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Tag: December 18, 2013

2013: loss and redemption

CHRISTMAS celebration surely felt different this year in the context of ending a year, which could only be described as a hurricane. To be sure, this is not only in reference to the widescale calamities that ravaged parts of the country.

Early this year, people’s fears on the possible misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or “pork barrel” were finally confirmed when Benhur Luy ratted out his boss and cousin Janet Lim Napoles, revealing that the latter was engaged in the business of soliciting money from lawmakers to fund bogus non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This resulted in public outrage directed against both houses of Congress. The executive branch was not spared from criticism of course. In fact, there was also news of a “Janet Napoles” in the Judiciary. Thus, the issue was a collateral attack to the whole government.

More than 2,000 get hearing aids in medical mission

THE UST Health Service and the Simbahayan-Community Development Office gave free hearing aids to the deaf and mute at the Seminary Gym last Dec. 10 to 12, with international singing star Jessica Sanchez spearheading the charity work.

More than 2,000 patients received free hearing aids during the three-day medical mission, according to Dr. Maria Salve Olalia, director of the UST Health Service.

The medical mission was conducted in cooperation with the US-based Starkey Hearing Foundation and the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. The group has also provided hearing aids to more than 2,000 patients in Batangas and Sarangani provinces.

The American Idol Season 11 runner-up helped fit hearing aids to patients.

Anti-plagiarism software acquired

THE GRADUATE School has acquired an online program to detect plagiarism.

TurnItIn, one of the leading anti-plagiarism softwares in the world, scans theses and dissertations for any trace of plagiarism before they are approved for defense.

The program, which costs P260,000 annually, is one of the key steps being taken by the University in strengthening its research profile.

Professors can also check if a term paper or a simple homework is not original.

“We secured this software not to police the students but to prevent plagiarism,” said Grecebio Jonathan Alejandro, director of the Office of the Graduate Research.

Due to austere times, Paskuhan is toned down

A PASKUHAN for a cause.

The University has decided to donate part of the budget allocated for the Paskuhan celebration this Dec. 20 to provinces in the Visayas devastated by Super Typhoon “Yolanda.”

The program has been scaled down as a result. The traditional fireworks display, which lasts from 10 to 12 minutes, was said to have been scrapped. Instead of a full meal, street food will be served during agape. The concert will feature UST-based bands. Income from sponsors’ booths will also be given to typhoon victims.

“‘Yung ginagastos nating hundreds of thousands for the fireworks, ire-redirect na lang natin siya sa operations for Yolanda victims,” Central Student Council (CSC) President Romulo Gabriel Kintanar said in an interview.

UST medical workers provide relief to Aklan town

UST MEDICAL Missions, Inc.-Student Group (MMI-SG), in partnership with the Special Commission on Research and Education of Ohio, USA, provided medical relief to typhoon “Yolanda” victims in New Washington, Aklan, in response to a call from town officials.

“We chose New Washington because compared to the other places like Tacloban, hindi sila masyadong napapansin. Ininvite kami ng mayor doon, so nag-respond kami,” said Medicine junior Diane Sharon Ty, student head of the medical team. “Pumayag din kami kasi security-wise, it was assured to us na magiging safe naman kami.”

UST professors donate P1M for ‘Yolanda’ victims

The UST Faculty Union (USTFU) plans to donate P1 million to the victims of Super Typhoon “Yolanda” that devastated millions of Filipinos in the Visayas.

The money to be donated will come from the union’s Christmas party budget, as requested by some members of the board and faculty members.

According to union by-laws, a disbursement exceeding P300,000 requires approval from the faculty members through a general assembly. However, USTFU is conducting a signature campaign in lieu of a a general assembly, USTFU board member Revenendo Vargas said.

Vargas said the donation won’t take place until they get a majority vote from the general faculty.

Abuse of privilege

YEAR 2016 is still far off, yet there are at least two senators engaged in a race against each other—a race to the earth’s core that is, with how they constantly try to outdo each other in muckraking.

Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago and Juan Ponce Enrile’s over-hyped feud is a clear reflection of the present Philippine Congress: a disastrous circus. As senior members of the Senate, they’re expected to set a good example to the younger lawmakers, but it is more apparent now that they both need to be pacified.

‘Safe sex’ not that safe as Aids-HIV escalates

IN 1981, a “silent killer” claimed the lives of a particular group of people—drug users and homosexual men. All of them showed symptoms of pneumonia and cancerous skin tumors and weakened immune system.

This silent killer was known to be caused by the deadly human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). And 30 years after, the virus has become more infectious and evasive against possible treatments—despite medical breakthroughs and the availability of highly advanced technology.

Based on the recent registry of the Department of Health, cases of HIV/AIDS in the Philippines escalated to 491 cases last October, 66 percent higher compared to the 295 reported cases in the same month last year.

Justin Bieber in, Mar Roxas out

INTERNATIONAL pop star Justin Bieber, infamous for his brat-like attitude, brought cheer to the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda when he flew to Tacloban City to help with relief efforts by singing Christmas carols and bonding with them. Prior to that, he also raised funds for the same cause.

It is thus tempting to hark back last year when the House of Representatives wanted to declare Bieber persona non grata for ridiculing Manny Pacquiao when he was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez. I bet the Lower House members ate their words.

Thomasian helps light up Tacloban’s dark nights

SUN-POWERED night lights designed by Electronics Engineering (ECE) major Rikki Macolor will be deployed to Tacloban City and neighboring areas hit by Super Typhoon “Yolanda.”

Macolor, president of the Network of Electronics Engineering Students, an organization of ECE majors in the Faculty of Engineering, said solar night lights would be a good alternative until the government has completely restored power. Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla’s self-imposed target is by Christmas Eve.

“A three-watt solar night light is bright enough to light up the street,” he said. “Instead of prioritizing the rebuilding of street lights, we can deploy these units early on so we can speed up relief operations, especially during night time.”

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