Sunday, 22 June 2014

PIA News Dispatch - Friday, June 13, 2014

President Aquino is healthy, says Palace official

President Aquino is in good health and can perform all his functions as the country's chief executive, a Palace official said Friday.

"The President consults his personal physicians on a very regular basis. And I was told by one of them that: 'Yes, he is, generally, in good health,'" Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said during the daily press briefing in Malacanang.

Valte was responding to a reporter’s question if President Aquino has recently undergone a medical examination, following the White House’s release of the report on President Barack Obama’s periodic physical examination. President Obama has been given a clean bill of health.

Whenever the President feels uncomfortable about something, such as colds or stomach pains, he consults his physicians, Valte said.

Asked about the President’s coughing, especially while delivering speeches, the spokesperson said the President has mentioned about having allergies.

"His staff makes sure that when he is visiting an area outside the Palace, sinisiguro nila na hindi naman matri-trigger iyong allergies ng Pangulo. But, you know, that cannot happen all the time," she said.

The Palace official also said there has been no discussion on releasing the President's medical assessment.

"Kapag nagkakasakit naman ang Pangulo, sinasabi naman natin, like if he has to take a day off because he has flu. We do inform the public because we are aware that it is one of the things that we have to do," she said. PND (as)

Government addressing educators' concerns on implementation of K to 12 Program

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is actively engaging educators' unions to address concerns on the possible layoff of college professors as a result of the implementation of the K to 12 Program, the Palace said on Friday.

There have been discussions on the issue, even before the implementation of the K to12 Program, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte told reporters during a press briefing in Malacanang.

"Even in the drafting of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for K to 12, several faculty unions were already consulted. Hindi ‘yung high school, ‘yung college," Valte said.

News reports said college professors held a forum on Thursday to air their concern that at least 85,000 of them are in danger of losing their jobs in 2016 because of the K to 12 Program.

Valte said the DOLE, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Department of Education (DepEd) have held multi-sectoral consultations, which were attended by representatives of the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) Faculty Union, Far Eastern University (FEU), Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT), and University of the East (UE), among others.

The DOLE has also invited the unions of various private colleges and universities for consultations, Valte said.

She said many colleges and universities are exploring the possibility of not laying off their professors.

"Meron na sa kanilang nag-i-explore ng ganitong possibility. On the part of DepED, nagfo-formulate sila ng guidelines kung papaano pupwedeng magturo ang mga teachers, professors ng Grade 11 at Grade 12," she said.

The K to 12 Program covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education--six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School.

The program aims to provide students sufficient time to master concepts and skills and develop into lifelong learners, as well as to prepare high school graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment, and entrepreneurship. PND (as)