Saturday, July 30, 2011

Diliman Video of the Week: Karsel (Prison)

35mm film thesis of Rianne Hill Soriano at the University of the Philippines Film Institute. Kodak Film Award 2003. Best Production Thesis 2003. Nominee for Gawad Urian Best Short Film 2004.

Noticeably, the sound is so mono... :D this film was done the real old school way... literal sweat and blood in the classic Moviola of LVN... i remember how my hands got wounded with the positive prints and the chemicals of the film... More than 6000 feet of films to edit! Plus some electric shocks while editing during the wee hours of the dawn... sleepless nights and days... ghosts lingering around the editing room... hehe! good old days...

- Best Production Thesis 2003
- 17th Gawad Urian Nominee for Best Short Film
- TAU International Film Festival 2004 (Tel Aviv, Israel)
- Cinevita Film Festival 2008
- Eksperimento Film Festival 2004
- Finalist - 1st Indeo Film and Video Festival 2004
- UP Diliman Film and Video Festival 2004
- Pelikula at Lipunan Film Festival 2004
- Celebrating Women - Women's Week Film Fest 2004
- Featured film at the Feminine Force Group Woman's Month 2007
- Illuminations: Awarded Student Films of the UP Cinema Arts Society
- Finalist - International Women's Film Festival 2006
- University of Makati Film Society Movietrip 2007
- aired at UniversiTV: 2007 to present
"Karsel" ("Prison") is a 20-minute film that delves into a young adult female's submission to the conventions of a traditional home and her struggle for her liberation.

The overprotected Angela has been kept inside a grand and yet constricting mansion since childhood. Her "obsessive-compulsive mother" takes care of her long hair yielding to the family tradition that a woman should always grow her hair long. But the irony lies on the fact that she pulls her daughter's hair real hard everytime she gets mad at her.

With Angela's mother being extremely, unreasonably strict to her only daughter, Angela has been kept inside their "grand and yet small house" for all the years of her life. The only way for her to socialize is through school. In one instance that she comes home by sunset after going out with her classmates for a rushed school work, her mother punishes her. She goes to her room, cries, and rationalizes her situation. And as Angela's 18th birthday draws nearer, her hair becoming bars of cage on her face exemplifies her imprisonment.

Additional details about the film can also be viewed at and

The Cast
Angela Salientes - Summer Sumera
Sonia Salientes - Gigi Pirote
Aling Belay - Ermie Concepcion
Child Angela - Chum-Chum Aquino
Ildefonso - Dingdong Rosales
Elira - Pam Sto. Domingo
Betsy - Roma Regala
Maida - Suzette Navarette
Ancestral mother - Ellen Estrada
Ancestral daughter- Bekah Mata
Ferdi - Rico del Rosario
Michael - Pao Pangan
Mang Caloy - Mang Fred

The Production Team
Screenplay and Direction - Rianne Hill Soriano
Directors of Photography - Eli Balce and Riane Hill Soriano
Production Designer - Chrisel Galeno
1st Asst. Director - Joy Puntawe
2nd Asst. Director - Herbert Navasca
Film Editor - Rianne Hill Soriano
Musical Scorer - Kiko Ortega
Audio Engineers - Jason Galindez and Noel Bruan
Production Managers - Rianne Hill Soriano, Kiel Sandico, Madz Mandia, Joselle Acuña, and Janice Atencio

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Department of Budget and Management proposes to Congress that the U.P. System will have a zero capital outlay for the 2nd straight year in 2012


By Chanda Shahani

This comment has been published today in the Facebook page of the University of the Philipines System:
"Citing statistics on page 5 of this PDF file, the University of the Philippines (UP) has a budget allocation of P5.5 billion (i.e., P4.8 billion for personal services, P0.7 billion for maintenance and other operating expenses and zero budget for capital outlays)."
The Department of Budget and Management's budget allocation for U.P. in 2012 can be accessed here
It is perhaps out of a sense of courtesy (i.e., from one sector of government to another) that the U.P. System website's neutral tone belies the terrific body blow dealt to the U.P. System by the Department of Budget and Management. For no organization, ranging from a very large state university down to a neighborhood day care center can exist without an allocation for capital outlays.
The Facebook page of the University Student Council of U.P. Diliman also said today that: "The UP budget proposed for next year is 17B but the DBM only approved 5.54B. That's a 3.6% decrease from the GAA, 20.6% decrease for the Maintenance and other Operating Expenditures (MOOE) and ZERO Capital outlay yet again."
An earlier analysis made several weeks ago by the Diliman Diary shows how much the U.P. System has already had to endure (percentage-wise), in terms of budget cuts since 2006.
Analysis of 2006-2011 U.P. Budget with implications for the 2012 budget.

The DBM argued in 2010 that there were so many projects (new buildings such as the National Science Complex, etc.) in the pipeline that U.P. did not need any more capital outlay for 2011. 

This reasoning is erroneous, because the definition of the financial term “capital outlay” transcends just building new buildings. In a complex organization such as the U.P. System, capital outlays are always needed not only from year-to-year to acquire assets or improve the useful life of existing assets, but to fund long-term projects that are expensed as they are completed stage-by-stage. 

Using 2006 and 2007 as representative years in order to ferret out the ratio of capital outlay (CO) to overall budget, we can see that the average CO is 11%. We did not anymore include 2008, 2009 and 2010 because those were extraordinary years in terms of obtaining funds from the National Government which were heavily influenced by the U.P. Centennial years and these would tend to artificially inflate the ratio of CO to the overall budget.

The point is that historically (at least based on these partial figures, U.P.'s budget for CO should be at around 11% of the overall budget). Of course, having a longer time series (say 20 years) would be preferable, as we could then get more representative data, but 11% capital outlay a year does not seem unreasonable for any institution whose assets are continually, depreciating, falling apart and in need of replacement or upgrading.

Some legitimate capital outlay expenditures for a university and research institution would include building new buildings, acquiring major new equipment (e.g.: research equipment) or even acquiring land or even putting up a new extension of an existing college (eg: U.P. College of Business Administration and U.P. College of Law in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City). 

It is imperative for the Aquino Administration and Congress to recognize Capital Outlay as a necessary and legitimate expense for any public or private entity, and to restore an amount for the 2012 budget.

We have put in Annex A aggregate figures from 2006 to 2011. Using a Time Series or Horizontal Analysis of U.P.'s budget from the national government in order to get an appreciation of the respective increase or decrease (in percentage terms in year-to-year growth), we can see that U.P.'s budget shrank by 7% in 2007 compared to 2006, but from 2008 to 2009, it grew by 25%, which are due to lobbying efforts by the U.P. Administration to DBM and Congress to increase its budget because of positive publicity for U.P. generated by the U.P. centennial (please see Annex A). However, U.P.'s budget decreased from 2010 to 2011 by 18%, due to a non-insertion of even a single peso for capital outlay by the Department of Budget and Management for 2011. 

The removed figure for capital outlay (equivalent to 18% of U.P.'s budget in 2010) in 2011 is PhP 1.28 billion

Some thoughts on Core Inflation and its impact on the U.P. Budget.

The next question is, if CO should not be 0% (as it was in 2011), but 11% in 2012, as per historical precedents, then CO should be 11% of what? We cannot resort to zero-based budgeting computations, as we do not have the institutional advantage that DBM and the U.P. Budget Office has (i.e., access to all the data on the budget down to the last office expenditure) as they can throw out all previous assumptions and start from scratch (minus the politics of budgeting, this is strictly speaking, a valid approach). 

What we can do, however, is to treat 2006 as a base year and see the impact of core inflation on the U.P. budget.

The National Statistical Coordination Board (NCSB) argues that core inflation (which is a lower figure) rather than headline inflation (which is a higher figure because it includes more price volatile commodities in its index) is the more meaningful figure to use in gauging the impact on inflationary effects on policy making. We are adopting this point of view in terms of making adjustments to a yearly budget such as U.P.'s (, and this has the benefit of also being the more conservative figure than headline inflation, as we prefer to err on the side of conservatism when it comes to financial computations.

Using 2006 as a base year of comparison and utilizing data from NCSB for core inflation (please see Annex B which is sourced from:, we can see that average core inflation was 4.46 a year, which means that using 2006 as a base year, one budget peso in 2006 is now worth 22.3% less in 2010 , 27% less in 2011 and 31% less in 2012. 

Assuming for the sake of discussion that there were no new programs implemented, additional personnel hired, or new buildings built in U.P. post-2006, U.P.'s budget should have at the very minimum, increased by 31% of its total PhP 5,456,428,000 in 2006 to a larger amount in 2011 just to keep abreast with core inflation. 

Thus U.P.'s budget should be at the very minimum have been PhP 6,929,663,000 in 2011 (to counter the 27% deterioration in the value of the peso from 2006 as the base year) in and 7,147,921,000 in 2012 (to counter the 31% deterioration in the value of the peso from 2006 as the base year) in real terms compared to its budget of PhP 5,949,619,000 in 2011 which is really too low. 

Thus for the Aquino Administration to say that there was no budget cut because there was simply no provision for CO in 2011 (as the claim was that all the new buildings in the pipeline negated the necessity for having any sort of capital expenditure in 2011), is false and misleading because it ignores the effects of core inflation. 

Additionally, MOOE was even cut from PhP 1,358,322,000 (2010) to PhP 653,999,000 (2011) or by 52%. Also, U.P.'s capital outlay for 2012 should be an estimated 11% of the minimum PhP 7,147,921,000 in 2012 or PhP 786 million,which is even fairly near the capital outlay of PhP 727,560,000 in 2006, so there is already a historical precedent for this.

A minimum budget increase to PhP 7,147,921,000 to keep abreast of inflation does not even take into account increases in Personal Services and MOOE which will come about in 2012 as a result of the new building activities, as these buildings need to be operated, maintained and run properly. However, we will not comment further on this, because we do not have the data to project in any analysis.

Should the U.P. System Cut the Umbilical Cord of 100% Government Subsidy?

Of course, the other side of the problem is that the National Government can always say that U.P. has to work within the budget it was given, and all they can afford is so much, and that since U.P. is a land grant university, then it has to raise the difference from its assets. The problem with this approach, while partially valid, is that it ignores the following:
a)      U.P. has several indispensable schools of learning which are continuously and directly tapped by the national government and the people for national development. To be hard-nosed about it, the tax payers and the government have to pay for what they get. There are no free lunches anywhere. RA 9500 states that U.P. is the only national university bar none, and so the funding also has to be there or the national government itself is in violation of the law. U.P. is not a comparable State University and College anymore, which are now the subject of massive cost-cutting measures by CHED.
b)      Tuition fees only accounted for 5% of U.P.’s total revenue in 2011 and this reality, combined with student and U.P. administration opposition to a tuition fee increase only shows that U.P. will have to look elsewhere (aside from national government allocations) to fill in a possible funding gap.
c)      Assuming for the sake of discussion, that the national government will not be able to completely comply with the law by funding U.P. as the national university, there are several steps that may be taken as part of an overall strategy. For example, U.P. can do more to raise internal funds, and in fact a common size income statement (for internally generated income) from 2006 (Please see Annex C) shows in percentage terms how the gaps may be filled in by internally generated income. Taking into consideration the fact that national government expenditures, as a percentage of U.P.’s total revenue has already begun to decline from 81% in 2006 to 73% in 2011, then other growth areas (in terms of funds generation) would be in U.P.’s income from revolving fund. The increase in income here should be aggressively augmented by money market placements in conservative investments (e.g.: Treasury bills and bonds). It should also be the subject of aggressive audit by the Commission on Audit, which has a long history of complaints about how U.P. handles its cash once it is on hand. There should be complete vouchers, and complete documentation for every deposit and withdrawal into these funds.
d)     Another red flag is grants and donations which according to Annex C, has jumped from almost 0% in earlier years to 7% in 2011, but this could easily be doubled to 14% by an aggressive fund raising campaign by the Pascual administration which may actually already be happening, considering that the year is not over yet. However, grants and donations - an issue which was relevant under the Roman administration - still remains relevant under the Pascual administration (see the part about U.P. in: because we do not know what is happening to the the funds of these foundations which are not subject to COA monitoring. This cookie jar must be closely monitored, now that the U.P. budget is in dire straits and every peso that is earned must go to its rightful place. Additionally, faculty affiliated foundations (for the list of these foundations submitted by U.P. in 2010 to COA, please see must also subject themselves to COA scrutiny under the principle that the chief beneficiaries (the faculty) must get what is due to them, but there should be transparency and accountability and in this, COA’s role is superior to that of any external auditor, no matter how good they are (even SGV). This is because external auditors tend to be biased in favor of their clients who pay them for an external audit, in compliance with SEC rules, while COA tends to play a more neutral role since they are not beneficiaries of these foundations (non-COA external auditors, who are paid by their clients would logically be reluctant to issue reports that would put their clients in a bad light). Even if there are restrictions on monies earned by U.P. from donations and foundations, these should still be subject to scrutiny to ensure that fellowships or stipends (eg for faculty research, travel grants, research projects or travel abroad) are properly disbursed and released in an equitable manner.
e)      Since U.P. is a land grant university, it is likely that more of its properties and even other non-current assets (eg: patents and other intellectual properties) will be maximized. However, RA 9500 requires projects exceeding PhP 50 million to be subject to public consultation, so it would be a good idea for the sectors be ready with a standing committee that can scrutinize such revenue generating projects to ensure that they are beneficial to the university, utilizing proper financial criteria, as well as other criteria (eg: is the project consistent with the mission of the university and its values).
f)       On a final note, it would not be a bad idea for U.P. to consider issuing long term University of the Philippines bonds for some  of its long-term capital expenditures and other expenditures (payable in say, 25 years). U.P.’s excellent reputation would allow this to be favorably received in the capital markets, but the reception would be better if there were no outstanding issues of a financial nature (eg: adverse COA reports) that would scare off the underwriters. An excellent ready market for this would be U.P. alumni here and abroad (thus, the bonds can be peso denominated and dollar denominated bonds).

DBM defines what is allowable capital outlay in a 2010 memo to SUCs and then slashes it to zero in 2011 and 2012

The fact that the administration of U.P. President Alfredo Pascual asked DBM for P17 billion in funds for 2012 (which would reflect the U.P.'s much better appreciation of actual costs compared to ours) but only got a proposed allocation of 32% of that or P5.5 billion shows how seriously flawed and skewed is the reasoning of DBM; especially if we take into account that there needs to be a capital outlay to replace aging machines, depreciating equipment and for other expenses.

President Aquino's State of the Nation Address (SONA) and  its annex to the SONA address, which is the detailed technical report attached to the SONA is revealing in terms of what the Aquino government considers important enough to merit funding (DSWD and conditional cash transfers) and what is of lesser importance (SUCs such as U.P. are hardly mentioned at all). But the annex does state that "As early as 30 December 2010, the DBM had already issued National Budget Memorandum (NBM) No. 107, s. 2010 providing all heads of departments, agencies, bureaus, offices, commissions, state universities and colleges, and other instrumentalities of the national government the overall policy framework and thrusts for the FY 2012 Budget. The NBM also set specific guidelines for the budget preparations."

NBM No. 107, s. 2010 in fact was signed by no less than DBM Secretary Florencio B. Abad and details and defines in Part III DBM's definition of capital outlays which include investments, repair and rehabilitation of occupied buildings, land improvements, the acquisition of office equipment, furniture and fixtures, transportation equipment, public infrastructure, reforestation of lands, loan outlays, livestock and work animal acquistions.

Based on the above DBM definition, which includes many necessary materials and equipments with which to run a complex organization such as the U.P. System coupled with DBM's non-insertion of capital outlay as an item in the proposed 2012 budget, it seems likely that U.P. will have a difficult time operating at full capacity unless this anomaly is corrected by Congress itself.

(Chanda Shahani is the editor of the Diliman Diary. An A.B. Comparative Literature graduate from U.P. Diliman, he also has a Master's degree in Entrepreneurship from the Asian Institute of Management and is a former business page reporter for the Philippine STAR).

For daily updates, please check our Facebook page (just type in Diliman Diary in Facebook's search). 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

PNoy’s science policy insults scientists

By Flor Lacanilao

Bruce Alberts, Editor-in-Chief of Science and for 12 years was president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, says “Over the long run, any nation that makes crucial decisions while ignoring science is doomed.” It is critical that national legislation be based on what science knows about potential harm, he added

(“Policy-Making Needs Science).

It is therefore alarming that President Aquino’s science report in his SONA ignores the overwhelming consensus that scientific research is a prerequisite to technological development. With such practices, it will be difficult to make wise decisions, Alberts added. 

In his SONA, President Aquino said, "Creativity is in display with the innovations that are already being implemented. We have developed low-cost traps that kill mosquito larvae, probably contributing to the nearly fourteen percent decrease in dengue incidents; coconut coir fibers that are normally just disposed of have been used as a cost-effective way to strengthen our roads; we have landslide sensors that warn when soil erosion has reached dangerous levels; we have developed early flood warning systems for riverside communities. All of these are products of Filipino creativity.”

But we are already in the 21st century. Innovations like these are no longer done.

The President continued, “DOST and UP have even teamed up to develop a prototype monorail system, which could potentially provide a home grown mass transport solution that would cost us as little as 100 million pesos per kilometer, much cheaper than the current cost of similar mass transit systems. . . I am telling you now: We can dream about them, we are capable of achieving them, and we will achieve them.”

Can the DOST and UP personnel involved in this project show -- with properly-published studies -- the cost-effective, safety, capability claim, etc.?  

On the other hand, it can be showe that in its over 50 years of existence, the DOST has been funding and announcing inventions and innovations, which “are products of Filipino creativity.” These were not backed up with properly done research by published scientist. And during this period, the Philippines, from second only to Japan, has been left behind by no less than 12 Asian countries.

Further, our stunted growth of scientific capability has been shown by our S&T performance (this is measured by the number of scientific publications in peer-reviewed international journals). In 2005, our total scientific publications (in high-impact journals) were only 178, compared to those of Singapore’s 3,600-plus, Taiwan’s 10,800 and South Korea’s 16,400. China in 2009 produced 125,000.

“The environment in which decisions are made in a democracy will always be highly politicized, but it is crucial that both sides of any argument pay close attention both to what science knows and how that knowledge has been gained” Alberts concludes.

(Dr. Flor Lacanilao obtained his Ph.D. (specialization in comparative endocrinology) from the University of California at Berkeley. He served as chairman of the Zoology Department at UP Diliman, chancellor of UP Visayas, and chief of SEAFDEC in Iloilo.)

Philippine Government Draft Budget submitted to Congress on July 25, 2011 on the day of the State of the Nation Address

By Chanda Shahani

Amidst all the political theater engendered by President Benigno S. Aquino III's State of the Nation Address (SONA) in the halls of Congress yesterday as well as protests from disgruntled non-government organizations, people's organizations, activists, students and other citizens; the Aquino administration also quietly submitted to Congress its proposal for the National Budget on the same date (July 25, 2011).

A little-known annex to the SONA address, is the detailed technical report attached to the SONA (please see: which is revealing in terms of what the Aquino government considers important enough to merit funding and what is of lesser importance - which barely gets a mention in the report.

The SONA and the accompanying technical report barely made any references to State Universities and Colleges (SUCs). The annex mentions that "The 2012 Budget preparation is ahead of schedule, again, the first budget prepared ahead of schedule since 1998. As early as 30 December 2010, the DBM had already issued National Budget Memorandum (NBM) No. 107, s. 2010 providing all heads of departments, agencies, bureaus, offices, commissions, state universities and colleges, and other instrumentalities of the national government the overall policy framework and thrusts for the FY 2012 Budget. The NBM also set specific guidelines for the budget preparations." Beyond that, however, it is only primary schools and secondary schools that get mentioned in the SONA and the technical report. SUCs seem to be treated like a dirty little family secret: sort of like the mentally retarded brother or sister that family members speak about in hushed whispers (if at all).

The near non-mention of SUCs in the SONA and the technical report is indicative of the Aquino administration's lack on emphasis on giving importance to higher education in national development through suport for SUCs. The race has therefore begun for SUCs, including the University of the Philippines System to start lobbying Congress, twisting arms, calling in favors, and more-or-less making the case that U.P. and other SUCs are indispensable to national development and need to be funded adequately to meet these goals.

No official announcement yet on the suspension of classes in U.P. Diliman, other colleges

Today is the morning after President Benigno S. Aquino III's bleak State of the Nation Address (SONA).

It is an equally bleak morning with relentless rain from Typhoon Juaning. The kind that builds up into rivulets quickly; turning into raging torrents and flooded streets, stranding students and teachers everywhere. The Department of Education has already announced that there will be no classes at the grade school and high school levels.

Consequently U.P. Diliman Chancellor Caesar Saloma has announced that the U.P. Intergrated School (UPIS) will not hold classes at the grade school and high school levels.

The Diliman Diary called up the Office of Chancellor Saloma at 9:30 a.m. today to find out if the Deped rule applied to U.P. Diliman students. However, we were told that they were waiting for an official announcement from the Commission on Higher Education and Development (CHED).

We called up the office of CHED Chair Patricia Licuanan at 10:00 a.m. and we were told that CHED did not make the announcement in this case, but PAGASA. We called PAGASA and they said that had no announcement to make regarding the suspension of classes; because they only monitored and reported the weather and had no authority to suspend classes.

As a general rule, classes at all levels are suspended if PAGASA determines that the typhoon signal is at No. 3. However, it will be recalled that Typhoon Ondoy was officially a Signal No. 1 Typhoon, leaving office workers, students, staff and faculty stranded in the Diliman area.

We will continue to monitor developments. For daily updates, please check our Facebook page (just type in Diliman Diary in Facebook's search).

Monday, July 25, 2011

PENOY a.k.a. PNoy a.k.a. President Benigno S. Aquino III is burned in effigy on Commonwealth Avenue minutes before he delivers his July 25, 2011 State of the Nation Address

Editor's note: A riotous and cheerful crowd of activists from various organizations, urban poor, students, journalists and others marched today up to the point of St. Peter's Cathedral along Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City where they were met by metal barriers with truncheon-wielding policemen on the alert to prevent any further passage to the House of representatives Building Complex where President Benigno S. Aquino III was set to deliver his annual State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The crowd essentially did not agree with the spin being put out by the Palace that there were any solid achievements on the part of the Aquino Administration and they were determined to make their case before a wider audience through political theater, song, dance and mobile installation art (we will be posting more pictures as soon as possible).

Embedded below are the pictures taken by Diliman Diary editor Chanda Shahani of President Aquino being burned in effigy, and of other scenes in the anti-SONA protests along Commonwealth Avenue. At one point, the flames grew so fierce and hot that the crowd was forced to beat a hasty rereat. At the end of it all, all was left was a sad heap of ashes, and a feeling of temporary catharsis followed by the unsettled feeling that there were so many burning issues left unfixed and unaddressed by this administration.

The media photographing the effigy burning

U.P. Diliman's Zorro joins the rally and reads a manifesto criticizing the Aquino administration

University of the Philippines (Asterisk) Asosasyon ng Kabataang Artista at Iskolar ng UP Diliman members paint a caricature of President Aquino on Commonwealth Avenue

The finished product

Policemen on a bridge fronting St. Peter's Parish on Commonwealth Avenue scan the crowd
A police line on Commonwealth Avenue preventing protesters from going anynearer the House of Representatives where President Aquino delivered his speech

Members of the Panginoon Hesus Kristong Hari Espiritu Santo-Holy Spirit Government based in Tandang Sora, Q.C. calling for a change in government from one run by people to one run by the Holy Spirit Government

Cinemalaya U.P. Diliman 2011 Film Showing Schedule

  (To enlarge the graphic, just click on it)

With this year’s highly successful Cinemalaya finally winding down, the final leg of the festival will showcase this year’s films at the UP Film Center’s Cine Adarna.

Tickets are selling out quickly in the already limited screenings, so we advise that you contact 09272990318 for ticket reservations . Tickets are priced at P80.00.

July 26 (Tues)
Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa, 5pm
Babae Sa Septic Tank, 8pm

July 27 (Wed)
Amok, 5pm
Bahay Bata, 8pm

July 28 (Thurs)
Cuchera, 5pm
I-libings, 8pm

July 29 (Friday)
Nino, 5pm
Ligo na U, Lapit na Me, 8pm

August 2 (Tues)
Teoriya, 5pm
Busong, 8pm

August 3 (Wed)
Isda, 5pm
Bisperas, 8pm

August 4 (Thurs)
Shorts A, 5pm
Patikul, 8pm

August 5 (Fri)
Shorts B, 5pm
Best Picture-New Breed, 7pm
Best Picture-Director’s Showcase, 9pm

Q.C. Traffic Rerouting during SONA

MANILA, Philippines – The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) announced on Friday a traffic rerouting scheme along Commonwealth Ave. in Quezon City in connection with the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Aquino III on Monday.

NCRPO Regional Director Alan LM Purisima said the southbound stretch of Commonwealth Ave. will be open to traffic the whole day. He also said that four southbound lanes of the wide thoroughfare will be occupied by northbound vehicles from Shopwise U-turn slot until the San Simon U-turn slot wherein normal traffic flow for all types of vehicles will resume.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Remarks of U.P. President Alfredo Pascual at the 118th meeting of the UP Diliman University Council Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Remarks of UP President Alfredo Pascual at the 118th meeting of the UP Diliman University Council
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

18 July 2011, Abelardo Hall

(This statement was prepared by the UP System Information Office following President Pascual’s extemporaneous remarks.)

There seems to be a controversy over the proposal of the National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) to have me appointed as Professor 12, as may be gleaned from the column article of Prof. Solita Monsod published in Business World last 14 July titled “Tempest over academic rank.”

Such a controversy is an unnecessary distraction at this time when we are trying to achieve academic excellence and administrative efficiency in the face of inadequate budget funding from the government.

I therefore thought it wise to talk to you directly, the faculty of UP Diliman, and clear the air on this issue. Instead of just writing a statement to be read before the council, I have decided to speak to you today. I have noted that some people are second guessing my intentions and I hope that through this conversation we can clarify matters.

Let me say upfront, here and now, that I have not sought to be appointed as professor. I don’t need the title to effectively discharge my mandate as UP President and execute my plans and programs for the university.

Let me also say that if offered to me, I will NOT accept an appointment as Professor 12 in UP, now or in the future. You must note that by the time I finish my term as President in February 2017, I will be over the faculty retirement age of 65. A professor appointment given to me while I am President will therefore be of no use for me.

Does it mean I will no longer consider teaching in UP? The answer is no. I will be happy to serve as guest lecturer at NCPAG – to whom I am thankful for the invitation to join its faculty – or any other unit of the university where my experience and expertise, particularly in development, project finance and public-private partnership (PPP), will add value.

As you may very well know, my first job was an instructor of Chemistry after getting my Bachelor of Science degree in the same discipline here at UP Diliman. Aside from UP Diliman, I also taught at the Ateneo de Manila University part-time for four years and at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) full-time for nine years.

I welcome any opportunity to share knowledge with our students. But let me repeat that I do not need to be appointed professor to do so. I know I am considered by some of you as an outsider. Given that, I know I need to allow time for you to get to know me better. I need to earn your trust and merit it.

As early as now, there is something you have to know about me: I am not in the habit of replying to poison-pen letters, and I think many of you know what I am referring to. Coming from a discipline which strictly requires evidence-based conclusions, I decided not to dignify the black propaganda against me in an open letter written by a certain Mari Batalla La Granja dated 12 May, the contents of which have even reached those  outside our university. I stand by my career record in reputable local and international institutions, such as ADB and AIM, where I occupied positions of trust and respect.

Suffice it to say that the La Granja letter contains logical fallacies we tell our students to avoid like non-sequitur, hasty generalizations and ad hominem attacks. This poison-pen letter is full of lies, half-truths, and innuendoes. I challenge those behind the poison-pen letter to come out with evidence and prove their allegations.

For many of you who uphold honor and excellence by, among others, relying on verified information instead of mere speculation, I am confident that you will keep communication lines open, in the same way that you may have ignored altogether the contents of the poison-pen letter.

In my speech during the turnover ceremonies last 10 February, I stressed, “The Office of the President will keep its communication lines open to the UP community. I would love to hear your views, comments and suggestions.”

All of you are more than welcome to approach me or any member of my executive team. In the spirit of collegiality, transparency and democratic governance, we should continue consultations and I hope that my speaking to you today is the start of more productive interactions and the end to unnecessary distractions.

Let me end by saying that there is something we could learn from our student leaders who, since the start of my term as President, have sought an audience with me from time to time. As you all know, there were speculations last month about alleged tuition increases as a result of alleged re-bracketing in the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP). But as a result of open lines of communication with student leaders and campus journalists, we were able to clarify matters and explain the necessity to implement new requirements as regards application for Bracket B classification.

Again, the communication lines are open and I hope that you, our dear faculty, will maximize this opportunity being provided by the new administration. Thank you for your attention.


Monday, July 11, 2011

UP Cebu Dean Avila’s Libel Case Against Instructor Patino Dismissed


Chito Patiño

Instructor, UP Cebu College

The news about the dismissal by the Cebu City Prosecutors’ Office of the libel case against me brought tremendous relief and inspiration to me. Truly, the vigilant watch of colleagues and students hand in hand with our highly committed and principled defense lawyers proved more powerful than the baseless libel complaint of UP Cebu Dean Dr. Enrique Avila.

Read the rest here.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Diliman Video of the Week: Carlos Aureus: Buddhist Cosmology

Part I: From Ptolemy to Einstein by Professor Carlos Aureus, Professor of Latin, University of the Philippines.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Habenara Tu - University of the Philippines Choir

Choir competition held in Spain, in w/c this choir won the Ist place award, & considered one of the Best interpretation of this beautiful Song.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Diliman Video of the Week: CSI: Manila

A short film about Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines, and a pair of detectives who wish to uncover the truth about his death.

Directed by Ali Bayle
Written by Lexie Dy and Ceej Tantengco
Cinematography by Ali Bayle and Ceej Tantengco
Editing by Ali Bayle and Diggy Villariba
Research by Rix Reyes
Make-up and Wardrobe by Marielle Sundiang
Props by Fel Bernardino, Lexie Dy, Claire Fuerte, Aika Lim, Carlo Samaniego, and Marielle Sundiang
Logistics by Aika Lim and Lexie Dy

Elcee Vargas as Detective Martinez
Ceej Tantengco as Detective Abad
Job de Leon as Jose Rizal
Dav Dionisio as Government Official
Rev. Ulysses Cabayao as Church Official
Conrad Lafuente as Katipunan Rebel
John Cruz as Paciano Rizal
Joanne Lim as Narcisa Rizal
Miguel Serapio as Ferdinand Blumentritt
Carlo Samaniego as Juan Luna
Diggy Villariba as Marcelo del Pilar
Lexie Dy as Lab Tech
Arlet Coronado as Beggar
Claire Fuerte as Teodora Alonso

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