deadliest deadline

meandering thoughts on the beat

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Another story I was working on is the recent evaluation of the Deped of textbooks in social studies and English for public schools. The Deped recently issued a call for textbook manuscripts for evaluation prior to the actual bidding. The textbooks were subjected to a four-level evaluation from the previous one-level only. In short, none of the 130 textbooks were passed the Deped's evaluation. This is interesting because some of these textbooks were submitted by some of the country's top publishers. Deped usec Mike Luz gave the publishers a piece of his mind when he told them that they had produced garbage and that if the Deped were to choose among these books for purchase, the department would end up buying nothing. To me, it was indicative of the sorry state of the quality of the local textbook publishing industry. One publisher even revealed during an open forum that some of these books were already being used in private schools. If I had a child who was already studying and using these textbooks, the story and its implications will be more than enough to send shudders up my spine, or at the very least, leaf through these textbooks and check for myself their "quality." The story became the subject of an Inquirer editorial where they commended the moves of the Deped. The piece also pointed out that historically, the issue of the poor quality of our textbooks can be traced to "cozy" relationship between the publishers and the department. The industry must now wake up to smell the coffee and realize that the Deped now means business in the purchase of the textbooks. The old corrupt system is gone, for now. Let's hope the Deped continues with its crusade, otherwise this will just be another issue of ningas cogon.

another day at the hothouse

It was just about another boring day at the hothouse when i managed to wrangle a story on the Pacific plan holders. They paid a visit to the SEC and asked the regulatory body to 1. issue a cease and desist order against Lifetime and Pacific Plans from selling anymore pre-need plans, 2. to change PPI's trustee bank from RCBC to, well, somebody else, 3. to create an oversight committee within the SEC to make sure the trust fund is not dissipated anymore. It sort of behooves me to plug an update at this point because I had neglected to write any more entries in this blog. Last month, PPI and the Coalition had actually agreed to sit down and come up with a solution to the whole brouhaha. The two sides initially agreed that the planholders will be paid the enrolment costs at present rates in exchange for their plans. I really thought that was the end of the whole thing. But recently, much to my dismay, the talks bogged down when the management held on to its demand that only the Napocor bonds worth P3 billion. The company needs at least P5 billion for the payoff. So the Coalition went back to the trenches. This time, it looks like a long-drawn out battle with the poor planholders picking up from where left off.