On the accreditation of Higher Education Institutions in the Philippines

If institutions do not go through accreditation, does this mean that they are of low quality? In the case of the University of the Philippines, which did not undergo any accreditation from any accrediting agency, it is one of the best performing HEIs in various degree programs. Does this discount the fact that an institution does not have to undergo accreditation to attain higher quality?

A Review of the Accreditation System for Philippine Higher Education Institutions, Mitzie Irene P. Conchada and Marites M. Tiongco, Philippine Institute for Development Studies Discussion Paper Series No. 2015-30

Exactly, thanks to the authors of this PIDS Discussion Paper for having put the question out there. I’ve been recently wondering what added value accreditation serves HEIs in light of what we read and hear in the news year after year from parents especially about the dismal state of higher education in the country. Nakakairita na sa tenga.

Take the accreditation body PAASCU (Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities), the oldest in the country, founded by eleven Catholic HEIs that are also members of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP). Looking closer, one sees that members are none other than the country’s elite educational institutions whose origins hail from the Spanish colonial period. On its website are found only this statement about its accreditation work:

The Association does not impose arbitrary standards… Much emphasis is placed on the formulation of the school’s purposes and objectives. Only when its goals are clear can the school discover the extent to which such purposes and objectives are being achieved.

What does that even mean?

PACUCOA is another accreditation body that covers other private colleges and universities. Also, on its website one reads

accreditation is both a process and a result

You scroll for the explanation but it’s as vague. Morever, its manual of accreditation states there are

nine (9) sections/areas of concern: philosophy and objectives; faculty; instruction; library; laboratories; physical plant and facilities; student services; social orientation and community involvement; and organization and administration.(and) using the criteria and standards specified in the appropriate Survey Instrument, the Survey Executive Committee and area/sections sub-committees analyze, evaluate and rate the main areas of concern

You search and search but the “survey instrument” is nowhere in site.

In contrast, go to singaporeeducation.info for the same details about our neighbor Singapore and, voila, comprehensive and clear information on accreditation in the country instantly pops out. You’ll learn that the

Council for Private Education (CPE) a quality assurance agency is authorized with legislative power to control the private education sector. It sets out the basic standards that private education institutions (PEIs) must comply with in order to function. CPE is responsible for improvising the quality standards of education in the local private education industry. CPE also offers a voluntary certification scheme known as EduTrust Certification Scheme

On the EduTrust Certification site, details are provided including the certification criteria and guidance (EduTrust Guidance Document)! Download and open the document and see it written in clear, precise, and simple English that any literate person – parents – would understand on his/her own!

Another accreditation scheme in Singapore is the

Singapore Quality Class (SQC) for Private Education Organizations, SQC-PEO which recognizes Private Education Organizations (PEOs) that excel in performance, and thereby assists these PEOs to attain international standards of quality education. The scheme is based on the Singapore Quality Award Business Excellence Framework

On the Enterprise Singapore site you can learn about the Business Excellence Framework also downloadable in manual format!

In South Korea, similar information are also available to the public. In fact, a site hosted by the Korean Council for University Education makes available the assessment process (results are publicized!) and criteria in user-friendly format! There’s even a dedicated website on program-specific accreditation, an example here, engineering.

Why is information on higher education accreditation very stringent in the Philippines considering higher education is a public concern? What exactly are contained in evaluation frameworks being used – do they reflect relevant local, national, and international outcomes for 21st century HEIs and graduates? Do they measure what ought to be measured? Who has a hand in defining the criteria? Who are being served by accreditation – the business interest? Is this perhaps the reason that despite decades of accreditation, quality in Philippine higher education remains elusive?

I recently observed how an accrediting team works. To the tune of free flowing coffee and food, in what is called “the accreditation room”, air-conditioned in other words, team members pore over files of “evidence” that university personnel have for months on end painstakingly put together. When members need information not on file, they require the immediate presence of the personnel in charge of the program never mind that he or she could be in the middle of a lecture or equally important work. Nonetheless the personnel drops everything and races to “the accreditation room” where, the personnel is asked, “where is the documentation of xxx meeting? do you have the photos of xxx meeting?” This is harassment! But interest or inquiry as to the more salient aspects of the program? Nada. So what if a university has the photos and documentations on file but nothing in terms of lessons that it applied as a result of learning?

Also, I came to know from community folks about accreditors continuing project visits even when no one was around which begs the question, how were positive or negative reports made in the absence of information? Where is “evidence-based” in that? Another practice heard through the grapevine rife in the Metro pertains to undergraduate research. Accordingly, a continuing advice of accreditors is for faculty to team up with student-researchers with the former becoming “automatic” co-authors, all in order to secure scores for “increased research products.” Is this all they’re capable of mentoring univetsities? Such a disappointment! I’m now more inclined to regard accreditation as just a business out for profit. Meanwhile in the frenzy to please accreditors universities acquire chronic amnesia as to what’s essential in their work.

On PACUCOA’s website are the basic principles of accreditation. Of these, I’d like to emphasize one, viz.

accceditation admits periodic review, criticism and readjustment of its criteria, policies and procedures to changes in education

Indeed. Accrediting bodies must open themselves for evaluation with the aim of updating their systems in order to respond better to realities of their clientele. In the US,

the federal government oversees accreditors via the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), which reviews them at least every five years based on accrediting standards, site visits, and public comments from colleges or programs recognized by the accrediting agency to receive federal financial aid. This committee, whose members are appointed by Congress and the secretary of education, makes its recommendation about recognition to the secretary (who has the final say). The NACIQI gained national attention in 2016 when it recommended that the secretary of education terminate recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), one of the largest accreditors of forprofit colleges, because of quality concerns (US Department of Education 2016).

Higher Education Accreditation and the Federal Government, Robert Kelchen, September 2017, Urban Institute

Only with the assurance of oversight – policing the police – will accreditation fulfill it’s mission of contributing to quality higher education.


Probably the most feminist statement of the century


US First Lady Melania Trump continues to receive flak from US media for the statement on her jacket I really don’t care, do you? that she wore on her visit to the Mexico border amid public furor over immigrant children being forcibly separated from their parents. The media says she’s dumb for donning it at this particular time. But I think otherwise. Behind the seemingly silent, stoic, and reticent facade, I see a very smart and astute woman. And remember she was previously a model, used to projecting statements using face and body.

So let’s see. To me, the statement is satirical. It could actually be saying, hey, look, I left my hot bubble bath as soon as I could to be with these families, but where the fuck is everybody? Where?

In more detail, the statement could be directed to:

a) President Trump: Babe, where in god shit are you? How could I be here and you…there?

b) Media: I know it’s a bad time for you to leave the studio when you’re being dolled up for the cameras but…wouldja please put on your field jackets and get your insured asses over here?

c) Government of Mexico: They’re your people, no?

d) US Government / Congress: Look at what you made me do!

e) Everybody who care: Come om over or sponsor a migrant family.

e) The rest of the world, with eyes and can see: If you don’t have anything positive to contribute, just please…shut up!


On tambays

I don’t know why media people are reacting to old news as if they’ve just been born the past hour. Their strange reaction undoubtedly picked up by the viewing or listening public is bad influence. Bad as in fake as in divisive as in disinformative. As expected, they are quick to comment reacting without thinking apparently with no depth of knowledge on the subject of their report. Parents, if they cared at all, would unfailingly tell their children to get home straight away from school “hwag tumambay kung saan saan” malls (millenials’ favorite tambayan) included. Have media people forgotten that they too at one time have been recipients of the fair warning from their own parents?

The opposite of vagrancy or loitering is purpose. What the law in effect asks of citizens is to be aware, to be mindful of what we do. To be good citizens of the Republic. The law challenges citizens to work out for ourselves purpose-driven lives. We won’t achieve that with mindless behavior.


Why am I shrieking Guns n’ Roses at 10,000 decibels in the middle of the night in the middle of the street of 100,000 schoolgoing children and working people inside 10,000 houses both sides? Why am I doing it? Why am I drinking myself to death, as if there’s no tomorrow, with the street as my table and bed as well? Why am I doing it? Am I even aware of the repercussions? Why do I walk about in the street with my shirt off and expect others to regard it as normal whereas if I’m female and I do the same thing I’d be ridiculed even stoned? If we can justify these behavior without feeling an ounce of guilt or doubt then we’re vagrants– mindless people. People who don’t give a shit at all about themselves and others. It’s like committing suicide and murder at the same time only that the infliction on their victims (self and the others) is beyond physical. It’s on the mind and the psyche, until all sense of self respect becomes convoluted.

For people who know better to do nothing about the malady (it is, considering vagrancy was unheard of or minimal in our grandparents time) constitutes gross neglect. To apprehend the behavior now is actually saving the person before it’s too late. Apparently, families and communities fail to do that forcing the State’s hand on the matter.

The President merely reiterated a long neglected provision of the law that sitting ducks ie. local government units specifically the barangay, well, sat on. The provision in the Revised Penal Code on vagrancy has been established constitutional provided certain standards are in place. The following SC decision explains why it is so.


Ynares-Santiago, J . (Chairperson),
– versus – Chico-Nazario,
Velasco, Jr.,
Peralta, and
Bersamin*, JJ .
Respondents. September 18, 2009
x —————————————————————————————- x


If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of Heaven and Earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari is the July 29, 2005 Order of Branch 11, Davao City Regional Trial Court in Special Civil Case No. 30-500-2004 granting respondents Petition for Certiorari and declaring paragraph 2 of Article 202 of the Revised Penal Code unconstitutional.

Respondents Evangeline Siton and Krystel Kate Sagarano were charged with vagrancy pursuant to Article 202 of the Revised Penal Code in two separate Informations dated November 18, 2003, docketed as Criminal Case Nos. 115,716-C-2003 and 115,717-C-2003 and raffled to Branch 3 of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Davao City. The Informations, read:

That on or about November 14, 2003, in the City of Davao, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-mentioned accused, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously wandered and loitered around San Pedro and Legaspi Streets, this City, without any visible means to support herself nor lawful and justifiable purpose.

The first statute punishing vagrancy Act No. 519 was modeled after American vagrancy statutes and passed by the Philippine Commission in 1902. The Penal Code of Spain of 1870 which was in force in this country up to December 31, 1931 did not contain a provision on vagrancy. While historically an Anglo-American concept of crime prevention, the law on vagrancy was included by the Philippine legislature as a permanent feature of the Revised Penal Code in Article 202 thereof which, to repeat, provides:

ART. 202. Vagrants and prostitutes; penalty . The following are vagrants:

  1. Any person having no apparent means of subsistence, who has the physical ability to work and who neglects to apply himself or herself to some lawful calling;
  2. Any person found loitering about public or semi-public buildings or places, or tramping or wandering about the country or the streets without visible means of support;
  3. Any idle or dissolute person who lodges in houses of ill-fame; ruffians or pimps and those who habitually associate with prostitutes;
  4. Any person who, not being included in the provisions of other articles of this Code, shall be found loitering in any inhabited or uninhabited place belonging to another without any lawful or justifiable purpose;

The Regional Trial Court, in asserting the unconstitutionality of Article 202, take support mainly from the U.S. Supreme Courts opinion in the Papachristou v. City of Jacksonville case.

The underlying principles in Papachristou are that: 1) the assailed Jacksonville ordinance fails to give a person of ordinary intelligence fair notice that his contemplated conduct is forbidden by the statute; and 2) it encourages or promotes opportunities for the application of discriminatory law enforcement.

The said underlying principle in Papachristou that the Jacksonville ordinance, or Article 202 in this case, fails to give fair notice of what constitutes forbidden conduct, finds no application here because under our legal system, ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith. This principle is of Spanish origin, and we adopted it to govern and limit legal conduct in this jurisdiction. Under American law, ignorance of the law is merely a traditional rule that admits of exceptions.

Moreover, the Jacksonville ordinance was declared unconstitutional on account of specific provisions thereof, which are not found in Article 202. The ordinance (Jacksonville Ordinance Code 257) provided, as follows:

Rogues and vagabonds, or dissolute persons who go about begging; common gamblers, persons who use juggling or unlawful games or plays, common drunkards, common night walkers, thieves, pilferers or pickpockets, traders in stolen property, lewd, wanton and lascivious persons, keepers of gambling places, common railers and brawlers, persons wandering or strolling around from place to place without any lawful purpose or object, habitual loafers, disorderly persons, persons neglecting all lawful business and habitually spending their time by frequenting houses of ill fame, gaming houses, or places where alcoholic beverages are sold or served, persons able to work but habitually living upon the earnings of their wives or minor children shall be deemed vagrants and, upon conviction in the Municipal Court shall be punished as provided for Class D offenses.

Thus, the U.S. Supreme Court in Jacksonville declared the ordinance unconstitutional, because such activities or habits as nightwalking, wandering or strolling around without any lawful purpose or object , habitual loafing , habitual spending of time at places where alcoholic beverages are sold or served , and living upon the earnings of wives or minor children , which are otherwise common and normal, were declared illegal. But these are specific acts or activities not found in Article 202. The closest to Article 202 any person found loitering about public or semi-public buildings or places, or tramping or wandering about the country or the streets without visible means of support from the Jacksonville ordinance, would be persons wandering or strolling around from place to place without any lawful purpose or object. But these two acts are still not the same: Article 202 is qualified by without visible means of support while the Jacksonville ordinance prohibits wandering or strolling without any lawful purpose or object, which was held by the U.S. Supreme Court to constitute a trap for innocent acts.

Under the Constitution, the people are guaranteed the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. Thus, as with any other act or offense, the requirement of probable cause provides an acceptable limit on police or executive authority that may otherwise be abused in relation to the search or arrest of persons found to be violating Article 202. The fear exhibited by the respondents, echoing Jacksonville , that unfettered discretion is placed in the hands of the police to make an arrest or search, is therefore assuaged by the constitutional requirement of probable cause, which is one less than certainty or proof, but more than suspicion or possibility.

Evidently, the requirement of probable cause cannot be done away with arbitrarily without pain of punishment, for, absent this requirement, the authorities are necessarily guilty of abuse. The grounds of suspicion are reasonable when, in the absence of actual belief of the arresting officers, the suspicion that the person to be arrested is probably guilty of committing the offense, is based on actual facts, i.e. , supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to create the probable cause of guilt of the person to be arrested. A reasonable suspicion therefore must be founded on probable cause, coupled with good faith of the peace officers making the arrest.

The State cannot in a cavalier fashion intrude into the persons of its citizens as well as into their houses, papers and effects. The constitutional provision sheathes the private individual with an impenetrable armor against unreasonable searches and seizures. It protects the privacy and sanctity of the person himself against unlawful arrests and other forms of restraint, and prevents him from being irreversibly cut off from that domestic security which renders the lives of the most unhappy in some measure agreeable.

As applied to the instant case, it appears that the police authorities have been conducting previous surveillance operations on respondents prior to their arrest. On the surface, this satisfies the probable cause requirement under our Constitution. For this reason, we are not moved by respondents trepidation that Article 202 could have been a source of police abuse in their case.

Since the Revised Penal Code took effect in 1932, no challenge has ever been made upon the constitutionality of Article 202 except now. Instead, throughout the years, we have witnessed the streets and parks become dangerous and unsafe, a haven for beggars, harassing watch-your-car boys, petty thieves and robbers, pickpockets, swindlers, gangs, prostitutes, and individuals performing acts that go beyond decency and morality, if not basic humanity. The streets and parks have become the training ground for petty offenders who graduate into hardened and battle-scarred criminals. Everyday, the news is rife with reports of innocent and hardworking people being robbed, swindled, harassed or mauled if not killed by the scourge of the streets. Blue collar workers are robbed straight from withdrawing hard-earned money from the ATMs (automated teller machines); students are held up for having to use and thus exhibit publicly their mobile phones; frail and helpless men are mauled by thrill-seeking gangs; innocent passers-by are stabbed to death by rowdy drunken men walking the streets; fair-looking or pretty women are stalked and harassed, if not abducted, raped and then killed; robbers, thieves, pickpockets and snatchers case streets and parks for possible victims; the old are swindled of their life savings by conniving streetsmart bilkers and con artists on the prowl; beggars endlessly pester and panhandle pedestrians and commuters, posing a health threat and putting law-abiding drivers and citizens at risk of running them over. All these happen on the streets and in public places, day or night.

The streets must be protected. Our people should never dread having to ply them each day, or else we can never say that we have performed our task to our brothers and sisters. We must rid the streets of the scourge of humanity, and restore order, peace, civility, decency and morality in them.

This is exactly why we have public order laws, to which Article 202 belongs. These laws were crafted to maintain minimum standards of decency, morality and civility in human society . These laws may be traced all the way back to ancient times, and today, they have also come to be associated with the struggle to improve the citizens quality of life, which is guaranteed by our Constitution. Civilly , they are covered by the abuse of rights doctrine embodied in the preliminary articles of the Civil Code concerning Human Relations, to the end, in part, that any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals , good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage. This provision is, together with the succeeding articles on human relations, intended to embody certain basic principles that are to be observed for the rightful relationship between human beings and for the stability of the social order.

Article 202 does not violate the equal protection clause; neither does it discriminate against the poor and the unemployed. Offenders of public order laws are punished not for their status, as for being poor or unemployed, but for conducting themselves under such circumstances as to endanger the public peace or cause alarm and apprehension in the community. Being poor or unemployed is not a license or a justification to act indecently or to engage in immoral conduct.

Vagrancy must not be so lightly treated as to be considered constitutionally offensive. It is a public order crime which punishes persons for conducting themselves, at a certain place and time which orderly society finds unusual, under such conditions that are repugnant and outrageous to the common standards and norms of decency and morality in a just, civilized and ordered society, as would engender a justifiable concern for the safety and well-being of members of the community.

Instead of taking an active position declaring public order laws unconstitutional, the State should train its eye on their effective implementation, because it is in this area that the Court perceives difficulties. Red light districts abound, gangs work the streets in the wee hours of the morning, dangerous robbers and thieves ply their trade in the trains stations, drunken men terrorize law-abiding citizens late at night and urinate on otherwise decent corners of our streets. Rugby-sniffing individuals crowd our national parks and busy intersections. Prostitutes wait for customers by the roadside all around the metropolis, some even venture in bars and restaurants. Drug-crazed men loiter around dark avenues waiting to pounce on helpless citizens. Dangerous groups wander around, casing homes and establishments for their next hit. The streets must be made safe once more.

Though a mans house is his castle, outside on the streets, the king is fair game.

The dangerous streets must surrender to orderly society.

It must not be forgotten that police power is an inherent attribute of sovereignty. It has been defined as the power vested by the Constitution in the legislature to make, ordain, and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes and ordinances, either with penalties or without, not repugnant to the Constitution, as they shall judge to be for the good and welfare of the commonwealth, and for the subjects of the same.

The power is plenary and its scope is vast and pervasive, reaching and justifying measures for public health, public safety, public morals, and the general welfare. As an obvious police power measure, Article 202 must therefore be viewed in a constitutional light.

WHEREFORE , the petition is GRANTED . The Decision of
Branch 11 of the Regional Trial Court of Davao City in Special Civil Case No. 30-500-2004 declaring Article 202, paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code UNCONSTITUTIONAL is REVERSED and SET ASIDE.

– Read the complete ruling at sc.judiciary.gov.ph

On the ongoing reality at the US-Mexico border


International NGOs supporting children and their development have this mantra: children cannot wait. On that note, US President Donald Trump’s relatively quick response to events at it’s border with Mexico is commendable. Separation of children (to social welfare centers) and their parents (to jail), according to the Executive Order, is an unanticipated negative side effect of the administration’s border policy. The Order should mitigate that.

Nations should now be over the time in world history when children are taken away into institutions just because adults deemed their thoughts, words, and deeds immoral or queer. We know more now about child development. We know now that the attitude and belief toward children then were a grave and sad mistake.

Migration has to be understood as a symptom, an effect, of an emerging phenomenon everywhere but especially felt in countries with weak institutions: insecurity in an all-encompassing sense. Conflict, discrimination, unemployment and joblessness, emergencies and disasters both natural and climate-induced, resource depletion caused by indiscriminate corporate practices, land grabbing by transnational corporations, etc. When the grass is as green as that next door why would people want to permanently leave their homelands?

Developed countries need to own part of the problem. After all, they were the key players that produced this modern world and it’s inherent issues. Sure, illegal immigration should be addressed. But, to punish children who are the least responsible? If there should be anybody responsible, it would have to be the originating country’s government. What are they also doing to address illegal outmigration of their people? And what neighboring countries should do now, proactively, is to talk and include in their bilateral agreements provisions on migration/border management.

Why it’s imperative to exercise caution in making judgments

What is overlooked or given little attention to today’s conversation on human rights violations, poverty, and corruption, among others, in the global South is that these generally are views of the free (or, first) world nations and governments that started so much ahead in the race to development. We forget that back when they were in the same situation, riddled in poverty and rampant corruption, they too employed now-questionable methods to solve those problems. But the difference is that these countries then didn’t have to additionally deal with, for instance, trade sanctions due to, say, domestic labor exploitation in factories producing the goods being traded. And that the continuing poverty in Africa and Asia is interlinked to today’s phenomenon of global ownership of local resources, in other words, there is no way individual smallholders of land or any other contestible domestic resource could compete with the amount and desires of global capital.

The game is hugely biased toward owners and administrators of this capital. Yes, a percentage of first world’s GDPs is allocated to overseas development assistance (ODA) but the lesson learned is that unless locals themselves are capable of financing their own development no amount of ODA pouring in will transform poor communities much less nations. Such capacity entails local ownership of local resources, local leaders and champions with the strategic vision, drive, and initiative, and locals willing to make sacrifices now.

Would today’s first world countries be where they are today without their tenacious and compelling leaders who used their Pied Piper talent to rally the nation toward a singular vision? In no other time in the world than today has it become more urgent that a more honest conversation takes place about the rules of the game and the ways less free countries could truly benefit.

“Women’s paths to peace”

Saan ko nga ba huhugutin and aking Kapayapaan? / Where do I find my Peace?
Kagalingan sa sakit / Healing from pain
Kaligtasan sa hinagpis / Refuge from despair
Katapusan ng alitan / The end of conflict
Walang hanggang kapayapaan / Never-ending Peace
Sa armas? / In the use of arms?
Sa pagtitiis? / In forbearance?
Ang manahimik o magmaktol? / To keep silent or brood?
Ang tanggapin ang lahat ng latay? / To endure every lash?
O gumamit sa matinding galit? / Or seek revenge in blind rage?
Sa mundo kong mabilis ang pag-ikot / In my world ever-spinning
Nakakahilo / Dizzying
Saan ko nga ba huhugutin ang aking Kapayapaan? / Where do I find my Peace?
Saan nga ba? / Where?

– opening poem, Paths to peace: A forum on women’s spirituality 2001, Women’s Feature Service Philippines Inc.

Today, the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women

We, in the Philippines, need to review the current Anti Violence Against Women and their Children Law (Republic Act 9262) to include non-spousal violence. This requires a real and comprehensive understanding of gender inequality, that is, violence done to women (and their children) isn’t confined within a male-female relationship, but also, in many instances, within a female-female relationship as for example a mother-daughter relationship wherein either is the perpetrator or abuser. As I’ve written in earlier posts here, women also abuse other women in covert and overt ways. What if your own mother assaults you and your children in the middle of the night? What instant legal remedy could you avail of? Authorities and public services, per RA 9262, respond only to women-victims of spousal or partner abuse. It’s the saddest thing when authorities are themselves at a loss when you tell them that you want a protective order against your mother. 

One might argue there are in the Revised Penal Code remedies against non-spousal violence. True, but, you see, the treatment under this Code differs from that in RA 9262. In the latter, there is urgent response and “special” considerations ie. arrangements that are sensitive to needs of the woman-and -child(ren) victim which are not provided for in the former (RPC). 

The lesson here is, policy-makers, in enacting gender-equalizing and protection laws need first to understand the concept of gender and women ie. it is not just men who are violent or abusive. And what about domestic violence done to LGBTQ? Moreover, enactment of laws such as RA 9262 cannot be divorced from laws such as on divorce given that women’s rights are non-divisive. One’s right to life cannot be divorced from one’s right to education. Sama-sama lahat yan. Policy-makers need to understand these in order to draw up effective policies.

International day elimination of violence against women

Baguio City: UNESCO City of Crafts and Folk Art

​The role of culture is…now taken into account particularly within Sustainable Development Goal n°11 to “Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. UNESCO and other stakeholders have been actively advocating for the integration of culture and creativity in the international development agenda.

2030 Sustainable Development Goals

It is first and foremost at local level that culture and creativity are lived and practised on a daily basis. It is therefore by stimulating cultural industries, supporting creation, promoting citizen and cultural participation and approaching the public sphere with a new perspective that public authorities, in cooperation with the private sector and civil society, can make the difference and support a more sustainable urban development suited to the practical needs of the local population.
The contribution of culture to urban development is also acknowledged in the New Urban Agenda (led by UN Habitat).

Building partnerships and sharing practices lies among the key principles of the (UNESCO Creative Cities) Network. However, despite significant effort to improve the geographical balance of the Network, cities from the Global South are still under-represented. Ensuring equitable representation from different regions is a strategic objective to ensure the sustainability of the Network through inclusiveness as well as its capacity to demonstrate the power of creativity for sustainable development in diverse social and economic contexts, in line with the core values of UNESCO. Opening up the Network to cities from the Global South also offers the opportunity to explore new dimensions of creativity, often more intimately linked to local development, which is also a source of mutual learning for member cities.
The seven creative fields provide an anchor to characterize each city, ensure their visibility and facilitate fundraising to support their programmes. The categories also reflect the identity and strategic positioning of the Network and constitute an added value for its visibility. 

Baguio City joins UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, as a City of Crafts and Folk Art.

Baguio City UNESCO Creative City Crafts & Folk Art
via UNESCO webpage

So happy for the City! So proud for the woodcarvers, weavers, knitters, painters, tattooists, folk singers, writers, dancers and choreographers, jewelry makers, etc.! They have faithfully preserved their craft even when it has gotten difficult over time. Indeed the global recognition is a dream come true and opens up a world of possibilities for both the community and the City.

Quoted texts (except par.2), source: Building a Collective Vision for the Future, UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) Strategic Framework 2017-2021

Quoted text, par.2, source: Why Creativity? Why Cities?, UNESCO UCCN website