Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Congress approved bill protecting rights of students

MANILA, April 13, 2011-A measure protecting the right of students to enroll in review centers of their choice in preparation for the licensure examinations was approved on third and final reading in the House of Representatives led by Bayan Muna Party-List Representative  Teodoro Casiño, who authored the House Bill 3546 otherwise known as  the Protection of Students' Rights to Enroll in Review Centers Act said that it seeks to eliminate the practice of some schools of compelling their graduates to enroll in a particular review center and withholding their scholastic documents if they refuse to do so.

Casiño said that the 2006 controversial nursing board exam brought to the fore not only the problem of cheating conducted by some nursing review centers but other irregularities as well.

He added that the bill aims to protect the rights of students to choose their own review centers where all schools which compel its students to take board review classes or study in a particular review center will be penalized and their permit to operate revoked.

Another author of the bill is 3rd District, Negros Oriental Rep. Pryde Henry Teves, who said that there are cases where universities and colleges are performing things that are entirely opposite to their ideal purpose such as taking full advantage of their authority and conduct their undertaking like a business rather than as a profession.

Teves said that this kind of action should be prevented in order to bail out schools from being prone to corruptions and dirty transactions. “The school shall be a location for knowledge and wisdom development and must be deprived from being an establishment of dishonesty and cheating,” Teves said, saying that through the bill, the right of the students to enjoy the gift of democracy by way of choosing their own review class will be ensured.

“It covers all public and private higher educational institutions (HEIs), including local colleges and universities offering courses that require professional licensure examinations,’’ he said.

The bill provides a penalty of six years imprisonment and a fine of P750,000 for violations of unlawful acts such as compelling students enrolled in courses requiring professional examinations to take review classes, which are not part of the curriculum, in a review center of the HEI's choice and making such review classes a prerequisite for graduation or completion of the course.

The bill also prohibits educational institutions from forcing students to enroll in a review center of the school choice and to pay the corresponding fees that include transportation as well as board and lodging and the withholding of the transcript of scholastic records, diploma, certification or any essential document of the student to be used in support of the application for the professional licensure examinations so as to compel students to attend in a review center of the HEI's choice.

Co-authors of the measure are Representatives Juan Edgardo Angara (Lone District, Aurora), Neri Javier Colmenares (Party-list, Bayan Muna), Raymond Palatino (Party-list, Kabataan), Antonio Tinio (Party-list, Act Teachers), Rafael Mariano (Party-list, ANAKPAWIS), Luzviminda C. Ilagan and Emmi De Jesus (Party-list, Gabriela). (Jason de Asis)

Out of town SP sessions needed in Nueva Ecija says vice governor Padiernos

STA. ROSA, Nueva Ecija, April 13, 2011-Vice Gov. Jose Gay Padiernos defended the move of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to transfer the venue of the weekly SP sessions to various municipalities and cities of the province from the seat of the Capitol in Palayan City to fast track the delivery of basic services to many Novo Ecijanos.

“Out of town SP sessions is one way of giving the provincial board members a direct pulse of the needs and sentiments of a particular locality instead of just dealing with documents submitted to them during sessions at the SP session hall in Palayan,” Padiernos said.

“If the provincial government conducts fiesta caravans in various towns and cities where services are downloaded, we at the SP also feel that by conducting out-of-town sessions, we can readily identify the needs of the people and address them in their own homecourt,” he said, adding that deliberating on various requests for appropriations in SP sessions in Palayan does not exactly serve its purpose because it’s hard to approve allocations for projects merely based on documents. However, a skeletal force has been left at the SP office in Palayan to attend to the needs of visitors from other places.

Padiernos defended the move during a SP regular session Monday at the session hall of the Sangguniang Bayan in this town, the hometown of Gov. Aurelio Matias-Umali and his wife, third district Rep. Czarina Umali, his brother Board Member Emmanuel Anthony Umali and cousin, Board Member Peter Marcus Matias. It was the fourth out-of-town session of the SP since it held earlier sessions in the towns of Cuyapo, Lupao and Penaranda.

During the session, the SP approved the request of Mayor Otep Angeles, Vice Mayor Irene Bernardo and the municipal government for the allocation of funds for 40 housing units. Half of the units will be funded by Governor Umali and the other half by Congresswoman Umali.

Padiernos described the present SP as a working SP which deliberates on measures without any political color and appropriates funds for funding requests irregardless of political affiliations of the requesting party. He cited the case of Angeles who belongs to another party apart from the Lakas-dominated SP.

He said that with all due respect to the previous SPs, the current SP is on a work mode a hundred percent and there is no room for politics here. (Jason de Asis)


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