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UP and SUCS’ Budget Increased! | With Our Militant Action, We Win!

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).

Photo from Philippine Collegian FB Account

 

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.

Courtesy of NKE

 

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.

 

References:

“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.


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Junk MGT 186 Lab Fee!

As the academic year begins, Iskolars ng Bayan are greeted with another set of fees. The Management Cluster of the UP Cebu College has submitted a proposal, dated 18 April 2012, to institute P500-laboratory fee for the MGT 186 (Management Information Systems and Technology) which is a new course under the new Business Management Curriculum that was approved in 2009.

NKE (Nagkahiusang Kusog sa Estudyante), as a political and mass organization that has been in the forefront in protecting and promoting students’ rights and welfare, is firm in its opposition to the proposal and is calling for its junking, given the legitimate and justifiable grounds stated herein.

 

Not a Genuine Consultation

The proposal was approved by 177 out of 207 Management students consulted. However, the consultation was not genuine because the students concerned were not given ample time to study the proposal for them to have a scientific decision. In addition, some students admitted they approved the proposal because of fear.

 

Questionable Costs

Questionable costs are included in the schedules such as the construction of the laboratory room. For years, the government has not allocated even a single peso for the university’s Capital Outlay (CO), which is supposed to cover construction cost. In other words, the construction of such facility will start once the laboratory fees have been collected. However, the collection of fees is proposed to be implemented next semester or immediately after the UP Board of Regents (BOR)’ approval, which means that third year Management students taking the course next semester will be paying for a room that is non-existent.

 

Redundant Items

There are other items in the schedule that should not be shouldered by the students. Some of the scheduled items are redundant since such items receive allocation from the national budget.

For instance, the proposal includes the monthly salary of a full-time teacher who will handle the course’s laboratory. Teachers’ salaries are already covered by the Personnel Services (PS) budget of the UP’s Annual Budget allocated by the government.

In addition, the proposal includes maintenance cost (which the proposal fails to specify what are to be maintained) and the power consumption of all equipment of the laboratory. These expenses are already covered by the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) allocated by the government. In fact, this also makes our payment of P250 energy fee per semester redundant and questionable.

 

Where is the 300% TOFI?

 

In 2006, the UP Board of Regents approved then UP President Emerlinda Roman’s recommendation to increase the “tuition and other fees” by 300%. Despite the students, teachers and workers’ opposition, President Roman defended her proposal.

 

“The President said tuition is being adjusted to be able to increase stipends, increase the number of beneficiaries and to be able to improve facilities and have additional funds for MOOE. UP is not adjusting tuition only to break even or so that all of incremental income will go to stipends. Part of the incremental income should go to facilities improvement and MOOE. After all, students who will now pay more have a right to expect some improvements in the facilities” (“Matters Arising” p. 7).

 

Five years have already passed yet there has been no remarkable increase of STFAP beneficiaries despite the 300% tuition and other fees increase (TOFI). In a recent study conducted by UP Diliman school publication Philippine Collegian, “of the 3,364 STFAP applicants (UP Diliman) this semester, 2,325 also applied for student tuition loans, according to data from the Office of Student Scholarships and Services (OSSS)” (Borlaza n. p.) Meanwhile, to date, there are still facilities that have not yet been improved such as the “stiff-necked” electric fans in some of our classrooms.

 

If the “the incremental income should go to facilities improvement and MOOE”, why do Management students still have to pay for maintenance cost of MGT 186 Laboratory? Or is it just another profit-generation scheme of the University?

 

 

An Effect that Also Causes State Abandonment

 

Annually, the government is decreasing its public spending for basic social services such as education and health while spending large amount of the national budget to foreign-debt-servicing, militarization and even pork barrel. Recently, the government is lending the International Monetary Fund (where it borrows money from) $1 billion while millions of Filipinos grow hungry and poor.

 

In effect, state universities and colleges (SUCs) such as UP (which suffered from a P1.39B budget cut last 2010), are forced to find other means to generate income. Apparently, immediate means are increasing the tuition and imposing other fees such as laboratory fees to students.

 

Concurrently, increasing tuition and imposing other fees such as MGT 186 Lab Fee give more reason to the government to abandon public schools like UP. The government can now just decrease UP’s budget, while the administration willingly plays the role of profit-earners who fill the budget deficit which the government yearly imposes. This may fulfil the neo-liberal policies of the US-Aquino administration in its “Daang Matuwid”:

 

“We allocated P23.4 billion to 112 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in 2011. This is 1.7 percent lower than the P23.8 billion budget for 2010. We are gradually reducing the subsidy to SUCs to push them toward becoming self-sufficient and financially independent…” (Aquino n. p.)

 

This is contrary to the government’s Constitutional mandate that is to give the highest budget priority to education (Art. XIV, Sec. 5.5 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution).

 

 

Our Call

 

Obviously, the proposal to institute P500 fee for the MGT 186 Laboratory is flawed and questionable; thus, we are appealing to all Management students to withdraw their signatures and to the UP Cebu Academic Council to junk it. Furthermore, the proposal is said to have been patterned from the past proposals that have already been approved and implemented. Therefore, we also call for the review of all other laboratory fees instituted.

 

On the other hand, it has been made clear that mechanisms like increasing tuition and imposing other fees tolerate the government in its abandonment of UP and all other public schools that it is constitutionally bound to fund and prioritize. Hence, we call all students to oppose any proposal to increase tuition and institute laboratory fees.

 

Meanwhile, we appreciate Pres. Pascual administration’s active solidarity with the students, teachers and workers in asserting higher budget as they also recognize that the main problem is state abandonment. However, we also urge them not to entertain and approve any proposal to increase tuition and impose fees. Doing so will make our efforts futile. We cannot kill the weeds when, at the same time, our actions are watering the weeds.

 

We also call the UP administration to uphold transparency especially on the tuition increment raised by the five-year old 300%-TOFI. This is mandated by the UP Charter of 2008 (Sec. 3(h), Republic Act 9500) that stipulates:

 

“The University shall… Provide democratic governance in the University based on collegiality, representation, accountability, transparency and active participation of its constituents, and promote the holding of fora for students, faculty, research, extension and professional staff (REPS), staff, and alumni to discuss non-academic issues affecting the University.”

 

Most importantly, we call on all students, teachers, workers and administrators of all UP units to unite in preserving the public and mass-oriented character of the University of the Philippines – a National University that educates and equips students to be citizens who are highly contributory in building the nation and in liberating fellow Filipinos from oppression.

 

 

Junk the 500-Peso Mgt. 186 Lab Fee!

Uphold Transparency on the 300% TOFI!

Continue the Fight for Greater State Subsidy!

Protect UP as University of the Filipino People!

Onward to a Nationalist, Scientific and Mass-Oriented Education!

Serve The People!

 

 

 

References:

 

Aquino III, Benigno S. “2011 Budget Message of President Aquino”. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines 24 Aug. 2010: n. p. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Web. 28 Jun. 2012.

 

Borlaza, Isabella Patricia H. “2 in 3 UPD students under STFAP also apply for loans”. Philippine Collegian 17 Mar. 2012: n. p. Philippine Collegian. Web. 29 Jun. 2012.

 

Chaves, Mary Gretchen F. Letter to Ritchelita Galapate. 18 Apr. 2012.

 

“Matters Arising from the Minutes of the 1216th Meeting (15 December 2006)”. The University of the Philippines Gazette Jan-Mar 2007: 6-8. Office of the Secretary of the University and Board of Regents. Web. 28 Jun. 2012.

 

“Proposal to Institute Laboratory Fees for: MGT 186 (Management of Information Systems and Technology)”.  UP Cebu Business Management Cluster. Feb 2012.


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OJT!

PRAISE GOD! It’s OJT time for us, (UP) Komsai iBugs! I am having my training at Cebu Directories which is currently incubating at UP Cebu-DOST’s Techo Business Incubator (TBI).

Just a quick background of my OJT place — Cebu Directories is owned and co-founded by my awesome trainer Mr. Paul Villacorta in 2007. He told me during my interview that the idea of establishing Cebu (Online) Directories sprung out of his frustration in searching for places in Cebu online. When he came to Cebu, he hardly searched for places-to-go online so he decided to make an online catalog of these places. At first, it was still a WordPress blog until he decided to develop it into like an online “Yellow Page” with the help of his colleague. Since 2007, the site has been very helpful to everyone in Cebu especially to tourists.

It is indeed an honor to be working under Cebu Directories. On the technical side, the site is developed using Ruby on Rails language. This means, I am learning a new programming language and it is so cool because it makes me spend less time in coding, especially with its principle, “Test first, code later.” It is indeed perfect for rapid development.

Today is my 3rd day and I and my co-trainee are working on our first assignment which is due Sunday or Monday. Surely, there are a lot of things to do and a lot of things to learn. And so far, the greatest learning I had with our trainer is “to share, and not to be greedy of, our ideas”. GOD BLESS us all! ^^,

PS: Please visit Cebu Directories at http://cebudirectories.com/


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From the UP Student Regent: Have the Army, police become biggest threat to UP students’ security?

There is an established trend of UP students being accosted, harassed, and attacked by traditional law enforcement. Most recently, two UP Manila students were tracked down by suspected military elements in an attempt to involve them in a criminal case, filed against one of the student’s father. Eight young photographers from UP Los Banos and two community development students from UP Diliman were also intimidated and terrorized by military personnel during their separate community immersion.

UP has had no choice but to place itself squarely on the other side of the fence. This is to protect all UP students, who at one time or another, are required to go out into the communities and serve. The systematic vilification and persecution of our students threatens our lives and liberties – we have two missing and two in jail, all thanks to misplaced and overzealous military adherence to counter-insurgency programs. Two deaths may even be attributed to criminal collusion, corruption, and ineffectiveness of the police.

The UP Student Regent demands the reconvening of the joint monitoring group, created in 1989, which delineates the authority of the Department of National Defense and the UP administration over UP campuses and students. In several documents we have agreed to:

  • Disallow establishment of military and police detachments inside campuses
  • Ban operations and deployment of military, police or CAFGU forces
  • Require proper notification in case of arrest, detention or custodial investigation of any UP student, faculty, or personnel.

Hopefully with this JMG, UP can refocus the issues to the social and the economic. UP students, past and present, have always been instrumental in exposing and most times opposing, what is wrong with the system. Don’t persecute us improperly and unlawfully when we do something about it.

Source: http://www.facebook.com/notes/krissy-conti/have-the-army-police-become-biggest-threat-to-up-students-security/10150636574260069