The Inbox

Maguindanao classes go on during registration

Text by Artha Kira Paredes

Photos and Video by Amiel Mark Cagayan

VERA Files

DATU ODIN SINSUAT, Maguindanao—Classes went on as usual for elementary pupils and high school students here, even if classrooms in some schools were  designated voters' registration areas.

At noon last Friday, students of Sarilikha National High School in Barangay Semba were caught in a flurry of activities, apparently impervious to the ongoing registration of voters in two classrooms at the front of the school compound.

Those dismissed prepared to head for home or cleaned their classrooms while several groups in the covered court were practicing cheers and dances for a school presentation.

Acting Assistant Schools Division Supervisor Brahim Gulam said there was no suspension of classes in the first district of the Department of Education (DepEd) in  Maguindanao even if several classrooms are being utilized as registration centers.

The schools in the towns of Datu Blah T. Sinsuat, Upi North, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, Parang, Buldon, Barira, Matanog, and Kabuntalan North and South are under the first district of Manguindanao DepEd.

Voters registration in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) set from July 9 to 18.

Gulam said that while most of the 34 barangays in Datu Odin Sinsuat use one to two classrooms for the registrations, there is no directive to suspend classes. Classes are either held in extra rooms and classrooms or shifting takes place, he said.

When classes take shifts, students and pupils are still able to attend all their subjects but the time is reduced, he said.

At the high school in Barangay Semba here, second year high school students whose classroom is being used as a registration center held classes at the school library.

The junior students whose classroom serves as an area to fill up forms transferred to an unused room.

DepEd's Assistant Secretary for Operations Noor Saada said they do not have data yet on how many classrooms are being used as registration centers in ARMM.

He said that DepEd ARMM released a memo decentralizing the decision-making on whether a classroom can be used for registration or not.

To speed up the process, the district supervisor coordinates with the local election officer, he said.

Decision on whether to suspend classes may vary depending on the assessment of the situation, he said.

"If the decision is warranted, they can call off the class…if the school is not used for registration, if security is okay, classes push through," he said.

(ARMM WATCH  is a project of VERA Files in partnership with MindaNews, The Asia Foundation and Australian Agency for International Development. VERA Files is put out by  veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. VERA is Latin for "true.")


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes
    ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes

    The Yolanda-inspired film “Taklub” has won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The advocacy film, which had a successful premiere last Tuesday under the festival’s Un Certain Regard section, is directed by 2009 Cannes best director Brillante Mendoza and top-billed by Nora Aunor. The award cited the film’s sensitive portrayal of individuals and communities in the Philippines fighting to continue living despite natural disasters exposing them to suffering and death. …

  • Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam
    Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam

    A 21-year-old orphan from Capiz topped the chemical engineering board examinations held this month. Remington Salaya, a cum laude graduate of the Central Philippine University in Iloilo, ranked first in the board examinations with a score of 83.30 percent. Out of 405 chemical engineering graduates who took the exam in mid-May, 239 passed. …

  • A sunset party for APEC delegates
    A sunset party for APEC delegates

    Greeted by the beat of Ati-atihan drummers, delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers meeting enjoyed a welcome dinner and cultural presentation at sunset yesterday. Dubbed FuntaSea, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa’s Banyugan Beach was transformed into a fantasy island, complete with mermaids, fire dancers, and choreographed paraws (sailboat) representing the best of Boracay. With APEC meetings being held all over the Philippines, each presentation is conceptualized …

  • UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute
    UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Friday for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where China’s increased assertiveness has alarmed its smaller neighbors. In Manila, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. appealed to China to respect various international agreements on freedom of navigation and aviation. Coloma’s call came in the wake of an incident Wednesday where Chinese naval forces warned a US …

  • Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center
    Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center

    Philippine Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Elizabeth Buensuceso has called on participants of the ASEAN-China Center (ACC) brainstorming session to vigorously work on promoting ASEAN-China relations under the principles of inclusivity, transparency and centrality. The brainstorming session, attended by the ACC’s joint council and joint executive board members, also involved a midterm review of ACC’s work since its establishment in 2011. The ACC aims to promote …

  • Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation
    Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation

    Distressed Filipino domestic helpers in Lebanon may find it more difficult to return home. The government of Lebanon has tightened the rules on repatriation of distressed household service workers (HSWs), Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz reported yesterday. Citing a report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Baldoz said the Lebanese government opted to re-impose a previous policy requiring investigation into every case of HSWs who ran away from their employers and sought …

  • Army execs face attrition over promotion quota
    Army execs face attrition over promotion quota

    Dozens of Philippine Army officials may be removed from the service due to a promotion quota system in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, according to AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang. In a letter to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, he requested that the 30 percent promotion quota – which means that only 30 percent of those eligible for promotion in a given year will actually be promoted – in the Army be raised to 50 percent. Under the military’s attrition law, middle-grade officers …

  • Philippines backs support for small enterprises at APEC meet

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top trade official on Saturday called for support for the integration of micro, small and medium enterprises in global trade, which he said would help reduce poverty and inequality in the Asia-Pacific region. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options