Cyber-activities launched to oppose budget cuts
“We wanted to engage the youth through popular means for them to express their protest,” Allen Lemuel Lemence, Save Our Education Movement spokesperson, said Thursday during the unity march in UP Los Banos.
The alliance’s “Pose to oppose” campaign was an initiative of its convenors Benjie Villacruel and Samahan ng Kabataan para sa Bayan (SAKBAYAN) after learning the project from Kilos Na Laban sa Budget Cuts (Act not against budget cuts), a multi-sectoral alliance against budget cut. The campaign gathers photographs of supporters with their “poses” where the campaign call “pose to oppose budget cuts! Strike on 09.23.11” is attached.
“We recognize that the cyberworld is a place where people meet and converse with each other. Why not use them to send our message of protest? We believe that by these creative popular activities, we can imbue the youth and other supporters the spirit of collective action against budget cut,” SAKBAYAN Chairperson Ma. Christina Madeja added. “This activity is only one of the build-up. What we envision is a gathering of warm bodies on Sept 23 to show our concrete action to protest against budget cut simultaneous with our efforts to lobby in Congress,” she continued.
The alliance started on Sept 15 the Southern Tagalog countdown to the university strikes that are set to take place on Sept 23. The strikes call for what they call “pro-people national budget”, wherein the basic social services receive the highest budget allocation. Save Our Education Movement was re-launched on Aug 2 to oppose the impeding budget cuts on education and other basic social services.
One hundred twelve State universities and colleges (SUCs) will expect more than P500 million budget cuts in 2012. The country’s premier state university, the University of the Philippines System, will experience a P800-million budget cut next year after suffering from the highest budget cut this year, which amounts to P1.39-billion.
“We are taking the issue on a higher level because we are serious in opposing budget cuts. What’s at stake here is the future of the youth, the hope of the motherland,” Lemence said, “Our call is clear: Sufficient state subsidy on basic social services. The Aquino administration should wake up and re-channel our ‘kaban ng bayan’ from other priorities to education and other social services.”
Save Our Education Movement condemns the Aquino administration prioritization of military spending along with other priorities such as debt servicing, dole outs, pork barrel and private-public partnership. Lemence said that Aquino administration is “maka-dayuhan at kontra-mamamayan” (pro-imperialist and anti-people) for adhering to neo-liberal recommendations from the IMF-World Bank.
Reference: Allen Lemuel Lemence
Spokesperson, Save our Education Movement
firstname.lastname@example.org ; 09272771096
Facebook: Save our Education Movement
Facebook: CEGP Pambansang Opisina