A school teacher in the southern Filipino island of Jolo takes a government licensure examinations Sunday inside the Mohammad Tulawie School in downtown Jolo town. The island’s governor Sakur Tan sought President Gloria Arroyo’s permission to allow some 2,000 teachers to take the examinations in Jolo to save on expenses in traveling to Mindanao to take the licensure test. Also some 100 high school graduates aspiring to become a cadet take an entrance examination Sunday Aug. 26, 2007 for the Philippine Military Academy in Jolo island. The examination is the first in 17 years in Jolo to give equal opportunity for those living in remote provinces, says Colonel Antonio Supnet, the island's army chief.
And group of children play at the Mauboh beach in Patikul town in Jolo island on Sunday. Contrary to Philippine media reports of fighting between troops and Abu Sayyaf militants, the island’s governor Sakur Tan says life is much better now for the locals, citing the steady growth of business and the improved peace and order condition since the implementation of the total gun ban in Jolo island. (Mindanao Examiner Photo Service)
JOLO ISLAND, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 26 Aug) – For the first time in Jolo's history, the Philippine Regulation Commission, allowed school teachers to take their licensure examinations on the southern island.
Some 2,000 teachers trooped to the town of
"President Gloria Arroyo granted the request of Governor Tan and that's why we were able to hold the PRC licensure examinations here. We were able to save money and time. We hope this will continue in the coming years," Unga told the Mindanao Examiner.
Tan said the holding of the licensure examinations in Jolo island only shows the government's concern for the welfare of the teachers. "We owe this to President Arroyo and she assured us of her administration's continued support to the people of this province," he said.
Perla Sayana, PRC head of delegation to Jolo island, said President Arroyo ordered them to fly to Jolo and supervise the licensing examinations for teachers as requested by Tan.
"We are really excited to come here and conduct the licensing examinations for teachers and we hope that in the future we will be able to hold other licensing examinations here to service the people," she said in a separate interview.
Aside from the PRC examination, the Philippine Military Academy also held its admission test in Jolo island, the first time in 17 years, according to Colonel Antonio Supnet, commander of the Army's 104 th Infantry Brigade.
He said some 100 graduates from high school took the PMA examination. "There were so many who wanted to become a cadet, but we follow strict guidance and rules before anyone are allowed to take the battery of examinations and eventually become a PMA cadet."
"This is the first time in 17 years that the PMA is here to recruit. This will give equal opportunity for everyone – Christians and Muslims – to become part of the Philippine Military Academy," Supnet said.
Tan also appealed to the press not to sensationalize the security problem in Jolo island, where troops are pursuing the Abu Sayyaf group, blamed for terrorism and kidnappings in southern
"The government operation is limited to the mountains and everybody can come here and see for themselves the progress that we are now enjoying and the development projects that are ongoing."
"President Arroyo is pouring a lot of humanitarian and government projects in the province and the military and police are doing a great job in maintaining peace and order," he said.
He said beaches are full everyday of picnickers and the local economy is growing steadily.
"Trade with neighboring provinces is also picking up. We deliver fruits, like durian and lanzones and also coffee beans and rubbers by the boats everyday to Zamboanga and other places in Mindanao and as far as Manila, Cebu and abroad and we are growing."
"And so we appeal to the media to report the positive gains that we have achieved and help us promote peace and development and lure investments and more trades with our neighbors," Tan said.
Jolo island is one of five provinces under the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and is famous for its pristine beaches and rich in heritage and culture. (