Binabati natin ang lahat ng mga bagong iskolar ng bayan sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas Los Banos! Kaakibat ng karangalang makapasok sa isa sa pinakaprestihiyosong pamantasan sa bansa ay ang hamon at tungkulin na makinig, matuto at makisangkot kaugnay ng mga mahahalagang isyu sa loob at labas ng pamantasan – sapagkat ang pagkatuto ay hindi lamang sa loob na apat na sulok ng silid-aralan, sapagkat kalakip ng pagiging mga iskolar ng bayan ay ang dakilang tungkuling paglungkuran ang sambayanan!
Alamin natin ang mga latest issue sa loob at labas ng UPLB, ating suriin at alamin kung ano ang ating mga karapatan!
Issue #1: Budget cut sa edukasyon at serbisyo, pondo para sa dayuhan at iilan hindi sa mamamayan
Ipinasa ng rehimeng US-Aquino ang pambansang badyet na pumondo sa pagbabayad ng dayuhang-utang (P357 B, interes pa lang), sa militar (P107.9 B), korapsyon (P24.12 B pork barrel) at mga hungkag na proyekto tulad ng Conditional Cash Transfer (P30.9 B) at Public-Private Partnerships (P22.1 B), ngunit nagbigay ng kakarampot sa mga batayang serbisyong panlipunan tulad ng edukasyon ( P238.8 B sa basic education at P21.9 B sa SUCs), pabahay (P5.6 B) at serbisyong-pangkalusugan (P44.4 B).
Nakasaad sa Article 3, section 14 ng Saligang Batas: “The State shall protect the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and make appropriate actions to make such education equally accesbile to all.” Ang edukasyon ay kaparatan, hindi pribilehiyo. Karapatan nating igiit sa gubyerno na ilaan ang pondo hindi para sa dayuhan at iilan kundi sa sambayanan.
Issue #2: kolonyal, komersyalisado at reaksyunaryong edukasyon
Bunga ng maka-dayuhan at kontra-mamamayang pambasang badyet ng Rehimeng US-Aquino, nagsimula ang bagong taon ng pasukan ng dambuhalang suliranin sa sektor ng edukasyon: 152,000 kakulangan sa silid-aralan, 13 milyon sa upuan, 135,000 sa palikuran at 96 milyon sa aklat.
Kaliwa’t kanan pa ang mga porma ng pagkomersyalisa sa edukasyon, kung saan pinakatampok ang pagtaas ng matrikula at iba pang bayarin ng 267 pamantasan sa humigit-kumulang 10%.
Bunga ng ganitong kalunos-lunos na kalagayan, 80% ng mga estudyanteng nasa edad 11-15 taon ang hindi na nakakatuloy sa pagpasok sa eskwela (drop-out rate). Nasa 80% din ng mga estudyante sa kolehiyo ang hindi na nagsisipagtapos. Sa ngayon, 8 milyong kabataan ang hindi man lang nagkaroon ng pagkakataong makatapak sa pamantasan.
Kakambal pa ng mga ito ang patuloy na pagsahol ng katangiang kolonyal ng edukasyon sa pamamagitan ng programang K to 12 ng DepEd. Ang disenyong 12 taong batayang edukasyon ay, sa katunayan, halaw sa Bologna Accords ng European Union at Washington Accords ng US. Sinasaad ng dalawang kasulatang ito na ang mga magtatrabaho sa ibayong dagat ay kailangang nakapagtapos ng 12 taong batayang edukasyon, ayon na rin ito sa dikta ng mga dayuhang multi-national corporations. Ibig saibihin, ang K to 12 ay binalangkas hindi upang tugunan ang disempleyo sa bansa o itaas ang kalidad ng edukasyon tulad ng pinalalabas ng gobyerno.
Isulong ang edukasyong siyentipiko, maka-masa at makabayan. Siyentipiko dahil nais nating isulong ang edukasyong naglalahad ng katotohanan at nagwawaksi sa mga pagtinging walang batayan. Makabayan dahil nais natin ng edukasyong nagsisilbi sa interes ng ating bayan at hindi ng dayuhan. Maka-masa dahil nais nating ang edukasyon ay nakakamit ng mahihirap at tumutugon sa kanilang pangangailangan at hindi sa iilan lamang.
Issue #3: Panggigipit sa mga lider-estudyante at pagyurak sa ating demokratikong karapatan
Tatlong buwan nang nakabinbin ang proklamasyon ng nanalong Tagapangulo ng Konseho ng Mag-aaral na si Ynik Ante ng Samahan ng Kabataan para sa Bayan matapos hindi kilalanin ang kanyang pagkapanalo dahil siya ay naka-promissory note. Isa itong malinaw na pagyurak sa integridad ng eleksyon at desisyon ng mga estudyante. Isa lamang ito sa napakaraming represibong hakbang at polisiyang iniwan ni Vivian Gonzales, ang dating direktor ng Office of Student Affairs at isa ring reserved colonel ng Philippine Army. Ilan sa mga kabang at polisiyang ito ay tambayan phaseout, suspension ng mga lider-estudyante, pagbabawal na maglunsad ng mga aktibidad pagkalipas ng oras ng klase, pagbabawal sa freshman na sumali sa organisasyon, panghihimasok sa operasyon n gating konseho at publikasyon, at iba pa.
Isang porma ng panggigipit sa mga estudyante ang hindi pagproklama kay Ante. Ang panggigipit na ito sa ating Konesho ng Mag-aaral ay hindi dapat pinahihintulutan. Ang ating konseho ay pinakamataas na gubyerno ng mga iskolar ng bayansa pamantasan, isang konsehong pinagbuwisan ng buhay-at-kamatayang pakikibaka ng libu-libong estudyanteng nauna sa atin. Ang Konseho an gating sandigan para sa karapatan sa edukasyon at kakampi para isulong an gating mga demokratikong adhikain.
Nananatiling kolonyal, komersyalisado at reaksyunaryo ang edukasyong Pilipino dahil walang makabuluhang pagbabago ang aasahan mula sa Rehimeng US-Aquino. Nananatili kasi itong kontrolado ng dayuhan at dominado ng iilang panginoong maylupa at malalaking burgesya komprador na mayayaman at makakapangyarihan.
Ang ating panawagan: Pambansang Demokrasya! Ang pambasang demokrasya ang paninindigang isulong ang pambansang kalayaan at paglaya ng bawat mamamayang inaapi at pinagsasamantalahan. PAMBANSA dahil nais nitong igiit ang pambansang soberanya. DEMOKRATIKO dahil nais nitong ipaglaban ang dmeokratikong interes at karapatan ng mayorya ng sambayanang Pilipino – ng mga magsasaka, manggagawa, propesyunal, estudyante, maliliit na negosyante, minorya, kababaihan, at iba pang demokratikong sektor.
June 13, 2012
Class opening at the University of the Philippines Los Banos was welcomed with a rally today demanding for the immediate proclamation of University Student Council-UPLB (USC-UPLB) Chairperson-elect Ynik Ante and “challenging Iskolars ng Bayan to respond on ‘education crisis’ aggravated by continuous cutbacks on education budget.”
Some 300 UPLB students led by Kabataan Party-list Southern Tagalog began distributing their flyers on the annual breakfast treat to the university’s freshman students, followed by a program at the College of Arts and Sciences steps and a protest march from UPLB to Junction, Los Banos, Laguna.
Ante’s proclamation is still pending after the electoral board’s attempt to bar her from running in the campus election and from assuming her post due to late payment of tuition. The university’s chancellor, however, has already expressed his endorsement of Ante’s proclamation amid students’ continuing support on the latter.
“The prevention of Ante’s proclamation as the legal and legitimate USC-UPLB chair is a disrespect of both the integrity of the election process and the students’ decision,” said Ma. Cristina Madeja, chairperson of the party-alliance Samahan ng Kabataan para sa Bayan (SAKBAYAN), UP’s widest student alliance of 60 student organizations. Ante was SAKBAYAN’s standard bearer for the UPLB student council elections on February.
“The intervention on the students’ activity is part of the long history of campus repression in UPLB,” Madeja continued referring to the then Office of Student Affairs Director Vivian Gonzales, a reserved colonel, as the one behind the pending proclamation of Ante. “(Gonzales) is the culprit of various repressive policies, such as tambayan phaseout, suspension of organization’s officers, intervention on internal operations of student council and publications and non-proclamation of winners in student council elections,” she pointed out.
Ante stressed that ‘campus repression’ happens because there are UPLB constituents, like SAKBAYAN that are “conscious and brave enough to stand against policies that trample our right to a quality and accessible education.”
“We welcome the freshman students with the warmest salutation as the new iskolar ng bayan. Our mass action today aims to educate and inform them of their constitutionally-guaranteed right to education, democratic right to freely express their sentiments, freely assemble and freely organize,” Ante said.
The same students also protest various schemes of tuition hike, such as UP’s Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program that requires students to pay P1,500 per unit, amounting to a 50 percent tuition hike. They slam Mr. Benigno Aquino III’s budget cut on education and other social services that left UP with almost P13-billion budget deficit.
“Amidst Aquino government’s futility to prioritize education in the national budget allocation, we pledge a more serious campaign to lobby in congress and protest for higher state subsidy on education and other basic social services,” Ante said.
Madeja said that the protest today is the commencement of a series of activities that will culminate in their participation in the “people’s state of the nation address (SONA)” along with Aquino’s on July 23. #
June 13, 2012
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
MEDIA ADVISORY | SEPTEMBER 22, 2011
MEDIA COVERAGE IS REQUESTED.
Reference: Allen Lemuel Lemence
Spokesperson, Save our Education Movement
Mark Vincent Baracao and Beverly Laguartilla
Media desk, Save Our Education Movement
email@example.com | 09352986944; 09358676334
Facebook: Save Our Education Movement
Facebook: CEGP Pambansang Opisina
STRIKE BACK against BUDGET CUTS![i]
DATE & TIME
BACKGROUND & PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES
|Sept 22, 5-10pm||CDC Rooftop mini-concert & film viewing in UPLB and vigil until Sept 23 UP system-wide strike||Sponsored by Katipunan ng mga Sangguniang Mag-aaral sa UP-UPLB through the initiative of University Student Council-UPLB
Band performances will come from homegrown bands, poem reading from UPLB Writers’ Club, Kartunista-Manunulat Kolektib and UPLB teachers and mini-skits from the Umalohokan, Inc and Freshman students from Isko’t iska 2011.
|Sept 23, 10pm-12nn||UP system-wide strike featuring UPLB planking against budget cuts
Red Ribbon wearing
|Sponsored by the Save Our Education Movement through the initiative of University Student Council-UPLB, Samahan ng Kabataan para sa Bayan and UPLB Kulturang Ugnayan ng Kabataan Alay sa Bayan.
A solidarity program of students, teachers, employees, school officials, parents and alumni will gather at the Oblation ground in UP Los Banos.
UPLB planking will be held, where in students will lie face down in Oblation ground forming the word (tentative) “No To Budget Cuts!”
Red Ribbon wearing is sponsored by the Alyansa ng mga Manlalaro sa UPLB
|Sept 20-23||Free t-shirt printing||Sponsored by the Anakbayan-UPLB, League of Filipino Students-UPLB, Gabriela Youth-UPLB, Student Christian Movement-UPLB
Available at the Humanities Building Lobby every 10am-5pm. Students bring t-shirt appropriate for red and black print and they will obtain free t-shirt print with an Aquino caricature cutting down a chair with a hand-saw, and a ‘stop’ sign on it, with a “No to Budget Cut!” statement below the caricature.
|Sept 20-23||Mobile art exhibit||Sponsored by the UPLB Kulturang Ugnayan ng Kabataan Alay sa Bayan
Different artworks of resistance, photos of strikes and student protests and human performance art will be displayed on building open area such as lobby. The exhibit will be hopped on different buildings everyday.
|Sept 20-23||“Strike A Pose to oppose” photo booth||Sponsored by Samahan ng Kabataan para sa Bayan and UPLB Kulturang Ugnayan ng Kabataan Alay sa Bayan in cooperation with InFocus Camera Guild.
A student will pose in his/her chosen area. The photo will be edited so the statement “I pose to oppose budget cut! Strike on Sept 23!” will be attached. Photos are collated in a photo album in Facebook.
|Sept 20-23||Noise Barrage||Sponsored by the Anakbayan-UPLB, League of Filipino Students-UPLB, Gabriela Youth-UPLB, Student Christian Movement-UPLB
Noise barrage everyday will be held at Carabao park and Humanities steps in UPLB.
Previously, Save Our Education Movement held the following activities in UPLB:
|Sept 20, 4pm||Funeral march||Title: ““You Can Do the Resurrection, Strike Back for Education!”
An activity after the ‘Calamba 7’ hearing. Calamba 7 includes the five UP students and 2 Anakpawis party-list members that were detained after heckling “Walang pagbabago sa ilalim ni Aquino!” during Aquino’s speech on Calamba Day in Calamba City.
Students led by Samahan ng Kabataan para sa bayan through the initiative of Anakbayan-UPLB, League of Filipino Students-UPLB, Gabriela Youth-UPLB, UPLB Kultuang Ugnayan ng Kabataan para sa Bayan, Umalohokan, Inc. and National Union of Students of the Philippines-Southern Tagalog will march with a coffin where the word “RIP Education” is painted. The students will put crosses around the campus with the words “Do the resurrection for education! Strike back on Sept 23!” The coffin will be burned down as students vow to protest for education to resurrect as an inalienable right of the people.
|Sept 21, 4pm||multi-sectoral mobilization (4pm)||Different sectors led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Southern Tagalog through the initiative of of Anakbayan-ST Gabriela Youth-UPLB and League of Filipino Students-UPLB will march from Carabao Park in UPLB to Junction, Barangay Batong Malake,Los Banos Laguna.|
Thank you and we appreciate your warm support for our advocacy. Please help us inform the larger population of our unwavering advocacy for free and quality education. Should you have any questions and comments, please do not hesitate to contact us through the contact details above.
State universities and colleges (SUCs) are expecting another round of budget cuts as progressive party-lists and nationalist organizations review the National Expenditure Program (NEP) 2012 of the Aquino administration.
According to Kabataan Party-list in a joint budget review with Kilos Na Laban sa Budget Cuts alliance, 112 SUCs are only allocated with P21.89 million next year, P569.8 million lower compared with this year’s allocation. The maintenance fund for 45 SUCs will be reduced by P250.9 million, the personnel services fund of 58 SUCs will be reduced by P403.3 million amid automatic appropriation as per Salary Standardization Law and capital outlay fund of all SUCs will remain at zero peso.
The country’s premier state university, the University of the Philippines, will receive budget allocation with P800 million budget cut, including the almost P700 million slash on salaries of teachers and employees.
Because of this abandonment of the Aquino administration of the basic social services, we, concerned students, parents, teachers and educators, school officials, and other groups and individuals, convened to establish the SAVE OUR EDUCATION MOVEMENT to firmly assert for a sufficient state subsidy for education and link such call for a pro-people National Budget responsive to the needs of the Filipino People.
(First published in Eastern Horizon, a progressive Hongkong magazine.)
BEFORE WE GO far into a discussion of the ideology and goals of the rising student rebel movement in the Philippines, let us first examine the term student power which is nowadays commonly used in the bourgeois mass media and also among the varied circles of the New Left so-called. It appears that the common notion of student power is that students all by themselves can develop their own power independent of other social forces outside of school walls and also that all by themselves they can hit the streets to make and unmake governments. There is the idea being suggested that the students can be an independent power that can effect even revolutionary changes. Those who have contempt for the masses or who deliberately wish to separate the students from the masses and national mass organizations insist that students should no longer be the object of interest of "outsiders". If the meaning of the term student power be limited to mere autonomism, then we need to raise serious disagreement in the light of an analysis of the social status of students. Students who truly stand for revolutionary change should always strive for integration with larger and even more dynamic social force, that is to say, the exploited masses of the people. The students, or more precisely the college and high school students, cannot be relied upon to carry the sole or the main burden in a revolutionary transformation of our present semi- colonial and semi-feudal society. They are a very small portion of Philippine society, though they are an important and numerous part of the influential petty bourgeoisie. The social basis of college and high school students is the petty bourgeoisie, though a little minority of them come from exploiting classes. By virtue of their social position and of the fact that the existing educational system is semi-colonial and semi-feudal, students are at the first instance captives of imperialist and feudalistic ideas and values. The petty bourgeois is principally concerned with his selfish ambition of pursuing a career within the established system and he is so indoctrinated and trained by the educational system as to re-enforce intellectually and technically the present social system. But in time of developing social crisis, the students largely supported by their petty bourgeois parents cam easily become agitated when the meager and fixed incomes of their parents can hardly suffice to keep them enrolled in school, with the proper board and lodging or with enough allowances. They are also agitated as they watch an ever increasing number of graduates fail to get jobs or have ample opportunity in the system. At this time, they are beginning by force of social circumstances to use freely their perception and intellect to analyze their own situation and social reality at large. This is the time when they feel sharply the restrictive and exploitative character of the social system. This is the time when they recognize the educational system to be a mere mirror-reflector and rationalizer of economic and political inequities that is failing to yield them enough concessions as before. This is the time when they begin to speak of the alienation of the educational system from the actual needs and aspirations of their own and of the masses of the people. In time of social crisis, the exploiting classes lose the allegiance of students. The students increasingly associate themselves with the exploited classes. They make common cause with those whose condition they are in danger of falling into. What is considered the "independent-mindedness" of the urban petty bourgeoisie (the much-vaunted intelligent middle class) shifts from an allegiance to the exploiting classes to an allegiance to the exploited masses. At the same time, the exploited masses of the people welcome them in a common cause and in a common struggle. The Current Student Rebel Movement It is no surprise that at the present time, when the whole society is in crisis, when the government is becoming more and more bankrupt and the masses of the people are groaning under the weight of exploitation, a wave of student strikes rises in the Philippines. There are protests involving questions ranging from the suppression of the student's right to speak out on national issues and join mass actions to the excessive hike of tuition and miscellaneous fees. The students are also uniting with their teachers against the exploitative practices of school administrations. Together they raise political and economic demands. By virtue of its comprehensive grasp of the growing crisis in the national and international situation, Kabataang Makabayan has been able to anticipate and plan the development of the national student protest movement in the Philippines. As early as the first semester of the academic year 1967-68, its local chapters with the special attention of its national officers had already launched a number of strikes in some schools in the provinces and a general strike almost occurred in the University of the Philippines on the issue of further Americanization. On November 30, 1967, at its Second National Congress, the KM included in its Programme of Action the following: Among the students, the activists of Kabataang Makabayan should fight for concrete measures that will benefit them. At the same time, they are responsible for giving a national-democratic direction to the efforts of students to improve their study and living conditions. The Kabataang Makabayan should develop a national student protest movement against the rising cost of education and living. It should stand against the willingness of the government to allow the public school system to be stifled and to deteriorate in favour of private schools which are, as a matter of course, motivated by commercialism. The current student rebel movement has been most vigorous in schools where there are strong KM chapters. These student chapters have lent all the support they can to the local student reform movements to such an extent that the reactionary academic authorities and President Marcos have been compelled to attack student strikers as "outsiders" and "subversives" to confuse the issues. Mountain of leaflets for every school have been distributed falsely in the name of Kabataang Makabayan in order to malign it and in order to confuse the students. The scope and intensity of the students strikes is unprecedented in the entire history of the Philippines. It might appear that they are a phenomenon entirely different from the long series of student and youth demonstrations that started as early as March 14, 1961, when a student front spearheaded by the Student Cultural Association of the U.P. demonstrated with the force of 4,000 students against the witch-hunt undertaken by the Committee on Un-Filipino Activities (CUFA). All these student mass actions are interrelated and continuous. The inter-connection and continuity do not lie only in the popularization of direct democratic action but also in the substantial demands raised. Student strikes and demonstrations have developed because of the evil features of a system that is semi-colonial and semi-feudal, because of conditions that adversely affect the students themselves. The anti-CUFA demonstration of 1961 was ostensibly in defence of academic freedom and autonomy of the state university but in reality it was already a defence of the right of teachers and students to speak for the cause of national democracy. From then on, student activism arose with the banner of national democracy and continued to develop without let-up inside and outside the state university. There were smaller demonstrations against the U.S. invasion of Cuba, against Malaysia and against imperialist nuclear black-mail until October 2, 1964, when the students conjoined with workers in demonstrating massively against parity rights and the American military bases in front of the U.S. embassy and Malaca¤ang. On November 30, 1964, Kabataang Makabayan was formed to consolidate the students and young workers that had participated in the militant demonstration of October 2, 1964, and that had come under the threat of fixed bayonets. On January 25, 1965, Kabataang Makabayan, together with other mass organizations, was already in a position to launch a 20,000- strong demonstration of students, workers and peasants on a wide range of issues involving our country's basic problems of U.S. imperialism and feudalism. Then came the series of demonstrations against the Vietnam Bill which would require a suffering country like the Philippines to help U.S. imperialism aggress further against the Vietnamese people. These reached a climacteric point on October 23 and 24, 1966, when the Manila Summit was held as an attempt of Lyndon B. Johnson to round up its Asian puppets for more aggressive action against the Vietnamese people. The just anger of youth became expressed in this demonstration even as the most brutal police action was employed against them in a pocket-size and mild version of Vietnam at the Manila Hotel. On the question of Malaysia last year, the most wide-spread youth demonstration all over the country was credited to chapters of Kabataang Makabayan. Especially the most militant action at the British embassy and U.S. embassy was adduced to Kabataang Makabayan by quarters merely interested in expanding the Philippine territory to Sabah while keeping silent on the U.S. military bases under our very noses. Kabataang Makabayan has always made it clear that it is simply against Malaysia as a handiwork of Anglo-American imperialism. There have been other demonstrations like those against the oil monopolies on the matter of implementing the retail trade nationalization law, against the U.S. military bases for the killing of Filipino youth and so on and so forth. There has also been KM participation in strikes conducted in local factories and other places. In all significant protest actions held previous to the current student rebel movement, we can never fail to show their relation to the growing socio-economic crisis of the Philippines due basically to its out-moded and semi-colonial and semi-feudal status. Struggle for National Democracy We have always advocated the achievement of real national democracy as the goal of our struggle. The present struggle of the students have as its principal goal the achievement of national democracy. A comprehensive presentation of this general goal is the Programme of Action of Kabataang Makabayan. All other goals flow from this single goal. Students should band together and fight vigorously to end foreign and feudal exploitation that constricts their opportunities and those of the whole nation. As the national democratic struggle is a broad struggle, embracing the workers, peasants and other sectors of the population, the students should always relate their own struggle to that of the entire people, mainly the struggle of the exploited masses of workers and peasants. Being a minority social group which is even detached from the actual process of production, the students are in no position to make possible revolutionary and lasting changes without their integration with the struggle of the masses of workers and peasants. All serious efforts should, therefore, be undertaken in order to transform the present student rebel movement into a cultural revolution of a national democratic orientation. We have dared say before that it is veritably already an incipient cultural revolution. Its beginnings are already forceful enough to make the first Propaganda Movement look like a dinner party. The Second Propaganda Movement that we have been advocating is essentially a cultural revolution of a national democratic orientation. It is the phase of creating the public opinion necessary for a comprehensive national democratic revolution. The struggle for national democracy cannot be successfully won without this cultural revolution. In this cultural revolution, the students play an important role. The ranks of students now are more sizable than ever before in the whole history of the Philippines and they have the special characteristic of mobility. As the students emanate from various parts of the country and of a province, once they grasp the ideas of the struggle for national democracy, they can fan out widely to broadcast these ideas of revolutionary change even if only during their vacation periods or after their graduation or when they choose to work full time for the revolutionary mass movement and merge with the masses in a no-nonsense manner. Many students are dropping out of school for economic reasons; it would be a good thing for these economic drop-outs to engage in a political struggle that seeks to improve their lot and that of the people. It is the further goal of the cultural revolution to have the ideas of national democratic revolution transformed into a material force. In making the cultural revolution, we launch mass protest actions like strikes and demonstrations, we hold conferences, seminars,lectures, teach-ins, and other fora, and we publish rebel newspapers, pamphlets and leaflets and we speak out without end for national democracy in classrooms, in the streets, over the radio and everywhere else. But our further goal is always to impel mass mobilization. Our campaign for mass revolutionary education immediately creates the most tangible reality by mobilizing right away the masses of the people. The students and youth play a vanguard role in the cultural revolution, as the Red Guards in their own high stage of cultural revolution, as the 10,000 French students that aroused more than 10 million French workers, as the Vietnamese youth through armed propaganda units and cultural organizations. But the ultimate goal for the students and youth that are truly committed to the national democratic revolution is always to merge with the masses of the people as they constantly remould their own thinking and discard their petty bourgeois or individualistic prejudices and predilections.
The Anti-planking bill received criticisms from anti-budget cut campaigners as they claim that the legislation is very untimely because it diverts the public from focusing and participating in campaigning against budget cuts on social services including education, mentioning as well that the bill is unconstitutional.
Save Our Education Movement, a Southern Tagalong region-based multi-sectoral alliance against budget cut, was dismayed when Quezon City Second District Rep. Winnie Castelo filed an Anti-Planking bill in Congress today. In an interview, Save Our Education Movement Spokesperson Allen Lemence said that Castelo should focus first on the issue at hand, instead of pursuing for the said bill, which he claimed as a violation of the constitutionally-guaranteed right to freedom of expression.
“To some, the planking may not be attractive. But to us, it is one of the youth’s way of expressing their protests,” Lemence said. “So instead of curtailing our right to freely express our grievances, Most Honorable Castelo should join us in calling for higher state subsidy for education. It may not be through planking but through using his wit and his position [as congressman] to urge his fellow legislators to approve higher state subsidy for education,” he continued.
Lemence promoted the planking along with other creative activities of the youth and students to protest against budget cuts on social services and call for higher state subsidy on education and other services. Lemence cited as an example the “Malikmata” art exhibit of the Kartunista-Manunulat Kolektib that is being held today in University of the Philippines Los Banos as part of their build-up activities heading toward the nationwide campus strikes on Sept. 23 against budget cuts.
“Even Beauty Queen Shamcey Supsup called for free and quality education and higher state funding on state universities and colleges like her alma mater UP. Rep. Castelo should make such statement too rather than overrating planking,” Lemence ended. ###
Reference: Allen Lemuel Lemence
Spokesperson, Save our Education Movement
Mark Vincent Baracao and Beverly Laguartilla
Media desk, Save Our Education Movement
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Facebook: Save Our Education Movement
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