"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Friday, April 11, 2014

If we could do income tax the way DepEd Delivers learning materials

by Joy Rizal

Originally posted on Facebook
April 9, 2014 at 3:23am
If you watch any TV here in the Philippines you are sure to have seen the recent ad spots by our government reminding everyone to register, fill out our tax forms correctly, and pay.

I could talk about how much fun it has been to go to the government office for copies of the tax forms, only to discover once at home that no instructions were included.  This makes doing the paperwork very difficult when the forms say enter the amount following the instructions of section whatever.  When there is no instruction section whatever. Even the work schedule pages say fill in the number following instructions from another mysterious non-included instruction section.

Ask why the instruction pages are not included?  The basic response is we do not have enough and cannot afford to copy them for everyone.

(And the Philippine government officials wonder why they have so much trouble getting cooperation from the people.)

However grumbling about Income Tax and how it is currently implemented is not what I want to write about today.   For I believe I have discovered the solution for all of our tax woes.

After many hours of consultations with special committees and exhaustive discussions with specialists, (see foot note 1) I believe I have come up with a solution to the income tax problem that should be acceptable to everyone.  Especially since we will be following the example set by the Philippine Government - Specifically The Philippine Department of Education (DEPED).

The solution is to fill out and file the tax forms and pay our taxes the same way The Philippine Department of Education apparently fills out its government documentation and the way it delivers text books, learning materials, etc.

The following is one possible example of how we might process the Income Tax if we followed the precedence set by DEPED.



Assuming we even bother to pick up a copy of the tax forms, during the weeks leading up to the April 15 dead line we loudly and proudly state that everything is fine and we will have everything completed and delivered by the 15th.  (see foot note 2)

Then a few days before we start saying that there might be a slight delay with the delivery of some forms but we will provide a substitute page for the government to use, that we will deliver in few weeks. Of course we do not need to actually deliver anything. (see foot note 3)

The main deadline and the promised late delivery date pass, the government continues to ask us where the forms are? We can safely simply ignore their request for information.  (see foot note 4)

After several months, and other groups getting involved telling us to answer the questions, we should provide useless answers to some questions and ignore the rest.  Of course, there is still no need to submit any of the forms (see foot note 5).

When asked what we have done with the forms and why no money has been paid we should simply respond that they should trust us, the forms and money are where they should be.  And best of all you can count on us to deliver the same high quality, ethical standards for years to come.  (see foot note 6)

When pushed for more detail about the non-delivery, we should provide several nonsensical excuses, reference a lot of irrelevant material, and still ignore many questions.



For instance we can say that the forms were not completed because:

There have been delays because our pencil lead broke or our pins ran out of ink causing several weeks of delay.

There have been delays because of a formatting compatibility issue between some of the form’s boxes and our writing thus we have to have new styles developed by calligraphy consultants in order to print on the forms.

And of course there have been extended delays because of all the power outages, hot weather, cold weather, rainy and sunny days. (see foot note 6)

Just for fun (and to make it appear that we have done something) we can add that the material in question is available online if one knows what website and if one can acquire a user name and password (see foot note 7).

After a few more months we should select the forms that are the least need and deliver them, less than half of the total number we are suppose to deliver.  (See foot note 8)

And of course, continue to ignore any other requests for information regarding the missing forms and payments.

Now the really GREAT part about processing our taxes the way DEPED delivers on its promises.  Is that after a few more months, we can simply declare that everything has been 100% completed.  All forms have been completed, delivered correctly and all payments have been made. (see foot note 9.)

But the absolute BEST part about doing our taxes and giving the government what it asks for the “DEPED Way” is that we can get away with doing this for YEARS, with no serious penalties. (see foot note 10.)

Funny how the government will aggressively enforce rules, regulations, collect fees, penalties, etc. from us if we do not follow the rules.  Not to mention what would happen if we intentionally filed false documentation.  I find it interesting that the government understands how to apply and enforce rules against us. Yet when their own departments are guilty of misconduct far worse than anything we would even think about doing, no one in the government seems to know how to raise a finger against government employees/departments, even for things that would get the rest of us looking for a new job, facing heavy fines, or even jail time.

And we wonder why we never see any serious improvement or even serious efforts to improve from the Philippine department of  education.





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FOOT NOTES

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Foot Note 1:

Special committees seem to usually made up of people sympathetic to the results desired by the organizing group.  In this case the special committee was made up of friends and family.

Consultation with experts seems to usually consist of asking people that are supposedly knowledgeable in a field of study that are also willing to ignore facts in order to achieve/state as fact the results desired by the organizing group.  In this case the experts consisted mainly of people that over heard the conversation of the special committee and wanted to join in on the conversation.



Foot Note 2:

http://ph.news.yahoo.com/delay-teaching-materials-seen-182348234.html

Mateo said that despite delays in TMs, there will be zero backlog in textbooks this school year.

The textbook shortage has already been addressed last school year and the students in the country's 45,000 public schools currently enjoy a "1:1 book-students ratio" in both elementary and secondary schools.

Each Grade 2 and Grade 8 student will be given LMs



Foot Note 3:

https://ph.news.yahoo.com/delivery-grades-2-8-learning-packages-completed-says-192144615.html

Delivery of grades 2, 8 learning packages completed, says DepEd

 Manila Bulletin – Sun, Jun 30, 2013

Manila, Philippines --- The teaching of the new curriculum for Grades 2 and 8 should no longer be a problem for public school teachers after the Department of Education (DepEd) assured yesterday that the delivery of the Learners' Modules (LMs) for the use of their students has been completed.

According to Education Secretary Armin Luistro, the delivery of the learning packages scheduled this June-which include the LMs on a 1:1 ratio or one student per module-has already been completed. "Ang delivery kasi natin was divided into three batches since we have about 46,000 elementary schools and more than 7,000," he said in an interview.

Luistro admitted that there was a delay in the delivery of the learning packages due to logistics. "We have so many schools so it was expected that that there will be some delay but of course, we did everything we could to avoid so much delay," he added. The first batch of learning packages was scheduled to be delivered in May but most public schools were not able to receive the materials before the classes started on June 3.

Due to the delay, the DepEd issued a Memorandum signed by Undersecretary Francisco Varela suggesting "measures" Grade 2 teachers could undertake in case learning resources such as the LMs, TGs and Curriculum Guides would not be available in hard copy.

In DepEd Memo No. 92 series of 2013, Varela said "printed copies [learner's materials] will be provided on a one is to one ratio."



Foot Note 4:

Follow email and information request at:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/joy-rizal/correspondence-with-deped-and-other-groups/219797484851503

Initial request sent in July no response given until September.



Foot Note 5:



https://www.facebook.com/notes/joy-rizal/correspondence-with-deped-and-other-groups/219797484851503



Foot Note 6:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/joy-rizal/our-response-to-socorro-a-pilors-message/234746923356559



DepEd Excuse:

“Some of the manuscripts have copyrighted selections, illustrations, and/or musical pieces for which permission to use them have to be requested.”

Our questions:

As indicated above, there are several books/subject materials which our children have not received for use in their studies.  Thus we have a few questions about this excuse.

I would hope that the materials of so many different second grade courses are not being delayed due to copyright violations.  Which course material has been delayed due to the copyright infractions?

When was the request for permission sent to the copyright owners?

Since obviously permission does not have to be granted by the copyright holders, how long does DepEd plan to wait for a response/permission before alternative public domain material is used to replace the copyrighted material so that the books can the printed and distributed?



DepEd Excuse:

"Some Grade 2 materials which were contextualized into 12 mother tongue-based languages by the regions were not complete and there were pixelated or stretched, and unproportionate JPEG images which only the illustrator/layout artist could correct. These had to be returned to the regional writing teams."

Our questions:

The groups have had several years to prepare these documents, who was responsible for insuring that the groups were on schedule and able to complete the work on time as well as reviewing printed copies of the material?

As for the imaging and formatting issue, we are now nearly six months into the school year.  How long does it take for your writing teams to replace and/or reformat image(s) in the publishing software?  I assume that you are using relatively modern computer software to produce these materials (word processing, publishing and graphic arts software produced at least within the last 15 years) and not early 1900 style printing plates.

If these materials were not completed and ready for printing when the school year was about to begin, why was it stated in multiple documents and press releases that all the material was ready to be delivered including the material for second grade?



DepEd Excuse:

“For the titles that were ready for printing, there were printers who asked for an extension of their contract completion period because they were affected by the typhoons that flooded their area and work was suspended for a number of days.”

Our questions:

The first typhoon of this year to hit Philippines this school year did not happen until August (the THIRD month of the school year).  Well after the time the material was to have been printed and delivered to the schools.

Also unless you are trying to say that ALL the materials for DepEd are printed within the limited area affected by that typhoon.   It seems unlikely that there would be a major affect to the publication of the material nationwide.  However just to consider the possibility, let us assume that a typhoon did manage to shut down every print shop in the Philippines.   As you stated the printers were shut down for a few days. Even if it took two or three weeks for the printers to catch up, we are now about to enter the SIXTH MONTH of the school year.  That seems like more than enough time to have printed the documents and have them delivered.  More than enough time that is, if anyone was actually trying to make good on the educational promises of the Philippines to our children.



Foot Note 7:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/joy-rizal/our-response-to-socorro-a-pilors-message/234746923356559



DepEd stated:

“Digital copies of kinder, grades 1, 2, 7, & 8 are being uploaded into the Learning Resources Management and Development System (LRMDS), a web-based portal that would make accessible quality-assured learning resources (e.g., learning materials, teaching and professional development resources, supplementary reading and reference materials).

Grades 1, 2, 7, & 8 LMs are uploaded at the DepEd google drive.”

Response to DepEd:

While you failed to mention the web site location, we found it at:

http://lrmds.deped.gov.ph/

This idea of resource availability sounds nice at first glance.  However it is useless for the many families that do not have any type of computer or internet access.  Nor is it useful for families like mine that only go to locations where we have access to the internet every couple of weeks or so.

However what makes this alleged availability of the materials TOTALLY USLESS to most everyone is that, it appears ONLY DEPED EMPLOYEES can be granted access to any of the actual the Learning Material you mentioned.  Thus, what good or use is it to parents or students when they have NO ACCESS to the material?



Foot Note 8:

Even though this note is for January.  No additional material has been delivered at the end of the school year.

In fact even though classes officially ended last month.  No final report card or grades have been given to students and many Maylaybalay region schools.  (The excuse . . . the school administrators have simply not had a chance to do them.)



https://www.facebook.com/notes/joy-rizal/mid-january-2014-and-our-children-are-still-waiting/264135367084381



  • Math        - at this time NO TEXT BOOKS OR MATERIAL RECEIVED FOR STUDENT USE.

  • English     - at this time NO TEXT BOOKS OR MATERIAL RECEIVED FOR STUDENT USE. (Some schools have distributed english text books left over from previous years for students to use.)

  • edukasyon-sa-pagpapakatao - at this time NO TEXT BOOKS OR MATERIAL RECEIVED FOR STUDENT USE.

  • araling-panlipunan - at this time NO TEXT BOOKS OR MATERIAL RECEIVED FOR STUDENT USE.

  • Filipino     - text book received in august. (three months into the school year)

  • mtb-mle   - Text book received last  week of November. (Six months into the school year)

  • mapeh     - Text book received last  week of November. (Six months into the school year)


Foot Note 9:



http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2014/02/04/1286394/no-more-classroom-shortage-phl-noy

February 4, 2014



The President said the almost 62 million backlog in textbooks has also been solved, and the books acquired were 40 percent cheaper compared than those the previous administration acquired.





Foot Note 10:

Just 3 examples of an ongoing problem with no end in sight.

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/94582/news/nation/deped-to-address-classroom-textbook-shortage-before-school-opening

DepEd to address classroom, textbook shortage before school opening

May 11, 2008



http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/-depth/12/05/11/deped-questioned-p132b-textbook-contracts

DepEd questioned on P1.32B textbook contracts

12/05/2011



http://www.interaksyon.com/article/32211/depeds-old-problem-shortages-in-teachers-classrooms-books-when-classes-start-in-june

DepEd's old problem: Shortages in teachers, classrooms, books when classes start in June

May 17, 2012

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