BARILI--I was here last week for the yearly company outing of the personnel of Radyo GMA (RGMA) dySS Super Radyo and dyRT-FM (99.5) at AC Tilapia Fun Fishing and Family Park in Barangay Campangga. And now I am back in this progressive town to attend the annual fiesta of Barangay Azucena upon the invitation of Patupat Barangay Captain Julie Flores.

Flores’s guests included contractor Jay Ruiz, who is being groomed to be the next mayor of Barili; Third District Provincial Board (PB) Members Alex Binghay and Gigi Sanchez, Barili Mayor Terisito “Ondo” Mariñas, Vice Mayor Chakbong Nemenio, Carcar Vice Mayor Patrick Barcenas and Carcar Councilor Harold Nacua also attended the occasion.

I had a chance to talk briefly with PB Member Binghay about the political situation in the province. He confirmed that he is running for reelection. I asked him about the possibility of a Davide and Magpale breakup. He said he heard rumors about it but he is not privy to the information, as he remains with One Cebu Party. Speculations are rife that Davide and Magpale will separate ways if the Duranos in Danao City, especially the camp of Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano III, will support the opposition. It will be an awkward situation for Magpale to still run under the administration’s Liberal Party (LP) if her political patron in Danao and the entire fifth district support the opposition. The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay is courting Nito’s group. Nito’s camp delivered a majority vote for the Davide and Magpale tandem in the 2013 elections that made them win. There are also rumors that Nito might run for governor, taking advantage of their strong political connections with the Aquino administration. Agnes’s brother, Rene Almendras, is a Cabinet secretary and her daughter Ina also holds a national position. Four of her relatives are in the PB: Ivy Durano-Meca, Peter John Calderon, Jude Durano-Sybico and her son Miguel.

I also had a chance to talk with Mayor Mariñas about the political situation in his town. Before, he always tangled with then vice mayor Marlon Garcia and the council, which was dominated by Garcia’s group in the One Cebu Party. There was a time that the town failed to collect garbage for several months because the council did not approve the mayor’s request to repair its garbage truck and money for maintenance and gasoline. The Suroy-Suroy bus given by the Province during the administration of former governor Gwendolyn Garcia, Marlon’s elder sister, was not officially turned over to the mayor’s office but to the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC), whose president was identified with Garcia’s camp. But now, Barili has political peace and harmony as Vice Mayor Nemenio and majority of council members are allied with Mariñas.

Mariñas, who is on his last term, said he will leave it to the LP to appoint the mayoralty candidate. He said he is willing to support the party’s choice. He may opt to run for vice mayor or for a seat in the council. But under the equity of the incumbent, it should be Vice Mayor Nemenio who should succeed Mariñas. Nemenio already served as mayor when he succeeded the late mayor Bobby Alquizola.

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It’s back to school. Millions of public school students will troop to various schools today for the first day of classes for school year 2015-2016. And as usual, problems about classroom shortage and teachers are expected to mar today’s opening of classes. These are perennial problems in the public educational system.

This is common in urban areas where there are a lot of students. Schools will have to set up tents and improvised classrooms for class sessions. Ang uban anha intawon sa ilawom sa punuan sa mangiha o acacia magklase. What about the schools that were devastated by the earthquake and typhoon Yolanda?

Now, the situation might turn from bad to worse because of the implementation of the K-12 program, which has been predicted to complicate the educational system.

Even education officials admitted that some problems might crop up, but they assured they can manage the situation. Well, let’s see if the education department can cope with the situation, especially the shortage of classrooms, teachers and reading materials. But what about the teachers who will be displaced by the program, since there will be no first year and second year for the next two years in the secondary education? Militant teachers’ organization and some parents oppose the implementation of the K-12 program because it means additional financial burden for parents. Imagine, additional expenses on their part because of the additional levels.

For me, there was nothing wrong with our educational system. We produced great leaders under that educational system. We even speak better English compared to our counterparts in Southeast Asia. So, what was wrong with it? Why should we copy other countries when we are more eloquent than them in the English language?

Why fix what wasn’t broken?