Veloso case underscores urgent need for industrialization in PH – scientist group

The case of detained migrant worker Mary Jane Veloso would not have happened had the Philippines took the path to genuine industrialization. This is according to scientist group Agham – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People. Genuine industrialization, according to Agham, means the large-scale and all-around development of local manufacturing industries.

“Mary Jane Veloso is the latest incarnation of the Aquino administration's failure to provide adequate employment for its people. What has become glaring in Veloso’s situation is our lack of basic industries, especially in manufacturing, which is the reason for the country's high unemployment,” said Engr. Miguel Aljibe mechanical engineer and member of Agham.

Are we prepared for the K-12?

REPUBLIC Act No.10533 or the Enhanced Basic Education Act (EBEA) was signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III in 2013. One of its guiding principles is making Filipino graduates “globally competitive” in order to serve the needs of a “globalized environment.” It also paved the way for lengthening the basic education program to a total of 12 years from the current 10-year program. Students will now graduate at around the age of 18 after passing through a year of compulsory kindergarten, six years of elementary education and another six years of secondary education.

Dr. Giovanni Tapang

Science, technology and the K-12 education program

Philippine education in general has historically been problematic with science and mathematics education even more weak. In view of this, the Aquino administration pushed for a complete overhaul of the education system by adding two years in basic education, apparently as a solution to its recurring troubles.

Agham Advocates of Science and Technology for the People in its advocacy for a scientific and mass-oriented form of education, produced this paper as a critique of the K-12 program. This paper will enumerate the flaws of the K-12 program with focus on its impacts on the quality of the science and mathematics education in the country.

Background on the K-12 Program

Fellow scientists push for the dropping of physicist’s trumped-up cases, decry military delay tactics

Scientist group Agham - Advocates of Science and Technology for the People denounce military maneuvers that clearly aims to delay the proceedings of physicist Kim Gargar’s case.

“The case has dragged on for more than 17 months despite the prosecution’s weak and unsubstantial evidence. The military has time and again inhibited the progress of the case. This is obviously a form of harassment on the part of Kim Gargar and his family, designed to wear him down and keep him from doing his duties,” said Noel Jalmasco of Agham and spokesperson of the Free Kim Gargar Movement.

Gov’t measures on coconut scale insect (CSI) control: incomplete and possibly dangerous- science experts

Prominent scientists from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) expressed caution against current government measures, particularly the trunk injection of the pesticide Dinotufuran, to control the pest outbreak of Aspidiotus spp., commonly known as Coconut Scale Insects (CSI) or cocolisap.

Dr. Ireneo L. Lit, Jr., a Filipino scale insect taxonomist who also teaches environmental and evolutionary biology at the Institute of Biological Sciences of UPLB, expressed his uncertainty on current government measures.

“Research on the efficacy and safety of Dinotefuran against coconut pests is very limited. Hence, there is a need for further studies on economic and environmental impacts of this type of pesticide especially because many neonicotinoids, a group to which Dinotefuran belongs, have been found to be toxic to honeybees and other organisms," said Dr. Lit.

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