I pause today to acknowledge and reply to some letters in response to some columns that I wrote recently.
It’s no longer usual for me to receive letters that are written or typed on good old physical paper, and then are sealed, signed and delivered. Nearly everyone communicates by email these days, including yours truly.
So whenever I receive a letter in the flesh (as it were) that has something to say, I think it obligatory to acknowledge and reply. Noblesse oblige.
My Saturday slot looks like a good time for correspondence. So I devote a little space today and every Saturday henceforth to letters received.
I will begin with two letters from two personages who hold weighty positions in the government.
Will he catch the moment?
From Vice President Jejomar Binay:
19 October 2015
“I read your article in the Manila Times, “Party of Yes vs. Party of No vs. Party of Maybe.” (Times, Oct. 13, 2015), and I concur with your opinion that “the presidential race belongs to the candidate who can catch the moment.
“Indeed, elections should be all about the people and their concerns, about platforms detailing how candidates can address the problems, and proof that they have the competence to get the job done.
“Yet I must point out that while I am the candidate of the opposition, being a candidate of the ‘party of No’ may be too general a statement.
“I am not one who overturns everything done by my predecessor. In Makati, I continued the good programs of the former mayor, but I also introduced reforms. Should I be elected president, I will continue but reform several programs of this administration. The Public Private Partnership (PPP) is a good program but it has been hobbled by inefficiency and delays. The Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) is another good program but it needs to be complemented by public spendings in health and education. Measures should also be put in place to ensure that only qualified beneficiaries are enrolled. The campaign against corruption must be pursued but it should not be selective. It should apply to all, regardless of political affiliations or family ties.
“I am one with you in hoping that our people will take one positive step towards making our democracy better by choosing their leaders based on merit and beyond personalities.
Very truly yours,
Jejomar C. Binay”
The Vice President shows a keen understanding of the importance of public policy, and an appreciation for the need to get the policies right in order to solve problems. I did not hear in his words any fondness for sloganeering.
Instead I detect a tone of confidence and civility that should stand him well in the coming campaign.
Answering Misinformation on K-12 reform
From Br. Armin A.Luistro
Secretary of Education:
23 October 2015
“I read your article published last October 19, 2015, entitled “K-12: Not whether we are ready, we must,” containing your points of view and stance on the arguments raised by various personalities and groups on the K to 12 Program.
“I would like to personally thank you for shedding light on the prevailing misinformation on the K to 12 Program. Your article will enlighten the minds of readers, young and old, on the necessity of this education reform and encourage them to have a deeper understanding of the program.
“Enclosed with this letter are K to 12 materials for your future reference.
“Again, thank you very much for your initiative.
Very truly yours,
Br. Armin A. Luistro, FSC
Secretary Department of Education”
Secretary Luistro’s enclosures were most informative and revealing to this journalist.
They clarified and filled some holes in my understanding of the program and the preparations of DepEd for the full implementation of K-12 next school year.
One item that caught my eye was a department press release and announcement last October 15 that the department is opening applications to interested teachers, professionals, practitioners, and experts to apply for full-time and part-time teaching positions for Grades 11 and 12 for the school year 2016-2017.
Expected salaries will range from P19,940 to P39,493.
An interested applicant should be a Filipino citizen. No need to be natural-born. So foundlings can apply.
The primer on senior high school looks very good.
This packet should be sent to Sen. Antonio Trillanes, so he will comprehend what he is opposing.
I think the teacher groups that are loudly opposing K to 12 should restudy their position and specific objections to the program.
They are fighting a lost cause. Disrupting the system will get them nowhere.
They should refine those parts of their position that mark them out as reactionary.
This is one reform implemented by the Aquino government that gets my unqualified and enthusiastic support.
The nation cannot wait for the objectors to have a change of heart before moving on.