What is the right way to teach nationalism? If it can even be taught at all?
These past few weeks have been hellish, to say the least. Election results were just downright depressing, and the government just seems to be hellbent on making our lives harder. In case you missed it, mandatory ROTC is now in, and Filipino subjects are out. Oh, and Ronald Cardema is now a congressman. The only silver lining is that we now have our very own Space Act, which might just make your astronaut dreams come true.
The senate just passed the Philippine Space Act
Last Monday, the senate finally approved the final reading for Senate Bill 1983, a.k.a The Philippine Space Act, which means that we may just have our very own space agency in the near future.
But hold on. Before you think about astronauts, space exploration and whatnot, the launch of the space program was actually prompted by our country’s growing need for disaster preparedness and risk reduction. Sen. Bam Aquino, who authored the bill, said that “satellites can improve disaster management, from providing accurate information that allow early warnings and predicting of disasters to reliable and quick communication during relief and recovery operations.” The bill will help improve our communication systems and could also help enhance urban planning and agriculture, which are some of the most pressing issues that the country is facing right now.
ROTC is now mandatory for high school students
Grade 11 and 12 students now have to complete a mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program, all thanks to the congress. If you’re not familiar with ROTC, it’s basically military training — morning exercises, chants while jogging, and camouflage. That whole shebang.
President Duterte has repeatedly spoken for the revival of the program in the past, urging everyone that ROTC instills the value of nationalism. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also said the same thing, saying that ROTC will inspire “love of country, good citizenship, respect for human rights, and adherence to the rule of law” to the youth.
The approval of the bill came with flak from children’s rights activists. Kabataan Partylist representative Sarah Elago expressed her condemnation for the bill, saying that it was passed without reviewing cases of hazing and corruption.
Duterte Youth Chairman Ronald Cardema is being a jackass
It’s been a while since we saw the Duterte Youth making headlines, and unfortunately for us, the Ronald Cardema stories that have been circulating aren’t nearly as fun as the time he got yelled at by Jim Paredes.
You may know Ronald Cardema as the chairman of the Duterte Youth, and was appointed by the president as chair of the National Youth Commission in 2018. This whole hullabaloo began when Cardema filed a petition for the Comelec for him to replace his wife, Ducielle Marie Suarez, as the official nominee for the Duterte Youth party-list group. The Duterte Youth party-list group was one of the winning parties for this year’s elections.
There are a lot of things wrong with this. For one thing, Cardema is technically too old. The age limit for serving as a nominee, 30, prevents Cardema, who is 33, from being eligible. Also, he filed substitution waaay overdue. This is a super last minute bid for a seat at the House of Representatives. You’re supposed to resign as chair of the NYC and then run as the partylist’s official nominee before the end of the campaign period. We are well past the campaign period. And yet! Even before Comelec got all the stuff straightened out, Cardema was already calling himself a congressman.
But apparently, Comelec is cool with this. They accepted his bid. All this has made Cardema’s face look more punchable than it already is.
Filipino and Panitikan subjects are no longer required in college
Welcome to the Philippines, where the government thinks that nationalism can be imbued to the youth through military training and not through education. Last week, the Supreme Court just ruled that Filipino and Panitikan classes should no longer be required in college, a decision that came after petitioners from Alyansa ng Mga Tagapagtanggol ng Wikang Filipino questioned the decision of Commision on Higher Education (CHED) to no longer consider Filipino and Panitikan as core subjects. The petitioners said that CHED’s memorandum is unconstitutional, but the judges pointed out that the Constitution does not specify the educational level in which these subjects must be taught.