Tuesday, May 31, 2011

U.P. President Alfredo E. Pascual preventively suspends U.P. Cebu Dean Enrique Avila, U.P. Diliman and Cebu MBA Professor Ernesto P. Pineda and Budget Officer Alsidy Sharif

This dispatch has just been uploaded and was sourced from the Facebook page of U.P. Kilos Na:

“Sa wakas, pagkatapos ng mahigit na tatlong buwan, inilabas na ni Pangulong Pascual ang desisyon kaugnay ng isyu sa UP Cebu:" Dean Enrique Avila, Sharif and Pineda are served their preventive suspension from office effective May 26 - Aug 24 for further investigation under the admin. tribunal case number 2011-001 for gross negligence, grave misconduct, and gross neglect of duty."

The administration of U.P. President Alfredo E. Pascual has acted on a complaint originally filed last March 1, 2011 by the students, faculty, and staff of the University of the Philippines-Cebu College (UP Cebu) who filed a petition to UP President Alfredo E.Pascual and the UP Board of Regents demanding the resignation of UP Cebu Dean, Dr.Enrique Avila, Budget Officer Alsidy Sharif, and Consultant Ernesto Pineda for allegedly conspiring to commit acts in flagrant violation of The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Actor Republic Act No. 3019, The Government Procurement Act or Republic Act No. 9184,and The UP Charter of 2008 or Republic Act No. 9500.

On March 15, Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino filed House Resolution 1091, which seeks an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the same allegations versus Avila, Pineda and Sharif.

More information on the background of this case can be obtained here and here and here.


According to U.P. KIlos Na, aside from the 90-day preventive suspension from office of U.P. Cebu College (UPCC) Dean Enrique Avila, Alsidry Sharif and Ernesto Pienda, UPCC Associate Dean Richelita Galapate has been designated as OIC. More information on this can be obtained from this link at the U.P. website.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Diliman Video of the Week: Parks & Wildlife

By arnoldarrefilms

Near our home is a recreation area called the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wild Life which houses a lagoon, a zoo, a fruit garden, seedling nurseries and picnic grounds. Certain parts of the area are under renovation so I couldn't take footage of the land animals. I got to film various species of birds in the aviary though. Opening the video is a shot of the Philippine Eagle (or "Haring Ibon"). This type of eagle can only be found in our country. I was also able to film the cockatoos, parrots and some other rare eagle varieties.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Opening Remarks at the Launching of the UP Commemoration of the Birth Centennial of Former UP President Salvador P. Lopez UP Vargas Museum, May 27, 2011

By Dr. Judy M. Taguiwalo

Tonight,  we are launching the university’s commemoration of the birth centennial of Salvador Ponce Lopez, the 11th President of the University of the Philippines. One hundred years after his birth, over 35 years after the end of his term as UP President and 18 years after his death, we pay tribute to him and to the continuing relevance of his institutional innovations in our enduring quest for a university whose excellence is in the service of the Filipino people.

UP  previously honoured President Lopez  with a Testimonial Program on November 22, 1990 under then UP President Jose V. Abueva and with the Necrological Services on October 20, 1993 under then UP President Emil Javier. The testimonials and eulogies on his life and work given in these  occasions have been preserved in official publications of the university.

Lopez’s accomplishments as writer, journalist, diplomat are varied and outstanding. The University’s commemoration of his birth centennial takes these into account. But the main focus of our celebration will be on Lopez’s contribution to the strengthening of the University as the premier institution of higher learning in the country at a period of intense social awakening and social conflicts.  The SP Lopez  presidency is so well characterized as  “a presidency responsive not only of the demands of its constituents but also to the aspirations of the Filipino people, most of all, their assertion of freedom. Thus, though encompassing ‘the most turbulent years in the history of the university  his administration would nonetheless emerge as one of the most democratic and relevant presidency.”

The centennial commemoration of SP Lopez birth by the university acknowledges the democratic thrust of his presidency  by the fact that the commemoration would involve faculty, students, administrative staff and REPS who are all represented in the centennial committee created by UP’s 20th President, the Honorable Alfredo E. Pascual.

On a personal note,  I was an undergraduate student when SP Lopez became UP President and my undergraduate diploma bears his signature. I was in the midst of some of the major historic events that confronted SP when he became President.  Barely  into his first month in office ,  SP  was faced with a general strike on February 4, 1969 when students, faculty and staff presented him with 77 demands.  The First Quarter Storm of 1970 occurred during the first anniversary of his Presidency  and he did not hesitate to lead the UP faculty in a march to Malacanang to protest the violence inflicted on the students. At the historic  Diliman Commune in February 2 to 9, 1971 he stood with the UP community in defending the university from military incursions.

Now reading his writings and writings on him, I realize once again how committed he was to protecting the integrity of the university; how well  he understood the wellspring of student activism;  how hard he worked for ensuring democratic governance of the university  and how desirous he was of linking the university’s academic mandate with service to the people.

Let us honor SP Lopez by being faithful to his vision of a university in the service of the Filipino people.

Pagtulungan natin na ang ating pagpaparangal  kay SP ay hindi  lamang sa salita kundi higit pa sa gawa.  Sa pagtitiyak na demokratiko ang pamamalakad sa unibersidad;  na ang demokratikong akses sa ating pamantasan ay mapapalakas sa halip na mapapahina;  na ang integridad ng UP bilang isang sistema ng constituent universities na may pagkalinga sa isa’t isa ay mapapaunladi ; na katuwang ang UP sa pambansang proyekto ng tunay na kaunlaran para sa nakararami –sa  ganitong katulad na mga  hakbangin  lamang natin matitiyak ang patuloy na katuturan ng buhay at paglilingkod ni SP Lopez.

Maraming salamat sa inyong pagdalo sa gabing ito para sama-sama nating batiin ng maligayang 100 kaarawan, ang mahal na yumaong Pangulo Salvador P. Lopez.

(Dr. Judy Taguiwalo, Ph. D., is the Former Faculty Regent, University of the Philippines and is the Chair, Committee for the Commemoration of the Birth Centennial of Former UP President Salvador P. Lopez. For more information on the life, times and career of former President Lopez, please call the committee's office phone/fax at: (632) 929-8438)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Commonwealth Avenue fronting U.P. Diliman: A Killer Highway with a Killer u-turn slot

MANILA, Philippines - Ten persons were injured in a collision involving a jeepney and a van yesterday morning along Commonwealth Avenue, at the same spot where journalist Lourdes “Chit” Estella-Simbulan was killed in another accident two weeks ago."

"Traffic investigator Allan Paul Florendo said the collision happened at around 5:20 a.m. at the U-turn slot just in front of Gate 3 of the UP Ayala Techno Hub in Quezon City."

Read the rest here

The Philippine STAR article illustrates that the Gate 3 U-turn slot has become a death trap -not just for the late U.P. Diliman College of Mass Communication Professor Lourdes “Chit” Estella-Simbulan but for others as well. Two days ago, another vehicular accident on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City involving a jeepney and a van in front of UP Ayala Techno Hub left 10 persons injured. In fact, along the entire stretch of Commonwealth Avenue, dozens of accidents occur everyday, as cars race down it at breakneck speed.

The Diliman Diary has driven down the stretch of University Avenue, and also taken the Philcoa-bound jeepney (from U.P. Diliman) plying the same route to make a hazardous right turn along Commonwealth Avenue, braving oncoming traffic hurtling down at breakneck speeds and make a perilous left turn to reach the U-turn slot. Out of sheer necessity, another hair-raising drive down Commonwealth Avenue at what amounts to an acute right angle is needed in order to reach the proximity of Gate 3 of  UP Ayala Techno Hub which converges with the general area where speeding buses approach their docking stations in order to pick up passengers. It is really a recipe for disaster.

A U.P. Diliman undergraduate research study entitled, "Analysis of Accidents in U-Turn Slots" was made in 2006 by two B.S. Civil Engineering students Gil Alexander M. Dela Vega and Ramon S. Magno, Jr. who were advised by Dr. Ricardo G. Sigua of the U.P. Diliman College of Engineering. The study has been uploaded on the National Center for Transportation Studies website.

The study found out that the top ten critical U-turn slots according to frequency of accidents were: Katipunan Avenue, Commonwealth Avenue (fronting St. Peter Church), Commonwealth Avenue (fronting Paskong Pasiklab), EDSA, Commonwealth Avenue (fronting COA), Mindanao Avenue (Road 20), Quezon Avenue (U-trun slot # 6), IBP Road, Commonwealth Avenue (fronting Metro KTV) and E. Rodriguez Avenue (fronting BMW). Of the top ten, three were along Commonwealth Avenue, the study found.

Compared to other cities, the study found that Quezon City has relatively higher percentages of accidents compared to other cities because of the relatively higher number of U-turn slots operational in Quezon City. However, it is also true that Quezon City has the largest number of accidents that occurred in all junction types, making the ratio of U-turn slot accidents relatively smaller.

The Diliman Diary attempted to contact the study's authors for further comments, but they did not respond in time for the publication of this dispatch.

The study assumes that the majority of injuries occuring in U-turn slots are primarily serious. The study estimates that PhP 7.5 billion a year is lost throughout Metro Manila due to opportunity losses, damage to property, loss of life, injuries, loss of resources, etecetra.

The study also pointed out that the U-turn slot at Katipunan Avenue fronting Ateneo de Manila University is accessed by motorists in the south bound lane going to Balara. In this case, cars are often involved in accidents, and "this can be attributed to the location of three major schools, the Ateneo de Manila University, Miriam College, and the University of the Philippines Diliman, which stand as large communities. Also, this may be credited to the limited volume of public utility vehicles (PUVs) passing through the road section."

The study found that angle impact represent the most common types of accidents, for the obvious reason that U-turns follow curved paths, "entailing a rather random positioning of impact between two vehicles, or as expected from following a road curvature."

The researchers concluded, in part, that traffic safety was not given any attention before the implementation of the U-turn project by the Metro Manila Development Authority. "The MMDA did not do any detailed traffic engineering study before implementing such risky project," the study said.

The study also concluded that accidents occurred in 76% of the total number of U-turn slots in Metro Manila and also says that driver behavior patterns are critical elements in accidents. The study said that further studies are needed in order to establish driver behavior patterns in the realm of U-turn slots along major roads.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

UP, Ateneo, UST, DLSU make it to Top 200 Asian universities - Nation - GMA News Online - Latest Philippine News

"U.P., Ateneo, UST and DLSU made it to the list of Top 200 Asian universities according to Quacquarelli Symonds Asian University 2011 Rankings which were released Monday."

"State-run University of the Philippines was ranked 62, Ateneo de Manila University was 65th while the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and the De La Salle University (DLSU) were 104th and 107th, respectively."

Read the rest here: UP, Ateneo, UST, DLSU make it to Top 200 Asian universities - Nation - GMA News Online - Latest Philippine News

Meantime, Professor Danilo A. Arao, Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs and Director, System Information Office of U.P. commented on his Facebook page about U.P.'s continued disinterest in participating in the Times Higher Education Survey (THES-QS) beginning with the administration of former U.P. President Emerlinda R. Roman (see: http://www.up.edu.ph/features.php?i=94), and even now under the current U.P. President Alfredo E. Pascual.

"As you know, participating in this particular survey costs more than two million pesos (based on the package price offered by THES-QS in 2008). You also know how "financially challenged" our beloved university is right now," he said in response to an inquiry we posted to him. Professor Arao also referred to the "the not-so-clear methodology of THES-QS," as basis for questioning the participation of U.P. in this particular survey.

The U.P. link quotes THES-QS as saying that rankings can easily be distorted if institutions do not submit data and in 2008 U.P. did not participate. U.P.'s overall rankings as per THES-Q (http://www.topuniversities.com/institution/university-philippines/wur) were: 2008 (276), 2009 (262) and 2010 (314).

Monday, May 23, 2011

An email message from Joel Ariate on “Mendiola Narratives”

Editor's note: An email message from Joel Ariate on “Mendiola Narratives”: “Bilang ang nagpasimula at nagsagawa ng proyektong Mendiola Narratives sa Third World Studies Center, natutuwa akong narepost ang ilang interview ng nasabing proyekto sa site na ito (see: http://diliman-diary.blogspot.com/2011/05/diliman-videos-of-week-mendiola.html). Pero naging mas mahusay sana ito kung may pagbanggit sa pinagmulan nitong site, ang http://mendiolanarratives.blogspot.com/ kung saan naroon ang may mahigit tatlumpung iba pang panayam. Sa mga interesado sa paksang ito, iniimbitahan ko kayong tingnan ang buong nilalaman ng Mendiola Narratives. Maraming salamat.--Joel Ariate, University Researcher, Third World Studies Center, CSSP, U.P. Diliman.”

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Diliman Video of the Week: News to Go - Howie Severino interviews nuclear energy advocate Rep. Mark Cojuangco 3/17/11

Former Pangasinan Rep. Mark Cojuangco has long been an advocate for using nuclear power in the Philippines. Howie Severino interviews Cojuangco about whether nuclear power is still a viable option for the country in light of the recent nuclear crisis in Japan.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Crap Awaits you, Candare or a Welcome Letter from a Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Volunteer

 (Various cats at the Bahay ng Alumni,
U.P. Diliman)

A welcome letter from a PAWS volunteer to Joseph Carlo Candare, the first to be convicted of animal cruelty in the Philippines. Please note that I AM NOT SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF PAWS (Philippine Animal Welfare Society) or any related group/agency. 

Dear JC,

Read the rest here.

(Photos by: Chanda Shahani)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Greenpeace backs proposed bill to scrap nuclear from PH energy plans Says Philippine government should have already learned its lessons from Fukushima

Greenpeace yesterday called out in a press release addressed t to the country’s lawmakers to fast-track the passage of a Congress Bill that, once signed into law, will strike out nuclear energy from Philippine energy plans once and for all.

The Nuclear-free Pilipinas Bill is authored by Akbayan Representatives Walden F. Bello and Kaka J. Bag-ao, and was filed today at the House of Representatives. The proposed legislation directs the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to remove all options for nuclear in the Energy Reform Agenda, the Philippine Energy Plan for 2009-2030, and the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) for 2010-2016.

“The government must put all so-called ‘nuclear options’ in the dustbin where they belong. Greenpeace applauds Representatives Bello and Bag-ao for heeding the aspirations of the Filipino people to live in a safe and secure environment free from catastrophic nuclear risks. Nuclear power is extremely dangerous and prohibitively expensive. Keeping it in the country’s energy plans is akin to laying a fatal curse on present and future generations of Filipinos,” said Amalie Obusan, Climate and Energy Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

“Greenpeace believes that the passage of this legislation will be the necessary counter that would effectively silence parties that are aggressively promoting their misguided nuclear ambitions. Although it has been silent in their quarters because of the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster, Filipinos sometimes have very short memories. It is highly probable that we have not yet seen the end of pro-nuclear legislative proposals. We need this law so that Filipinos can rest easy, confident that there will never be a Fukushima in our country,” she added.

No nuclear proposals are currently tabled in Philippine Congress. However, the Philippine Energy Plan still has provisions for nuclear energy. Meanwhile the Energy Reform Agenda directs the DOE to conduct researches and studies in aid of legislative and executive action for the operation of a 2,000-megawatt nuclear power plant by 2025. These seem to indicate that President Aquino is effectively supportive of laying the foundations for the entry of nuclear, despite his public declaration that nuclear will not be an option under his administration.

The Ultimate List of 15 Asian scientists to watch - Caesar Saloma

"Dr. Saloma obtained his BS, MS, and PhD degrees from the University of the Philippines Diliman (UP Diliman), where he is now Professor of Physics and its Chancellor. In 2008, he received an ASEAN Outstanding Scientist and Technologist Award for his contributions to photonics and signal processing."

"As an advisor to the president on matters relating to science & technology, Dr. Saloma has received the Lingkod Bayan Award – the Presidential Award for Outstanding Public Service, from President Arroyo in 2008, the highest recognition given to a Philippine government employee."

Read the rest here.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Diliman Videos of the Week: Mendiola Narrative Interviews

Video No. 1: Rene Ofreneo - Mendiola Narratives Interview

Rene Ofreneo is a professor of labor and industrial relations at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. He was a participant in the First Quarter Storm.

Interviewee: Rene Ofreneo
Interviewer: Joel F. Ariate Jr.
Videographer: Alleson D. Villota

Video No. 2: Miriam Coronel Ferrer - Mendiola Narratives Interview

Miriam Coronel Ferrer is an associate professor of political science at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. She has extensive ties with progressive social movements.

Interviewee: Miriam Coronel Ferrer
Interviewer: Joel F. Ariate Jr.
Videographer: Alleson D. Villota

Video No. 3: Fidel Nemenzo - Mendiola Narratives Interview 

Fidel Nemenzo is professor of mathematics at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. During the last years of the Martial Law, he was shot in the chest in one of the rallies held to protest the violent dispersal of an earlier demonstration in Mendiola.

Interviewee: Fidel Nemenzo
Interviewer: Joel F. Ariate Jr.
Videographer: Alleson D. Villota

Video No. 4: Randy David - Mendiola Narratives Interview 

Randy David is professor of sociology at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. He used to be a television host of public affairs programs. He writes a regular column, "Public Lives" for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Interviewee: Randolf "Randy" David
Interviewer: Joel F. Ariate Jr.
Videographer: Alleson D. Villota
Videographer: Mary Ann Joy R. Quirapas

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mothballed BNPP more modern and sturdier than the Fukushima Plants — Cojuangco

DAGUPAN CITY, March 31 — The mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) is more modern and a lot sturdier than the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants in Japan which are now showing signs of emitting radiation after it was hit by a tsunami as an aftermath of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that rocked Sendai, Japan last May 11.

This was disclosed by former Rep. Mark Cojuangco, who appears to be the top exponent for the revival of the BNPP as well as the establishment of additional nuclear plants in the country to plug the impending power crisis that may resort in long power blackouts in the Philippines soon.

He told newsmen in Pangasinan on Wednesday that had the BNPP been the one that was installed at Fukushima, Japan, there would not have been any disaster that would happen even if it was hit by a tsunami.

Read the rest here: Mothballed BNPP more modern and sturdier than the Fukushima Plants — Cojuangco

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Relocation set for QC residents residing in faultline area

QUEZON CITY, May 1 (PIA) - The Quezon City government has ordered the immediate relocation of 42 families whose houses stand on an area transecting the West Valley Fault Line at Gen. del Pilar St. in Barangay Bagong Silangan.

The QC officials directed the QC disaster risk management council to start sending notices to the affected families to advise them to voluntarily vacate the area, which is more vulnerable to ground rupture and potential landslides should there be an earthquake generated by the fault system.

Aside from the notice, the city government will also be preparing waivers for homeowners resisting the order. “Kung ayaw nilang umalis sa kabila ng ating mga panawagan, marapat lamang na papirmahin natin sila ng waiver na walang sagutin sa kanila ang gobyerno,” QC Mayor Herbert Bautista said.

The city government is set to file an application with the National Housing Authority (NHA) for the relocation of the affected families.

Once vacated, the city intends to plant the area with trees to determine ground and soil movements.

The order for the relocation of the 42 families was based on the recommendation made by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) during an inspection of the traces of the fault line at Barangays Bagong Silangan and Payatas.

To date, the city has already identified at least 900 property owners residing within the five meter- wide buffer zone recommended by PHIVOLCS.

Given the possible extent of the damage that QC would incur during the movement of the fault system, Mayor Bautista ordered the creation of the West Valley Fault Task Group to ensure public safety within the recommended buffer zone.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Balikatan 2011 K-9 Training

Balikatan 2011 is underway on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Tech Sgt. Elicia Summerville takes us to Clark Airfield to see training that involves members of the four-legged kind.

(Source: http://www.usarpac.army.mil/bk11/)

Balikatan 11 Highlights and Marine Convoy Training in the Philippines

Video No. 1: Balikatan 11 Highlights

Balikatan 2011 was held April 5-15 in the Philippines. About 6,000 U.S. servicemembers trained with the Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel during the joint bilateral military humanitarian assistance training exercise.


Video No. 2: Marine Convoy Training in the Philippines

Balikatan 2011 is underway on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. The exercise is an annual event that hones the skills of service members from both the U.S. and Philippines.

(Source: http://www.youtube.com/user/marines)

Guam National Guard in Philippine exercise

120 soldiers from the Guam Army National Guard are deployed to the Philippines for exercise - Balikatan -- at Fort Magsaysay in Luzon - Guam units are working alongside U.S. Marines, the Philippine Army and U.S. Army units from Korea on how to deal with injuries in IED attacks. PI correspondent Mike Cohen files this report.

http://rtvm.gov.ph - PHIL-US Balikatan Exercises

Fort Ramon Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija
13 April 2011

President Benigno S. Aquino III witnessed the show of cooperation between the Philippine and United States military forces during the Balikatan Exercises 2011 in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.

Upon arrival, the President was presented with live-fire convoy exercises and mass casualty rescue demonstrations performed by Filipino and American soldiers. They used real bullets, bombs and army rescue vehicles to exhibit actual military operations. President Aquino rode and inspected a B300 army truck after the show.

He then proceeded to a dialogue with the 7th Infantry Division (ID) soldiers and the Special Operations Command troops. The Commander-in-Chief said that the administration is striving hard to provide the needs of the Armed Forces of the Philippines by providing a housing program, combat pay increment and health benefits to military men. He also reported that the Philippine Navy will soon acquire one of the three Hamilton class cutters from the U.S. Coast Guard and that there will be additional long-range helicopters and multi- purpose attack water crafts to be used in the Palawan coast and Sulu Sea area. The President said that the government is supporting the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) "Bayanihan" to promote peace between MILF and AFP.

(Source: http://rtvm.gov.ph)

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