MMDA to launch Metro Solusyon Website


In sync with its relentless efforts to rid its rank of unscrupulous personnel, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will launch the Metro Solusyon website tomorrow, 10 a.m., at the MMDA grounds in Makati City.


The Metro Solusyon website, patterned after India’s I paid a bribe website but made more serious, can be accessed through


According to Chairman Francis Tolentino, the website aims to foster transparency and active civic participation in finding solutions to various metro-wide concerns.


“The main premise of the Metro Solusyon website is Ako Kasama sa Solusyon. I am urging the public to report complaints / incidents involving MMDA employees, laud or commend a good deed done by our personnel, and suggest possible solutions to the problems of Metro Manila,” Tolentino said.


The new website features the following sections: What is Metro Solusyon, What I Should Know Before I Report in This Site, A Call for Citizen Partnership, Legal, MMDA’s Commintment, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), and Other MMDA Initiatives.


Anyone who wishes to report any incident must login first. Complaints must include the full name of the complainant together with the specific date, time and place where the incident happened. They will receive a confirmation notice if their report was received successfully and will be given a reference number which they can use for follow-up.


“We will verify the complaints first before we publish it to the website in order to protect our personnel from bogus and malicious reports. But we will investigate right away complaints which are truthful,” Tolentino said.


The public has responded warmly to the agency’s efforts of communicating through social networking sites, as evident in the MMDA Twitter account, now regarded as the most active among government Twitter accounts. MMDA Public Affairs Service



SEI honors two schools for the Search for Innovative large-class teaching


Science Education Institute (SEI) honored Bacong National High School of Salug, Zamboanga del Norte and Looc National High School of Calamba City, Laguna in the “Search for Innovative Practices in Managing Large Classes.”


Using creative strategies such as“sizing interventions” and “flock management” the two schools bested four other finalists from Metro Manila to earn the distinction of having the best and most inventive teaching strategies in their large science and mathematics classes.


The two schools received P100, 000 and a plaque of recognition for their winning entries in the awarding ceremonies held at the Hyat Hotel and Casino, Manila, besting Andres Bonifacio Integrated School, Las Pinas East National High School, Navotas National High School and San Isidro National High School.


Launched early in 2011, the search aims to improve the quality of teaching and learning science and mathematics in public and private high schools with class sizes of more than 50 students by inspiring schools to apply innovative teaching mechanisms. The project defines large classes as having 51 to 70 students, while extra large class as having 71 and above.


Bacong National High School was awarded for their project entitled Bacong Developmental Instruction which employs various teaching-learning activities using sizing interventions designed to test the effectiveness of the facilitative mode of teaching in a large class size.


The practice allows the students to discover, and later on, master the high school Mathematics II concepts and hence improve student-performance in achievement tests.

Likewise, Looc National High School boasted its strategy entitled Flock Program in Managing Large Class Size in Mathematics III which is based on the concept that the structure, management and monitoring of a class could be done by group or flock.


The program consists of three innovative practices namely 1) Flock Seating Arrangement, 2) Flock Activities and Facilitation, and 3) Flock Monitoring. The combined effects of the practices make the management of large classes easier and more effective in improving achievement in high school Mathematics III.


DOST-SEI Director Dr. Filma G. Brawner congratulated the winners and the finalists for presenting innovative teaching strategies “that are worth noticing and adopting” by many schools given the noticeable sizing in terms of classroom population.


She said that this promotion of innovative strategies in teaching large classes is in a way introducing an alternative solution to the current problem.


Meanwhile, DOST Undersecretary Fortunato T. De la Peña lauded the schools’ innovativeness and said he is optimistic that the entries will be adopted by schools needing them.


“While we believe that adopting innovative teaching strategies adds only a part of the solution in achieving the goal of improving science education, this project achieves, in a way, the purpose of instilling innovative thinking among our educators,” said de la Peña. “We hope that through this project, innovative thinking will be in our back packs from now on.”


“I hope that through honoring the fruits of our educators’ inventive minds, we have inspired others to keep on creating ways towards an effective and high-quality education system,” de la Peña added. (Estrella Z. Gallardo, PSciJourn MegaManila)

Magsasaka Siyentista Rebecca Tubongbanua: Woman of brain and brawn

Guimaras is home to the world’s sweetest and delicious mangoes. So is the brain and brawn of the McNester Mango Products’ Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) Rebecca Tubongbanua, the woman behind the uniquely healthy, vitamin packed, and tasty Mango Sauce and Mango ketchup.
Rebecca’s products are deliciously tempting that you’ll find yourself using them on all sorts of food. The sauce and catsup create a different twist on the classic recipes such as spaghetti, dips for anything fried, and desserts. It even tastes great on pizza!

A former overseas Filipino worker, Rebecca, started her venture in 2003 with a modest capital of PhP7,000. She originally labored on calamansi puree, but then her attention was caught by the dilemma of the mango growers and farmers in Guimaras, whose sales to traders and exporters were limited only to “spot-free” mangoes. Those with slight defects were rejected, resulting in low revenues.

Such concern pushed Tubongbanua to develop and process the rebuffed mangoes and their by-products into something profitable.

Her efforts had a positive impact. She is now offering the unique mango products that she developed and formulated herself to mango lovers.
Through the help of Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) based in the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) in Guimaras, she toiled on high value commercial crop processing technology. The process is a science and technology intervention provided by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through its TechnoMart Program.
The TechnoMart Program is a PCAARRD modality, which propels agro-based products from the communities to the markets.

Using the remaining by-products initially used for the dried mangoes, Tubongbanua was able to maximize the supply of raw ‘carabao’ mangoes, especially since these are very difficult to grow.
After several years of experimentation, she was able to perfect her processed products. The taste of her mango sauce and ketchup is comparable to the sweetness of the regular tomato-based sauces and dips but with a nice tang from the ripe Guimaras mangoes.

Her firm, McNester Food Products, which also carries her other mango products like the Mango Biscocho, Mango Otap, and Mango Piyaya, soon became the byword of processed commodities both here and abroad. Proof that a farmer can increase profits by value-adding their produce.

As one of the participants of the recent 13th World Food Expo (WOFEX 2012) held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, Tubongbanua had the opportunity to present her products in this year’s biggest selling and order-taking event of all segments of the food and beverage industry.
Through the TechnoMart Program, the event gave her the chance to promote her products to a wider local and global market and has opened her doors to several prospects and opportunities.
Even if her business has already gone a long way from its backyard beginnings, Tubongbanua acknowledges that there are more things to consider and accomplish.

She shares her passion and success to other farmers by serving as resource person during trainings, seminars, field days, and investments clinics. She also provides technical assistance and hands-on training.

Her McNester Food Products promotes Guimaras Island through the unique and exotic Mango Sauce and Ketchup. (Christie A. Surara, S&T Media Service)