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Sorsogon-Retiree sponsors PDI learning center

By Ephraim Aguilar, Inquirer Southern Luzon
Philippine Daily Inquirer

SORSOGON CITY—In a village named after its natural springs, her generosity gushes forth for poor children thirsty for learning.

Browsing through the pages of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Rosalia Laganzo-Enerio, a recently retired government worker, found a way to help some 300 pupils of cash-strapped Bucalbucalan Elementary School.

She set aside part of her retirement money to sponsor a daily supply of newspapers and to put up an Inquirer Learning Corner (ILC) on the campus west of this city.

Having grown up in the same coastal village, the 66-year-old donor said it had long pained her to see the school still lacking books and updated resource materials, particularly those which could improve the students’ communication skills in English.

“By putting up a learning corner here in Bucalbucalan, the students will be provided with updated news and information. It will develop in them the good habit of reading,” Enerio said during Wednesday’s signing of a memorandum of agreement among her, the school and the Inquirer on Wednesday.

She said the majority of students here grew up without enjoying reading materials at home, items considered a luxury for their parents who eked out a living mostly as fishermen.

Education is close to Enerio’s heart. Before working for the National Manpower and Youth Council in 1975 and the National Housing Authority main office in 1981, she taught at Bucalbucalan Elementary School from 1968 to 1975.

Sensing the deterioration of the country’s educationsystem, Enerio left teaching and found employment elsewhere in the bureaucracy.

The search for better pay also drove her to switch jobs. Public school teachers at the time were paid a measly P212 a month, she recalled.

But even after quitting teaching, Enerio continued to support various projects on education. She volunteered, for example, for the Alitaptap Storytellers Philippines, a group that promotes literacy through the art of storytelling.

Every graduation season, Enerio would also donate medals to different schools in Sorsogon City.

But soon she realized that she had to give something that would leave a lasting impact on the students.

Enerio came across the Inquirer’s Learning section and read about the ILC program, wherein public schools can get free subscriptions to the Inquirer courtesy of reader-sponsors. The newspapers are to be kept in a school corner called “Inqspot” for easy access.

First non-politician donor

The ILC program is aimed at creating a place in public schools where teachers and students can read the paper and discuss the day’s news or issues.

Enerio said she had been an avid reader of the Inquirer since its founding during the martial law years, when the Marcos regime dismissed the fledgling but stinging newspaper as part of the so-called “mosquito press.”

Inquirer senior product manager Roselle Fortes-Leung said Enerio had the distinction of being the first ILC donor who is not a politician.

The ILC in Bucalbucalan is also the first to open in southern Luzon, Leung added.

Three ILCs have been set up earlier in Quezon City and Zambales province, all sponsored by politicians.

In honor of parents

“This is my way of giving back to the community and to this school in honor of my parents,” said Enerio, daughter of Feliza Aquende and Restituto Laganzo.

She said her parents, who were not able to finish their studies because of poverty, always reminded her and her siblings about the value of education, saying it’s the only priceless legacy they could give them.

School principal Antonio Jintalan gratefully acknowledged Enerio’s contribution: “We’re amazed that someone from this village is able to help this school.”

Jintalan said the ILC would go a long way in helping develop the children’s love for reading and their awareness of current events.

Mere P5,500 budget

Jintalan noted that the school, which operates on a measly budget of P5,500 for maintenance and other operational expenses, could only afford to set up a small library with books that were rarely updated.

A pity, Jintalan said, since “80 percent of our learning still comes from reading.”

With about 350 enrollees, the school has been relying heavily on private sponsors for its improvements, he said.

Enerio may no longer be able to go back to her first love—teaching—but she nevertheless vowed to continue her advocacy and community work for education.

The retiree called on other private citizens to do their share for the benefit of today’s youth and future generations.


Filed under: Community Service Group, Concerned Sorsoganon, Education, Encouragement, Inspiration, Natatanging Sorsoganon, Sorsogon News Updates, Touching Heart, Touching Lives, We will make you SHINE!, What's Happening Here?,

No Consular Services on June 14 – DFA

The consular offices of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will be closed to the public on June 14, Monday, which was declared a regular holiday to celebrate the 112th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence.

Appointments set for June 14 will be accommodated starting the following day, June 15, when the DFA’s consular services will resume operations


Filed under: DFA-advisory

DepEd to disallow ‘Jejemon fashion’ in school

Despite the existing “no uniform” policy, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday said it will not tolerate “jejemon” fashion among school children adding that they should still wear the proper school attire.

Education Secretary Mona Valisno said, “we want school children to wear whatever decent clothes and footwear are available to them as long as its not expensive.”

The no-uniform rule seeks to allow pupils who cannot afford to buy uniforms to attend school. It is part of DepEd’s effort, along with the “no collection” policy, to ensure that all school age children are enrolled in schools.

Earlier, teacher-members of the Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC) pressed DepEd for clarification on what to consider as proper attire of school children adding that this might cause confusion among them.

“The DepEd must establish a clear-cut rule on the imposition of the no uniform policy. The acceptability of fashion or clothes the learners wear must be properly established,” TDC national president Benjo Basas said.

“Does it mean we would allow even the Jejemon fashion? The youth sub-culture of texting and even fashion which are discouraged by DepEd,” he added.

The DepEd has expressed concern that younger generations were having difficulty in spelling words, both in Filipino and English, because of the “jejemon-style” of texting, which has significantly altered the construction of words through text messages.

Basas, a secondary school teacher at the Baesa High School in Caloocan city, said the no uniform policy should not mean that school children can wear “jejemon” clothes such as baggy pants and loose T-shirts.

“The school is a training ground for the children’s good manner, proper conduct and discipline. Perhaps the policy might run contrary to this purpose,” he said.
According to Basas, the policy might even be detrimental to the safety and security of the school children in the urban areas. (PNA)


Filed under: Campus Talk, Education,

The quest for greener pastures

Once, the attraction of greener pastures abroad so consumed me that I finally decided to give it a try. With a seafaring father and a number of uncles and aunties who are OFWs themselves, it seemed natural for them to urge me to work outside abroad as well. In fact, they have been prodding me to apply abroad even while I was still in college because it is a sure way to earn big. As proof, I have enjoyed their pasalubongs and dollar souvenirs whenever they went home while I was growing up.

My father was able to send us to good schools, bought us “stateside” stuff, and generally made the whole family’s welfare better. However, deep inside of me is a dread that I find hard to explain because I know how difficult it is to be away from the surroundings I am accustomed to. I know how hard it is to adjust to a different culture, and deal with various types of people and a different working environment. I can’t help feeling wary of having to be alone, because I know it is so hard without any friends to share feelings with, without family to help me with problems, and without anybody to turn to especially in times of sickness.

Meanwhile, I cannot refute the fact that having a career abroad is one of the quickest ways to achieve my dreams. It is the ticket to which I will be able to afford a new car, build my future house and help my immediate family’s financial needs. Plus, I had this notion back then that if my relatives were able to do it, why can’t I? These are my inner conflicts before having decided — weighing my options up, down, and in-between because I want to really convince myself that it is for the best.

Finally, the lure of green bucks finally settled the matter for me. And so the process of preparing my papers and necessary travel documents started, and I was with high hopes that I will be accepted in a cruise liner fast. Coming from Cebu, I settled myself with an Aunt in Quezon City so that I can easily report to my agency’s office. This alone is sacrifice enough as I am not used to being away from Cebu for a long time. The first time I passed my application papers to the recruitment agency, I was told that I have to be in the waiting list. This is a big drawback for me because I wanted to work out of the country while my mind is still intent on it and get the process done in the soonest time possible. But with the seemingly long months that I have to wait, I know I have to find temporary work or else my family will incur lots of debt even before my application gets accepted. At this time, my father had now retired from being a seaman so the pressure on me was even greater.

I headed next to Clark, Pampanga, because a friend’s company based there was looking for a new inventory officer. There, I worked for four months, tried to adjust to the new surroundings and braved the homesickness that envelopes me most of the time. I considered it to be a little stint and a kind of exercise for me to be prepared when I have to work thousands of miles away from my homeland. When December came, I decided to file for leave to celebrate Christmas in my own hometown, but I no longer hold the conviction of working abroad. I planned to talk to my family about it and look for work in Cebu City instead.

Yes, after months of bearing the hardships of missing my family and everything that I hold dear, I chickened out. I decided that I will not go back to do follow ups for my cruise line application and to just forget everything about my grand dreams. That is, for now.

Hence, I congratulate every OFW out there who are brave and strong enough to sacrifice everything just so they can provide well for their family. I salute my aunties and uncles for looking after the welfare of their nieces and nephews and their other relatives even if they now have a family of their own. Most of all, I thank my father for having provided me with good education that equipped me with the right skills in faring well for the corporate world (wherever that world maybe). And to OFWs who are presently serving their contracts now, I say you are great heroes indeed!


Stanley Briyce Batao, 30, works as a web content writer for an SEO (search engine optimization) company.

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Filed under: Encouragement, Inspiration, OFW Corner, Overseas Jobs,

CHED to colleges: Go easy on OFWs’ children who can’t pay tuition now

With just one week to go before the school year starts, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) appealed to colleges and universities to go easy on students who cannot pay their tuition early, especially children of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

CHED Chairman Emmanuel Angeles said a promissory note should be enough for such students to be allowed to enroll and study this school year.

Ang nahirapan at hindi makapasok dahil may delay sa tuition, mga (anak ng) OFW, meron din tayong mga assistance, tutulungan natin. (Ang promissory note) pwede ‘yan(We have to assist those who have problems raising tuition money for enrollment, particularly children of OFWs whose remittances are delayed. A promissory note should do),” Angeles said in an interview on dzBB radio.

Maging considerate naman sila. Pwedeng gumawa ng promissory note (They should be considerate. A promissory note should be allowed),” he added.

He added Filipino students should not be denied the right to education just because the money for their tuition came in late.

On the other hand, he advised students in colleges and universities to approach the Office of Student Affairs for possible financial assistance.

Meanwhile, Angeles said late enrolment is still allowed within this week.

He said the CHED expects less than 10 percent of colleges and universities this school year to hike their tuition.

Angeles said they expect 70 percent of the tuition hike to go to increases in teachers’ salaries.

The commission earlier approved a tuition increase of up to P50 per unit in over 300 schools in the country. (See: More than 300 schools allowed to increase tuition)

Kung may problemang ‘di malutas [at the college level], pwede nila akong puntahan (If they have problems that cannot be solved at the college level), they can call my attention to it,” he said.

By Jerrie M. Abella/JV, GMANews.TV


Filed under: Education, Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner,

OFW remittances, reserves to help insulate RP — S&P

THE ONGOING euro zone crisis is not likely to affect the Philippines substantially given the country’s robust remittances and foreign exchange reserves, global credit watchdog Standard & Poor’s said.

Elena Okorotchenko, Standard & Poor’s managing director and analytical manager of Asia’s sovereign and public finance ratings, said in a May 28 commentary that the country’s external liquidity, supported by $15 billion in annual remittance inflows and foreign exchange reserves of about $46 billion, would serve as buffers to renewed global turbulence.

“This makes the Philippines somewhat less vulnerable to shifts in external sentiment,” the S&P report states.

Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas show that remittances from Europe amounted to $777 million in the first quarter, about 18% of the $4.3-billion total.

Monetary authorities expect the amount of money sent home by migrant workers to grow by 8% this year from 2009’s $17.348 billion.

The debt watcher also noted that domestic investors hold a large share of foreign currency-denominated government bonds, adding a further cushion to external shocks.

“Moreover, many investors view emerging Asia (including Indonesia and the Philippines) as attractive investment destinations relative to many developed markets,” it said.

“This is due to their stronger growth prospects, better demo-graphics, lower government debt burdens, and adequate external liquidity.

“We believe the combination of these factors is likely to maintain capital inflows into Asia,” S&P said. — J. B. F. Santos


Filed under: Financial Literacy, Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner, Overseas Jobs

Church, schools to work together to help children of OFWs

Catholic schools have called on a Church-based migrant workers’ group to closely work with them in the formation of minors whose parents are working abroad.

Father Edwin Corros, executive secretary of the Catholic Episcopal Commission on Migrant and Itinerant Peoples (ECMI), said they have received reports from Catholic schools about children of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) encountering difficulties in studies.

“It would be easier to form OFW support groups in various parts of the country because they would only do a simple survey to among elementary pupils and high school students who among have one or both parents abroad,” Corros was quoted in a report by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ CBCP News.

Corros added the school’s guidance counsellors have observed certain attitudinal problems from children of OFWs, including difficulties in comprehension and adjusting to regular school routines.

Corros said school teachers noted the below average scholastic performance which he attributed to lack of parental supervision.

“Ideally, parents have to be physically present to supervise their children but economic reasons made either or both parents leave for overseas employment,” Corros explained.

Some Filipinos are forced to work abroad away from their families due to financial reasons, particularly to better provide for children.

While the phenomenon of having one parent away to work abroad to work, there have been an increase of cases were both parents away to overseas jobs.

John Leonard Monterona, regional coordinator of the overseas Filipino worker group, Migrante Middle East, said that due to dire situationin the country, parents are normally forced by dire circumstances to be employed abroad.

“Usually, it is the father or the mother leaves the country to work abroad. But if this is the case, the remaining parent will be forced to leave the country to work, too. This is no good as this obviously weakens family ties,” he said adding that while both parents are away, the burden of taking care of the children will be transferred to the aging grandparents.

By Gilbert P. Felongco, Correspondent


Filed under: Church, Education, Encouragement, Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner,


Possibility of failure

There is always the possibility of failure – a single wrong business decision can bring a business to bankruptcy.

Unpredictable business conditions

A small business is vulnerable to sudden changes in the business environment. In a fast-paced industry, a small firm may not have the financial capability or the organizational capacity to respond adequately to new opportunities and their concomitant problems.

Long hours of work

A prospective entrepreneur must be ready to spend most if not all his waking hours in the business. Also, family time and personal affairs may be sacrificed.

Unwanted or unexpected responsibilities

The entrepreneur may eventually find himself saddled with management responsibilities he did not bargain for.


Do you have what it takes to go into business?

A successful entrepreneur possesses personal qualities that will help him grow and thrive his business. Extensive research by the Management Systems International  reveals ten Personal Entrepreneurial Competencies (PECs) that lead to success. These are grouped into what are known as the Achievement Cluster, the Planning Cluster, and the Power Cluster.

Take a look at these competencies. Try to see if you have some of them and to what extent.


1. Opportunity-seeking

• Perceives and acts on new business opportunities

• Seizes unusual opportunities to obtain financing, equipment,       land, workspace or assistance.

2. Persistence

• Takes repeated or different actions to overcome obstacles

• Makes sacrifices or expends extraordinary effort to complete a task

• Sticks to own judgment in the face of opposition or disappointments

3. Commitment to work contract

• Accepts full responsibility for problems encountered

• Helps own employees to get the job done

• Seeks to satisfy the customer

4. Risk-taking

• Takes calculated or studied risks

• Prefers situations involving moderate risks

5. Demand for quality and efficiency

• Always strives to raise standards

• Aims for excellence

• Strives to do things better, faster, cheaper.


6. Goal-setting

• Sets clear and specific short-term objectives

• Sets clear long-term goals

7. Information-seeking

• Personally seeks information on clients, suppliers, and competitors

• Seeks experts for business or technical advice

• Uses contacts or networks to obtain information

8. Systematic planning and monitoring

• Develops logical, step-by-step plans to reach goals

• Looks into alternatives and weighs them

• Monitors progress and shifts to alternative strategies when necessary

to achieve goals.


9. Persuasion and networking

• Employs deliberate strategies to influence or persuade others

• Uses business and personal contacts to accomplish objectives

10. Self-confidence

• Believes in self

• Expresses confidence in own ability to complete a difficult task or meet

a challenge.


After looking into yourself – your personal qualities, your interests, skills,

experiences and hobbies and how these would orient you towards a

business of your own, you may now look around. See if the environment

is a conducive one for entrepreneurship.

Here are some questions to ask about the “outside world.”
1. How adequate is the infrastructure for business in your community,
province or city? Are there enough provisions for basic requisites like
roads and bridges, power and water, telephone, postal and internet
facilities, as well as banking services?

2. Is the environment peaceful, safe and orderly? Investing hard-earned
money is already a big risk. Operating in an unsafe environment makes
it even more risky.

3. What are the incentives, assistance programs and other support that the
national and local governments make available to business, especially
to small, start-up businesses? Ask about tax exemptions and discounts,
low-interest financing, technical assistance, marketing and promotional
services, training, etc.

4. How prepared is the government bureaucracy to serve the needs of
businessmen? Are civil servants courteous and service-oriented? Are
procedures and requirements for business registration, for example, clear
and simple?

5. Study national and local market trends, business growth and market
share, purchasing power of the public, confidence in the economy.

6. Study imports. What goods does the country import from abroad? What
goods and services does your particular community or town “import” from
Manila and other big cities? Think whether you can provide these goods
and services locally. This is known as “import substitution”.

7. Think of other possibilities: subcontracting, a promising way by which
small firms can start supplying parts or services for bigger companies;
public sector purchasing, which small businesses might explore because
government offices are required by law to purchase supplies from local
producers; and franchising, dubbed as the “business with the least fears”.
Source: Department of Trade & Industry

Filed under: Business Ideas for OFW Families, Entrepreneurs, Financial Literacy, Invest in Sorsogon, Negosyo Tips,

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