in 100 public schools for the start of the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face classes.

“We are thankful to everyone who supported this key phase in our safe return to school advocacy, from the planning stage since 2020 to this monumental day,” the department said.

The DepEd also expressed gratitude for the assistance of the Department of Health, the government’s Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19, child health experts, local government units, international and local partners, school personnel, parents, and other stakeholders for “reinforcing our shared responsibility framework in this critical undertaking.”

“Most importantly, we are happy to see our learners inside our classrooms as we recognize the significance of face-to-face learning in their social development,” the DepEd said.

The department expressed hope that in the coming weeks, more learners in public and private schools will follow suit as the approved number of pilot participants increases.

“As we take a huge step of reintroducing face-to-face classes amidst the public health situation, we are optimistic that our Bayanihan spirit will live on to ensure the safety of involved stakeholders and the success of this pilot run,” it said.

In line with this, the DepEd appealed to the public to “always follow the required health protocols and standards” against COVID-19.

“With everyone’s help in improving our country’s COVID-19 situation, our vision to safely reopen more schools nationwide is not a far reality. Together, let us mark this day as our leap of faith towards realizing Ligtas na Balik-Eskwela!” it added.

Physical classes in most schools in the country have been suspended since March 2020 due to the threat of novel coronavirus disease.

Nat’l academy of sports opens scholarship application for student-athletes

Robie de Guzman   •   January 25, 2022

The National Academy of Sports (NAS) has started accepting applications for its annual search for competent, exceptional, notable, and talented student-athlete scholars (NASCENT SAS) for School Year 2022-2023, the Department of Education (DepEd) said.

In a statement, Education Secretary Leonor Briones encouraged youth from different sectors to apply for the scholarship to improve their prior academic and sports skills.

“I am urging all the student-athletes from all sectors of the society, including indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and other marginalized groups, to submit an application for the scholarship to improve their craft,” Briones said.

“NAS would like to produce world-class athletes that can compete and bring home medals from SEA Games, Asian Games, Olympics, and other sporting events like our very own Hidilyn Diaz,” she added.

The DepEd said the NAS is looking for incoming Grade 7 and 8 learners, natural-born Filipino citizens, who must have a general weighted average of at least 80%.

Applicants must “not be older than 14 years old (for incoming Grade 7) and not older than 15 years old (for incoming Grade 8) at the start of the school year.”

As part of the scholarship program, the student-athlete will receive incentives like free tuition; free board, and lodging at the NAS Dormitory in NAS Campus, New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac; provision of quality secondary education; and access to specialized sports training in world-class facilities.

Scholars will also get a chance to represent the country and NAS in international competitions as well as in exchange programs with a monthly stipend and scholarship grant for six years subject to the student-athlete’s sports and academic performance.

Aspiring student-athletes under the NAS focus sports, including aquatics, athletics, badminton, gymnastics, judo, table tennis, taekwondo, and weightlifting, are encouraged to submit their applications.

The application forms and the requirements may be submitted physically at the office of NAS in Philsports Complex in Pasig City or virtually through e-mail at nascentsas@deped.gov.ph until April 12, 2022.

For more information on the forms and requirements, visit this link.

NAS is an attached agency of the DepEd mandated to implement a quality and enhanced secondary education program, integrated with a special curriculum on sports as indicated in Republic Act 11470.

LandBank, itinanggi ang umano’y hacking incident sa account ng ilang guro

Robie de Guzman   •   January 25, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Pinabulaanan ng pamunuan ng Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) na na-hack ang kanilang sistema kasunod ng ulat na may nangyaring hindi otorisadong transaksyon sa payroll account ng ilang kliyente nito.

Una nang sinabi ng Teachers Dignity Coalition na may mga miyembro silang nawalan ng pera matapos i-transfer mula sa kanilang LandBank payroll account patungo sa ibang bangko o electronic wallets. Umaabot umano sa P121,000 ang nawalang pera na mula umano sa regular na sahod, holiday bonus at lifetime savings ng mga guro.

Sa isang pahayag, nilinaw ng LandBank na ang sinasabing unauthorized transactions sa account ng ilang guro ay nangyari sa pamamagitan ng phishing scam.

Ang phishing ay isang uri ng iligal na aktibidad na nambibiktima sa pamamagitan ng pagpapadala ng pekeng emails gamit ang pangalan ng mga kilalang kumpanya upang makuha ang personal na impormasyon gaya ng password at credit card number ng isang indibidwal.

Ayon sa LandBank, nakikipag-ugnayan na sila sa apektadong customers upang maresolba ang isyu.

Tiniyak rin ng bangko na isolated lamang ang insidente at nananatiling secured ang account at personal information ng kanilang mga kliyente.

Nagpaalala rin ang LandBank sa mga kliyente nito na maging alerto at huwag basta buksan ang matatanggap nilang email o links na maaaring ipinadala sa kanila ng mga online scammer.

Samantala, tiniyak naman ng Department of Education (DepEd) na nagsasagawa na ito ng sariling imbestigasyon at nakikipag-ugnayan na rin sa Landbank ukol sa isyu.

“While the DepEd Central Office has not received any formal incident reports yet, it is currently validating these claims with its field offices,” ang wika ng DepEd.

“Landbank has already reached out to DepEd and assured that cases on unauthorized withdrawals are properly handled and given utmost attention. DepEd enjoins all of its personnel to immediately inform their respective Divisions, and report any issues to their nearest Landbank branch,” dagdag pa nito.

COMELEC releases ballot face for 2022 elections

Robie de Guzman   •   January 25, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on Tuesday released the final ballot face for the May 2022 national and local elections.

The ballot contains the names of 10 presidential aspirants and nine vice presidential bets. It also includes the names of 64 senatorial candidates.

The presidential aspirants included in the final ballot face are listed in the following order:

  • Abella, Ernie
  • De Guzman, Leody
  • Domagoso, Isko Moreno
  • Gonzales, Norberto
  • Lacson, Ping
  • Mangondato, Faisal
  • Marcos, Bongbong
  • Montemayor, Jose Jr.
  • Pacquiao, Manny Pacman
  • Robredo, Leni

The names of vice presidential bets included in the ballot are the following:

  • Atienza, Lito
  • Bello, Walden
  • David, Rizalito
  • Duterte, Sara
  • Lopez, Manny SD
  • Ong, Doc Willie
  • Pangilinan, Kiko
  • Serapio, Carlos
  • Sotto, Vicente Tito

The final ballot face also includes 178 party-list groups.

Ballot faces for other areas have also been uploaded by the COMELEC on its website.

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