US, China, Japan congratulate P-Noy

MANILA, Philippines — Led by President Barack Obama
who called on his mobile phone, the leaders of the world’s three biggest economies—the United States, China and Japan—welcomed President-elect Benigno Aquino III’s rise to power, pledging to help a leader facing daunting challenges, from rebellions and massive poverty to a crippling budget deficit.

Aquino Thursday told reporters that Obama invited him to visit the United States “at the appropriate time,” solidifying a previous invitation extended by US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr., who said the incoming Philippine leader should take two trips to the United States.

Regarded by many as a political lightweight after an unimpressive stint in Congress, Aquino—who has said he prefers to be called “P-Noy” rather than by his initials BSA—is inheriting a nation grappling with poverty and debilitated by decades-long communist and Moro insurgencies, military unrest, corruption, violent crime and political strife.

“It was a very pleasant conversation,” Aquino said of his phone conversation with Obama on Wednesday night, which lasted for about 20 minutes.

“I won’t say we’re very close since it’s my first time to talk to him [but] I believe he was very sincere in his words that he really wants to foster stronger relations with our country.”

Parents are champions

In a statement, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Philippines’ successful automated elections “exemplified the vitality of the country’s democratic institutions and should be a point of pride for Filipinos everywhere.”

“The Filipino people now look to President-elect Aquino to carry forward the democratic traditions that his parents did so much to champion,” Clinton said, referring to Aquino’s assassinated father, Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and his late mother, ex-President Corazon “Cory” Aquino.

Clinton said the United States had long stood with the Philippines as a trusted ally and friend and pledged to support the efforts of the Filipinos to build a secure and prosperous country.

Aquino said the Visiting Forces Agreement—a thorny issue in RP-US relations—was not discussed in his talk with Obama.

‘Very strong relationship’

“(Obama) said we had a very strong relationship. He said he has a personal close friendship with the Filipino community in America, one of the biggest immigration groups there.”

Aquino said he told Obama of his recent meeting with Ambassador Thomas and that when he said the Philippines expected to work well with the envoy he had chosen to send to Manila, “he (Obama) was very pleased with that.”

“The ambassador really exuded that drive to make our relationship much, much stronger. Hopefully, they will really be our partners in addressing the problems in the country,” Aquino said.

“Job generation is our first priority. He (Thomas) said they could set up meeting with business leaders in different areas of America. So much so that we might not be able to handle it with one trip. He was suggesting two trips in a part time frame,” Aquino said.

‘Model of transparency’

Aquino said the Americans were “very eager” to invest in the country but “they want to be sure that they have a reasonable chance” of making profit, “otherwise it would be a useless venture.”

“What was emphasized was their eagerness to invest in the country subject to conditions,” Aquino said.

In a statement on the phone conversation between Obama and Aquino, the White House said the US leader “described the May 10 elections as a model of transparency and positive testament to the strength and vitality of democracy in the Philippines.”

Obama “noted the deep historic and people-to-people ties between the United States and the Philippines and our strong cooperation on security and economic issues in the Asia Pacific region and globally,” the statement said.

The White House said the two leaders agreed to take the cooperation between the two countries to a new level and to meeting at a “mutually convenient” time.

China, Japan, Australia

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Vice President Xi Jinping joined other world leaders in congratulating Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Hu said the two countries had maintained frequent exchanges and enhanced mutual trust since the establishment of diplomatic relations 35 years ago.

“Under new historical circumstances, I would like to work with you to carry forward our traditional friendship, expand our mutually beneficial cooperation, advance China-Philippines strategic and cooperative relations to a new level, and make positive contributions to regional peace, stability and development,” Hu said.

Xi said China would be pleased to work with the Aquino administration to carry on the significant progress in China-Philippines relations.

“I would like to work with Your Excellency, proceeding from the fundamental interests of the two peoples, to push forward China-Philippines strategic and cooperative relations in a sound and stable manner, and make joint efforts to promote regional peace, stability and development,” Xi said.

New Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan pledged his country would “do its utmost to cooperate … in efforts toward further stability and progress.”

Alarm at budget deficit

Aquino will take his oath of office on June 30. He has expressed alarm at the ballooning national budget deficit, which he said could surpass $8.7 billion (P400 billion) this year.

Australian Ambassador Rod Smith visited Aquino at Times Street on Thursday and congratulated him on his victory.

Aquino said he looked forward to increasing trade between Australia and the Philippines and also getting inputs from Australia on developing the mining industry without harming the environment.

Court Clear Gutierrez of charges

Acting Justice Secretary Alberto Agra affirmed the decision of his predecessor Agnes VST Devanadera, clearing actor Richard Gutierrez of reckless imprudence resulting to homicide charges in connection with the vehicular accident in Sta. Rosa, Laguna in 2009 tha claimed the life of a passenger of the car the actor was driving in.

In a press briefing, Agra said he dismissed the case as he has not found any “cogent reason to reverse” resigned DoJ Secretary Devanadera’s decision dated March 10, 2010.

The case stemmed from the complaint filed by the widow of Gutierrez’ personal assistant Nomar E. Pardo identified as Lorayne.

The widow filed the complaint against the actor on July 23, 2009, at the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor in Imus, Cavite, a few months after the tragic death of her husband, Nomar E. Pardo in a vehicular accident that occurred on May 22, 2009 in Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road in Silang, Cavite.

The DoJ under the helm of Devanadera subsequently dismissed the case, stating that the complaint is merely based on “hearsay.”

“Complainant could not have known the road conditions, the manner by which the accident happened, the damages caused to the vehicle and its passengers, the respondent’s actuations immediately after the accident because she simply was not present at the scene of the incident,” the decision said. (Jeamma Sabate)

Erap A Key to Noynoy WIN

He turned out to be his closest rival for the presidency, but the campaign team of President-apparent Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III said former President Joseph Estrada might have contributed to the successful presidential bid of the only son of the late President Corazon Aquino and Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr.

Looking back, Chito Gascon, director general of the Liberal Party (LP), admitted that Estrada’s decision to run might have hurt other candidates, particularly Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Sen. Manuel Villar who appeared to be the survey-favorite and Aquino’s toughest rival for the presidency during the early part of the campaign.

Gascon said they had difficulty handling Estrada’s case since Aquino’s advocacy concerns the battle against corruption – an issue sensitive to the deposed president who was ousted from power on corruption charges.

“Mayroon kaming ilang issues na gustong patingkarin kaugnay kay GMA (Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) pero sabit din siya (Estrada). Pero ayaw naman rin naming sabihin nating ma-antagonize dahil sa totoo lang nakatulong yung kaniyang  pagkakandidatura para pambawas ng boto ng ibang kandidato,” said Gascon, who was a guest in the “Tonight with Arnold Clavio” show in QTV Channel 11 Monday night.

“Tingin namin kapag hindi siya tumakbo at hindi pinayagan ng palasyo, mas malakas ang pag-asa ni Manny Villar. May ganoong dynamics noon. They (Estrada and Villar) were going for the same market – the Filipino masses,” Aquino’s spokesperson Edwin Lacierda added.

Gascon said they were not surprised by the surge in Estrada’s ratings at the late stage of the campaign owing to the former president’s reputation as a “favorite of the masses.”

Aquino’s New Media Bureau head Vicente Romano III described Villar as the “wealthiest” among the candidates.

Romano said to counter Villar’s strategy of investing on television advertisements, they had to boost Aquino’s media exposure by having him interviewed by provincial radio and television stations.

“Para malaman ng taong-bayan, andito ako sa probinsiya. I’m concerned about you. Malakas ang epekto nun, ay andito pala si Senador Aquino. Ang laking bagay noon pagpunta niya sa lahat probinsiya eh. Malaking tulong iyong kampanya sa radio, sa TV, sa mga provincial stations,” Romano said.

Lacierda said another issue that hurt Villar was his camp’s exposes on Aquino’s psychiatric condition which proved to be fabricated.

“Nakita ng tao how can a campaign of another candidate could get so low. It was below the belt, but it backfired,” he said, noting that Aquino’s survey rating even surged after the fake psychiatric reports were made public.

Among Estrada, Villar and administration candidate former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, “Team Noynoy” considered Villar as the toughest to deal with particularly during the part when Aquino’s lead over the NP bet went down just to 2 percent.

“Doon kami nangamba pero nga nag-shift kami ng strategy. Tapos at the same time that we are fixing our organization ay pagpasok ng fake report nagkaroon sila ng meltdown. Nawala yung discipline,” Lacierda said.

On the other hand, “Team Noynoy” believed that Teodoro was greatly affected by his association with President Arroyo who has negative approval rating.

“It’s a kiss of death. Seventy percent will not vote for GMA’s candidate,” Lacierda said.

Meanwhile, “Team Noynoy” said the decision of actress-host Kris Aquino-Yap to devote herself full-time to the campaign of her brother was a big help to Aquino’s bid.

“Ang laki ng naitulong ni Kris sa mga sorties noong sumama siya. Ang laki ng ginawang tulong ni Kris noong nagdesisyon siyang mag-fulltime,” Lacierda said, referring to the crowd-drawing power of Aquino’s sister owing to her celebrity status.

A lot of factors might have helped Aquino’s campaign, but the three agreed that his being the son of the late President Aquino and the late Senator Aquino helped him a lot in his bid for the presidency.

“Malaking contribution talaga yun. The legacy is very, very important. Pero through the campaign naipakita naman ni Senador Aquino na seryoso siya sa kampanya .Seryoso siya sa pangako niya na kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap. May malaking issue sa atin ang corruption eh,” Lacierda said in defense of Aquino who was criticized for allegedly capitalizing on the legacy of his parents and not on his own reputation alone.

Ombudsman urged: Resolve missing P170-million OPAPP fund

The Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process expressed hope on Monday that there would be a resolution with regards to the ongoing probe on the reported missing funds at the Office of the Presidential Adviser of the Peace Process (OPAPP) totalling P170 million.

In an interview at the sidelines of the Peace Forum for Sustained Partnership held at the Heritage Hotel in Pasay City on Monday, Peace Process Adviser Secretary Annabelle T. Abaya said she is confident that the Ombudsman’s Office, which is leading the probe on the missing funds, will be able to finish its investigation soon.

The alleged missing funds, it was recalled, was supposedly intended for the government’s P500-million Social Integration Program (SIP).

Abaya said that under the program, New People’s Army (NPA) rebel returnees are given P20,000 each upon their ‘surrender’ and an additional P50,000 for the turnover of weapons with promises of jobs and livelihood projects.

“Yes, hopefully there will be a resolution to it. They (resident Ombudsman handling the case) are currently conducting a thorough probe on the matter,” Abaya said.

Abaya, whose term will end on June 30, said the budget for the SIP was released in two tranches amounting to P250 million each since 2009.

She explained that half of the P500 million for the program were already used in just one year and that only 36 percent of the budget went to the intended recipients. She said some of the money was used to buy cars, set-up and beautification of offices, representation, travel, supplies, for allowances, bonuses, and other perks.

“A total of P170 million of the P250 million remain unaccounted for,” Abaya said.

“Money in allowances, bonuses and perks were liberally given but not in accordance with law. Funds, assets, office property, and equipment were unaccounted for. Documentation was missing or defective. We couldn’t even find the registration papers of 14 new cars.Of these, two cars were missing for four months but then suddenly manifested in our parking lot, without keys and papers. It was only four months after I joined that we were able to fork out the registration papers. I was initially told we had 24 cars. I found out we had more than 60 cars in various parts of the country, some in various stages of rot and decay,” Abaya claimed.

Abaya said that at least 10 to 15 OPAPP officials, who were relieved from their posts due to their alleged involvement in the anomaly, are presently facing charges before the Ombudsman’s Office.

Abaya said a reorganization of OPAPP also resulted in the downsizing of its personnel from 350 to 270 people, some of whom were part of the questionable activities.

“My people call it “right-size.” First of all, those who were part of questionable activities had to go. Second, those who didn’t have the qualifications or did not have the specific fit for the positions available also had to go. We realized that we are doing a disservice by keeping them when we are not contributing to their personal growth,” Abaya said.

Abaya also cited the role of the directors within the organization in her efforts of cleansing OPAPP of corruption.

PAGASA expects onset of rainy season this week

Manila, Philippines – Cooler days are just around the corner with the expected onset of the rainy season this week, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Sunday.

Since amount of rainfall is one of the indicators for the beginning of the rainy season, PAGASA weather forecaster Chris Perez said a low pressure area (LPA) in the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) may just deliver enough rains to signal that summer is over.

As of 2 a.m. Sunday, the LPA  was spotted 140 kilometers north northeast of Laoag City, said Perez.

It is expected to bring mostly cloudy skies and scattered rain showers in Luzon, however, the weather system will not likely intensify into a tropical cyclone, he said.

Based on PAGASA’s extended four-day weather outlook, most parts of Luzon, which includes Metro Manila, Tuguegarao City, Laoag City, Baguio City, and SBMA (Olongapo)/Clark Zone (Angeles City), will experience cloudy skies with rain showers and thunderstorms, especially on Wednesday and Thursday.

PAGASA also warned residents in Northern Luzon of flashfloods and landslides caused by widespread rains in the area.

Meanwhile, Visayas and Mindanao will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms in the afternoon or evening.

Perez also explained that the heavy downpour experienced in Metro Manila Sunday was due to the prevailing monsoon trough across Luzon, which is the extension of the LPA.

He said the PAGASA will likely declare the onset of rainy season this week.

There are certain criteria before the PAGASA can declare the beginning of the rainy season, which includes the amount of rainfall for five consecutive days in one field synaptic station located in different parts of the country, must register a total of 25 millimeters or more.

Three out of the five days, rainfall must not be lower than one-millimeter per day.

Field synaptic stations are located in Laoag (Ilocos Norte), Vigan (Ilocos Sur), Iba (Zambales), Dagupan (Pangasinan), San Jose (Mindoro), Ambulong (Mindoro), Iloilo, and Metro Manila. (Ellalyn B. De Vera)

Nulls Votes won’t be counted

Manila, Philippines – The decision of the joint national canvassing committee to turn down a motion by Liberal Party vice presidential candidate Sen. Manuel Roxas II to review election returns (ERs) and determine the veracity of the unusually high three million null votes is final, Speaker Prospero Nograles said on Thursday.

But former Education Secretary Florencio Abad disclosed that they have evidence to show that there is indeed reason to look into the ERs to determine the truth about the three million null votes for the vice presidential post.

This developed as a defective central canvassing system (CCS) threatened on Thursday to delay the completion of the tabulation of returns reflected in the remaining 71 certificates of canvass.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said they expect the 30 provincial and city CoCs and 41 CoCs from overseas absentee voting centers to be canvassed last night to pave the way for the proclamation of winning presidential and vice presidential candidates on Monday.

However, the failure of the CCS to read the statement of votes from Davao City threatened to derail the plans.

Commission on Election Executive Director Jose Tolentino said the malfunctioning CCS will have to be sent to the Smartmatic-TIM plan in Cabuyao to be fixed.

Lawmakers who are members of the canvassing panel said this can delay the completion of the canvassing.

Lawyers for Sen. Roxas appeared adamant to the advice of the canvassing panel to bring their protest on the null votes before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

In supporting the call to review the questionable ERs, Abad cited the case of the municipality of Datu Odin Sinsuat in Maguindanao which was the first to electronically transmit the results of the elections on May 10, sending the tally of its votes as early as one hour even before the voting closed at 7 in the evening

There were 464 registered voters in the clustered precincts covered by the PCOS machine. Of this, 463 voted for the same candidate for vice president.

There were no null votes.

This is just one of the incidents why the Aquino-Roxas Bantay Balota vote protection volunteer group has been pressing for an exhaustive look into the 2.6 million null votes and more than 300,000 other votes for the vice presidential race that face nullification if the Joint Canvassing Committee continues to stonewall appeals to include them in its joint canvass of the presidential and vice presidential elections, Abad said.

Abad said a study conducted by IT experts showed that between 5 p.m. and 5:59 p.m. of May 10, before election precincts closed at 7 p.m., ARMM had transmitted 1,064 votes for vice president – all from Maguindanao. By midnight, ARMM had transmitted 393,196 votes for vice president, which includes 196,626 votes from Maguindanao and 72,005 votes from Lanao del Sur.

The early transmissions, he said, was surprising, especially following concerns prior to the election of possible transmission problems in the ARMM.

Meanwhile, in Regions 6 and 7 where Roxas won overwhelmingly over other VP bets, there are more than 500,000 “null votes”. If 50 to 60 percent of these votes are for Roxas, which is the voting trend in the two regions, this would be equivalent to about 250,000 to 300,000 votes.

In reaction, the camp of leading vice presidential candidate Jejomar C. Binay asked Roxas to file the appropriate case if he has proof of irregularities in the May 10 election.

Otherwise, the Liberal Party (LP) is merely engaging in a “desperate propaganda drive” that will not alter the outcome of the canvassing being conducted by Congress, said lawyer JV Bautista, who acts as the spokesman of Binay.

Nograles said the joint panel of canvassers is not in a position to act on the complaint, saying that the controversy should be raised before the PET, in case Roxas loses the vice presidential race.

“The public controversy regarding the number of “null votes” which were not read by the PCOS machine allegedly numbering more than a million votes for the president and an allegedly whooping 2.6 million for vice president won’t be considered by the joint canvass committee,” Nograles explained.

He added: “This issue is beyond the function fo the joint congressional canvass body. This is an issue that is proper in an “election protest” in the proper venue where votes can be recounted swiftly by merely cross checking the actual ballots cast and the electronic image and the pictures of the ballots that entered the PCOS machine.”

Nograles said the PET is not expected to spend much time in determining the truth behind the null votes.

“We also expect protests to be resolved just as fast as the elections were conducted and the winners proclaimed. That’s the automation that we approved and we have implemented under the 14th Congress,” Nograles said.

The joint canvassing panel chaired by Nograles and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile has finished tabulating the results reflected in 207 of 278 CoCs.

Zubiri said majority of the 40 of the CoCs, all coming from the OAV’s, reflect no votes. These were sent from countries in Europe.

The official canvass results as of 2:27 p.m. Thursday: President – Aquino, 12,735,059; Estrada, 8,142,527; Vice President – Binay, 12,208,562; Roxas, 11,736,878.

Binay Camp Says “NO WAY” to the Roxas insists of Null Votes

MANILA, Philippines—The so-called null votes could reach as high as 3

And the camp of Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, who is struggling to
wrest the lead from Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay in a tight vice
presidential race, Wednesday demanded that these votes be counted.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec), however, said if votes were
considered null, they couldn’t be counted even if Roxas filed a protest
case and secured an order to count votes manually from the Presidential
Electoral Tribunal, the venue for protest cases arising from the
presidential and vice presidential elections.

“You can’t count votes that are not there,” said Election
Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal.

Lawyer Joey Tenefrancia, deputy national coordinator of the group
Aquino-Roxas Bantay Balota (ARBB), estimated that up to 3 million votes
would be wasted if the Comelec continued to refuse to canvass 2.6
million null votes and 300,000 votes that were not tallied in
certificates of canvass (CoCs), official documents that record election
results in provincial, city and municipal levels.

Tenefrancia said while the ARBB, which had been formed to guard votes
for Aquino and Roxas, recognized the risk of Roxas’ struggle delaying
the proclamation of Sen. Benigno Aquino III as the country’s next
president, “we do not want any single voter to be disenfranchised.”

“We want Aquino to be proclaimed as our duly elected president as
quickly and timely as possible and without a question,” Tenefrancia

“But the vice presidential race is a tight contest, and all the votes
will matter in this race,” he said.

Accurate and fair

According to Tenefrancia, his group’s ultimate objective was not
making Roxas win but to ensure “the canvassing process is accurate and

Roxas, considered unbeatable until a late surge by Binay drastically
changed the vice presidential race’s configuration, had been quoted as
predicting that about 200,000 votes would decide the race.

According to Tenefrancia, up to 3 million votes would be nullified if
votes cast in the vice presidential race were declared null for three
reasons—voters shaded more than one oval in their ballots’ space for
vice president, voters didn’t shade the ovals properly, or votes were
not tallied in CoCs because of incomplete transmission.

‘Unusually high’

He said counting the null votes wouldn’t have any effect on the
presidential race because Aquino’s lead over pardoned plunderer Joseph
Estrada, who is running a far second to Aquino and is running mate of
Binay, was insurmountable.

He said his group also noticed that the number of null votes in the
vice presidential race was unusually high, especially in areas
considered bailiwicks of Roxas.

A study he described as exhaustive and made by ARBB showed 10-15
percent of votes in Roxas’ strongholds were null.

In Western Visayas and Central Visayas, considered Roxas strongholds,
at least 500,000 votes were declared null, Tenefrancia said, adding
that if 50 to 60 percent of these were for Roxas, then the Liberal Party
candidate would have lost 250,000 to 300,000 votes.

Tenefrancia said Congress, now acting as the national canvassing
board, should consider a manual audit to examine all null votes.

A proposal by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile to form a technical
working committee to inspect all compact flash (CF) cards and precinct
count optical scan (PCOS) machines used in the May 10 elections “could
be the mechanism by which we can inspect all the ballots.”

Useless votes

Comelec officials, however, said the null votes would be useless for
protesting candidates.

Commissioner Larrazabal said null votes were the equivalent of stray
votes when the election process was still manual.

The Comelec, he said, would not treat null votes any differently than
it did stray votes in the past.

“Nullified votes can mean a stray vote or a person simply does not
want to vote for a particular candidate for a particular position,”
Larrazabal said.

PCOS machines, he said, won’t count more than one vote for vice
president but continue to count votes for other positions in ovals that
are properly shaded in the ballot.

“How do you determine if an over-vote should be counted for one
candidate or the other?” Larrazabal said.

“You cannot second-guess the voter,” said Election Chair Jose Melo.

Rules on stray or null votes would apply even if votes were manually
counted in an electoral protest, Melo said.

“It has to be machine (count). No human appreciation,” he added.

The Philippines held its first automated elections using PCOS
machines and machine-readable ballots supplied by Smartmatic-TIM Corp.
Instead of writing down candidates’ names in blank spaces, voters shaded
ovals beside candidates’ names.

Source: Inquirer

FEU and CEU Top Nursing School – CHeD

Manila, Philippines – The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) announced on Tuesday the top-performing schools offering the Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs in the country for 2009.

These schools rated higher than 40.70% national passing average set by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) and the school’s number of exam takers in the recent results of the licensure examinations for nursing.

The top nursing schools for 2009 for Range 1 (with 1,000 and up takers) are: Far Eastern University-Manila (NCR) with 1,982 passers out of 2,656 takers or 74.62 percent passing rate; Centro Escolar University-Manila (NCR) with 720 out of 1,002 or 71.86 %; Manila Doctors College (NCR) with 704 out of 1,011 or 69.63 %; Manila Central University-Caloocan City (NCR) with 598 out of 1,048 or 57.06%; University of the Cordilleras (CAR) with 978 out of 1,743 or 56.11%; University of Cebu (Region 7) with 829 out of 1,529 or 54.22%; University of Pangasinan with 627 out of 1,217 or 51.52%; University of San Carlos (Region 7) with 508 out of 1005 or 50.55%; Western Mindanao State University (Region 9) with 587 out of 1,179 or 49.79%; University of the Visayas-Mandaue City (Region 7) with 679 out of 1,48 or 45.72%; Arellano University-Manila (NCR) with 967 out of 2,116 or 45.70%; Brokenshire College (Region 11) with 649 out of 1,456 or 44.57%; Riverside College (Region 6) with 785 out of 1,763 or 44.53%; Davao Doctors College, Inc. (Region 11) with 784 out of 1,805 or 43.43%; Iloilo Doctors’ College (Region 6) with 687 out of 1,590 or 43.21%; and Wesleyan University of the Philippines-Cabanatuan City (Region 3) 639 out of 1,524 or 41.93%.

For the Range 2 (with 100 to 999 takers), the Top Nursing Schools include Saint Paul University-Iloilo (Region 6); with 100.00% passing rate; West Visayas State University-La Paz (Region 6) with 99.48%; Saint Louis University (CAR) with 99.04%; Trinity University of Asia (NCR) with 98.80%; University of Santo Tomas (NCR) with 98.36%; Chinese General Hospital College of Nursing & Liberal Arts (NCR) with 98.02%; University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center (NCR) with 97.69%; Pamantasan ng Lungsod Ng Maynila (NCR) with 97.51%; Saint Paul University-Dumaguete (Region 7with 97.28%); Cebu Normal University (Region 7) with 96.54%; Velez College (Region 7) with 95.65%; Xavier University (Region 10) with 95.56%; Silliman University (Region 7)with 95.22%; De La Salle University-Dasmarinas Health Science Campus (Region 4)with 95.14%; Saint Paul University-Tuguegarao (Region 2)with 94.97%; Central Philippine University (Region 6)with 94.30%; Remedios T. Romualdez Medical Foundation (Region 8)with 93.31%; Mindanao State University-Marawi City (ARMM) with 91.71%; Cebu Technological University-Main (Region 7) with 90.84%; and Benguet State University-La Trinidad (CAR) with 88.89%.

For Range 3 (with 10 to 99 takers), the Top Performing Nursing Schools include Negros Oriental State University-Dumaguete (Region 7) with 100.00%; Bukidnon State College-Malaybalay (Region 10) with 100.00%; University of the Philippines-Manila (NCR) with100.00%; University of Saint Louis-Tuguegarao (Region 2) with 97.37%; Central Mindanao University (Region 10) with 95.83%; Philippine Christian University-Manila (NCR) with 88.89%; Saint Paul University-Quezon City (NCR) with 84.85%; New Era University (NCR) with 84.13%; Colegio De Sta. Lourdes of Leyte Foundation, Inc. (Region 8) with 83.33%; Lyceum of the Philippines-Manila (NCR) with 82.35%; Aklan State University ((Region 6) with 81.48%; Saint Tonis College (CAR) with 78.57%; Foundation University (Region 7) with 78.31%; STI College Cebu, Inc. (Region 7) with 75.00%; Samar State University ((Region 8) with 74.07%; Jose Rizal Memorial State College-Dapitan (Region 9) with 74.07%; First City Providential College (Region 3) with 73.53%; Aklan Polytechnic Institute (Region 6) with 72.97%; University of the Phil. School of Health & Sciences-Leyte (Region 8) with 72.00%; Palawan State University (Mimaropa) with 69.49%; College of Maasin (Region 8) with 69.39%; and Pangasinan State University-Bayambang (Region 1) with 66.67%.

The CHEd also released the names of the 253 low-performing nursing schools as well as the top-performing schools in the country based on national passing average of 40.70 percent based on the licensure examinations the PRC administered last June and November 2009.

CHEd Chairman Emmanuel Angeles said that in National Capital Region (NCR) alone, there are 47 nursing schools that were identified as among the low-performing nursing schools. “This initiative is part of CHEd’s commitment to monitor and evaluate the performance of nursing schools nationwide and to ensure the quality of nursing education in the country,” he explained.

Angeles added that this move of monitoring and releasing the names of low-performing nursing schools is made to answer the clamor of the public and education stakeholders of a more informative background on higher education institutions in the country. “It also aims to aide parents and students in deciding which schools could provide them quality education and their money’s worth,” he said.

The CHEd and PRC – through its Educational Statistics Task Force – vowed to continuously inform the public of the results of board examinations and the ranking of schools all over the country in other professional licensure examinations in the succeeding days. “We at CHEd will publish in provincial news dailies sub-standards schools per region which schools did not fare well in licensure examinations,” Angeles said.

Last May 14, CHEd and PRC revealed that there were 147 schools that offer nursing program but have performed below the national passing rate of 46.14 percent for the for the past five years (2004-2008) in the nursing licensure examinations administered by the PRC.

The CHEd said that a more complete list of low-performing nursing schools per region could be viewed at the PRC website (

source: Manila Bulletin

27 Party-List Group Proclaimed

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) proclaimed on Monday 27 party-list groups, whose nominees will occupy 35 of 57 seats available for marginalized sectors in the House of Representatives.

The 27 party-list groups and their respective number of seats are: Coalition of Association of Senior Citizens in the Philippines – 1,292,182 votes (2 seats); Akbayan Citizen’s Action Party – 1,058,691 votes (2 seats); Gabriela Women’s Party – 1,001,421 votes (2 seats); Cooperative Natcco Network Party – 943,529 votes (2 seats); ABONO – 766,615 votes (2 seats); Bayan Muna – 746,019 votes (2 seats); An Waray – 711,631 votes (2 seats); Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines, Inc. (AGAP) – 515,501 votes (1 seat); Alliance for Barangay Concerns Party (ABC) – 469,093 votes (1 seat); Anakpawis – 445,628 votes (1 seat); Kabataan Party-list – 417,923 votes (1 seat); Abante Mindanao, Inc. (ABANAMIN) – 376,011 votes (1 seat); Act Teachers – 369,564 votes (1 seat); You Against Corruption and Poverty (YACAP) – 335,635 votes (1 seat); Ang Kasangga sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (Ang Kasangga) – 296,368 votes (1 seat); Bagong Henerasyon (BH) – 292,875 votes (1 seat); Agbiag! Timpuyog Ilocano, Inc. (AGBIAG) – 262,298 votes (1 seat); Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) – 238,675 votes (1 seat); Arts Business and Science Professionals – 257,301 votes (1 seat); Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) – 244,623 votes (1 seat); Alyansa ng mga Grupong Haligi ng Agham at Teknolohiya Para sa Mamayan, Inc. (AGHAM) – 241,898 votes (1 seat), Democratic Independent Workers Association (DIWA) – 238,675 (1 seat); Kapatiran ng mga Nakulong na Walang Sala – 234,717 votes (1 seat); Kalinga Advocacy for Social Empowerment and Nation Building Through Easing Poverty, Inc. (Kalinga) – 229,198 votes (1 seat); Alagad Party-list – 227,116 votes (1 seat); 1 Ang Pamilya – 217,032 votes (1 seat); and the Alliance of Volunteer Educators – 214,760 (1 seat).

The Comelec, however, decided to defer the proclamation of 12 organizations because of pending disqualification cases against them.

These groups are Ako Bicol Political Party; Ang Galing Pinoy; Buhay Hayaan Yumabong Party-list; 1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy (1-CARE); Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC); LPG Marketers Association, Inc. (LPGMA); Ang Asosayon Sang Manguguma Nga Bisaya-Ow Mangunguma, Inc. (MBIS-OWA); Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC); Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD); 1-UTAK; Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms (A Teacher); and Butil Farmer Party (BUTIL).

A total of 187 party-list groups ran in the 2010 elections.

Meanwhile, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said proclaimed party-list groups may still be disqualified if proven to have overspent in the May 10 polls.

Comelec Chairman Jose Melo said that party-list groups found to have overspent risk the possibility of being stopped from assuming their posts even if they won in the recently concluded elections.

Comelec Resolution 8944 said that candidates, aside from the president and vice president, can only spend P3 for every registered voter.

Republic Act 7166 also states that campaign overspending constitutes an election offense which carries a penalty of one to six years imprisonment and removal of right of suffrage or the rights to vote and be voted.

Earlier, the group Pera’t Pulitika (PAP) reported the “exorbitant” spending of party-list groups saying it runs counter to their claim of representing marginalized sectors.

May 10 Possible end could be failure?

MANILA, Philippines–Liberal Party standard bearers Senators Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Mar Roxas are worried that the first automated elections in May would end up in total failure due to the removal of safeguards in ballots and faulty implementation of several features of the automated election system (AES).

In a letter to Commission on Elections chairman Jose Melo, Aquino and Roxas expressed concerns that the poll body is running out of time to fully ensure the success of the automated elections and might need to resort to manual counting.

“The unrealistic and abbreviated timeline observed by the Comelec, as well as the consequent alarming delays in the production of election paraphernalia, create a possibility for the occurrence of a failure of elections,” they said in the letter.

“Further, we are particularly disturbed by the fact that the Commission and Smartmatic-TIM have disabled or entirely removed crucial safeguards in the various components of the AES,” they added.

The removal of crucial safeguards, which are required under the law, they said, would present an opportunity for massive electoral fraud by certain sectors that are desperate to hold on to power beyond their constitutional mandate.

LP’s general campaign manager, Florencio Abad, said Aquino and Roxas and the entire leadership of LP were alarmed by the “overwhelming evidence that there is a grand conspiracy to make the elections fail and get someone in power now to stay beyond June 30.”

Aquino and Roxas, Abad said, cited eight reasons to justify their claim of a possible failure in the implementation of automated poll system.

First, the poll body allegedly prevented a timely and genuine review of the source code by political parties and other interested stakeholders;

Second, the lack of means to verify ultra-violet marks in the official ballots.

During the site visit of candidates to the National Printing Office (NPO) on March 11, the LP said, the Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM confirmed that the built-in capability of the PCOS machines to read and verify the hidden ultra-violet security mark on the official ballot have been disabled.

Third, the LP said the parallel random manual audit as required under the law should be undertaken by an independent auditor prior to the electronic transmission of election results and proclamation.

Fourth, the refusal to accredit NAMFREL-CBCP-NASSA as citizens’ poll watchdog group.

Fifth, the “unfair ballot design,” that allegedly favored Senator Manny Villar, Aquino’s closest rival in the presidential race.

Sixth, the lack of contingency/back-up plans in case of a systems breakdown or any such eventuality that would result in the delay, obstruction or non-performance of the process.

“Considering the lack of safeguards, delays, tight schedules and other problems in the implementation of the automated elections, it is imperative for the Comelec to prepare for manual elections as a contingency or back-up measure,” said the LP.

Seventh, the disqualification of LP candidates in the past few months.

The LP noted a spate of disqualifications, specifically targeting their candidates like Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio, Isabela Gov.Grace Padaca and popular actor Richard Gomez.

And eight, the pending resolution of the poll body to the petition of Villar’s Nacionalista Party against the LP’s status of being the dominant minority party.