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Arlie O. Calalo

Mayors act to counter impact of transport strike

Monday, 16 October 2017 00:00 Published in Metro

The four local chief executives in northern Metro Manila have decided to pool their resources in a determined bid to cushion the impact on commuters of the jeepney strike by big transport grps set today until tomorrow.
In separate phone interviews, Mayors Oscar Malapitan (Caloocan), Len-len Oreta (Malabon), John Rey Tiangco (Navotas) and Rex Gatchalian (Valenzuela), however, were in unison that the timely declaration by Malacañang of suspension of school classes in all levels and government work will effectively mitigate the possible effects of the transport strike to the commuting public.
Just the same, the Camanava mayors said it was important that the neighboring cities’ top officials were in close coordination in such situation so that concrete measures could be made and the public would not be gravely affected.
They added enough number of government vehicles will be deployed for the “Libreng Sakay” to ferry and fetch stranded passengers on way to their work and until their time to go back home.
Tiangco, in a text message, pointed out that they respect the rights of operators and drivers to protest through the jeepney holiday for their objection of the government’s proposed transport modernization.
“That’s why we appeal to them to conduct their strike peacefully and respect other drivers who will not join them,” Tiangco said.
Meanwhile, Tiangco recently crowned the fairest among all elderly Navoteñas led by Gandang Lola 2017 Cristina Gomez as it culminated the celebration of the Elderly Filipino Week.
Together with Vice Mayor Clint Geronimo, Federation of Senior Citizens Association of Navotas, Inc. president Lucy Batto and Office of Senior Citizens’ Affairs chairman Linda Ramirez, the city chief executive donned the crown on Gomez, 70, a Barangay San Jose resident.
According to the city’s public information officer, Ms. Irish Cubillan, Angelita Riello, 67, of Barangay San Roque was named the 1st runner up; Corina Abello, 66, Barangay Bagumbayan South, as 2nd runner up, and Esterlina Jardio, 67, Barangay North Bay Boulevard South, 3rd runner-up.
“If not for your efforts and sacrifices, young generations would not have enjoyed the progress we are experiencing now,” Tiangco said.
In another development, some 11 high and college students will now receive educational assistance from the city government after passing the “NavotaAs” art scholarship screening conducted last September.
“We want to develop and hone the talents of the Navoteño youth, and we want to help them achieve their potential through education,” the mayor said.
The first batch of NavotaAs art scholars included Samantha Nicole Soria and Angelica Andan of Navotas National Science High School for creative writing; John Rufiel Aniceto of Philippine Normal University and Christine Angela Diaz of Kaunlaran High School for music, and Lord Ahzrin Bacalla of College of the Holy Spirit-Manila for visual arts.
Passers of the art scholarship program also included Gemma Patungan of San Roque National High School, Charls Maris Chua of Immaculate Conception Parochial School-Malabon, and Jaro Danielle de Leon of Navotas National High School for dance, and Micah Jackson of Governor Andres Pascual College, Restie Angelo Taruc of San Roque National High School, and Wilma Rasco of Navotas Polytechnic College for theater arts.

Valenzuela gov’t strengthens ALS program

Saturday, 14 October 2017 00:00 Published in Metro

As an addition to Valenzuela City’s award-winning Education 360 Degrees Investment Program, the administration of Mayor Rex Gatchalian has further intensified the implementation of Alternative Learning System (ALS) to encourage out-of-school youth (OSY) children and adults to go back to studying and opt to become progressive citizens.
Giving free school supplies, provision of free meals and tapping peer teachers from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela (PLV) — these are just some of the types of support that Valenzuelano ALS learners are bound to enjoy once they commit to partake in the program, according to the mayor.
Education 360 program manager, Vice Mayor Lorie Natividad-Borja, for her part, said she often heard OSY lament that financial problem was among the root causes why they quit school. She elaborated that purchasing school supplies entails cost, and sometimes, people choose to work rather than to study because the amount they earn is crucial to support their families.
To ease these financial burdens, the local government pushed for the provision of decent school supply kit composed of a bag, notebooks, pad papers, and pens and pencils in a pouch to learners who commit to participate in ALS, the top city officials said.
They are also given free meals to motivate them further to finish the program, they said further.
Also, help from PLV students is underway once the “one-on-one peer teaching” is implemented. This is part of the social contract they signed in lieu of the “free higher education” mandate in the city that began implementation in October 2016, Gatchalian said.
Unlike traditional schools, ALS learners will only obtain their elementary or high school diplomas once they have passed the Accreditation and Equivalency (A& E) Test administered every October, the Tribune was told.
Recent data from the local Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS) show that the city has around 3,500 OSYs. They were targeted by the local government for inclusion in the ALS program, said public information officer Zyan Caiña.
This is how the local government came up with the “Project Tokbuk” or Katok para sa Magandang Bukas. Inspired by the “Oplan Tokhang” strategy of the Philippine National Police, the ALS implementors also conducted house-to-house visits to track down and personally ask CBMS-identified OSYs to sign up for ALS, the officials said.
Project Tokbuk kicked off on November 11, 2016 through the joint efforts of the offices of Gatchalian, Natividad-Borja, Councilors Rovin Feliciano and Charee Pineda and the Division of City Schools of Valenzuela, together with the barangay officials and volunteers who champion education.
The city government also hired additional instructional managers or ALS teachers with salaries equivalent to entry-level teaching position in the public schools. They were trained on teaching the city’s own ALS modules developed with the help of Synergeia Foundation.

The Quezon City government, on orders of Mayor Herbert Bautista, has ordered the creation of a tourist police unit on Tomas Morato Avenue to enhance police visibility and ensure the safety of visitors in the area.
The Tribune was told at least 10 policemen from the QC Police District’s Station 10 will initially constitute the tourist police unit.
Police Station 10 (Kamuning) commander Supt. Christian de la Cruz said police personnel assigned to the tourist police unit will also be provided with bicycles for patrol or visibility purposes.
However, de la Cruz assured the public the number of police personnel in the area may increase in the coming days, especially during the holiday season as theft, physical injuries and crimes against properties are likely to increase during this period.
The setting up of a tourist police unit along Tomas Morato will form part of the mayor’s effort to transform the South Triangle area into a major city tourism district, the local government said.
The redevelopment plan, which will be officially unveiled by the city chief executive today (Friday), provides for sidewalk improvement, opening of bike lanes and installation of an organized parking zone.
For sidewalk improvement, the 2.3 kilometer stretch of pedestrian walk along Tomas Morato, which runs from E. Rodriguez Avenue to Eugenio Lopez Drive, will be paved with stamped concrete to provide a more walkable environment for pedestrians.
Park lights and additional streetlights will also be installed to provide illumination and accent to the area, the city government said.
Bautista has underscored the importance of providing adequate streetlights in the area to deter crimes, especially during nighttime. 

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