Pangan: As the year ends

At Close Range

WE ARE all anticipating the ending of the year 2019 and welcoming 2020 with the hope that lesser disasters and calamities play a role in the New Year.

We are witness to the uptick of our economy during 2019 and, again, we expect the growth of our country’s gross domestic product, foreign direct investment and, probably, our exports.

Also, we note with glee our country’s reclassification by the World Bank as an upper-to-middle economy by 2020. The multi-lender Asian Development Bank is steadfast in its commitment to continue financing our country’s financing programs and various projects.

It is up to us and our country’s leaders to sustain our economic growth and momentum. A national broadsheet fearlessly forecast that our hopes will be high in 2020.

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It is about time that Congress passed the Media Workers Welfare Act. Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar himself a former broadcaster said it is high time for media workers to look after their own welfare.

It is well known that media workers and practitioners receive least benefits and perks. Andanar also said that the proposed bill will greatly help address the economic vulnerability (and difficulties) of media workers, especially those in the provinces where they have meager opportunities to earn. And to think the same media practitioners risk lives and limbs in their pursuit of their calling. Just remember the 32 members of media who perished in the Maguindanao massacre of 2009.

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After our disappointing results in the Program for the International Student Assessment (Pisa) where we ranked last in reading comprehension and second to last in Science and Mathematics, it is about time the Department of Education took a massive review and reckoning of its most basic programs to upgrade our reading comprehension and improve our skills in Science and Mathematics.

With the increases in its budget for 2020 (in billions in some programs), the Education Department must push to higher levels our reading comprehension, science and mathematics and prevent another international embarrassment!

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We never learn from past mistakes as we welcome the new conduct of peace talks with the NDF-CPP-NPA leadership headed by truant Jose Maria Sison. Why waste vital resources in talks with a pathological liar and sly operator? Instead, we should focus on our homefront security.


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