Monday, November 24, 2014

PMA back in Tarlac

CAMP AQUINO, Tarlac City- The Philippine Military Academy ”Sinaglahi” Class 2015 with composed of  173 graduating cadets show-off their talents in a Silent Drill performance at the Tarlakeiǹo in Plazuela as part of their 3 day Community Development practicum. They were welcomed by the Honorable Vice Mayor Anne Belmonte representing the Honorable City Mayor Ace Manalang and the City Council of Tarlac City on 21 November 2014. 

After years of absence, the PMA Cadets are once again in Tarlac for an important activity include is part of the curriculum of the graduating cadets. In the mid 80’s, PMA Cadets are frequently seen in Tarlac due to the presence of a training facility in Camp Aquino for the Plebes. The plebes have their initial training in Camp Aquino before they were brought to Baguio, while second year Cadets or the Yearlings spend their summer training here in Camp Aquino and in Fort Magsaysay. However; due to some training related incidents, the training here in Tarlac was suspended. Since then, Cadet activities where confined in PMA and in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.

The PMA Practicum aims to develop the cadets in Community Development which is one of the primary focus of Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) Bayanihan. This security plan was crafted not by the AFP alone but rather by the different sectors of the society that aims to resolve the insurgency problem by addressing the root causes.

The Silent Drill Exhibition in Plazuela was the culmination of the Community Immersion in Tarlac City. This was preceded by a photo and static display of military and disaster response capabilities participated  by 3RD Mechanized Battalion, Tactical Operations Group 3, Philippine Air Force, Naval Forces Northern Luzon, 1st Scout Ranger Regiment, Special Forces and Light Reaction Battalion. Prior to that, the cadets conducted a Youth Leadership Seminar to the students of Balete High School in Camp Aquino. Representatives coming from the different government agencies presented their lectures on anti-drugs, Anti-Juvenile Delinquency and Leadership Training which prove to be timely and relevant topics to youth.

Over-all the experience is an eye opener for both the students and the cadets, the experience and the awareness of the issues will form integral foundation to shape them become better community leaders and AFP Officers in the future. 

Teacher's 'chalk allowance' to increase to P1,500 next year

MANILA-The annual “chalk allowance” of public school teachers will go up from the present P1,000 to P1,500 next year, courtesy of a Senate amendment in the 2015 national budget, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said today.

“Chalk allowance “ is the popular term for the amount given to teachers at the start of the school year for the purchase of “chalk, pens, erasers, cartolinas and other school supplies” they use in teaching.

While the amount is far from the P3,000 chalk allowance per year that Recto is advocating in a bill he filed, “the P1,500 represents a 50% increase from the present level.”

“Let’s just view it as a down payment toward the ideal amount. I am sure there will be another increase next year.  Even if the increase is done by installments, it is better than no increase at all,” Recto said.

The senator praised Sen. Chiz Escudero, chair of the Senate Finance committee, “for heeding the clamor of public school teachers and for sponsoring the amendment.”

“Although this amendment has bipartisan support, credit for this initiative should go to him,” Recto said.

The Senate Finance committee, which Recto is a vice chair, has recommended a P1.021 billion 2015 budget for “Teaching Supplies Allowance,” which is chalk allowance’s official expenditure name in the national budget.

Per a Department of Education computation, some 681,024 public kindergarten, elementary and high school teachers will receive this allowance next year.

In Senate Bill 713 (Teaching Supplies Allowance Act of 2013), Recto said the chalk allowance should be increased periodically to reflect the rise in the prices of school supplies and to cope with the changing nature of the latter.

“School supplies no longer pertain to traditional ink, chalk and paper. In this age of Powerpoint, then there are computer-related supplies which the teacher uses, and these must be considered in computing the supplies  the teacher needs,” he said.

“Kung tutuusin, maliit talaga ang  P150 a month para sa chalk allowance  kaya dapat dagdagan. Importante din ito.  Kung ang sundalo ay binibigyan ng bala, ang sa teacher naman ay chalk allowance.”

“Teaching supplies are an important ammo in the war versus illiteracy.” 


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