STRIKE BACK!: Defend our right to educationPosted: October 4, 2011
AQUINO, FOUL OUT!
Amid university strikes that spawned a nation-wide protest against education budget cuts last year, President Benigno Aquino III is hell bent this year in allocating sufficient budget for basic social services. He was so determined in abandoning what is socially incontestable right of the people for free and quality education, among other social services that have to be any government’s top priority. Hence, a new round of budget cuts.
Worse, his communications team are throwing the most unbecoming comments towards the students, teachers and school officials who joined the protests such as Abigail Valte who undermined the protesters’ capability to engage in protests intelligently, not only to make their way for a 30-second airtime on the television news program but to show broad and united collectivism of tens of thousands of protesters to demand what is rightfully theirs—right to education. It is this inalienable right that shook the students’ chairs in schools, reminded them of their social obligation outside the four walls of the universities and pushed them to take the militant—unwavering and uncompromising—form of action such as long marches, snake rallies, walkout and strikes. Students were clever, too, in utilizing newer forms of protest—i.e., “pose to oppose budget cuts” in Facebook, mass planking and freeze mob—to send their message through various channels.
Aquino, lest he forgets, pleaded in June 30, 2010 in front of the people—his “bosses”—for participation in nation-building. We participated through various means. He has no right to lounge in the reins of authority if he remains deaf of the aspirations of the people for sufficient state subsidy.
We pledged for strikes and we them a history. The whole world witnessed once again that our activism is alive, that the youth is not swallowed by individualism and self-delusion, that we can see ourselves altogether in one fight.
The strikes can never be taken as token protests that are easily belittled and sandwiched between State illusions of progress. The strikes can never stun our political imagination. These will be constantly remembered, relived and intensified so long as our fundamental rights are trampled upon and disrespected by those who are sanctioned to protect and uphold them.
FAST BREAK FOR SUFFICIENT STATE SUBSIDY!
On Oct. 4 to 6, the Senate will convene to deliberate the budget for state universities and colleges (SUCs). In the midst of lower state funding for SUC not to mention a meager allocation relative to Philippine Association of SUCs’ proposed budget, this is high time to remind our legislators of the strength of our collective action. May the strikes serve as both a challenge and a warning.
Thus, our challenges to the Aquino administration:
1. Re-channel the budget for debt servicing, military spending, dole-outs and pork barrel including the “crocodile” Presidential fund to education and other basic social services like health and housing;
2. Stop the cutbacks on State funding on basic social services, pass a P45-billion budget for SUCs, as proposed by PASUC; and
3. Implement a five-year freeze on tuition increase, rollback unjust and skyrocketing tuition such as the 300% increase in UP and junk all redundant, questionable and unnecessary exorbitant fees as necessary, beneficial and practicable means for immediate economic relief especially after the devastation brought about by the typhoons Pedring and Quiel.
And thus, our warning: intensified and sustained campus occupations and operation stoppage if the Aquino government remains deaf of our just call for sufficient State funding for social services—hundreds of thousands marching to Mendiola, to Batasan, to EDSA, clapping and shouting and acting for genuine social change.
STRIKE BACK AGAINST BUDGET CUTS!
FIGHT FOR A PRO-PEOPLE NATIONAL BUDGET!
ASSERT FOR SUFFICIENT STATE SUBSIDY
on education and other basic social services!
10.04.11 4pm, humsteps, UP Los Banos
10am, Day of action, Senate
SAVE OUR EDUCATION MOVEMENT
ANAKBAYAN-SOUTHERN TAGALOG | COLLEGE EDITORS’GUILD OF THE PHILIPPINES-SOUTHERN TAGALOG | NATIONAL UNION OF STUDENTS OF THE PHILIPPINES-SOUTHERN TAGALOG | KABATAAN PARTYLIST-SOUTHERN TAGALOG | SOUTHERN TAGALOG CULTURAL NETWORK | SAMAHAN NG KABATAAN PARA SA BAYAN (SAKBAYAN) | KULTURAN UGNAYAN NG KABATAAN ALY SA BAYAN | KATIPUNAN NG SANGGUNIANG MAG-AARAL SA UP-UPLB | ALL UP WORKERS’UNION and almost 50 student councils and publications in Southern Tagalog