History will never fail us to appreciate that our victories in our struggle for equality and justice and for our rights have been achieved with our guided militant action, specifically speaking about our fight for greater state subsidy for basic social services including education.
We welcome, but with no single amount of complacency, the recent developments of our struggle:
“Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad said that 34.8 percent or P698.4 billion of the P2.006-trillion proposed budget has been earmarked for social services, higher by 14 percent compared with this year’s P613.4-billion funding” (Leyco n.p.).
For State Universities and colleges (SUCs), particularly:
“…DBM also increased the total budget of 110 state universities
and colleges (SUCs) by 41.25 percent from P26.29 billion in 2012 to 37.4 billion next year. The increase is also particularly attributed to the 97.73 percent or P3.7 billion increase in the MOOE of SUCs, from P3.21 billion this year to P6.42 in 2013” (Mariano 3).
As for UP budget:
“The P10.78 billion budget approved by DBM for inclusion in the 2013 National Expenditure Program (NEP) is 57.6 percent higher than the P6.84 billion allotted to UP this year under the General Appropriations Act (GAA)” (Mariano 3).
With our MILITANT Action, we win!
“Last year, our definition of ‘paggugol na matuwid was spending that has direct, immediate and substantial impact to the people—’diretso sa tao.’ This year, we defined “paggugol na matuwid” as something that the people, especially the poor, have been asking for—even demanding for—from their government,” DBM Secretary Florencio Abad said (Mariano 3).
Though there are matters in the DBM proposed budget that are questionable despite the increase, it is clear that the increase in budget is brought about by our MILITANT COLLECTIVE ACTION through the years. This credits much our rallies, walkouts, pickets, cultural protests, etc along with dialogues with the government and lobbying in the Congress, that were geared towards our call for greater state subsidy, among others.
Last month (June 21), our fellow Iskolars in UP Diliman and Manila trooped to the Dept. of Budget and Management (DBM) office to lobby for budget increase while we had our signature campaign (by our Student Council and NUSP Cebu). UP Student Regent Cleve Arguelles then tweeted, “Matagumpay ang protesta natin ngayong araw sa DBM. Dialogue resulted into an agreement that there will be an increase in the budget.”
Last year (September), students from SUCs around the country walked out while we had our black-shirt, candle-lighting and planking protest.
In November 2010, around 400 of us walked out as we support the Nationwide WALKOUT for Greater State Subsidy. The massive mobilization shook the Aquino government and the Congress, pushing the latter to increase the (MOOE) budget for SUCs by more than P400 Million.
No single amount of complacency
However, we should not consider the recent increase as an “ultimate victory” in our struggle for greater state subsidy. Our movement should not stop because everyday is a struggle. It is worth noting that the recent increase is just on the DBM level. The proposed budget will still undergo Congressional Proceedings, wherein it may be approved, disapproved or amended.
Unless the sufficient percentage of the national budget is automatically appropriated and the automatic appropriation for debt servicing is repealed, we must not settle; instead, we must remain vigilant and must keep on fighting.
KABATAAN Partylist has filed House Bill (HB) 1962 that pushes for automatic appropriation of at least 6% of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) to education and other basic social services while repealing automatic appropriation for debt servicingthat eats up more than one-third of our national budget, annually (“HB 1962” n. p.). We mustsupport the passage of this bill. At the same time, we must back this up with our mobilizations in the streets — the same mobilizations that brought us the recent tactical victories.
As what Kabataang Makabayan (that fought against Marcos regime) founder Jose Maria Sison said, “Only through militant struggle can the best in the youth emerge” (Sison n. p.).
Congratulations, mga Iskolar ng Bayan!
Join the National Youth Day of Protest on July 17!
Iskolar ng Bayan, ipagpatuloy ang laban hanggang sa kapanalunan!
Fight for Greater State Subsidy!
Continue pushing for a Nationalist, Scientific and Mass-oriented Education!
Change the System!
SERVE THE PEOPLE!
Disclaimer: This my personal statement and does not reflect the views and opinion of the organizations I am affiliated with.
“HB 1962 – Repeal of the Automatic Appropriation for Debt Service.” KABATAAN Partylist n. d.: n. p. Scribd. Web. 15 Jul. 2012. (http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/365230/dbm-details-2013-proposed-budget)
Leyco, Chino S. “DBM Details 2013 Proposed Budget.” Manila Bulletin 9 Jul. 2012: n. p. Manila Bulletin. Web. 15 Jul. 2012. (http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/365230/dbm-details-2013-proposed-budget)
Mariano, Keith Richard D. “DBM OKs more than half of proposed 2013 UP budget.” Philippine COllegian 11 Jul. 2012: 3. Philippine Collegian. Web. 15 Jul. 2012. (http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/193/9/9/philippine_collegian_issue_4_5_by_kule1213-d56xr9u.pdf)
Sison, Jose Maria. “Youth on the March.” The Philippines Free Press [Quezon City] 2 Nov. 1968: n. p.