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Para sa Bayan, Para sa Kinabukasan!

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This is the manuscript of the message I delivered originally in Cebuano-English on behalf of the Nagkahiusang Kusog sa Estudyante (UPCC NKE) to the UP Cebu protesters during the WALKOUT + Rally attended by around 400 students, teachers, and workers to coincide with the UP Board of Regents Meeting, November 26. Some parts of this message might have not clearly delivered due to technical difficulty during the program.

 

Isang mapulang pagbati at pagpupugay sa ating lahat pagka’t pagkatapos ng ilang taon, muling nagkaisa ang mga Iskolar ng Bayan, mga guro, manggagawa’t administrador at yan ay kitang-kita sa dami natin ngayon!

Isang Goliath ang ating kinakaharap ngayon na matagal nang nanggugulo sa ating pag-aaral at ito ang patuloy na Education Budget Cuts. At ang Goliath na ito ang siyang ugat ng mga iba’-ibang problema sa komunidad ng UP Cebu at ng buong UP System: 300% Tuition and Other Fees Increase, imposition of other fees like Lab Fees and Insurance Fee, Main Gate closure, at iba pa.

We hoped that under the new Administration, magiging ‘tuwid na ang daan’ as the new president promised. Subalit ang ginawa nila, tinakdang babawasan ng 437M ang budget ng SUC’s at ng 1.39B ang budget ng UP habang mas dinagdagan pa lalo ang budget sa AFP at PNP at sa Pork Barrel kasama na ang 2.2B PB ni Rep. Gloria Arroyo.

Mula sa simula, we have made our stand very clear and that is we are against the budget cuts for education. This is because education is a right to everyone at all levels; di pwedeng sa basic education lang. This is because our Constitution mandates the State to ensure quality education accessible for all at all levels.

To strongly oppose the cuts and to prevent them from being approved, we udnerwent various diplomatic means: we had appeals to have dialogue with the President or with the lawmakers, we had signature campaigns and letters to government officials, and we had lobbied in the Congress.

However, the President answered by telling us that we should recognize that they have increased the budget for basic education via DepEd’s budget. The Aquino Administration never thought that many youths could no longer enter college and become doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers, etc. Hanggang semi-skilled workers na lang ba ang gusto niya sa atin para magserbisyo sa mga ‘Kano?

We do not need President Noynoy’s lovelife. We need “greater state subsidy”. But his Administration refuses to listen to the plight of the Filipino youths.

This is the reason why we resorted to go out of our classrooms, to the streets to create public opinion, and show that without the students and without the youth, our country will not progress.

Subalit ang pagkilos na ito’y hindi ang katapusan subalit ang simula pa lamang ng sunud-sunod na mga pagkilos ng kabataan at mga Iskolar ng Bayan. Sa Disyembre 1, 87 SUC’s sa buong bansa ang mag-sta-strike at tutungo sa Senado upang magprotesta habang aaprubahan na ng Senado ang budget proposal ng Aquino Administration. Huwag tayong sumuko hanggang sa i-rerecognize ng gubyerno ang ating karapatan sa higher education.

Bakit ba tayo nag-aaral dito sa UP? Siyempre sa simula, aim natin ay makakuha agad ng trabahong mataas ang sahod. But if we still think until now that we study here in UP just for ourselves, for our families, to get decent jobs, to work abroad, then we are being selfish.

I would like to quote Dr. Caster during the Cultural Night kagabi where she said, “Unawain natin kung para kanino ang ating katalinuhan, ang ating kahusayan.” Para kanino na nga ba? Ang mga ito’y para sa bayan at para sa masa. We need to serve the people first before ourselves and this is what Oble embodies that we should uphold as mga Iskolar ng Bayan.

Thus, let this event be carved in History that the next generation will know na ang UP Cebu ngayon ay hindi nananahimik at hindi kumikibo sa gitna ng pakikibaka para sa edukasyon and that our generation has contributed much to the reason kung bakit makakapasok pa sila sa kolehiyo at low cost. Someday, we will be proudly telling our children and grandchildren that kaisa tayo sa mga kumilos upang ipaglaban ang karapatan nila sa edukasyon.

Bagkus, tayong lahat, kasama kaming mga taga-NKE, ay dapat magpatuloy sa pagtayo at pagkilos upang ipaglaban ang karapatan ninuman sa “quality and accessible education” dahil sa ating sama-samang pagtayo, nariyan ang ating nagkakaisang lakas.

UP, lahat ng kabataan, guro, kawani at mamamayan, patuloy ang ating pagkilos laban sa basic services(education, health, etc.) budget cuts…

 

PARA SA BAYAN!

PARA SA KINABUKASAN!

Serve the People!

Padayon, mga Iskolar ng Bayan!

  

Speech during Launching of UP Agenda: “Mga Iskolar ng Bayan, Muli Tayong Lumaban” http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=435597279793

 

UP Cebu WALKOUT Chronology of Events: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=466461164793

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Author: pchan_august

Juris Doctor (Law) Graduate. Iskolar ng Bayan. Activist. Environmentalist. Frustrated Singer, Poet and Writer. Computer Enthusiast. Servant of the Masses. God's Servant.

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