#SaveSAIDMC-SAID is an institution dedicated to the total development of deaf children, providing for equal opportunities for learning. It was founded in 1974 and completely integrated in Miriam College system in 2007. MC-SAID is an important part of the community as it is the only school in the Philippines with complete continuum education from basic to graduate studies for deaf children. It is important as it nurtures them to develop emotional, social and cognitive abilities that are crucial towards their drive for self-actualization and community. The plans to close MC-SAID by 2019 is due to low number of enrollees and seeming lack of funds to sustain operations. Parents are only given a year to look for an alternative school that can cater to the special needs of their children. The abrupt decision to close MC-SAID is prioritizing who gets access to education. It means one is less valuable than the other. It means leaving people behind. We, concerned individuals and alumni of Miriam College, are appealing to the Board of Trustees of Miriam College to reconsider their plans of closing Miriam College - Southeast Asian Institute for the Deaf (MC-SAID) by the end of school year 2018-2019. We further appeal to the Board of Trustees to rethink this closure by extending MC-SAID's operations beyond 2019 and creatively exploring more viable alternatives that will be mutually beneficial for the school and its students. Miriam College should give itself considerable amount of time to find innovative solutions to their existing challenges, looking for better alternative rather than full closure of MC-SAID. Miriam College have been expanding other areas of their academic community. It is within their scope to do the same for MC-SAID. Similarly, they should also provide adequate time for parents and students to consider all possible options for their children. The essence of having a special school for deaf children is that they require special attention. Miriam College should involve them in exploring for more acceptable and reasonable solutions, rather than passive recipients of unfair decisions. The future of the children is at stake, which makes them the biggest stakeholders to the issue. Miriam College is an institution that “commits itself to creating and living within our school community the very changes we seek to realize in society”. One of their core values, Justice, espouses rejection of discrimination of any kind against any individual or any group. We hope Miriam College will stand true to its mission, vision and core values by continuously providing equal opportunities of learning for deaf children. #SaveSAID
Reappoint Gina Lopez as DENR SecretaryGina Lopez has been the only DENR secretary that has enforced our environmental laws without fear or hesitation. She has extensively visited and documented the environmental degradation of mine sites, watersheds, coastal areas, and forests, all over the country. She has comprehensively sought, listened and decisively acted on the complaints of affected communities. She is qualified to this position considering her knowledge of environmental issues and her previous experience managing development initiatives such as social enterprises, eco-tourism and the rehabilitation of the Pasig River. To ensure the continued advance for real change in your administration, Gina Lopez is imperative because: a) She can inspire people within the agency and the communities to commit towards a green economy; b) She has a solid history of being able to work with other government agencies local governments, and private sector and civil society groups to implement an integrated area development approach that is crucial to helping the poor; c) She can check and possibly end corruption in the DENR, as she herself has shown that she has zero tolerance for corruption; d) She can effectively communicate the environmental challenges we face, and inspire millions of citizens to address the issues they face at ground level. We realize that as President, you have to make choices and follow the law. But in the case of Gina Lopez, you yourself correctly recognized that powerful economic interests and corrupt politicians have obstructed your resolve to bring change to DENR. We must not allow this betrayal of the country, and the betrayal of our environment to remain unchecked. Mr. President, millions of Filipinos – especially the poor – are relying on your will to make the right decision. It is in this spirit that we, along with many of our fellow Filipino citizens, ask that Gina Lopez be re-appointed as DENR secretary.