Diokno: Suspension of 2nd tranche of fuel excise tax may affect gov’t fuel subsidies

admin   •   October 18, 2018   •   3916


Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno

The government assured that it will continue its program that offers assistance to jeepney drivers who are bearing the brunt of surging oil prices.

According to Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, the Pantawid Pasada Program, which seeks to provide a fuel voucher worth P5,000 for each jeepney driver, has been allocated with P977 million in the 2018 national budget.

In 2019, they proposed around P3.2 billion appropriation for the program in hopes of hiking the fuel subsidy to P20,000 for each driver.

But following the announcement on the early suspension of the second tranche of fuel excise taxes next year, Diokno warned that the projected budget may be slashed.

“As I’ve said, the Pantawid Pasada for next year is premised on the two-peso adjustment. Now, if the two-peso adjustment is suspended then the Pantawid Pasada benefits will be based on 2018 but that will continue,” said Diokno.

Diokno has earlier assured that the government’s assistance to poor Filipinos, such as conditional and unconditional cash transfer in 2019, will not be affected if the suspension of the fuel excise tax will push through.

With this assurance, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is confident that the budget for the free tertiary education policy next year will be protected.

“We will be in close coordination with DOF (Department of Finance) so that provision for education will somehow not be affected by any deduction,” said CHED Executive Director Atty. Cinderella Filipina Jarp. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

CHED sees colleges closing due to low enrollees

Maris Federez   •   July 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Several colleges are now on the verge of closing due to the very low number of enrollees for the coming school year, according to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

In the press briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte, CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera reported the problem that these college institutions and local governments are facing for the coming school year.

Humihingi po ng guidance yung mga private schools in particular tsaka local governments kasi hindi po nila alam ang gagawin lalo na sa mga area na wala po talagang internet connection [The private schools, in particular, and the local governments are asking for guidance as they do not know what to do, especially in areas where there is no internet connection],” Chairman de Vera said.

Meron na pong ilang eskwelahan ang nagsabi sa CHED na magsasara sila dahil yung enrollment po ay talagang mababa. Natatakot po yung mga magulang at mga estudyante [Several schools already told CHED that they are closing because their enrollment is really low],” he added.

De Vera also admitted that they do not have a ready guideline for these learning institutes that are closing as this is just the first time that the commission has experienced a pandemic.

De Vera, however, reported the commission’s plan to offer the subjects that need personal appearance, such as laboratories, on the job trainings, and internships in January or the second semester of the school year.

Lectures that may be done online, on the other hand, will be offered in the first semester.

“The options will be from the more open limited face to face in low-risk MGCQ areas to the most conservative. Do it sa (in the) second semester,” de Vera said.

Meanwhile, the National Action Plan Against COVID-19 will conduct an inspection in areas that are now under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) for possible limited face-to-face classes.

NTF Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr said they will look into the compliance of schools on the set health protocols.

Galvez said playgrounds will be closed, and buffet setup will not be allowed in school canteen and cafeterias as these areas are believed to be where viruses, such as COVID-19 breed and easily spread.

They will also check on the provision of separate entry and exit points of schools, as well as, a possible limit of 10 students per classroom set-up, in case face to face classes will be allowed.

Yan po ang recommendation ko, Mr.President. If we will really decide na magkaroon tayo ng 10 per classroom, tingnan po natin po yung mga strategies natin na magkakaroon po o makikita natin na mga 96% walang transmission or even 100% na ma-ensure natin na magkakaroon po tayo ng redundant preventive measures para hindi po tayo magkaroon ng transmission,” Galvez said.

[That is my recommendation, Mr. President. If we will decide to have 10 per classroom, let’s look at our strategies to come up with 96% no transmission, r\or even 100%. That we can ensure that we will have redundant preventive measures so that we will no have transmission.]

Secretary Galvez also proposed to the President to have private school students who stay in dormitories to undergo swab testing to check if they are COVID-free or not.—(from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf

Limited face-to-face classes in MGCQ areas still a proposal, CHED clarifies

Robie de Guzman   •   June 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Wednesday clarified that it is still crafting guidelines for the possible limited face-to-face classes in low-risk areas as part of the blended learning delivery to be used in the upcoming school year.

CHED Commissioner Prospero De Vera III issued the clarification to refute reports that the commission will be conducting pilot testing face-to-face classes starting July amid the threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“This is not true and the said reporters may have misunderstood my television interview yesterday,” De Vera said in a statement.

“The IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) last May 13 has approved the opening of classes for HEIs  (Higher Educational Institutions) that will use flexible learning in August. So there will be no face-to-face classes in July 2020,” he added.

During the meeting, De Vera said the IATF has allowed the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to have limited face-to-face Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programs starting July.

“This is the reason why CHED, in consultation with the Department of Health (DOH), is now crafting guidelines for possible limited face-to-face classes in low-risk MGCQ areas as part of the flexible learning system,” he said.

De Vera said the commission is planning to submit these guidelines for the consideration of the IATF in late June or early July.

“If approved, I will personally visit the HEIs who will redesign their classrooms, libraries, auditoriums, cafeterias and other facilities based on health protocols and guidelines and see if limited face-to-face is possible in low-risk MGCQ areas,” he said.

“I will do this in July and recommend to the IATF the applicable policies for the opening of classes in August,” he added. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

UP climbs to 65th place among top universities in Asia

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 4, 2020

The University of the Philippines (UP) has climbed to the 65th rank among the top universities in Asia.

From its previous 95th ranking, UP moved up 30 points in the newly released 2020 Times Higher Education (THE) Asia University Rankings.

The THE Asia University Rankings uses Teaching, Research, Citations, International Outlook and Industry Income as criteria to rank universities, the same criteria used in World University Rankings.

“The national university has been featured in the THE Asia University Rankings since 2017. It entered the top 100 for the first time in 2019, soaring 61 places from its 156th position in 2018. In 2017, UP belonged to the 201st-250th ranking group,” according to UP. AAC


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