Press Release
August 6, 2010


Sen. Bong Revilla lauded Filipino couple Christopher and Ma. Victoria Bernido, both recipients of this year's Ramon Magsaysay award, Asia's highest honor and is widely regarded as the region's equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

Both physicists, the couple, impressed the Board of Trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay foundation for their determination and dedication in introducing a revolutionary way of teaching science and other subjects in the midst of inadequate facilities, lack of qualified personnel, inadequate resources and budget for the improvement of science education.

The Bernidos introduced the Dynamic Learning Program (DLP) in 2002 to a poor community in Bohol . It is a strategy that limits teacher participation by devoting 70 percent of class time to student-driven activities built around clear learning targets, aided by well-designed learning plans and performance-tracking tools. In 2006, they launched the "Learning Physics as One Nation" project. The program includes a portfolio of learning activities to be individually accomplished by the students, and closely-associated weekly video-based lectures featuring National Expert Teachers.

Students benefited by programs introduced by the couple showed radical improvement in their performance on national scholastic aptitude and university admissions tests.

"They (the couple) are truly an inspiration to us Filipinos as well as to the international community for proving that poverty is not a hindrance to advancing educational systems and achieving academic excellence", Bong Revilla said.

The lawmaker also expressed that he is supporting Bernidos' cause as he vowed to continue providing educational assistance and scholarships to poor but deserving students all over the country and aims to increase the number of beneficiaries on his second term in the Senate.

The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) revealed that the National Achievement Test (NAT) results for SY 2005-2006 reflected a declining education performance of the students in the country. In fact, the achievement rate of grades 4-6 students in Science dropped from 54.1% in SY 2004-2005 to 46.7% in SY 2005-2006. The decline also happened in the performance of 4th year high school students, from 39.5% to 38% in the same period. In response to this seemingly alarming situation, the senator called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to look for the possible partnership with the Bernidos to adopt their revolutionary teaching system and eventually institutionalize such methods.

This deplorable state of science and technology in the country is also reflected in the 2010 Global Competitiveness Report issued by the World Economic Forum--an organization that rates the competitiveness of countries in various areas, where the Philippines ranked 94th out of 133 in the quality of Math and Science education, below Malaysia (34), Indonesia (50), and Thailand (62).

While the senator recognizes that the Philippines is lagging behind other Asian countries particularly in the field of science and technology, he expressed optimism that through cooperation or partnerships between the public and private sectors - a scheme underscored in President Aquino's State of the Nation Address, the nation will be able to bring about significant improvements in our educational systems in the field of Science and Technology. Science and technology have been the backbone of innovations that have driven economic development.

The Aquino administration vowed to strengthen Public-Private partnership or PPP in order to address the inadequacies of the government.

"We are lucky to have a couple like the Bernidos who are committed to improving not only their chosen field but also to improving our nation under our present conditions of great scarcity and extreme poverty," Revilla ended.

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