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Political Dynasties in the Philippines: In My Opinion

Next year’s Philippine midterm elections are fast approaching and it paints an all too-familiar image once again: candidates that are ei...



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HOUSTON, Texas - Super Bantamweight Champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire, Jr. successfully retained his belt versus the feisty four-division Mexican champion Jorge Arce in an ecstatic pro-Mexican crowd in third round with 2:59 remaining.


At the first, both checked upon each other with sporadic punches. But Donaire made his presence felt by releasing his right punch 1:59 in the early ticks. Arce seemed not to be aggressive on the first round which Donaire exploited especially with 32 seconds left.

On the second round, Arce felt Donaire’s power again in 1:50 and was down in the canvas which looked like a slip. ‘El Travieso’ Arce was able to stand up quickly and released his aggressiveness but the quick Filipino tactician simply danced out of trouble.

The whirlwind third round came with an obvious more aggressive Mexican pugilist on the prowl, taking Donaire down which seemed like a mixed martial arts move. But with 46 seconds left, Donaire unleashed a series of combinations which started from solid right hook that send Arce reeling. A fazed Arce got back and bravely stood up again after his second knockdown. But on the dying seconds, the quickness of the Filipino pugilist seemed too much, as Donaire launched his vicious right hook sending the Mexican veteran to the canvas to end the match.

It was Donaire’s fourth win for this year and was seen by many as a vindication from last week’s loss of Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao to Juan Manuel Marquez on Pacquiao-Marquez IV. It can be remembered that Donaire dropped Arce in 2:59; the same time Marquez also KO’d Pacquiao last December 8. Donaire improved his record to 31 wins with 20 knock outs and one loss.

Arce announced his retirement immediately after the match.

Photo Credits:
MGM Grand, Las Vegas – In a very anticipated fight that would go to the history books, Mexican fighter Juan Manuel Marquez has successfully redeemed the past three controversial confrontations against the Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao by knocking him out a second left in the sixth round in the non-title welterweight fight. “El Dinamita” Marquez improves his record to 55 wins, 6 losses, with his 40th K.O. win over the dubbed “Mexi-cutioner”.

On the first round, it was a seizing up moment for both fighters, although the Filipino pugilist was apparently quicker in bobbing and waving. Pacquiao had a lot of lateral movements to the always stalking Marquez.

On the second round, the Filipino’s ring generalship can obviously be seen with the Filipino edging Marquez with straight left in 1:45, and 1:20 ticks. The third round was a shocker as Marquez unleashed a quick solid right straight to Pacquiao’s face in about 1:05 to go.

In the fourth, Manny appeared stronger due to his knockdown in the previous round. Pacquiao continues to go in and out of the master-counterpuncher Marquez. In the fifth bell, with 1:42 remaining, Pacquiao unleashed a left hook to the attacking Mexican boxer; it caught the right side of the face which sent the latter down to the canvas.

On the sixth round, just when everyone thought Pacquiao regained his momentum as the knockdowns were already even, Marquez responded in a great fashion. With one tick before the end of sixth round, Marquez released a snappy solid right counter-hook to conclude the fight. Pacquiao’s body had a very hard fall down the canvas; obviously knocked out cold – a sight seen for the first time in a long time in his career since 1999.

Many now question whether Congressman Pacquiao should continue to fight in the ring due to his lack of edginess in the last few fights he’s had. But in an interview immediately after the fight, Pacquiao confessed that he became confident after gaining the momentum in knocking Marquez down in the fifth. “It’s part of the fight; sometimes we win, sometimes we lose”, the gracious champion added.

Márquez noquea a Pacquiao en sexta ronda*

MGM Grand, Las Vegas - En una pelea muy esperada que iría a los libros de historia, luchador mexicano Juan Manuel Márquez ha canjeado satisfactoriamente en los últimos tres enfrentamientos polémicos contra el filipino Manny Pacquiao del boxeo icono de noquearlo un segundo a la izquierda en el sexto asalto en la pelea de peso welter sin título en juego. "El Dinamita" Márquez mejora su récord a 55 victorias, 6 derrotas, con su 40mo KO conquistar el llamado "Mexi-cutioner".

En la primera ronda, fue un momento agarrotamiento para ambos peleadores, aunque el púgil filipino era aparentemente más rápido en balanceándose y moviendo. Pacquiao tenía una gran cantidad de movimientos laterales al acecho siempre Márquez.

En la segunda ronda, el generalato anillo filipino, obviamente, puede ser visto con el filipino borde recto con Márquez dejó en 1:45, 1:20 y garrapatas. La tercera ronda fue una sorpresa cuando Márquez desató una derecha rápida sólido directamente al rostro de Pacquiao en alrededor de 1:05 para ir.

En el cuarto, Manny parecía más fuerte debido a su caída en la ronda anterior. Pacquiao sigue yendo dentro y fuera de la Márquez master-contragolpeador. En la campana quinto, con 1:42 restantes, Pacquiao desató un gancho de izquierda al boxeador mexicano atacar, sino que cogió el lado derecho de la cara que envió a este último a la lona.

En el sexto round, justo cuando todo el mundo pensaba que Pacquiao recuperó su impulso a medida que las caídas ya estaban incluso, Márquez respondió de una manera grande. Con una garrapata antes del final de la sexta ronda, Márquez lanzó un derecho ágil sólido contra-gancho para concluir la pelea. Cuerpo de Pacquiao tuvo una caída muy fuerte por el lienzo, obviamente noqueado - un espectáculo visto por primera vez en mucho tiempo en su carrera desde 1999.

Muchos ahora se pregunta si el congresista Pacquiao debe seguir luchando en el ring debido a su falta de nerviosismo en los últimos combates que ha tenido. Pero en una entrevista inmediatamente después de la pelea, Pacquiao confesó que se convirtió en confianza después de ganar el impulso de golpear a Márquez en el quinto. "Es parte de la lucha, a veces ganamos, a veces perdemos", agregó el campeón gracioso.

*Translated Article via Google Translate.

Photo Credit:
by: Michelle L. Aban

JR Gonzales: Here's a post-Sendong article written by The Nexus staffer, Michelle L. Aban of the Mindanao State University College of Law - IIT Extension. All prayers for everyone to be safe as a Typhoon Bopha (known in the Philippines as Typhoon Pablo) enters the country.

"Signal number 2 hits here in Mindanao!"

A thick knot hits deep in my stomach. I felt so scared. My heart stopped for a moment and my lungs skip a breath. This is the first time in the longest time that I've experienced a storm invading our little City. I could not remember the last time we've had this intense kind of weather. Rains pouring down on our rooftops like bullets fired in armalite rifles and the winds gushing so damn hard as if the roof above us is about to fly. Lights flickering on and off just like in a horror movie and the environment is freezing cold. It's been raining so hard for hours and my mind races sporadically of the possibility that sooner or later the lights will die out since my internet connection unexpectedly got terminated (for the first time!). Then the worst thing happened, as the dawn breaks in on the 17th of December last year, shocking numbers of casualties were reported.

That was how it felt like after having experienced for the first time a surging tropical cyclone which turned into a full pledged typhoon and wrecked havoc in the City of Waterfalls. Although my elder sister’s family who hailed from Orchids Subdivision were greatly devastated for having her entire house and lot completely wiped out, still I am thankful to the Almighty that she and the rest of my family are safe. 

However, I feel for those who lost their loved ones and up to now are still looking for their family members who are missing. It was heart-pounding and we were all grieve-stricken of the aftermath brought about by Sendong. May this incident be a lesson to all of us to stay vigilant and to conserve Mother Nature. May our own Disaster Risk Reduction Management be more prepared in instances like these. 

Once is enough. It all depends on us for if we won’t take heed on this then pretty sure a repeat on this is certain to happen. And if we’re that stubborn, perhaps Sendong won’t only be the name we won’t forget.

Picture Credit:

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” – US Senator Robert Kennedy, 1966.

“Iilan ang magiging dakila sa pagbali ng kasaysayan, subalit bawat isa sa atin ay maaaring kumilos, gaano man kaliit, para ibahin ang takbo ng mga pangyayari. Kapag pinagsama-sama ang ating munting pagkilos, makalilikha tayo ng totalidad na magmamarka sa kabuuan ng kasaysayan ng henerasyong ito.” – Senator Tito Sotto, September 5, 2012

Showing his opposition to the reproductive health bill, Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III spoke last August 13 but lifted from two American bloggers (the other one’s a food blogger), where one of whom accused him of twisting the blogger’s words to suit his anti-RH bill arguments. In his second speech on September 5, Sotto translated a speech delivered by the American senator Robert F. Kennedy, again to further the anti-RH cause.

But it seems that the former comedian did not learn his lesson from the first social media whipping he got and yet repeated the transgression for the second time. It clearly showed that he and his staff saw nothing wrong with, to the anguish of the netizens. There’s no wonder why 4 US copyright holders have spoken out saying that the Filipino senator had infringed on their intellectual property rights and plagiarized. This includes the president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights: RFK’s daughter, Kerry Kennedy.

Now, at least 30 faculty members of various Manila-based universities filed ethics complaint against Sotto for plagiarism. But in a speech to defend himself, Sen. Sotto argued that “plagiarism is not a crime in the country”, and that “the copyright infringement was not applicable to his case”. 

Before Sotto’s misdeed, other notable plagiarism issues are that of Justice Del Castillo in jurisprudence, Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan’s keynote speech at the Ateneo in 2010.

Taking the preliminaries into consideration, Plagiarism is “stealing other people's words and ideas; and claiming them as his own”. It is a form of “intellectual dishonesty” where the deserved credit is not indicated. “Whether you translate or not, whether you interpret or not, it makes no difference. You have to attribute," in the words of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

Well, can the good senator’s misdoing a crime? Let’s look at Republic Act No. 8293, known as the “Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines” passed by the 10th Congress, one of whose members was the senator from Wanbol University.

The Moral Rights of an author is highlighted in Chapter 10 of the law. On the other hand, Section 193 talks of the Scope of Moral Rights, which includes the right “to require that the authorship of the works be attributed to him, in particular, the right that his name, as far as practicable, be indicated in a prominent way on the copies, and in connection with the public use of his work.”
Our law provides that the name of the author should be prominently mentioned when his or her work is used publicly. In other words, even if I made a blanket statement that everything I said in a particular work was taken from the work of others (like what Senator Sotto did), that does not satisfy the requirement of the law. Section 198 further states that “the rights of an author under this chapter (Chapter 10) shall last during the lifetime of the author and for fifty (50) years after his death and shall not be assignable or subject to license”. Mentioning the name of the author from which one took words or ideas from, is needed.

If a person adds or alters a word here or there, or even if all the words were different from those of the original author, one would still be committing plagiarism if the idea is the same. That is the main difference between copyright and plagiarism. Copyright protects the expression of an idea or the exact words of the original author. The prohibition against plagiarism protects the idea itself, no matter how it is expressed. Ergo, using different words or even a different language but expressing the same ideas is plagiarism.

Is this brouhaha just due to a person's pretensions on intellectual matters? Or a fruit of laziness maybe? Whatever it is, this senator is making a joke out of himself and because of that, he's getting all the “tough hits”.

Next year’s Philippine midterm elections are fast approaching and it paints an all too-familiar image once again: candidates that are either re-electionists or relatives of political families running for available seats.


For decades, talk regarding political offshoots has been going on for decades. And after decades and decades of botched attempt on clearly defining what a ‘political dynasty’ is, this predicament led me to ask: Is this something permissible, alarming, or should it be accepted as part of the Filipino political culture?

Political dynasties usually crop up from a good forerunner who is loved by his or her constituents. After the forerunner’s term, it is then ‘passed on’ to other members of the family reminiscent of empires where there is a succession of hereditary rulers. While this trend is not unique to Philippine politics, this phenomenon is widely evident in this democracy of ours. Flicking through the list of the senatoriables and other aspiring politicians would let you know what I mean.

Checking out our country’s fundamental law, the Constitution gives us light regarding this matter. Article II, Section 26 states that: “The state shall guarantee equal access to public service and prohibit political dynasty as may be defined by law.” [emphasis supplied].

A much less skill in statutory construction is needed to infer the provision’s gist: The clear intent of the framers of the Constitution is to prohibit political dynasties and it is the duty of our law-making bodies to define the same. The Congress is given the discretion in defining political dynasty but not the discretion on when to enact the same. Various anti-political dynasty bills were introduced in the Congress time and again but those were simply set aside and forgotten to be pushed through. We still don’t have enabling laws up to this point that prohibit individuals from the same family or clan to run for an elective position despite the explicit clamor of charter.

On the other hand, pro-political dynasties (apparently composed of people from those political families) contend that it is not about the number of politicians from the same clan but their integrity and track record in public service. “It would be better to have a family of politicians in the government with clean track record than a single government official who is so corrupt”, says Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, in an AksyonTV interview. “It would be wrong or unfair for them to say that they are against all dynasties”, he adds. The son of the former statesman Renator Cayetano has a point. His sister, Senator Pia Cayetano would also concede, I suppose.

Name recall is the name of the game for the political pedigrees. People vote those people who they ‘already know’ and backed by the resources of an outgoing family member, chances of losing in the political race are slim. Dynasties do not level the political playing field and concentrate political power among few political heads. Political dynasty drags our country down because politicians will protect and prioritize their own family interests. The public interest becomes a distant next.

In order to win, a lot of means are employed to secure the elective posts. The use of violence and overspending are just two of the strategies most political empires utilize. This legal loophole allowed most of these powerful families to abuse their authority and waylay a locality’s resources.

Well, you may ask how the party-list system is faring. Party-lists, that system of proportional representation in which voters choose among parties representating marginalized sectors, should help offset the dynasty-dominated Congress but they don’t. Instead of counter-acting with the evils of the political dynasties, the party-lists became another avenue for those former politicians to “serve for life”. We rarely see people from the farming sector, the fisheries sector, the laborers, or from the teachers; we instead see leaders from same political families.

A careful scrutiny of the political parties would help us understand that democracy is absent in these political parties. The center of our parties are ‘leaders’ coming from political families themselves. Clearly, electoral and political party reforms are needed. We need a wiser electorate that would revolutionize the landscape of Philippine politics coupled with the guidance of our statutes.

But at the end of the day, it is ultimately the Filipino people who will decide if they will deem certain families as simply “political dynasties” or “families with a legacy of public service”.  Still, the coming elections are reflections of the cultural value of close family ties… as evidenced by their political ‘family reunions’.

Picture Credits:
"Political Dynasties" from
"Pusong Bato" from

This may come off as a surprise to many considering that I taught at the university for a couple of years. Time and again, a lot of successful people proved that getting a good education is the only way to succeed in this dog-eat-dog world.

This entry is not my way of blowing off steam but just my way of stating apparent truths on why high marks are not the only means for a successful upshot.
10. Grades do not give you invaluable experience.

9. It determines your tolerance for working on tasks you don’t find useful (because others want you to do them or believe them to be helpful or socially acceptable).

8. Your marks determine your ability to regurgitate information in the way others want you to.

7. Grades determine your ability to memorize mostly trivial things.

6. It merely determines your ability to understand what adults want from you and give it to them.
5. It does not determine whether you’re a good person.

4. It does not determine your emotional capabilities.
3. It does not determine your creativity.

2. It does not directly determine your likeliness to succeed.

1. It does not determine your intelligence.

Yes, this is my inflated list on why grades don’t matter. And with regards to a counterpoint article about this, I think I’ll separately post 1,000 reasons why grades matter.
The semester break's about to end and in a couple of weeks, it will be enrollment time once again. It's time for parents to snatch some moolahs from their pockets once again for their children's education.

In this part of the globe, education is something really valued. Many say that education is one’s wealth that cannot be stolen by anybody. I concede that education is the primary opportunity for upward social and economic mobility. In our present society, you cannot get a decent job without having, to the least, a bachelor’s degree.

This thought is also parallel with the human capital theory that “the economic development of a nation is a function of the quality of its education”. This means that the more and better educated the people, the greater the chances of economic development.

I taught at college for almost three years. And please don’t get me wrong if I tell you that I see our educational system a bit far-off from our Asian neighbors. I just believe that pointing out these defects will help us realize more about ourselves and hopefully would provide solutions to our leaders. A senior Department of Education official agree to this as he described the quality of Philippine school education as “failing to teach the competence the average citizen needs to become responsible, productive and self-fulfilling. “We are graduating people who are learning less and less", he said.

Have you met a person not able to read and write?
I did.

We fondly call him Binig. He is a Tiruray, a lumad from the mountains of Maguindanao Province. My father hired him to work for us in our little fruit farm. He stayed at our house and with this; I grabbed the chance of teaching him his ABCs. I tried to explain to him the advantages of literacy and the joys of being able to read. For a week, I taught him (and the pronunciations) of the letters in the alphabet but after a few days, he gave up. He said he doesn’t want to learn anymore. As he said this, I was able to see truth in his eyes. He was ashamed of himself being taught by someone younger than him. He was 27, I was 19.

People like Binig are not so rare in the Philippines. According to the report of the National Statistics Office, two out of ten Filipinos are not functionally literate. The Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, (where Binig is from), has the lowest rate with 4 out of 10 not able to read and write. This would give you an idea that we are not that literate after all.

The main reason why we have a poor education system is the very low budget allocation. Our education expenditure is only 2.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (2005). Did you know our appropriation’s rank compared to other countries in the world? 158th. And oh, in case you’d want to ask, we’re 12th – in world population.

To give you an idea how small this appropriation is, let’s take the report of Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP) President, Dr. Epitacio Palispis: In 2005, the Philippines spent only about $138 (Php 6,900) per pupil. Compare this to $852 (Php 42,600) in Thailand, $1,582 (79,100 PhP) in Singapore, and $3,728 (Php 186,400) in Japan.

The very low budget results to the underpayment of teachers. (I bet my professors in MSU-IIT, as well as teachers in high school would agree to this). In Singapore, they pay their teachers about Php122,000. Here in the Philippines, the basic salary is Php12,026 (excluding mandatory deductions like GSIS, Pag-ibig, PhilHealth, and witholding tax). That's the reason why we definitely have no summa cum laudes teaching in public schools. There should be a fair compensation that would give way for the competent ones to teach. Good thing many of us teachers still see teaching as a vocation and not a mere profession.

Another problem that arises from our measly budget is the lack of proper facilities in our schools. I believe this to be true for I was educated in public schools. I remember in our high school biology class, a bunch of us would take turns peering what's on the glass slides because of the very few microscopes available. Much of the things instructed were left for us to “imagine” as we can’t learn and experience those first hand. (That's the one and only time I've touched a microscope).

In our high school, I was fortunate to be in the “higher section” as we tend to receive “special treatment and better instruction” from teachers. What I worry is for those belonging to “lower majority sections”. Fifty to sixty students clump to poorly-ventilated rooms there. This sight is not exclusive to our school in South Cotabato. This holds true to the other 14 million youths studying in public schools all over the country.

Schools in the Philippines are also “commercialized”. More and more parents are made to believe that getting their kids in a privately owned school increases the chance of their children to become of top-notch caliber. Enrolling in private schools are very expensive but we can’t blame these parents. Most private schools tend to have superb facilities and comfortable rooms. Especially in the primary and secondary schools, the private school is a better choice for well-off parents not amenable with the 150 to 1 toilet-student ratio in the public schools. Most of the time, a conducive environment offered by private schools, ushers the better learning.

Because of this scenario, our educational system created a “social divide”. Rich people go to private schools while poor people have no choice. As one Filipino columnist wrote “Education has become part of the institutional mechanism that divides the poor and the rich.”

This very social cleavage gave way to a “knowledge gap”. I remember replying to a forum about the elections: “While many of us here on the internet exchange burning ideas about our aspired leaders, we forget the fact that the non-calculating masses still dictate the elections”. Most people in the grassroots fight for Erap, Villar and Aquino where it should have been a fight between Gordon and Gibo. The recent elections should have been a battle of leadership, intent, and platform; but the results have proven that stellar popularity is the masses' determining factor (thirty percent of a hundred actors who run for office won).

With lack of management competencies and systemic corruption, it’s no question why we have a lot of incompetent graduates yearly. While that is already saddening, add the “human capital flight” where our good technically skilled people have gone outside the country for greener pastures. And what is left is a big gap between the rich and the poor. The learned and the dumb.

Our government should focus on education. It is the key for progress. Our educational institutions should be backed up by opportunities to prevent this brain drain as it’s the only way to bridge the large economic gap.

Ito ang kailangan natin nang hindi naman mahiya ang mga estudyanteng nagtapos sa Mababang Paaralan sa Mataas na Bukid. 

Author's Note: This article is from my old blog, originally written in 2010.
by: Kristine Anne Urquia

Mandated to give every Filipino child the basic right to quality education and the right to a quality life, Art XIV Sec 2 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution states that, “The State shall establish, maintain, and support a complete, adequate, and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and the society.” To attain such purpose, the present administration has implemented the K+12 Curriculum. If it weren’t for such, the Philippines should be the single country in Asia and among the three remaining countries in the world that applies a congested 10-year basic education cycle.

But then, what is the K+12 Curriculum?

“K+12 means extending basic education by two years, so instead of having a high school graduate at 16 (years old), we will have high schoolers graduating at 18,” explained Prof. Lorina Calingasan of the College of Education in UP Diliman. Kindergarten points to the 5-year old child who undertakes the standardized curriculum for preschoolers. Elementary education refers to 6 years of primary school (Grades 1-6) while secondary education means four years of junior high school (Grades 7-10 or HS Year 1-4). In addition to this, two years will be allotted for senior high school (Grades 11-12 or HS Year 5-6). Simply put, the program makes kindergarten mandatory and adds two years to the past 10-year basic education.

However, as Woodrow Wilson once said, “It is easier to change the location of a cemetery, than to change the school curriculum.” Issues raised towards the new setting were based on parents additional burden on educational expenses, teachers’ and school administrators’ readiness, availability of instructional materials and issues of adjustments to be made by tertiary institutions. Nevertheless, these reasons did not stop the implementation of K+12 which was launched April 2012 and has already begun its implementation for the first time in June by the Department of Education.

In an interview made by The Philippines Inquirer with the Secretary of Education to elucidate the sense of the modification, Br. Armin A. Luistro, FSC provided the following reply:

“Filipinos often reminisce about the era until the 1950s when the Philippine economy was second only to Japan in Asia.

In the decades that followed, the Philippines watched itself being overtaken by countries that rebuilt themselves from war, instability and poverty, as our own continued to sink into the quagmire of disunity, destructive politics and corruption.

Correlated to the country’s economic decline is the neglect and deterioration of its educational sector. Is it any wonder that today our country has fallen from its former prestige to the bottom of most global rankings of progress and development?

The Department of Education’s K to 12 Program is one concrete response to reverse this steady decline and to move toward its goal of long-term educational reform and sustainable economic growth.

The central feature of the K to 12 Program is the upgrading of the basic education curriculum to ensure that learners acquire the relevant knowledge and skills they will need to become productive members of society. It seeks to introduce relevant skills development courses and special interest subjects that will suit the personality, strengths and career direction of each learner.

With the participation of the Commission on Higher Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, the program has the capability of offering professionally designed classes and apprenticeships in sports, the arts, middle-level skills, entrepreneurship, and applied math and sciences.

Whereas the old system overemphasized the value of a college degree before employment, the new program is designed to equip every learner who graduates after senior high school (Grade 12) with the opportunity for improved employment and entrepreneurship while ensuring that the high-school graduate has the necessary competencies to pursue a college degree either immediately or at some later stage.

With an upgraded and better-equipped pool of human resource, industries will be able to find better and more qualified matches in their labor requirements.

For graduates proceeding to tertiary education, the K to 12 Program puts them at par with their international counterparts and makes them more competitive in colleges and universities both here and abroad.

Higher education institutions will gain the flexibility to offer more enriched and specialized courses in every degree program since a number of its general education courses would have already been completed in high school. This greatly advances the graduates’ chances of landing 21st-century careers and acquiring self-employment skill sets.

As in any worthwhile investment, returns are reaped only after enough time and effort.

The K to 12 Program is just the beginning of what we hope to be the answer to the Philippines’ comeback to the global stage, and a sustained path toward progress and development for its people. If we want to see our country back on the right track, we must dare take that first bold step today.”

As a starter for this year, the kindergarten was made a mandatory requirement for all 5 year olds prior to preschool level which is necessary before proceeding to elementary education. Those who have just graduated from elementary during the previous scholastic year will be the first batch who will be called as Seventh graders and those who are Tenth Graders will still be graduating during the end of this school year. Thus, only the labeling has been changed. DepEd Assistant Secretary for Programs and Projects Elena Ruiz said high school freshmen next year are planned to enter Grade 11 by school year 2016-2017 under the K+12 implementation plan. “By 2016, we will have our first batch of senior high school, or Grade 11 … That’s the batch entering first year high school (Seventh Grade) in June. By March 2018, we will have our first graduates of the two additional years in senior high school,” Ruiz said. Therefore, mean there will be no high school graduation on March 2016, as all “fourth year” high school students will shift into senior high school.

There will definitely be a lot of ups and downs due to adjustments parallel to this vulnerable issue along the way, but the new landscaping of the educational curriculum is for the students to acquire academic skills and competencies relevant to the job market and an even chance at succeeding in becoming more fruitful and useful citizens of the country. May we all support the government’s action to further the Philippine’s quality of education. As accountable future lawyers, let us not just look and marvel in the midst of alterations but instead, be attentive, active and responsive because we should not forget, the youth will always be our future.

Kristine Anne "Krauss" Urquia is a law student and contributor for The Nexus. This article appeared in MSU College of Law - IIT Extension's publication last semester.