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. #
With full faith in the electorate of UP Los Banos, the Office of the Student Regent will recognize Ynik Ante the chairperson of their University Student Council. Ms Ante won the elections held 22-24 February 2012 by 36 votes.
The disqualification case against Ms Ante, who had unpaid tuition until the time of the election, should no longer be entertained by the College Electoral Board (CEB) of UP Los Banos for both technical and substantial grounds. Per records of the University Registrar, Ms Ante was enrolled last semester.
Late payment of tuition should not be used to undermine the position of any student committed to be involved so fully in UP’s academic and extra-curricular offerings. Such circumstance is one many UP students have found themselves in, with UP tuition’s rise to almost five times the minimum wage.
No law or precedent will correctly stand to the position to consider the election as if Ms Ante’s name had not been present on the ballot. Nullifying votes already cast for her nullifies the vote entirely. Thus, the proposal of the CEB to declare the runner up as chairperson is baseless.
For guidance in future elections, the OSR stands that the mere pendency of a disqualification case against a candidate who had been allowed into a ballot does not justify the suspension of proclamation after winning in the election. To hold otherwise would unduly encourage the filing of baseless and malicious petitions for disqualification if only to effect the suspension of the proclamation of the winning candidate. In the end, this defeats the sovereign will of the electorate and unduly benefits undeserving third parties.
We call on the CEB of UP Los Banos – all college secretaries and student council chairpersons – to uphold the UP tradition of open-mindedness and democracy, and to proclaim Ms Ante as chairperson of the UPLB USC as soon as possible.
Hopefully, this serves as a fitting challenge to Ms Ante, the students’ choice, along with the duly-elected USC, to pay off lost time and to release the distress and disappointment, with magnified commitment to serve their constituency.
All the best, for a better UP.
Outgoing Student Regent
Incoming Student Regent
1 June 2012
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
firstname.lastname@example.org | 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.