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By Aries Cano, Jun Tadios, Noel Abuel January 25, 2017 at 12:04:23 am

Dumami pa ang bilang ng mga nagugutom na Pinoy sa huling bahagi ng 2016, ayon sa
pinakahuling survey na isinagawa ng Social Weather Station (SWS).

Alinsunod sa fourth quarter survey ng SWS, nasa 13.9% o katumbas ng 3.1 milyong pamilya ang
nakaranas ng gutom sa nasabing panahon. Mas mataas ito kung ikukumpara sa third quarter
survey noong 2016 na nasa 10.6 porsiyento o 2.4 milyong pamilya.

The hunger rate is the sum of 10.9% (2.5 million families) of respondents who said they
experienced moderate hunger or those who said they were hungry only once or a few times
during the period, ayon sa survey.

Tatlong porsiyento o katumbas ng 673,000 pamilya naman ang sumagot nang nakaranas sila ng
severe hunger, na ang ibig sabihin ay mas madalas o maraming beses silang nakaranas ng gutom
sa loob ng nakalipas na tatlong buwan.

Sa usapin naman ng geographic areas, 13.0% ng respondents sa Metro Manila o katumbas ng

399,000 pamilya ang nagsabing talagang nagutom sila, mas mataas kung ikukumpara sa 7.3% o
225,000 mag-anak noong Setyembre na naghatid para sa yearly average na 12.8% kumpara sa
16.6% noong 2015.

Lumobo rin ang gutom sa Balance Luzon sa 15% o katumbas ng 1.5 milyong pamilya mula sa
dating 11.7% noong Setyembre dahilan para maitala ang 2016 average sa 13.6% mula sa dating
12.4% noong 2015.

Sa Visayas naman ay umakyat sa 3.7 points at naging 16.7% o 724,000 pamilya mula sa dating 13%
ng 565,000 pamilya noong Setyembre kaya naitala sa 13.9% ang da-ting 10.8% na kagutuman
noong 2015.

Sa Mindanao ay umakyat sa 1.7% ang kagutuman o katumbas ng 10% ng 515,000 pamilya mula sa
dating 8.3% ng 429,000 pamilya noong Setyembre.

Isinagawa ang survey noong Disyembre 3-6, 2016 sa pamamagitan ng face-to-face interviews sa
may 1,500 adults nationwide na may error margin na +2 hanggang +4 porsiyento sa quarterly
national percentages.

Bilang reaksyon, sinabi ni presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella sa isang press briefing
kahapon sa Malacaang na magsisilbing reminder sa gobyernong Duterte ang nakalap na
impormasyon sa natu-rang survey para kumayod pa nang doble upang mapaliit ang bilang ng mga
nagugutom na Pinoy.
State weathermen miffed: We can
handle Project Noah
MANILA State weathermen showed their resentment of proponents of the Department of Science
and Technology (DOST)s Project Noah for supposedly belittling the competence of the Philippine
Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

The Philippine Weathermen Employees Association (PWEA), a group of PAGASAs employees,

claimed a group cramming to save Project Noah have undertaken a campaign to discredit the
weather agency.

We view this as an apparent attempt to discredit PAGASA, only to justify the extension of Project
(Noah), PWEA president Ramon Agustin said over the weekend.

Agustin singled out Project Noah executive director Mahar Lagmay for express(ing) doubt on
PAGASAs capability to absorb all the technical expertise developed by Project Noah.

The group claims through the media that PAGASA and its people lacked the capability to provide
accurate and timely weather forecasts. These are vicious lies that risk the lives of our countrymen,
the PWEA president said.

Portraying PAGASA as an incompetent agency has caused alarming resentment and demoralization
among our employees resulting in unwanted work slowdown, he went on.

The DOST, the head agency of PAGASA, tapped Lagmay and other University of the Philippines
experts in 2011 to develop tools to boost the countrys disaster warning and mitigation capability.

DOST said Project Noah developed an early flood and storm surge warning system, among others,
and was completed in December 2015.

After Lagmay spoke out two weeks ago about the impending termination of Project Noah, Science
Secretary Fortunato Dela Pea said PAGASA would take over Project Noahs operations.

Dela Pea said Project Noah was given an extension until the end of February 2017 to transfer the
technologies developed to PAGASA.

DOST said a transition project under PAGASA will be able to absorb many of Project Noah
personnel, in line with the recently passed PAGASA Modernization Law.
1,000th Starbooks rises in Laguna
Just like the popular coffee chain it was named after, Starbooks is out to conquer the Philippines,
from the northernmost province of Luzon to the southern tip of Mindanao.

Starbooks, short for the Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated
Kiosk Station, is a digital science library-in-a-box developed by the Science and Technology
Information Institute (STII) under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in 2011. It
contains a library of science books stored in a computer, making information available in a single,
easy click.

Starting with the first kiosk that stood next to a coffee maker at the DOST office in Taguig City, the
government opened its 1,000th site on Sept. 23 at a public high school in Barangay Dayap in Calauan,
Laguna province.

The good thing is Starbooks does not need an internet connection to be accessible.

The colorful pages featuring animated characters made it fun to use, said Ailene Gonzales, a Grade 10
student at Dayap National High School, as she browsed through topics on acids and bases.

More materials

Easy to use, just like Facebook, she said, referring to the worlds No. 1 social networking site. We
see a lot of stuff from social media but not all of them are credible. Now, we have a source of correct
information, she added.

Vince Carlo Orzales, also a Grade 10 student, said Starbooks just made research work easier. It will
help me a lot with my research for school, he said.

The earlier edition of Starbooks contained scanned materials and science journals of STII. But over
the years, the contents have been enhanced to include videos covering topics on food and nutrition,
health, climate change and the environment.

While most of these were written in English, some video materials were packaged in Filipino or
Cebuano, said Alan Taule, chief of STII Information Resources and Analysis Division.

Starbooks was awarded the American Library Association Presidential Citation for Innovative
International Library Projects in June last year in San Francisco, California.

A total of 363 videos comprised the Tamang DOSTKarte livelihood series on income-generating
projects like longganisa (native sausage) or candle-making.

Richard Burgos, STII director, said the project supported the United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organizations campaign for higher information literacy.

There is a huge gap that separates us from the rest of the world, he said. [But] it is never too late
to learn, Burgos said.
Of the 1,000 sites, 769 were in schools across the country. Others may be found in municipalities or
nongovernment offices and in public areas.

Among the first schools to receive Starbooks was Zambonga City High School.

While STII has yet to assess the current number of Starbooks users, Taule said the case of Victoria
Roman National High School in Bulacan province was one of the projects success stories.

They used to rank at the bottom of the National Assessment Test. [But after the installation of
Starbooks last year] they really leapfrogged to the top, he said.

STII plans to install 100 more kiosks in the next six weeks.

One box per barangay

Dr. Aristotle Carandang, chief of STIIs communication resources and production, said the projects
target was to install at least one box in every village in the Philippines.

The DOST is also working on an online version and a mobile application of Starbooks.

Carandang said the department was encouraging local governments or private organizations to become
partners by providing computers, with a storage capacity of at least 2 terabytes.

Aside from providing the content, STII is willing to take care of the skills upgrading and training of

Dayap National High School, with 4,000 students, is the 75th Starbooks site in Calabarzon (Cavite,
Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region.

Calabarzon has a unique character. Its one of the more developed regions but several towns are
trailing behind [in proficiency levels], Science Secretary Fortunato dela Pea said.

Through Starbooks, Dela Pea said the DOST was hoping that more students would choose science
and technology as their career path.

Education gives every family a chance to [rise] out of poverty, Dela Pea said.
How a barrio teacher made learning
science easy
MANILA, Philippines During a typical school afternoon, 40-year old Jennifer Manalo Rojo would
dismiss her class for lunch break.

"Class, are you ready?" Teacher Jenny would ask the class soon after they finish their meals.

A resounding "yes" would echo within the 4 corners of the small room. The wide-eyed students gave
all their attention to their teacher in front.

The one-hour break is something her class has always looked forward to for it served as an
opportunity for the students to learn and play at the same time.

With puzzles and games, Teacher Jenny would use the remaining time during lunch break to engage
her class of 30 Grade 5 students with their lesson for the day.

Rojo does not teach physical education or art, as others might first guess. She teaches an oft-avoided
topic: Science.

Teaching science

How can we make science an easy-to-learn topic at school?

This is the question that teacher Jenny, a teacher at the Neogon Public Elementary School in
Tagaytay, tried to answer herself.

Rojo has been teaching for 21 years already, specializing in science. Throughout her teaching career,
she observed how students have had a hard time studying mixtures, anatomy, and other topics under
her subject.

Kasi ang science, tinuturo siya nang English. So yung nakita kong difficulty sa mga estudyante, they
cannot express themselves in English and they cannot understand science easily kasi nga ang
vocabulary nila ay medyo mababa, Rojo said.

(Science is usually taught in English. With their poor English vocabulary, I observed that they would
have a hard time learning the subject because they cannot express themselves well in English.)

With this observation, Rojo created the Joyful Enrichment in Science vocabulary (JenSci vocabulary)
worksheets in the form of puzzles and games.


The goal of the innovation, according to Rojo, is to sow early interest in science among her students.
The initiative proved to be very helpful to her students.
As I assessed, nakatulong siya sa (pag-improve) sa vocabulary ng mga bata. In fact, nakatulong siya
para mag-increase yung aming National Achievement Test result in Science. From 2014 to 2015,
nagkaroon siya ng, I think, 30% increase on our NAT result in Science,Rojo said.

(As I assessed, it helped in improving the vocabulary of the students. In fact, it helped in increasing
our National Achievement Test result in Science. From 2014 to 2015, I think, there was about a 30%
increase on our NAT result in Science.)

A look into the bigger picture showed that the achievement rates for Science among 6th graders in the
Philippines showed a slow increase from 2014 to 2015