Fernando: Suddenly


SUDDENLY, I remember statutory construction. Guidelines are usually plain and free of ambiguity to avoid erroneous interpretation from those given authority to implement them. This applies to the guidelines in appreciating documents. When one is refuting the validity or truthfulness of a paper or document, the law and common sense say that the burden of proving its wrongfulness is on the person or authority accusing it of such because when there is a doubt, even a single hint of a doubt, practice dictates that the guideline, policy, or law shall favor its truthfulness and validity.

When a person assigned of appreciating documents downgrades the level of an international conference to a national conference level, the authority must have a solid, unquestionable, undisputable, and irrefutable reason or reasons of doing so to avoid prejudice and bias to the holder especially when a single point makes all the difference. An international training, seminar or workshop such as a conference that satisfied the process of organizing and obtained the approval of the highest office such as the central office of the Department of Education (DepEd) or Office of the President, the conference shall, no doubt, be considered an international event and a speakership such a presentation of work conducted in that conference shall also, in no doubt, be considered an international speakership.

The guidelines provided by DepEd in rating training documents state that when a person presents a certificate of training, the certificate alone is enough to fulfill the requirement and no additional mode of verification is needed. If the law or guideline is clear and unequivocal, there is no other alternative but to apply it and not to interpret. There is no need to interpret because there is nothing to interpret. The guidelines are crystal clear. In this case, there is nothing to interpret because the guidelines ask only for the certificate. Also, if the language of the guidelines is plain and free from ambiguity, and express a single, definite, and sensible meaning, that meaning is presumably presumed which the guideline-makers intended to convey.

If the authorities cannot help but look for additional verification documents not required by the guidelines, the program of the conference would certainly be enough to verify the truthfulness of the conference. The program contains the messages of the president and the secretary education, and other government officials involved and concerned, congratulating, appreciating, and recognizing the validity of the international conference thus taking away any suspicion, uncertainty, hesitancy or doubt of its validity. One cannot also question the capability of the speakers because questioning implies that the organizers were not capable enough to select well-capacitated speakers. The government through DepEd would not allow the organization of an international conference to be conducted if the speakers selected are not internationally-capable speakers.

In terms of participation, a holder of a certificate must not be burdened to prove the presence of other nationalities although the presence were there because this is the function of the organizers. It is expected also that since this is an international event, participation was opened to other nationalities through invitation or posting. Participation of a person be it one or two, by conducting teaching demonstration, only affirms the international level of the activity.

Failing to attract the interest and presence of other nationalities again does not lessen the level of the conference. Yet again, why question it? If the persons are doubting the existence of the international event, the queries can be addressed to the organizers or better to the Central Office and shall not be put to the disadvantage of the holder. The holder was just given the certificate. These factors are integral to the conduct of the international conference which the guidelines on rating do not require because the guideline clearly dictates that the certificate alone is enough. If enough is provided and something is still being asked to be presented, I believe there will never be enough. The officials may only do these if there is deviation.

In terms of the speakership, the absence of the signature of a foreign counterpart does not discount or discredit the level of the international speakership especially when the person who signed was the over-all chairman of the organization and the activity. First, because it is enough. Second, the organizing body is headed by the one who signed thus he is the mostqualified person to do so. In the guidelineson speakership, the certificate, with any of the invitation, authority to travel, and the like should confirm the validity, truthfulness and nature of the document as the guidelines on speakership state. Again, if enough is not enough, there will never be enough.

These are the implications when one does not recognize that a seminar or a conference (and the activities conducted through it including speakership) conducted at an international level, downgrade it to a national level, when all memorandums, messages, programs, and communications associated with it refer to it as an international-level conference: 1.There is a doubt on the truthfulness and validity of the conference. 2. There is dishonesty on the part of the organizing body in declaring that the conference is an international-level conference. 3. You disqualified something that was already qualified by people, a lot of them.

Organizing an international conference is daunting task. It needed various meetings of the organizing committee members. Communication and invitation letters were made and passed to numerous offices. It was conducted through the concerted effort and sacrifices of the many people tapped to help. To judge this effort and its result in the negative, in a matter of minutes, is very and too saddening. But of course, not too much, when you have respect to your superiors. Understanding comes when you try to see the brighter side of things.

There might be wisdom in clarification or consideration.


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