by Kattryn Erryc Sayo

A press conference was held in line with the education and tourism projects of the Bulacan, with the provincial committee coordinators and officers as panelists, last June 20, 2012, at the Bulwagang Heneral Isidoro Torres, Capitol of Malolos City.

                The conference was initiated with a prayer, followed by the discussion of the topics by selected panel members. The panel includes Catherine Innocencio (Assistant Department Head of the Committee on Education), Dr. Gregorio Quinto Jr. (Dep-Ed K to 12 coordinator of Bulacan), Sonny Cristobal (Provincial Tourism Officer), Michael Fermin (Board Member of Malolos), and Bulacan Vice Governor Daniel Fernando.

                Catherine Innocencio, Assistant Department Head of the Committee on Education began the presentation proper by pointing out the scholarship program pioneered by Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado. The program entitled “Tulong pang-edukasyon… gabay ng bagong henerasyon” is divided into two types which are the academic scholarship program and the educational assistance program. With its P50 million scholarship fund, this agenda aims to help the financially unstable, as well as the academically-outstanding students residing in Bulacan. As of June 19, 2012, 8,464 students were able to avail the said scholarships.

                After the scholarship subject, Dr. Gregorio Quinto Jr., the Dep-Ed K to 12 coordinator of Bulacan followed. Now that the K to 12 (Kindergarten to Grade 12) program is effective this school year, Quinto tackled the importance of the Enhanced Basic Education Program approved by the current administration, for the fact that the Philippines is said to be one of the few countries which has been left behind when it comes to the education system. He stated that the additional two years in high school will be focused on the desired course of a student, which includes the study of Science and Technology, Sports, Music and Arts, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Business and Entrepreneurship.

                The last topic was introduced by the Provincial Tourism Officer, Sonny Cristobal. A video presentation was shown, which emphasized the 24K icons, characterizing the 24 prides of the 24 towns in Bulacan. With P5 million as the province’s tourism budget, the program discussed aims to focus on international tourism promotion. Also part of the project is to establish as well as maintain an excellent tourism in the province.

                “The provincial government also plans to make Bulacan the Garden Capital, Business Center, and Industrial Capital of the Philippines,” said Cristobal.

                Following the discussion proper was the question and answer, which allowed the press to ask certain panelists about issues related to the conference’s theme. Yet, only a limited number of questions was permitted due to lack of time. 

by Kattryn Erryc Sayo

As stated by the PJR Reports, the media coverage of the accomplished impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona has been acknowledged to be generally neutral, yet, the tendency of the press to be responsive when reporting made it look like open to biases.

             It was nearly in the beginning of the year 2012 when the issue about Renato Corona’s impeachment started to fire up. Even before the start of the year, the controversial story had already been inhabiting the world of media. Every day, news flashes about the ongoing legal actions are laid out to the public, through the press.

          It is believed that media plays an important role in the society, especially in a democratic country like the Philippines. It is through the media that episodes of daily living are exposed and disseminated to the populace. In the case of the impeachment trial over Renato Corona, the media’s responsibility and function became very crucial.

                News and media institutions had informed the public well with breaking news reports and up-to-date coverage concerning the impeachment trial. They struggled to bring out the proceedings in a more coherent way so that everyone especially the ordinary citizens, can have an easy access or approach to the situation. News and media institutions had also allowed the public to participate in the situation by means of surveys, interviews, as well as through the service of social networking sites.

                   PJR Reports kept an eye on the coverage of the leading newspapers in the country, particularly Manila Bulletin, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and The Philippine Star; primetime TV news programs 24 OrasAksyon, and TV Patrol; and selected websites. Thus, declaring that the media coverage on the impeachment case was all in all, fair.

             The full coverage of trial proceedings has been noted as an advantage for it allows the public to monitor the impeachment occurrences as they happen. Also, live coverage offers the viewers direct familiarity on the prosecution. On the other hand, social networking sites and other news sites provides a more reachable opportunity for the public to impart insights and immediate reactions.