Monday, August 4, 2014

DepEd sets guidelines on class suspension during weather disturbances

MANILA, Philippines–In view of the frequent suspension of classes due to typhoons and flooding, the Department of Education (DepEd) has released guidelines for the cancelation of classes.

Under the guideline, classes in kindergarten are automatically suspended in areas under Storm Signal Number 1 while classes in kindergarten, elementary and high school levels are automatically suspended in areas under Storm Signal number 2.

It added that under Storm Signal Number 3, all classes in kindergarten, elementary, high school, and college levels including graduate schools are suspended.

The DepEd, however, said the Local Government Unit (LGU) has the authority to declare class suspensions in their respective areas where there is no storm signal.

It said local chief executives have the prerogative to suspend classes in case localized cancelation is necessary, for instance in the event of flooding even without a storm signal, earthquakes, tsunami, landslides and fire.

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DEPED Releases 2015 List of Holidays For All Schools

From the Department of Education

The Department of Education (DepEd) announces the schedule of regular holidays, special non-working holidays, and special holidays for all schools for the Year 2015, following the release of Presidential Proclamation No. 831.

Secretary of Education Armin Luistro requires the immediate dissemination of information to guide all the DepEd offices and schools, both public and private, in planning their academic calendars. “Information crucial to planning should be distributed with urgency; it steers decision-making functions and policies to their most efficient positions. It is a way to ensure that we are proactive in delivering the education agenda.”

Below is the list of holidays:

New Year’s Day January 1 (Thursday)
Maundy Thursday April 2
Good Friday April 3
Araw ng Kagitingan April 9 (Thursday)
Labor Day May 1 (Friday)
Independence Day June 12 (Friday)
National Heroes Day August 31 (Last Monday of August)
Bonifacio Day November 30 (Monday)
Christmas Day December 25 (Friday)
Rizal Day December 30 (Wednesday)
Chinese New Year February 19 (Thursday)
Black Saturday April 4
Ninoy Aquino Day August 21 (Friday)
All Saints Day November 1 (Sunday)
Special non-working days 2 January (Friday)
December 24 (Thursday)
Last Day of the Year December 31 (Thursday)
EDSA Revolution Anniversary February 25 (Wednesday)

The proclamation on the observance of Eid’l Fitr and Eidul Adha will be issued by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) at a later date.

For more information, read:

1. Proclamation No. 8331, s. 2014

2. List of 2015 Holidays

3. Infographic: List of 2015 Holidays

Teachers get low-interest loans

MANILA, Philippines—Education Secretary Armin Luistro has signed a deal with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to enable teachers and employees of the Department of Education (DepEd) to procure livelihood loans at low interest rates.

The LBP livelihood loan facility is open to qualified rank-and-file employees who may borrow amounts equivalent to eight months of their gross pay, but not over P500,000, at a fixed interest rate of 10.5 percent per annum.

A bigger amount, not to exceed P1 million, may be borrowed by qualified DepEd officials at the same interest rate.

According to Luistro, the memorandum of agreement for the livelihood loan facility offers an “excellent opportunity for teachers and other DepEd employees to improve their financial welfare by availing themselves of low interest rates.”

Luistro said the interest rate offered by the LBP was much lower than that offered by most private lenders. The loan may be paid off through salary deduction.

“For a starting teacher borrowing at the maximum amount, the savings in amortization is approximately P1,000 per month, which goes a long way in increasing the net take home pay of teachers,” he said.

Luistro noted that the requirements of most lending companies such as collateral and security had made personal loans inaccessible. However, the LBP has agreed to accept as security the borrower’s assignment of funds in his bank account, including salaries, allowances, leave credits and other monetary deliverables.

With the agreement between the two agencies, the LBP will release the DepEd employees’ monthly salaries through automated teller machine (ATM) cards and the borrowers can receive their loans through their bank accounts.

Monthly amortizations for payment could be made over the counter through salary deduction.

To qualify for a loan, a borrower must be a regular or permanent DepEd employee between 18 and 62 years old, who has been in the service for at least one year and maintains an LBP ATM payroll account.

Borrowers must also have a monthly net take home pay—the salary amount after deductions and amortizations on loans, including the livelihood loan applied for—of at least P3,000.

Borrowers should neither have any pending criminal or administrative cas

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Malabon City tops National Achievement Test for Grade 3 in NCR

MANILA, Philippines–Struggling with a small budget for education, Malabon City had the highest increment in the National Achievement Test (NAT), with its Grade 3 level topping all schools in Metro Manila.

In the NAT results recently released by the Department of Education (DepEd), Malabon City ranked first in National Capital Region for the Grade 3 level, with a 62.23 score. In the overall ranking, including the Grade 6 and high school levels, Malabon placed ninth from being 15th last year.

The city ranked fourth, with a 66.03 mean percentage score (MPS), in the Grade 6 level while placing ninth, with a 55.1 MPS, in the high school level.

Malabon City Division Superintendent Mauro de Gulan said it has been a challenge for them to make the most of what has been given for the city’s education.

“We are probably the poorest city in Metro Manila, but we found the means by which to make education effective in Malabon,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

De Gulan said the local government, especially Mayor Antolin Oreta III, has been supportive of the city’s education.

“Although reviewing before NAT is not recommended, we have set a series of interventions and preparations for the students before the aptitude test,” he said.

Included in the preparations are the post-diagnostic tests, enrichment activities, parallel tests, performance incentives, the Readster or reading programs, and the parent involvement called “MaBEN” or Malabon Bahay-Eskwela Network.

The division office is also looking forward to working with the local government for the child-protection policy and opening a website for easier information dissemination.

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Out of Tacloban, survivor tops CPA board exams

TACLOBAN CITY—It was his harrowing experience during the onslaught of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” that strengthened his resolve to do well at the licensure exams for certified public accountants (CPA).

And Rommel Rhino Edusma, 25, did not only pass the exams, he aced it.

Edusma topped the 2014 CPA Licensure Exams with a rating of 94.57 percent, the first topnotcher produced by the widely unheard of 19-year-old Asian Development Foundation College (ADFC) here.

Edward Chua, ADFC president, said the honor that Edusma had brought to the school was cause for a celebration.

“Of course, we are very happy. We have never produced a top one although we have produced a 14th placer previously,” he said.

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) said 1,107 examinees passed out of the 5,540 who took the exams in the cities of Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo and Legaspi in July.

Finishing at second place with a rating of 93.43 percent was Joanna Marie Lim Barrozo of San Beda College of Alabang (St. Benedict College). In third place was Ray Hamodi Balagbis Ngalot from the University of San Carlos with a grade of 92.43 percent. Four of the top 10 placers were graduates of San Beda College of Alabang and San Beda College.

There were no graduates from the University of the Philippines in the top 10 places.

Though none of its graduates landed in the top 10, De La Salle University Manila was the top performing school with 68 out of 75 graduates who took the exams passing, for a pass rate of 90.67 percent.

Family his top priority

Edusma, who has been living in Manila since May to find a job, was in his boarding house at about 8 p.m. on Friday when he received a call from a friend who told him the good news.

He immediately checked the information on the PRC website. When it was confirmed, he called his parents in Pinabacdao, Samar, where they are staying with his sister, Rose.

Rustico, a retired soldier, and his wife, Flores, who suffers from a heart ailment, were overjoyed.

Edusma, the sixth of 10 children, has promised to help pay for the education of his youngest sibling, Ruffa Jean, 18 and a sophomore student who lives with an older brother, Roel Al, a corporal with the Army’s 803rd Infantry Brigade based in Catarman, Northern Samar.

“She is now taking an environmental course with my brother mostly paying her school fees. But I promise to help my brother pay for her schooling,” Edusma said.

His six other siblings are staying in the family home in Cabucgayan, Biliran, their hometown.

When he was studying at the ADFC here, Edusma lived with an aunt, Maria Wilfreda Carolino, at V&G Subdivision, the biggest subdivision in Tacloban City.

Yolanda inflicted much damage on the houses of Edusma’s aunt and his sister as well as their family home in Biliran. But although the roof of his aunt’s house was blown away, it was minor compared with the devastation wrought by Yolanda on the rest of Tacloban, Edusma said.

Quiet student

Yolanda did not dampen his spirit, however. Instead, it strengthened his resolve to do well in the licensure exams so he could help his family, he said.

“I did not allow our bad experience with Yolanda to disturb me but rather used it to do better in our examinations. I know this will serve as an instrument for me to help my family,” Edusma said.

He topped the preboard exams conducted by ADFC and went to Manila to review for the exams.

He ranked 6th in the mock board examinations conducted by the review center in Manila in a field of more than 1,000 examinees.

The results bouyed Edusma’s confidence that he would not only pass the licensure exams but would land in the top 10.

What he didn’t expect was that he would top the exams.

“I thanked the Lord for this achievement,” Edusma said.

An inspiration Margie Manibad, an ADFC teacher, described Edusma as a “quiet student” yet knowledgeable of the subject.

She said he would usually see Edusma in the school library. “He is really an intelligent student. But I have to admit that I never expected that he would top the board examinations,” Manibad said.

Manibad said the results would inspire the teachers at ADFC.

Already, ADFC students are saying that Edusma’s feat was an inspiration.

“When I learned about it, it made me happy. This will really serve as an inspiration and challenge to us to do better in our studies,” said Fritzie Corales, 18, a second year accountancy student.

If given a chance, Edusma said he would want to return to Tacloban and teach first at the ADFC before joining an accounting firm.

He said he wanted to share his knowledge with the students of his alma mater first as a way of paying forward.

But his top priority remains to help his family.

Top 10 CPA board passers

1. Rommel Rhino Catudio Edusma, Asian Development Foundation College – 94.57

2. Joanna Marie Lim Barrozo, San Beda College of Alabang (St. Benedict College) – 93.43

3. Ray Hamodi Balagbis Ngalot, University of San Carlos – 92.43

4. Orvile Perdon Rabino, Adventist University of the Philippines – 92.00

5. Joscel Barrio de los Cielos, Xavier University (Ateneo de Cagayan) – 91.57

6. Jamaica Perez Englis, University of San Carlos – 91.43

7. Ken Lester Tantiado Guillen, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (Sta. Mesa) – 91.29

Dann Karlo Alfaro Manzano, San Beda College – 91.29

8. Eros de la Rosa Herrera, San Beda College of Alabang Inc. – 91.14

Thomas Zachary Pineda Sarigumba, University of San Carlos – 91.14

9. Jo-Ann Herrera Mercado, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (Sto. Tomas, Batangas) – 90.86

10. Lyndon Giganto Asis, Southwestern University – 90.43

Adrian Caguete Enriquez, San Beda College – 90.43

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