ETV: The Plus Factor in K+12

Author’s note: A few years into K to 12, with the first batch of Grade 11 students, educational television (ETV) has yet to make a comeback to reflect the new educational system reality. With change finally here, perhaps the Department of Education under Secretary Leonor Briones can invest on these types of shows. It would be interesting to watch shows teaching math or science using the mother tongues of the different regions.

This unedited piece was originally submitted as a position paper for the English 10 (College English) course under Professor Maria Lorena Santos, Second Semester AY 2011-2, University of the Philippines Diliman.


Do the names Kuya Bodjie, Pong Pagong and Kiko Matsing ring a bell? How about the line “Bawat bata may tanong. Ba’t ganito, ba’t gano’n?” As the Internet meme goes, “If you remember these, your childhood was awesome.” For those who cannot recall or are unfamiliar with these, the first three are characters from Batibot, “the Philippines’ answer to the widely popular children’s program Sesame Street” (“Tayo na sa Batibot”) and as such was geared towards “[addressing] all aspects of early childhood growth and development” (Philippine Children’s). Meanwhile, the line above was taken from the theme song of Sine’skwela, which focused on elementary science and technology concepts and applications. It was one of the shows produced by the ABS-CBN Foundation using “curriculum-based scripts…under deep scrutiny of the Department of Education [or DepEd]” along with Math-tinik, Hirayamanawari and Bayani (“When Stars Help”).

These shows are just a few examples of children’s television. According to the Children’s Television Act Of 1997, children’s television refers to programs and other materials broadcast on television that are specifically designed for viewing by Filipino children, all persons below eighteen years old. These programs often serve educational purposes, which according to Senate Bill No. 1443, filed by Senator Loren Legarda and currently pending in the committee level, include the following:

1) Give positive influence on entertainment;

2) Promote social values;

3) Mobilize community support to, and wage information campaigns directed at parents to promote the importance of basic education;

4) Improve the image of technical education and skills training and to inculcate the necessary values needed for productive employment;

5)  Propagate culture, foster patriotism and nationalism and other values that serve as an instrument in the struggle for Filipino sovereignty, identity, national unity and integration. (Children’s Television)

Synonymous terms to children’s television with educational purposes include “education-oriented children’s television”, “educational programs”, “educational shows” and “educational television” or ETV.

Education-oriented children’s television, however, has suffered a decline in the past decade. Laurence Andrade, in his undergraduate thesis, interviewed several persons involved in the production of such shows. “[They] all agreed that there is a significant decline in children’s programming, particularly those with educational content, as compared to its condition ten to fifteen years ago” (Andrade 30). Foreign anime and cartoons, which are cheaper to import, now form a large part of children’s programming with only weekends allotted for locally-produced educational shows. The problem is not “with quality but on quantity” (Andrade 47).

Andrade’s study cited several reasons that have contributed to this decline. For example, sponsors prefer entertainment programs over education-oriented children’s television. “The writers and program managers explained that advertisers do not look at children viewers as an important market for their products” (Andrade 30). The government does not also see the value of tapping television in advancing children’s education. Mag Hatol Cruz, secretary-general of the Anak TV Foundation, lamented that his organization has been appealing in vain for support:

First, they tried to convince the government to formulate implementing rules and regulation for [the National Council for Children’s Television or] NCCT to be able to serve its purpose. [He] also shared that they appealed to be given programming slots to even just one government station. (Andrade 39)

Despite the rising popularity of social media and the Internet, television is still the most popular media platform in the Philippines according to the 2010 Nielsen Audience Measurement report (“Filipinos Still Glued”). Furthermore, in 2006, two to twelve year olds spent the most time watching television, with 3.7 hours a day (AGB Nielsen Media Research). Yet, the government does not realize this. It must therefore be made aware of the power of using television in order to promote the education of Filipino children.

Consequentially, the present Aquino administration needs to forge partnerships with local television networks and producers in order to facilitate a revival of educational television. This comes at a crucial time, as the DepEd is keen on pushing through with the K+12 educational system. In a span of four years starting this June, a transition period will take place, with the addition of two years of senior high school to the current 10-year cycle. During this period, students are allowed to specialize in either of the following: science and technology, music and arts, agriculture and fisheries, sports, business and entrepreneurship (Hernando-Malipot) as well as technical and vocational education under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Crisostomo). Thus, instructional materials need to be updated in order to address this and other changes in the curriculum.

In addition, educational programs improve students’ academic performances. A thesis by Miriam College students in 1995 involved grade three and six pupils of Project 6 Elementary School in Quezon City, which were divided into two groups, with one group exposed to Sine’skwela. Over the course of the study, four five-point evaluation exams were given to both groups and the scores were compared. The researchers found out that “There was a significant difference between the acquisition of learning between the experimental group [those exposed to Sine’skwela] and control group [those who were not]. There was [also] a significant relationship between the exposure of the experimental group and the control group” (Aranas, et al.). In other words, Sine’skwela was an effective instructional material for science and technology.

Similarly, children’s television with educational purposes also has a positive effect on teachers. Leo Larkin, who studied its feasibility in Greater Manila during the 1960s, believes that ETV “[frees] teachers [from] extra class preparation [in order to perform] further duties such as guidance counseling, teaching special groups of slow learners or gifted students, or taking extra-curricular activities” (qtd. in “Practicability of Educational Television”). Additionally, a thesis by Katherine Balite in 1999 surveyed 112 Math teachers from various public and private elementary schools in Metro Manila, “99 percent of [whom] have positive opinion[s] on the program [Math-tinik]” (qtd. in Andrade 10).

Educational shows also maintain a certain teaching standard. According to Wilbur Schramm, in his book “The Impact of Educational Television: Selected Studies from the Research Sponsored by the National Educational Television and Radio Center [of the United States]”, “[Such shows] can supply the best teaching demonstrations. [Their] self-instructional materials can conduct lessons professionally, and [they] can give the student the freedom to work at his own desired pace. Television can display an event or activity that would otherwise be spoiled for direct observation. This is especially true for Science classes, which deal with many fragile specimens” (Schramm 5 qtd. in “Practicability of Educational Television”).

A crucial problem with education-oriented children’s television is that prolonged television viewing weakens the left hemisphere of the brain, which controls language and speech functions. According to Kate Moody, “The eye and brain functions employed in TV viewing are likely to put demands on different parts of the brain than those used in reading, causing incalculably different kinds of cognitive development” (67). Neil Postman wrote in his “Teaching as a Conserving Activity” that fast-moving, concrete and discontinuous television imagery requires emotional responses, and not conceptual or logical processes. For Postman, “the TV curriculum poses a serious challenge, not merely to school performance, but civilization itself.” Thus, solely relying on television as a medium of instruction is disadvantageous. Its use must be balanced with other learning experiences and materials so that students get a full understanding of the lessons taught in class.

Critics may also argue that it is impractical to produce local educational shows since they would only rehash the content of their foreign counterparts, and that it would be cheaper to import these instead. On the other hand, Filipino children may have a hard time grasping Western concepts and values and applying them in the Philippine setting. Only home-grown programs can provide elements that are close to home.

In a nutshell, a resurgence of children’s television with educational purposes can only take place through the participation of all stakeholders involved, the most imperative of which is the partnership of the government and local television networks. (Experts from different fields of study such as the sciences, languages and history should also be consulted. Quantity should not be at the expense of quality.) The benefits of educational programs outweigh its shortcomings. Truly, ETV is the plus factor in K+12.

Works Cited:

AGB Nielsen Media Research. “Luzonians Are TV Addicts, AGB Nielsen Media Research Study Reveals.” Nielsen Television Audience Measurement. 15 Nov. 2006. Web. 4 Mar. 2012.

Andrade, Laurence Joy. “Sine’skwe…Wala Na?: A Descriptive Study On The Decline Of Children’s Educational Programs On Free Television.” Diss. U of the Philippines Diliman, 2010. Print.

Aranas, Juliet, Ann Margaret Dumlao, Ma. Luisa Madamba, Estela Mesina, Lalaine Verba, and Lorren Viay. Effect of Scientific Ideas Embodied in Sineskwela on the Performance of 3rd and 6th Grade Students in Their Science Exam. Diss. Miriam College, 1995. Quezon City: The Authors, 1995. Print.

Balite, Katherine. “Teachers’ Perspectives on the TV Program “Math-Tinik” as a Learning Aid for Elementary School Children: A Survey.” Diss. U of the Philippines Diliman, 1999. Print.

Children’s Television Act of 1997. Republic Act No. 8370. 28 Oct. 1997. Official Gazette. Print.

Crisostomo, Shiela. “Tech-Voc Eyed Under K+12.” The Philippine Star 29 May 2011: n.pag. Print.

Department of Education Naga. “The Practicability of Educational Television in the Philippines.” Educational TV (ETV) Program. n.d. Web. 4 Mar. 2012.

“Filipinos Still Glued to the Tube, Nielsen Survey Says”. Philippine Daily Inquirer 10 Mar. 2011: n.pag. Print.

Hernando-Malipot, Ina. “Are You Ready for K+12?” Manila Bulletin 13 May 2011: n.pag. Print.

Larkin, Leo. Towards Educational Television for a Greater Manila. New York: n.p., 1960. Print.

Moody, Kate. Growing Up on Television – The TV Effect. New York: Times Books, 1980. Print.

Philippine Children’s Television Foundation, Inc. “Batibot Profile.” Batibot. Internet Archive, 1997. Web. 2 Mar. 2012.

Postman, Neil. Teaching as a Conserving Activity. New York: Delacorte Press, 1979. Print.

Schramm, Wilbur Lang. The Impact of Educational Television: Selected Studies from the Research Sponsored by the National Educational Television and Radio Center. Urbana: Illinois UP, 1960. Print.

“Tayo na sa Batibot As It Returns on TV.” Red Carpet Entertainment Magazine 23 Apr. 2010: 2. Print.

“When Stars Help Teach Children.” Manila Bulletin 8 Sep. 2009: n.pag. Print.

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Towards a Rizal model of governance

Dr. José Rizal (1861-1896) was a “Filipino nationalist, novelist, poet, ophthalmologist, journalist, and revolutionary…, widely considered as one of the greatest heroes of the Philippines” (from Wikipedia). This post, non-verbatim, formed part of the requirements for Philippine Institutions 100 (Life and Works of Rizal) under Dr. Ma. Crisanta Flores, First Semester AY 2014-15.

This post is intended to be in a perpetual work in progress, to be revised as new details and interpretations of Rizal emerge.

This post initially appeared on the 118th anniversary of Rizal’s martyrdom (1896), 30 December 2014.

From his life and writings, and the subsequent interpretations of these by various scholars and writers, three models of governance can be attributed to Dr. Rizal. For the sake of discussion, “governance” here is defined as the relationship between the state, the private sector, and civil society.

In his essay “Elias: The Ethics of a Revolution”,  Adrian Cristobal wrote, “There is only one acceptable society: founded on the dialogue between man and the state, between authority and freedom.” This implies a harmonious relationship between the ruler and the ruled,. Cristobal added that the absence of this dialogue justified a revolution, “…it must be made to exist. Ergo: Revolution.”

Renato Constantino paints Rizal as a limited Filipino, limited primarily by his social class, in his seminal essay “Veneration Without Understanding.” He argued that the reformists including Rizal “wanted accommodation within the existing system,” quoting a portion of Rizal’s letter to Blumentritt:

….under the present circumstances, we do not want separation from Spain. All that we ask is greater attention, better education, better government employees, one or two representatives and greater security for our persons and property. Spain could always win the appreciation of the Filipinos if she were only reasonable!

This reading of Rizal implies that his model of governance is state-centered, with reforms coming from above. The ruled in turn are passive or at most active only in seeking for reforms. Constantino wrote, “…[Rizal] instinctively underestimated the power and the talents of the people [in condemning the Revolution],” rooting this to his ilustrado background.

Floro Quibuyen goes against Constantino’s view of Rizal in his book Rizal: A Nation Aborted (While not from the book exactly, Quibuyen’s arguments on Rizal can be read here). He states that the premises used by Constantino and the prevailing Rizal orthodoxy stems from faulty interpretations of the national hero (as being “merely a reformist”) that can be traced to Wenceslao Retana and Trinidad Pardo de Tavera and perpetuated by the Americans to justify their rule over the Philippines in the early 1900s. Quibuyen asserts that the documentary evidence and statements of Rizal’s contemporaries show that Rizal was a revolutionary. Quibuyen rebuked Constantino for omitting the portion before the letter to Blumentritt quoted above, which reads:

A peaceful struggle shall always be a dream, for Spain will never learn the lesson of her South American colonies. Spain cannot learn what England and the United States have learned. But, under the present circumstances, we do not want separation from Spain. All that we ask is greater attention, better education, better government employees, one or two representatives and greater security for our persons and property. Spain could always win the appreciation of the Filipinos if she were only reasonable!

For Quibuyen, this meant Rizal was no longer interested in petitioning Spain for reforms in the Philippines, foremost of which included freedom of the press and representation in the Spanish parliament. Rather, Rizal believed that revolution was not a question of if but that of when.

With regard to Rizal’s model of governance, Quibuyen explicitly states in chapter 6 of Rizal: A Nation Aborted that Rizal favored a nation-as-civil society against the nation-state. The nation Rizal envisioned, according to Quibuyen, was not rooted on the principle of sovereignty (which eradicated the political obligation of the ruler to the ruled, resulting in vox imperium, vox populi) but instead on the principle of vox populi, vox Dei (where the state is obliged to ensure that the people reach their self-fulfillment, and that the people have the duty to keep the state in check). This nation is rooted on the basis of a shared language and culture (rather than descent) and on principles of justice and equality. Quibuyen traces this to the works of German philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder, to the Judeo-Christian tradition from which Rizal was not able to distance himself, and in practice to the aims of his failed Sandakan project and the Liga Filipina, and Rizal’s community in Dapitan.

Quibuyen’s interpretation of Rizal may also be linked to Father John Schumacher’s reading of the Noli me tangere. In his essay “The Noli Me Tangere as Catalyst of Revolution”, Schumacher said, “[Rizal’s] revolutionary goal was to create a nation of Filipinos conscious of their human and national dignity and ready to sacrifice themselves to defend it.” Thus, the people are active participants in this model of governance, winning freedom by deserving it, by “sacrificing and working” (in the words of Padre Florentino in the Fili).

In summary, the models of governance that can be linked to Rizal involves: 1) harmony between all players; 2) opposition, with the state above civil society and the private sector; and 3) opposition, with the civil society and the private sector above the state.

Resulta ng Quick Survey Tungkol sa Pasahe sa MRT-3

Magandang araw po! Narito ang resulta ng aming isinagawang quick survey tungkol sa pasahe ng MRT-3. Isinagawa ito bilang bahagi ng pag-aaral tungkol sa mapagkukunan ng Pamahalaan para bayaran na ang mga equity rental payment (ERP) sa Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC), ang pribadong kumpanyang may-ari ng MRT-3. Nakapaloob ang ERPs sa Build-Lease-Transfer Agreement na nilagdaan ng Pamahalaan at ng MRTC. Ang pag-aaral ay kabilang sa mga kailangang ipasa sa Public Administration 142 (Tools for Policy Analysis) sa ilalim ni Dr. Kristoffer Berse sa Pambansang Dalubhasaan ng Pamamahalang Pambayan, Unibersidad ng Pilipinas Diliman.

Kung may mga katanungan po kayo tungkol sa isinagawa naming survey, maaari niyo kaming maabot sa pamamagitan ng pag-comment sa post na ito. Maaari niyo ring tignan ang buod/executive summary ng papel na isinulat namin gamit ang resulta ng survey na ito sa [sipi/link] (nasa wikang Ingles).

Katangian ng mga Tumugon/Demographiya (Demographics)

Apatnapung (40) tao ang sumagot sa aming survey. Convenience sampling ang ginamit para piliiin ang mga sumagot sa survey. Halos lahat sa kanila ay mga mag-aaral. Narito ang tala (hindi ito mutually exclusive, maaaring estudyante at nagtatrabaho rin ang isang tumugon.

1

Karamihan rin sa mga sumagot (halos kalahati) ay mahigit isang beses sa isang araw sumasakay sa MRT-3. Samantala, 26% ang sumagot ng iba pa o mas madalang pa sa isang beses sa isang linggo.

2

Tatlumpu’t siyam na porsyento (39%) ang nagsabing sumasakay sila sa MRT-3 para pumasok sa paaralan. Dalawampung porsyento (20%) naman ang nagsabing sumasakay sila para makuwi ng bahay. Ang mga nagdahilang sumasakay sila para pumasok sa trabaho ay umabot ng 8% samantalang ang nagbigay ng iba pang dahilan ay 33%. Muli, hindi mutually exclusive ang binigay na dahilan ng tumugon para sumakay ng MRT-3.

Higit sa kalahati ng mga tumugon (69%) ang nagsabing gumagamit sila ng stored value ticket (SVT), samantalang 31% ang nagsabing hindi sila gumagamit nito. Sa mga gumagamit ng SVT, 52% sa kanila ang nagsabing umaabot sa siyam (9) na beses ang kanilang biyahe sa isang SVT.

3

Karamihan sa mga tumugon (78%) ang nagsabing galing sa kanilang baon o allowance para sa pamasahe. Labing-walong bahagdan (18%) ang nagsabing galing sa kanilang sweldo ang pamasahe, at 5% ang nagsabing galing sa ibang pinagkukunan ang kanilang pamasahe.

Pinakamarami ang tumugon na mula PhP10,000 hanggang PhP29,999 ang kanilang sweldo o sweldo ng kanilang mga magulang o ng nagpapaaral sa kanila (24%). Pumangalawa ang tumugong aabot ito sa mula PhP30,000 hanggang PhP69,999. Ibinase ang mga kategorya sa income tax schedule na nakapaloob sa Sec. 24 ng RA 8424.

Tungkol sa Taas Pasahe

Sa mga sumagot ng aming survey, 55% ang nagsabing sang-ayon sila sa taas-pasahe, samantalang 45% naman ang tumutol.

Nasa ibaba ang mga dahilang kanilang binigay. (Muli, hindi mutually exclusive ang kanilang tugon.)

Sang-ayon Di sang-ayon
Dahilan % Dahilan %
Para mapaganda ang mga pasilidad at serbisyo 71.43 Dagdag gastos 17.65
Depende sa gamit ng dagdag pasahe 4.76 Hindi sapat ang pera para bayaran ang dagdag pasahe 17.65
Mataas masyado ang subsidiyang galing sa pamahalaan (government subsidy) 4.76 Di naman maganda at kailangang ayusin ang mga pasilidad 17.65
Para tapusin na ang kontrata sa MRTC at kunin na ng pamahalaan ang MRT-3 4.76 Marami sa mga mananakay ang mababa ang sahod 11.76
Walang tugon 14.29 Marami ang maaapektuhan 5.88
Mataas na nga ang kasalukuyang pasahe 5.88
Ito lang ang serbisyong panlipunan na ramdam ang subsidiyang galing sa pamahalaan (government subsidy) 5.88
Pampublikong pangangailangan ang MRT-3 5.88
Para manatiling abot-kaya 5.88
Walang tugon 5.88

Marami sa mga sumang-ayon ang nagdahilang kailangan nang ayusin ang pasilidad ng MRT-3. Binanggit ng ilan sa kanila ang sirang mga tren. Pero tatlong tao ang sumagot na sasang-ayon lang sila kung gagamitin nga sa pagsasaayos ng MRT-3 ang malilikom mula sa dagdag-pasahe.

Samantala, iba-iba ang dahilan ng mga hindi sang-ayon sa dagdag-pasahe. Dahilan rin ng ilang tumugon para sa pagtutol ang hindi magandang sitwasyon ng MRT-3.

Kung sakaling kailangan talagang taasan ang pasahe, pinakamarami ang nagsabing hanggang PhP5 taas-pasahe lang ang tanggap nilang bayaran.

4

(Bahagdan ng mga tumugon ang nasa kaliwa, dagdag-pasahe ang nasa ibaba)

Gayunpaman, halos lahat ng tumugon ay nagsabing sasakay pa rin sila sa MRT-3 kahit sumobra sa hangganan ng tanggap nilang bayaran ang ipinatupad na dagdag-pasahe.

Idinahilan nila na mas mabilis (45%) at maginhawa (21%) pa rin ang MRT-3 kumpara sa ibang paraan ng paglakbay.

Dinagdag ang tanong na “Pabor ba kayo sa buyout ng MRT-3?” nang rebisahin (revise) ang survey form. Dahil dito, 21% lang ng kabuuang bilang ng mga tumugon ang nakasagot sa tanong na ito. Sa mga sumagot sa tanong, 63% ang nagsabing sang-ayon sila sa buyout samantalang  37% ang nagsabing hindi nila alam ang tungkol sa buyout. Sa pamamagitan ng buyout, bibilhin na ng pamahalaan ang MRT-3 mula sa MRTC para itigil na ang equity rental payments at mapunta na sa pamahalaan ang pagmamay-ari sa naturang sistema ng tren.

Sulit Ba ang Stored Value?

Ipinasa ang sanaysay na ito para sa Filipino 25 sa ilalim ni Propesora Luna Sicat Cleto noong Tag-init 2013.

—–

Pila sa Guadalupe station, Ika-6 ng Pebrero, 2013

Pila sa Guadalupe station, Ika-6 ng Pebrero, 2013

fuckyeahemirSafety reminders po. Manatiling nakahawak sa mga safety handrail. Iwasang sumandal sa magkabilang pintuan. Magbigay ng upuan sa mga buntis, mga senior citizen, mga disabled, at may mga kasamang bata. Mag-ingat na rin po sa mga mandurukot. Maraming salamat po.”EDVM

fuckyeahemirAraw-araw yang naririnig ng mga mananakay ng Metro Rail Transit Line 3, o ang MRT para sa karamihan. Pero kapansin-pansin ring hindi nasusunod ang mga ito. Hindi naman lahat ay nakakahawak sa mga safety handrail. Sumasandal rin naman sa mga pintuan ang mga pasahero, para madaling makalabas ng tren pagkahinto pa lang sa destinasyon. Karamihan naman ng mga nakaupo ang hindi buntis, senior citizen, mga disabled, at may mga kasamang bata. Tila ipinagkikibit-balikat na lang ang mga babalang iyon o hindi lang sila marinig, lalo na ng mga may pasak na earphones sa tenga. Nakakasawa na rin naman, gaya ng ilan pang mga ritwal na pinagdadaanan ng bawat mananakay sa bawat pagsakay sa tren na tinatakbo ang EDSA.EDVM

fuckyeahemir“Bakit nga ba nag-e-MRT yung mga kababayan natin? Kasi sulit yung pamasahe, mabilis na, hindi ka pa makukunsume sa trapik,” sabi ng isang mamamahayag sa telebisyon. Pero masasabi nga bang sulit ang pamasahe sa MRT? EDVM

DI NA KAYA PERO KINAKAYA PA RINemir

fuckyeahemirNang pinaplano ang MRT, tinayang aabot sa 350,000 katao ang gagamit nito kada araw. Ginamit ang pagtatayang ito sa pagbili ng mga tren na tumitigil at nagsasakay ng mga mananakay ngayon. Subalit, noong 2012, humigit kumulang na 500,000, o 140% ng kapasidad ng MRT, ang sumasakay dito sa isang araw (Martin).EDVM

fuckyeahemirHindi tuloy nakapagtataka ang mahahabang mga pila sa mga stasyon, lalo na tuwing rush hour. Halimbawa, kailangang dumaan ng pasahero sa security check. Kadalasa’y inaabot ng labinlimang minuto, mula sa dulo ng pila hanggang sa kinatatayuan ng mga gwardiya, bago ma-inspect ang bag at makapasok sa platform area. May dalawa o tatlong beses kasing hindi muna magpapapasok sa loob. Maririnig sa mga loudspeaker ang mga salitang, “Northbound, stop muna. Puno na ang platform.”EDVM

fuckyeahemirPagkatapos lumusot sa pagtusok-tusok ng mga gwardiya ang bag, kailangan ulit pumila sa mga tanda kung saan tumitigil mismo ang mga pintuan ng mga tren. Mahahaba na nga, sala-salabat pa kung minsan ang mga pilang ito. Nakakalito kung saan papuntang pinutan ang pinilahan, sa kaliwa ba o sa kanan? Aabutin ulit tuloy ng labinlimang minuto at tatlong tren bago makakapasok ang isang pasahero. Kaya ang 15 minutong biyahe, inaabot ng 45 minuto.EDVM

fuckyeahemirAng mga pila sa labas, nagiging siksikan at tulakan naman sa loob ng tren. Magkabali-bali man ang buto, matupi man ang tiket na gagamitin paglabas ng stasyon, maipit man ang bag o kamiseta sa pintuan, ang mahalaga’y nagkasya at hindi pinababa. Kahit na mistulang puno na ang tren, nagagawa ng mga pasahero sa loob na maglaan ng espasyo para sa mga papasok ng tren. Nakakasawa rin naman kasing maghintay. Bahala na rin kung nasa harap. Ayaw kasing umurong sa gitna ng mga pasaherong atat lumabas, muli dahil sa tagal nang hinihintay. At okay lang na hindi matamaan ng aircon.EDVM

fuckyeahemirMahirap igalaw ang katawan, kahit para abutin man lang ang mga hawakan. Pag may isang bumangga, domino effect ang labas niyan. Ang masaklap pa’y hindi lahat ng aircon gumagana. Tagaktak tuloy ang pawis ng mga mananakay. Maghahalo-halo ang amoy ng mga yan hanggang sa mangamoy-hipon na ang lahat paglabas. Salamat sa pagiging overcapacity ng MRT kaya nangyayari ang mga ito.EDVM

TIRIK TRENEmir

fuckyeahemirNapapadalas na rin ngayon ang pagkasira ng mga tren habang nagbibiyahe, senyales marahil na higit sampung taon na ang tanda ng mga ito. Sa mga hindi pa nakakasakay ng tren, humahaba lalo ang mga pila at tumatagal ang oras na hinihintay. Sa mga nakasakay naman, maaaring hindi lang paghihintay ang problema.EDVM

fuckyeahemirHalimbawa, pagkasakay galing Guadalupe: hindi man lang nakapasok nang tuluyan ang tren sa susunod na stasyon nang bigla mamatay ang makina nito. Sampung minuto yata kinapos sa hangin at hindi makagalaw ang mga pasahero bago umurong nang marahan uli ang tren. Aakalaing makakabiyahe na ulit. Yun pala, sasabihin ng drayber, “Hindi na po safe ang tren na ito. Bumaba na po lahat ng mga pasahero. Sumakay na lang sa susunod na tren.”EDVM

fuckyeahemirWala nang mas sasaklap na sumpa sa “nakasakay na nga, pabababain pa.” Maliban na lang kung puno rin yung mga dumaang tren. Kaya malamang, maghihintay tuloy ang isang mananakay ng tatlo o apat na tren uli. Dagdag oras na naman ang nasasayang.EDVM

fuckyeahemirIsa pang halimbawa: hanggang Shaw Boulevard lang ang sinasakyang tren dahil may tumirik na tren sa harap nito. May hahabulin man ang mananakay o wala, ma-oobliga siyang sumakay ng bus. Dagdag gastos na nga, dagdag perwisyo pa dahil sa trapik.EDVM

fuckyeahemirPero maswerte na rin ang mga pasaherong ganyan ang naging kapalaran. Paano na lang yung mga bubulagain ng “Temporarily Closed. No Revenue”? Teka, tama bang sabihing “No Revenue samantalang tila delubyo ang mga taong tumatangkilik sa MRT kada araw. Sa halip tuloy na makatipid, mapapagastos lalo ang mga sawimpalad. PhP 12 na nga mula Guadalupe hanggang Quezon Avenue, magiging PhP 46 pa. At imbes na isang tren lang, dalawang bus ang kailangan sakyan.EDVM

BUKAS PA RIN ANG LOOPEmir

fuckyeahemirBinubuo ng labing-tatlong stasyon ang MRT, mula sa Quezon City hanggang sa Pasay. Nakakabit ang pinakadulong stasyon sa timog, ang Taft Avenue, sa EDSA station ng Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 sa pamamagitan ng isang walkway. Sa orihinal na plano, i-e-extend dapat ang MRT pa-hilaga hanggang sa umabot ito sa Monumento, na noo’y pinakahilagang stasyon ng LRT Line 1. Subalit, hindi ito natuloy.EDVM

fuckyeahemirSa halip, ang LRT Line 1 ang pinahaba hanggang sa dulo ng MRT sa North Avenue. Sa ilalim ng proyektong “Closing the Loop” ng administrasyon ng dating Pangulong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, dalawang stasyon ang itinayo sa hilaga ng Monumento at isang central station naman ang itatayo sa harap ng SM City North EDSA, ilang lakad na lang ang layo mula sa MRT (“Philippines: Seamless Rail Travel”). Dalawang taon nang bukas ang stasyon sa Roosevelt at Balintawak, na parehong nasa Caloocan. Pero ang stasyon sa may SM, kahit mga poste man lang, wala pa rin hanggang ngayon. Ang huling balita ay pinag-aaralang muli ng Kagawaran ng Transportasyon at Komunikasyon kung saan ilalagay ang central station. Sabi nga ng Kalihim Jun Abaya, maaari daw itong ilipat sa may Trinoma o sa Malvar sa Caloocan (Amojelar). Tila wala nang katapusan ang mga pag-aaral na yan.EDVM

fuckyeahemirDahil dito, umaabot sa PhP 35 ang gagastusin ng isang pasaherong gagamit ng tren mula Guadalupe papuntang Monumento: PhP 12 mula Guadalupe hanggang North Avenue sakay ng MRT, PhP 8 mula sa SM North hanggang sa Roosevelt sakay ng dyip, at PhP 15 mula Roosevelt hanggang Monumento. O kaya PhP 26 sumatotal kung sasakay sa MRT papuntang Taft Avenue (PhP 11), lalakad, tapos sasakay sa LRT papuntang Monumento (PhP 15). Mukhang sulit pa rin naman kaysa sumakay sa bus. Pero hindi dapat kalimutan na kaakibat niyan ang mahahaba at maraming pila, lakad, at pati oras, na nasasayang sa paghihintay at sa walang lohikang pag-ikot, na lalo lang magpapalayo ng pasahero sa kanyang destinasyon.EDVM

TAASAN ANG PASAHE?Emir

fuckyeahemirMay mga panukalang itaas ang pamasahe sa MRT. Ang huli’y naganap noong Oktubre ng nakaraang taon. Ayon kay Kalihim Abaya, umaabot ng PhP 60 ang gastusin bawat pasahero para maisakay siya mula North Avenue hanggang Taft o pabalik. PhP 45 kasi nito ang binabayaran ng gobyerno, samantalang PhP 15 lamang ang binabayaran niya mismo. Balak ng mga nakakataas na babaan sa PhP 35 ang subsidy sa bawat pasahero, kaya’t kailangan niyang saluhin ang nalalabing PhP 10 (“Abaya confirms”).EDVM

fuckyeahemirKahit na inanunsyo rin ni Abaya na posibleng PhP 6 na piso na lang ang maaaring itaas ng pamasahe pagkatapos ng ilang araw (“MRT-3 fares”), marami pa rin ang tumutol dito. Andyan na ang karaniwang tugon na “pasakit sa masa yan” at “hindi naman publiko ang makikinabang diyan.” Pero may mga sumagot rin na gaya ng isang nakapanayam ng isang morning show tungkol sa isyung ito, “Sa tingin ko, mas i-improve muna nila yung serbisyo nila bago nila itaas yung pasahe ng MRT.” Ito rin ang katwiran ng mga pabor naman sa fare hike. Sa bagay, kailangan naman ng pondo para makabili ng panibagong mga tren at maisaayos ang mga sirang escalator at elevator, pati na rin ang mga banyo sa mga stasyon (“Tweet Thursdays”).EDVM

fuckyeahemirKung ano man ang mangyari sa pasahe, sana mawala na o mabawasan man lang ang mga pila’t siksikan. Oo, mura kung tutuusin sumakay ng MRT. Pero hindi naman matatawag na sulit ang araw-araw na mahuli sa paaralan o sa trabaho. Sayang ang oras at pera na maaari sanang gamitin para sa mga produktibong gawain pero napupunta lang sa walang katapusang paghihintay.EDVM

Sanggunian:Emir

“Abaya confirms P10 fare hike in MRT-3 in 2013.” Rappler. Rappler, 22 Okt. 2012. Web. 27 Abr. 2013.

Amojelar, Darwin. “DOTC to choose among 3 possible sites for common train station.” Interaksyon. TV5, 9 Jan. 2013. Web. 27 Abr. 2013.

Martin, Kathleen. “MRT 3 to acquire more train coaches.” ABS-CBN News. ABS-CBN Corporation, 13 Peb. 2013. Web. 27 Apr. 2013.

“MRT-3 fares may go up by only P6 – Abaya.” ABS-CBN News. ABS-CBN Corporation, 06 Nob. 2012. Web. 27 Apr. 2013.

“Philippines: Seamless Rail Travel in Metro Now Possible.” Asia News Monitor 26 Peb. 2010. ProQuest. Web. 27 Abr. 2013.

“Tweet Thursdays | Is 6 pesos reasonable for an MRT, LRT fare hike?” Interaksyon. TV5, 8 Nob. 2012. Web. 27 Abr. 2013.