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Philippine News Digest 140

June 16, 2008 · 

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Week: June 16-20, 2008

Contents:

  • Group says Macapagal airport used to smuggle women for sex
  • How Benguet Igorot save on rice
  • Most public schools lack toilets, teachers lament

Group says Macapagal airport used to smuggle women for sex
By Tonette Orejas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:47:00 06/18/2008

CLARK FREEPORT – A human trafficking syndicate has been using the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport here to bring women from Pampanga to Sandakan, Malaysia, where they are forced into prostitution, according to an official of a nongovernment organization.

The police issued an arrest warrant for the suspect, Cindy Garcia Zamora, last year but the recruitment continues to this day, said Susan Pineda, executive director of the Ing Makababaying Aksyon (Ima or Pro-Women Action) Foundation.

Recruitment was monitored in Mt. Pinatubo resettlement sites in Angeles City and Mabalacat, Pineda said.

Based on the accounts of five women rescued last year, the trafficking-for-prostitution syndicate operates as a labor-hiring agency.

How Benguet Igorot save on rice
By Delmar Cariño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:58am (Mla time) 06/18/2008

BUGUIAS, Benguet – Benguet is more of a vegetable bowl than a rice granary, but residents have developed ways of scrimping on their rice consumption.

Jose Andiso Sr., Benguet Farmers Federation Inc. president, said the practice of “ginipgipan” or “inlaplap” among the Kankanaey has been there for a long time as part of their tradition, with or without rice shortage.

But Andiso said the country’s woes over a looming rice crisis had renewed interest in the practice, which, he noted, the younger and educated generation of Igorot people barely knew or observed.

Most public schools lack toilets, teachers lament
By Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 07:50:00 06/18/2008

MANILA, Philippines—Militant teachers have deplored the severe shortage of toilets and hand-washing facilities in most, if not all of the 43,000-plus public elementary and high schools nationwide.

“The worst shortages are in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the National Capital Region (Metro Manila),” said Antonio Tinio, chair of the 15,000-strong Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT).

Tinio pointed out: “The national toilet bowl to pupil ratio stands at 1:51 in primary schools and 1:102 in secondary schools. In the ARMM, it’s 1:171 in the elementary level and 1:250 in the secondary level while in NCR, it’s 1:114 and 1:143, respectively.”

“We challenge President Macapagal-Arroyo, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus and other top government officials to make use of these facilities themselves the next time they visit a public school. Go to the ones that students use, not the one reserved for VIPs. Maybe, this will spur them to act,” he said.

He noted that “the national and regional statistics fail to communicate the full extent of the shortages at the school level.”

“Take the case of Silangan Elementary School (Annex) in Taguig, Metro Manila. Last year, all 2,031 students enrolled in that school were provided with one toilet bowl. That’s a toilet bowl to pupil ratio of 1:2,031,” said Tinio.

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