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3» FOOD POISONING
An in-depth look on the story
57 YEARS OF TRUTH
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THE OFFICIAL STUDENT PUBLICATION OF ATENEO DE DAVAO UNIVERSITY - ESTABLISHED 1955
END THE SILENCE OF THE GAGGED! VOL 58 NO 1
Sui Generis: an in-depth look • 50 confined, 118 sent home • Staphylococcus aureus seen as the culprit
Art/Steely Dhan Caballero
IN A press conference held on July 30, Mr. Bong Eliab, Assistant to the President, said that the event was attended by 334 participants, 118 of whom were sent home and 50 of whom were confined. John Paulo Vicencio Ursula Calipayan Staphylococcus aureus According to Department of Health (DOH), staphylococcus aureus is the bacteria that caused the food poisoning outbreak. From the official website of US Food and Drug Administration, foods that are frequently incriminated in staphylococcal food poisoning include meat and meat products; poultry and egg products; and salads which include egg, tuna, chicken, potato and macaroni. These are foods that require considerable handling during preparation. The symptoms are usually rapid and acute depending on the amount of contaminated food eaten and the general health of the victim. The most common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping and prostration.
Cooking the lunch
Florienne Melendrez YOU RUSH to school walking like a zombie with your lecture notes and books in both hands. Your eyes are tired from one sleepless night but are still resisting to shut. As you approach the room, you try to glance at your notes one last time and prepare yourself for the big exam. Just when you think you’re ready, your teacher suddenly asks you to present that small sheet of paper which could make your sleepless night and languid zombie look go to waste: the exam permit. Does the scenario seem familiar? Have you experienced the same situation at least once a few years back? Well, if you think we Ateneans have already been saved from this kind of situation, then think again. The terror of having to choose between having to pay a tremendous amount of tuition fee or not being able to take the exams is back. The No Permit, No Exam policy has officially made its way inside the Ateneo once again. Last year, the House of Representatives passed the House Bill 6799, more commonly known as the “Anti’ No Permit, No Exam’ Act of 2009”. Raymond Palatino of Kabataan Partylist
not know what went wrong in their preparation of the food. “I cannot say we left the preparation of the food unattended. As far as we know, we did the correct measures for the preparation,” she said. She said that they did not cook the chicken in bulk and that they cooked the chicken in 6 batches. She also added that they purposefully cooked the pancit bihon last “because it’s usually the first to spoil.” They cooked the lunch early in the morning to follow their rule of having it ready by 10 AM. They followed the usual protocol except this time, it was the merchandiser who chose the chicken instead of her. However, they did not notice anything wrong with it. Ms. Rebosura also said that for the first time, she put egg and salad on the adobo because she wanted her food to be special and “different” from others. “I believe one of my mistakes there is that I did not check if it was safe to mix egg with adobo,” she said. MTC Rebosura Catering has been of service in the university
In an interview with Atenews, Neneng Rebosura, owner of MTC Rebosura Food Specialties and Catering Services, said she did CONTINUED ON PAGE 3 »
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Looking through the sensitivity lens: a closer look at discrimination Kathleen Anne Veloso Jamela Rae Allaga DISCRIMINATION IS one of the gravest acts you can do in a university which espouses equality in its mission and vision statement. And with the implementation of the AntiDiscrmination Ordinance set next month, it might just get you in jail. The ordinance, said Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in a Sunstar article, aims to give equal opportunities to people regardless of their gender, race, color, descent, or national ethnic origin and religion. If you discriminate against your
fellowmen, you could end up in jail. This, according to Duterte, would teach you how to be courteous with others. Last July, rumors of homophobia and gender discrimination flew around the university. Mr. Hadji Balajadia’s status on his Facebook page which said, “Stop Gender Discrimination of Faculty in Ateneo de Davao School of Business and Governance Now!” elicited various reactions from the community. In a caucus with Atenews, SAMAHAN, and other concerned members of the school, Mr. Balajadia, a psychology professor in the university, relayed what had happened as told to him by
Social justice and gender equality are just two of the values in the mission of AdDU those affected. According to him, the Management council had a meeting on July 14, in which a dress code policy for the School of Business and Governance was brought up. The policy was to be strictly implemented, said Atty. Arlene Cosape, the dean of the SBG. She then prompted Mr. Leopoldo Medina, chair of the Accountancy department, to remind Mr. Ryan Morales, Mr. Anthony Aguelo, and other gay
faculty members whose names were explicitly stated, to follow the dress code. Dr. Efren Sabado was also mentioned with the dean saying that he “does not represent himself in school, but must represent the university,” Mr. Medina then related the incident to Mr. Morales, or Ma’am Riah, as his students call him. Dr. Sabado and Mr. Balajadia, who were invited by the city council to join the meeting on the Anti-Dicrimination ordinance, were “utterly disgusted” upon hearing the news. As a known advocate of gender equality, Mr. Balajadia immediately posted a statement of dissent on his page. “Heteronormativism has no place
in a Jesuit University, which is a bastion of liberalism. Gender Equality is a codified mission of our University. How can an administrator at that make a statement that contravenes our mission?! How can we tolerate intolerance of diversity and individuality in our midst? The University does not solely operate in a corporatist sense, it is above all operating in humanizing sense. Its ultimate mission is to understand and be fluent of diversity of thoughts rather than promote uniformity of ideas and practices. It is not a mission of a University to promote CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 »
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VALIANT. Atenews has been known and will continue to be bold in delivering truth. Over the years, it has never ceased to bring forth responsible and meaningful campus journalism. Its involvement has not been limited to issues inside the campus but it has also included social matters happening locally, nationally, and even globally. Ever since its first release in 1955, Atenews continues to be a strong fortress of truth recognized as a “tough” student publication. Over the years, it has published “fearless” articles tackling different issues in and out the University. Some would even attest that Atenews has the red mark, that it breeds student writers who are activists. It has also been called biased. Be that as it may, there is nothing wrong with being critical and biased over matters, if these concern the truth. Yes, the Atenews
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raise the awareness of Ateneans and challenge their minds to think critically on issues. No matter what methods will be used against us, whether it is the withholding of information, overly bureaucratic methods that delay the release of funds, or direct calls to stop relaying news, the Atenews will continue to demonstrate courage and determination to serve the students. The Atenews will never be swayed by any “stop” signals as long as it is delivering the truth that should be rightfully known. 57 years have passed since its establishment and Atenews still remains strong in its conviction, withstanding the test of time. It is an assurance that Atenews will never back down to any challenges and will carry on being the voice of the Ateneans. a
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Food poisoning: An in-depth look on the story
Student leaders listen as the Samahan Central Board instructs what to do if ever they will feel any symptoms of the alleged food poisoning. Photo/Caycee Coronel CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 »
for almost five years. They have served food in various school activities such as retreats, faculty awards, and the recently concluded FYDP Day. “It’s more than just profit; we also want to bring joy to the students. We want Text/John Paulo Vicencio to be of service to them,” she said. Ursula Calipayan When she arrived in school to Art/Steely Dhan Caballero Graphics/Steven Adrianne Chua check what was happening, she said she was “terrified” when she saw the students vomiting. She 12:30 PM acted at once and drove the first students exhibiting symptoms to San Pedro Hospital. “I really prayed for them. If I could heal them by just touching their hands, I will. If I could approach each of the victims, I will,” she added on the verge of tears. Ms. Rebosura said she was sorry for what happened and that “it was not even in the slimmest Sui Generis participants were savouring the taste of fish fillet, of my intention” to harm the students. She apologized to pancit bihon, fruit salad and chicken adobo for lunch. the administration as well for disappointing them and for 3:15 PM putting the school “in a bad light.” “To the parents who panicked because of the incident, I’m really sorry. To everyone, I’m really sorry. I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive me. I’m really sorry.” she stressed. The caterer added that she accepted that it was her mistake since “it was through An increasing number of participants started experiencing me that this happened.” headaches, dizziness, abdominal cramping, nausea, loose bowel When asked what her plans movement and excessive vomiting—symptoms of food poisoning. were, she said “I don’t have any future business plans yet, all I want to do now is 4:30 PM fix this issue.” She also shared that she never wished that her mark in Ateneo history would be this way and that this experience “was every c a t e r e r ’s nightmare.”
to review and investigate the incident. Fr. Tabora also assigned Mr. Nonoy Tomacruz to help in the University’s protocol on catering services. The school has already stopped the contract with MTC Rebosura to cater during school activities. According to Ms. Rebosura, she has yet to wait if the University will take any legal actions against her.
Leader’s perspective Maureene Ann Villamor, Samahan Central Board President, stated that they are still on the process of crafting their official statement. But she said that they
at first, she did not feel anything and was even able to help the other victims. A first year class president, who was identified as Hyanen Catacutan, fainted and was brought to San Pedro Hospital first, followed by Ms. Angel Cago, then by an increasing number of weakened victims. “Dr.Dahinog advised me that the pathogens present in the food I ate triggered my amoebiasis I have to stay in my hospital bed for three days. This made me miss a lot of classes,” says Ms. Cago, also a class president.
Helping hands “Despite the fact that they are also affected, they still offered their help. They even called 911 for us,” says Marie Ernestine Torro, a 3rd year Mass Communication student, also a victim. She is referring to the actions taken by Samahan and the school administrators. Members of Samahan and student volunteers assisted the participants who were vomiting and feeling nauseated. Some of the helpers who assisted the victims in the hospitals even came from their respective homes. Avon Sinajon, a participant of the leadership gathering, noticed how the Samahan acted well on the incident. “They were sensitive to the point that they acted before the problems got worse,” she said. Sinajon added that despite the incident, the leadership gathering was not a fail. In fact, “the incident ignited the unity of student leaders.”
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK
20 and 6 participants got admitted in San Pedro Hospital (SPC) and Legal action Davao Doctors Hospital (DDH) respectively.
Fr. Joel Tabora, S.J., University President, reiterated in his notes that because of the incident, the University now reviews all policies related to the monitoring and engagement of caterers. This is not only to allow better supervision of catering services but to “fix responsibility for food services in case of untoward incidents as we have experienced,” he wrote. An investigation team headed
43, 64 and 3 are in SPC, DDH, and Davao Medical School Foundation by Atty. Manny Quibod, Dean of Hospital (DMSF). What was supposed to be a leadership gathering the College of Law, was already formed by the administration became a venue for a food poisoning outbreak. a
are still positive at what happened because they saw how Ateneans can be very united. She said that she did not blame any party, because “it was not an intention of any of the involved parties, may it be the Office of the President, Samahan, or even the caterer,” “I just wish that even after the incident, students will still actively participate in our Samahan activities,” she added. She shared that she is happy and thankful to all those who helped and for the unity of the students. “I wish that we will not wait for something like this to happen before we will show what we were able to manifest during the incident,” she said.
Victims’s side “I felt dizzy. At first I thought it was just psychological but then I reached my limit. My stomach ached so bad and I started vomiting. Lose bowel movement followed,” said Reazen Uy, 2nd year Accountancy student, victim of food poisoning. She shared that
Conclusion The food poisoning incident in Sui Generis, is not a downfall or fail, but an opportunity and ignition for change—a stepping stone for a brighter blue future. “It was an encounter with the AdDU spirit of courage and caring from one another beyond the call of duty,” says Father Joel Tabora in his notes. Situations like this serve as a venue for the development of more vigilant and responsive Ateneans. It is in these situations that real-life unscripted heroes are born. a
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stated in the explanatory note of the bill that it “seeks to protect deserving students from prematurely halting their studies due to their understandable inability to pay high school fees on time. It upholds the State’s right and responsibility to exercise reasonable regulation of private HEIs.” Thus, the bill aims to penalize the imposition of the No Permit No Exam policy which prohibits students to take their midterm and final exam. A year before the mentioned bill was passed by the House of Representatives, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) issued the Memorandum Order No. 2 series of 2010. It served as an “Appeal to HEIs for flexibility in the implementation of the ‘No Permit, No Examination Policy’ or any such policy that prohibits students from taking their periodic or final examinations
Looking through CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 »
discrimination, bigotry and insensitivity!” The statement, according to him, was heavily laden with gender implications and insensitivity. “If it was made in a formal set-up, then that would be serious. If in an informal situation, it would be even graver because it would be a mockery of our gender orientation and the expression of our individuality,” said Mr. Balajadia. “The act of naming them meant problematizing them,” he added. “What is the problem with these teachers? Why were they singled out? What then is appropriate?” he asked. As the assistant dean for Social Sciences, Dr. Sabado also felt that he was accorded a “professional
Pong in NPNE
The memo released from the Office of the Academic Vice President last July 16 emphasized that the Anti-NPNE applies only to the final exams and students who have not yet settled their accounts with the Finance Office cannot get exam permits.
due to unpaid tuition and other school fees.” Such memo aims to address the problems in making education accessible to all especially those families living below the poverty line. Despite the strong support on the bill, a memo was released from the Office of the Academic Vice President last July 16 requiring the students to get exam permits for the Advisory Examinations on July 18 to 21. The memo emphasized that the Anti-NPNE applies only to the final exams and students who have not yet settled their accounts with the Finance Office cannot get exam permits. Such memo paved the way for a dichotomous Ateneo community with different reactions from the students. A fourth year Management Accounting student expressed her consideration towards the imposition of such policy and said that it is executable and must be observed. But, what stirred up more negative reactions was the fact that the memo was released only two days prior to the advisory exams. Many complained about
being compelled to pay for their tuition and get a permit on such a short notice. One student also expressed her concern regarding the imposition being sudden. “The abrupt execution of the policy is unfair for us, students. They should have informed us ahead of time so that our parents can prepare for it,” the student said. Another student expressed the same sentiment and said that it’s not okay especially for parents who have been used to paying only before the final exams. “They wouldn’t be able to find the money for the fees right away. They’re not like ATMs that could provide the money all of a sudden,” she added. Apparently, the clamor from the students branches out from the fact that there has been no clear statement of the purpose for imposing such policy. So now many ask: what could possibly be the reason for this? In an article published in Atenews back in 2008, former SAS Dean and Ad Hoc Committee on Exam Permit chairperson (now Academic Vice President) Dr.
Jessie Manuta stated his support towards the policy because majority of the majority of the students usually pay their fees towards the end of the semester or before the next semester. According to him, this has put a strain on the cash flow and financial stability of the university.
“As a private Higher Education Institution, the university does not receive any subsidy or grant from the government for its operations,” Manuta added. As of now, many are still waiting for the clear explanations why such policy has to be enforced when it clearly only resulted to complaints especially from the students. As of now, many are also hoping that such policy be abolished for the sake of those who cannot easily comply with the financial requirements. Samahan Central Board President Maureene Anne Villamor even
expressed in Facebook her concern toward those students who are aggravated by such policy and stated in a comment: “on behalf the Samahan, the Samahan Central Board will talk with the admin.” It is obviously hard to just keep on complaining especially when there’s no legal document to strongly back it up. Although the House of Representatives has passed the Anti ‘No Permit No Exam’ bill, it is still up to the Senate to adopt the bill. If this is actually among the reasons why the policy is still imposed, we are yet to know. Regardless of this, it is also hard to just let it pass without being provided with an understandable reason. Because if not, students might just end up questioning the priorities in the university--- is it to let the students, by taking the exams, assess what they learned through the education they have been provided with? Or is it to halt the students from grasping such privilege just because of their inability to provide money right away? a
discourtesy” by being used as an “instant visual aid of a cross dresser.” The incident, said Mr. Balajadia, made them ask, “What does the University value more, package, or substance?” The bottom line is that teachers are not hired based on their gender or the way they dress. They are hired to impart knowledge to the students. As long as they can do this effectively without adversely affecting the students, then what they wear would be of least importance. A teacher who wears simple clothes but is able to deliver a good lecture is preferable to one who wears a suit to class but whose lecture is empty and incomprehensible to the students. After a few days, both parties were called to air their sides regarding the issue. Their gathering was facilitated by the
Academic Vice President (AVP) and the Deputy Academic Vice President for Formation (DAVP). They were asked whether they would settle things formally or in a dialogue. They agreed to resolve the conflict by the power of dialogue. In confidence, they showed how they felt about the situation. They were able to know the other side as well. At the end of the day, they made it clear. They have zero tolerance for intolerance. This matters not on a particular offender, the injured party, or a certain situation. The main notion of the conflict is the exclusion and discrimination in the workplace. Mr. Hadji Balajadia strongly holds on to the anti-discrimination code that will soon be implemented. They reconciled and stated the things that must be noted on their experience. They wanted to promote social control, mutual
respect and importance of public space. “The world is moving towards social inclusion and towards recognition of social rights so it’s very important that we participate and be one in this movement towards recognizing the individual differences and also respect for plural identities because our humanity is at stake here. And Humanization begins with the recognition that we’re all human beings,” Mr. Balajadia said. “As a Jesuit university and as a catholic university, we are also taught above all the respect for human persons and it is in this light that academics are really invited to be extraordinarily sensitive not only through the words but also through their action that alienates, conscious or unconscious, because discrimination, alienation and exclusion has no place in modern democracy. If democracy has
to be mature, and if it should start in a university, perhaps we could start it with our own social circles.” Mutual learning was seen from both sides because of the incident. Homophobia comes in the picture if there is an element of repression visible. It is also an evil when one does not fully understand it. This is why they want to condemn the act. They do not want to alienate the other; instead they want to eliminate the “othering”. This is not only to highlight matters of gender sensitivity but also the respect of each individual to each others despite ethnicity, race, religion, or gender. As this issue came to an end with mutual understanding, let us hope that all types of discrimination, whether outside or inside the university, can end with the same tone of equality and peace. a
KRISTOFFER JAN TIPON Baryo Tinyo
The Anti ‘No Permit No Exam’ bill is still pending in the Senate
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