People's Science School 2014 - EPIRA Discussion

People's Science School 2014 - EPIRA Discussion

Engr. Ronald Garcia of AGHAM discussed the failures and unfulfilled promises of EPIRA to residents of the NIA road community on June 14, 2014. This is the first of a series of weekly discussions regarding different issues faced by the community.

Volunteer teachers are encouraged!
These topics will be discussed in the following sessions:
1. Water Use
2. Community Health and Sanitation

Contact JM Ayuste at for details.

People's Science School (PSS) 2014 in NIA is co-organized by Bayan Muna - NIA and Anakbayan - NIA.

Government should be held liable for its blatant neglect resulting to massive coconut damage caused by “cocolisap"

“The current widespread problem of coconut scale infestation (CSI) could have been prevented five years ago,” said Ms. Finesa Cosico, an entomologist and Secretary General of AGHAM- Advocates of Science and Technology for the People. According to the update reports prepared by the local government unit of the Municipality of Agoncillio, CSI was detected in 2009 by the Regional Crop Protection Center of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Brgy Ulango, Tanuan City, Batangas. By 2010, the infestation spread to three additional barangays, namely Natatatas, Santor and Balele. “If only the government, led by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), took serious attention to reports of the initial infestation, we would not be dealing with CSI on such a massive scale right now,” adds Ms. Cosico.

Group calls on the gov't to brace for El Nino and other disasters

On World Environment Day, scientist group Agham Advocates of Science and Technology for the People calls on the Aquino government to intensify preparations for El Nino and other imminent calamities.

“If government preparation and response will be similar to what happened during the Yolanda disaster, El Nino is another devastation waiting to happen,” warned Agriculture Engr. Ronald Garcia of scientist group Agham (Advocates of Science and Technology for the People).

According to the group, current government actions such as cloud seeding, water regulation and the disposal of drought-resistant rice varieties would not be able to counteract the impacts that the current El Nino might bring.

Yolanda flattened around 196,101 hectares (ha) of farm lands planted with rice and corn in Eastern Visayas alone. In the years 1997 to 1998, El Nino damaged 292,000 ha of corn and rice farm lands in the country. 70% of the archipelago also suffered from severe drought.

Science Education Realities

Aside from a few universities who shifted their calendar to August,
the new school year will start for public elementary and high school in a few days. Nothing much have changed as student-teacher and
student-classroom ratios have not improved. We expect worse in Yolanda devastated areas as even basic housing needs have not been addressed yet.

Although classrooms are scarce, the situation for science laboratories is even worse. The Department of Education reports a serious lack of science laboratories in both elementary and high schools all over the country. According to DepEd data, in regions III, IV-A, X, XI, and XII, there is only one school with science laboratory for every 10 public elementary schools. In the National Capital region, this ratio is 3 laboratories for every 10 elementary schools. Other public elementary schools in the other regions lack science laboratory to facilitate science learning.

Preliminary results from a survey done by Raymond Pingol from the

Noel Marbella Jalmasco
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