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02 NEWS

Volume 27 Number 1 20 June 2013 | Thursday

Midterm polls face credibility, technical issues

KATHLEEN TRINIDAD GUIANG AND ROMELYN TAIP MONZON

N MAY 16, THREE DAYS AFTER O election day, the top six senatorial candidates were proclaimed by the

Commission on Elections (Comelec) based on the 72 out of 304 certificates of canvass which were verified and tabulated by the National Board of Canvassers. National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), however, questioned the proclamation of senatorial candidates even though the remaining 18, 504 ERs, approximately 8.5 million votes, were not yet transmitted. On the other hand, Comelec finished proclaiming the remaining winners of the national and local elections on May 28. The top six winners of the senatorial race were Grace Poe, Loren Legarda, Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero, Nancy Binay and Juan Edgardo Angara. They were later joined by Paulo Benigno Aquino IV, Aquilino Pimentel III, Antonio Trillanes IV, Cynthia Villar, JV Ejercito and Gringo Honasan. In addition, 38 party-lists were proclaimed winners by Comelec: Buhay with three seats; A-Teacher, Bayan Muna, 1-Care, Akbayan, Abono, Ako Bicol, OFW Family, Gabriela, COOP-NATCCO, Agap, Cibac, Magdalo and An Waray with two seats each; and Abamin, Act-Teachers, Butil, Amin, ACT-CIS, Kalinga, LPGMA, TUCP, YACAP, Agri, Angkla, ABS, DIWA, Kabataan, Anakpwawis, Alay Buhay, AAMBISOWA, 1-Sagip, AVE, Ating Koop, 1BAP, Abakada, Ama and Ang Nars with one seat each.

Credibility and Transparency According to the poll watchdog Automated Election System Watch (AES Watch), a coalition of non-government organizations, civil society and faith-based groups, policy studies centers, IT experts, and members of the academe advocating transparent automated elections, the events in the 2013 automated elections are worse than what happened in 2010. AES stated that there have been more discrepancies and more possible manipulation of election data starting from the stage of canvassing up to the consolidation of the votes. “The May 2013 elections was a mockery of the poll automation law, a serious technological and political disaster, a grave violation of voters’ rights to have their votes counted according to law and with accuracy,” said AES Watch. In their May 18 statement, AES Watch listed several anomalies in the midterm elections, such as “the ultra-fast and inflated PPCRV [Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting] count caused by program error, the highly-suspicious intervention of Smartmatic technicians in fixing the program and deletion of an ER [election return] file, the 44-hour lull at 69% of ERs, and the absence of RMA [Random Manual Audit] results five days after election.”

Machine Glitches and Logistics Problems On the other hand, election watchdogs criticized the accuracy and effectiveness of the PCOS machines used during the elections. Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr. did not deny that they have received reports of defective precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines during the 2013 elections. Brillantes said that the exact number of PCOS defects this year is 258, which is higher than the expected less than 200. “It’s about 200 plus. Ang sinasabi ko kahapon less than 200. Ngayon umabot na ng 200. Hindi lalagpas siguro ng 300. Still lower than 450 in the 2010 elections,” Brillantes said, a day after the elections. However, the poll watchdog Kontra Daya reported that the number of PCOS glitches were “widespread” in the country. “The PCOS malfunctions reported today were widespread and had a major effect on the conduct of the elections,” Kontra Daya said. Moreover, delays in the transmission of results were caused by weak or lack of signal, lack of modem, and rotating power outage. According to NAMFREL incident reports, PCOS malfunctions were caused by overheating, paper jam, and damaged CF cards. In addition, few logistical problems were also encountered during the election day. For instance, according to NAMFREL, ballots which were intended for the province of Antique were delivered to Romblon resulting into a 3-hour delay in voting and counting.

Questionable Random Manual Audit Results To test the accuracy of the PCOS machines in counting the ballot votes, Comelec randomly selected 234 precincts all over the country for a RMA. During the RMA, ballots were manually counted, and the RMA tally was compared to the machine results. Despite Comelec’s assurance of transparency in the RMA results, Brillantes admitted that there were discrepancies in the RMA tally and the automated counting results. According to Brillantes, however, these discrepancies or “variances”, are not grounds for alarm. “The machine count and the manual count cannot be [a] perfect [match because] the machine is programmed but a human’s eyes cannot be programmed,” stated Brillantes. Consequently, AES Watch argued that the RMA was not random because the PCOS machines were not randomly selected from the population of around 78,000 PCOS units. Furthermore, IT experts have discovered the 60-30-10 vote proportion in favor of Team PNoy, the administration coalition. In the press conference organized by the AES Watch after the elections, Philippine IT Standards & TransparentElections.org

representative Maricor Akol said that she is not sure if the program error of duplicating the number of votes was intended to show a trend or incompetence. “For transparency’s sake, all the systems should not be touched midstream.” Akol stated. Allegedly, the inflated number of votes was “fixed” by technicians in the middle of vote transmission from precincts to the main server.

On the other hand, PPCRV Chair Henrietta De Villa said that these variances are due to human error, and PCOS machines are not likely to commit miscalculation because they are programmed. In addition, PPCRV debunked the 60-30-10 theory stating that the figures are not pre-coded but it showed possible voting trends. Brillantes assured that the release of the official full report of RMA results will be on June 13.

K-12 Bill signed into law

Progressive groups: ‘K-12 is not the solution’ GHISLYNNE DEI-ANNE LAMADRID ANDAYA RESIDENT BENIGNO SIMEON P “P-Noy” Aquino has finally signed the Enhanced Basic Education

enter Grade 1, only 14 finish Grade 6. Implementing K-12 may mark increased drop out rates due to increased school fees and food and transportation expenses that parents barely provide.

Competent Academe

“During the initial implementation of the K+12, schools, teachers and parents were made to rush into new teaching modules which were untested and due to the time, ineffective. Many youths were forced into home-school because of school shortages that have not even been addressed. Aquino is too concerned with his flagship program even at the expense of the youth’s future,” added Kabataan partylist Representative Atty. Terry Ridon.

The K-12 curriculum has six salient features: universal kindergarten, contextualized and enhanced curriculum, integrated and seamless learning, mother-tongue based multilingual education, senior high school, and college and livelihood readiness.

In a report, Ibon Foundation recorded that there were 125,569 classroom shortages in 2012. Meanwhile, the Department of Education (DepEd) admittedly reported a shortage of around 47,000 teachers in public elementary schools in the same year.

In the speech delivered by President Aquino during the signing ceremony, he stated that the K-12 Act was crafted as a response to the deficiencies of the traditional 10-year basic education, in particular its shorter period for learning and failure to produce more competitive graduates.

“The government failed to address the shortages in school facilities and teachers yet they pushed for K to 12. Aquino’s option to go with a faster process to address the unemployment problem while abandoning education is no different from the 2013 fraudulent elections: fast, deceptive and unreliable,” Kabataan Partylist said in a statement.

Act or Republic Act No. 10533, more commonly known as the K-12 Curriculum, into law on May 15. Under the new law, students will now undergo Kindergarten, six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School (SHS), before heading into college.

Moreover, Aquino stressed that the new law will provide the youth with the skill and expertise for employment and other higher pursuits. “Tinitiyak nating sapat at kapakipakinabang ang kasanayang naibabahagi sa ating mga mag-aaral,” Aquino said. Even before having signed into a law, the K-12 program was implemented last school year 2012-2013, of which private and public schools had the first batch of Grade 7 students. The curriculum for Grades 2 and 8 will commence this school year 20132014, while the last two years of senior high school, Grades 11 and 12, will start in 2016.

Concrete Opposition Meanwhile, several groups expressed their dissent over K-12. Kabataan Partylist, College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), Anakbayan, and Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP), among others, stormed Rizal High School in Pasig City to protest against the bill’s signing. According to GWP Representative Emmi De Jesus, out of the 100 students who

In preparation of the program’s nationwide implementation, the government said that it is building new classrooms, hiring around 18,000 teachers, and printing millions of textbooks to eliminate the hindrances. DepEd Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo furthered that the administration has already addressed the shortage on textbooks and classroom seats since last year, with an expected 1:1 student-textbook and student-seat ratio this year. However, various groups stated that with the already insufficient budget, the K-12 program may only make the situation worse. They also stressed that such law only encourages an educational system oriented toward a cheaper, more exploitable, laborexport policy. DepEd has already reported about 23 million public and private school students nationwide enrolled for the school year 2013-2014. The said figure is slightly higher than the 21.3 million students reported for school year 2012-2013.


NEWS 03

Volume 27 Number 1 Thursday | 20 June 2013

First UP Mindanao nominee is 31st Student Regent LEONARD DANGCA JAVIER

T

HE UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES’ (UP) newly selected student representative to the Board of Regents (BOR) marks history as the first to have hailed from UP Mindanao. Krista Iris Melgarejo is the first Student Regent (SR) from UP Mindanao and the first non-Luzon SR in the last 8 years since Raffy Jones Sanchez of UP Cebu was selected in 2006. Melgarejo, a Food Technology student,

was selected among 6 nominees by 44 university and college student councils on May 20 to represent about 50,000 students of 12 campuses of UP. As a student leader, Melgarejo led the UP Mindanao University Student Council as Chairperson in 20102011. The 2nd General Assembly of Student Councils (GASC) for 2012-2013 selected Melgarejo as the 31st SR over five other nominees after a three-day session at the UP Visayas College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences in Miag-ao, Iloilo. When the GASC convened, the six nominees were shortlisted to three by consensus then

the SR was selected through a unanimous decision. UP’s seven autonomous units (AUs) which include Baguio, Cebu, Diliman, Los Baños, Manila, Mindanao, and Visayas are given two votes each in the SR selection in case of a divided house under the Codified Rules for Student Regent Selection (CRSRS). On the other hand, one vote is given each for the five regional UP units including UP Diliman Extension Program (UPDEP) in Pampanga, UP Manila School of Health Sciences (UPM SHS) in Baler, Koronadal, and Palo, and UP Visayas Tacloban under the CRSRS. Following Melgarejo in the nominee list are Leila Nur Aryanna Canacan and Victor Gregor Limon of UPD who will succeed her in case of vacancy of the SR seat in the middle of her term. The three other nominees for the position were Marikris De Guzman, Hannah Keila Garcia, and Allen Lemuel Lemence. As the new SR, Melgarejo said she will commit herself to addressing issues and concerns of the UP community and the Filipino people. She says that she will particularly continue fighting for the right to education and a higher state subsidy for education and social services. Melgarejo also plans to propose an alternative to the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program, which she described as “smokescreen” for tuition increase. to be in “the best position to help [the] freshmen.”

RECLAIMING UP FOR THE PEOPLE. Student Regent-select Krista Iris V. Melgarejo addresses the councils present at the 2nd General Assembly of Student Councils for Academic Year 2012-2013 held at UP Visayas Miag-ao Campus. Melgarejo is the first SR from UP Mindanao and will be serving as the 31st Student Regent of the university. Photo from the UP Cebu Tug-Ani Facebook page.

OSA detaches FBCP

Disagreement over MOU blamed

DEONAH ABIGAIL LUGO MIOLE AND

CARLO REY RESURECCION MARTINEZ

N APRIL 28, THE OFFICE OF O Student Affairs (OSA) issued a letter to Claire Demotica, Chairperson

of the Freshman Block Coordination Program (FBCP) for AY 2012-2013, declaring their refusal to recognize the FBCP as one of their programs.

No Disassociation When asked about the alleged “disassociation” of the FBCP, OSA Director Prof. Honey Libertine Achanzar-Labor claimed that no such move occurred, stating that the FBCP did not exist as a program under the OSA. “What is being disassociated? There is no program in the first place,” Labor said. Labor asserted that the the FBCP is not recognized by the OSA as one of its official programs. Furthermore, she noted that the OSA only had four programs, namely International Students, Scholarships, Loans, and Guidance and Counseling. She also emphasized that all Freshman Block

Coordinators (FBCs) are only volunteers, not working in, or paid by, the OSA. On the other hand, in an interview with The Manila Collegian, Demotica stated that the word “program” was formally added to the name of the FBCs under the leadership of David Acupang in 2006, as recounted by Mr. Homer Revilleza of the OSA. “Mr. Revilleza said that Mr. Acupang was given the choice to make them an independent organization under one of the programs acknowledged by OSA or be volunteers directly under OSA. Mr. Acupang and the rest of the FBCs chose the latter option and that was when the word “program” was attached to our name,” she further explained.

No Discrimination Meanwhile, Labor noted that the OSA gave a letter to the FBCs informing them that they were required to attend trainings to be conducted by the OSA’s Guidance Counselors set on specific days. Labor stated that the guidance counselors wanted to help with the training of the volunteers because they wanted these volunteers

Labor furthered that anyone who wanted to participate in the said training, even those who have been already trained by the FBCs, were welcomed. She asserted that anyone who liked or would like to volunteer and help with the OSA’s activities may do so. However, in the letter addressed to Demotica, it was stated therein that the OSA, among the undersigned, “cannot include any FBC trainee or officer or member in the 2013 Orientation activities.” Demotica recounted that Dr. Labor found the FBCs’ earlier training to be “insufficient and improper”, as the new training included detecting early signs of depression or other complications. She furthered that despite the FBCs willingness to undergo further training, the OSA required them to first sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). “On April 23, the Guidance and Counseling Office organized a meeting with the newlytrained FBCs together with the other volunteers such as the FSC (Freshman Student Council) and the 31 volunteers endorsed by the Dean of CAS. But only 14 FBCs and 4 FSC members were able to attend. They were told to sign the MOU made by OSA for the OVC (Orientation Volunteer Corps),” Demotica explained. According to Demotica, the MOU stated that the only official volunteer group that OSA will recognize will be the OVC. The OVC is the general name for the trainees of the OSA’s Guidance and Counseling Program (GCP) and is mostly comprised of four volunteers from each college that the OSA requested from the College Student Councils (CSCs).

Furthermore, Melgarejo firmly said that she will push for “genuine student representation” in UP administration meetings. She also encourages UP students and graduates to serve the people. “It is uniting that we realize that all our issues, though on the surface appear different, can all be rooted in the pervasive ills of social ills of social justice and inequity,” she says in her vision paper. Melgarejo will take her oath of office in the next BOR meeting on June 20. She will replace the post of incumbent SR Cleve Kevin Robert Arguelles from UP Manila. In addition, Melgarejo will join 11 other regents in the BOR, including the incoming Staff Regent Anna Razel Ramirez of UP Iloilo, Faculty Regent Lourdes Abadingo of UP Manila, and Alumni Regent Ponciano Rivera, Jr. Other members of the BOR are UP President Alfredo Pascual, Commission on Higher Education Chair Patricia Licuanan, Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture head Edgardo Angara and his son Juan Edgardo Angara, outgoing House Committee on Higher and Technical Education head. The BOR also includes three appointees by President Benigno Aquino III, namely Magdaleno Albaraccin, Jr., Gizela Gonzalez-Montinola, and Reynato Puno.

Subsequently, Demotica said the FBCs refused to sign the MOU and argued that Dr. Labor did not want to recognize them as a “group of students who have proved the quality of service it can give to the freshman students.” Demotica further noted, “There are no grounds for creating, let alone replacing the FBCs, with a new body to assist freshmen. Although we are open for negotiations and will appreciate help, efficiency will be sacrificed (law of diminishing returns).”

No “Politics” On the other hand, Labor denied any association between the OSA and former University Student Council (USC) Chairperson Jason Alacapa, in particular, the latter’s alleged claim that the OSA tasked him to assist in the search for OVC members. “That is plain rumor. It just so happened that when our guidance counselors thought of asking for the help of the college councils to disseminate that we are open to having four volunteers from each college, nandoon si Jason consulting something else. And we feared that. Sabi namin, ‘Ay nako, iisipin na naman ng mga FBC na mayroon na naman ‘tong pulitika.’ Nagkataon lang,” Labor stated. Moreover, Labor dispelled rumors that the OSA had any plans to replace the FBCP with the Freshman Assembly. Labor stated that it was not OSA’s task to do so. Labor also said she did not find any reason to consult with the already inducted USC for AY 2013-2014 regarding the disassociation, search for OVC members, and the Freshman CONTINUED ON PAGE 04


04 NEWS

Volume 27 Number 1 20 June 2013 | Thursday

Lola Patola

Itanong kay

MGA FULUNG-VULUNGAN NG NAGJIJISANG

W

ELKUM VAK MAH AFOOOWS EN haller haller to mah new afows!!! Sooowww how’s yer summer ebribadi? Molomong majinet jackson ang inyong summer. Sufeeeer jinit! Di kinaya ng bentilador namen sa haus kaya furo kami schwim schwim ni Lolo Upo niyo sa beach jan sa tabi-tabi. Pero u know wat? Lalong juminit ang fanahon nung navalitaan koh na may pagtaaz na nomon ng twishun pee sa mga steyt u! KKLK!!! Kaya heto, yer fierce super lowlah is vakkk! It’s taym to meyk fight por mah beloved afows once agen! Hong seksi seksi ko sa costume koh noh?! Harharr! Heniwey, hir are da sumvong I made zagaf recently (mula nung nagzuot me ng red cape. Chot!):

SUPER KALURKEY SUMVONG #1: STRIKE 3, LEX LUTHOR! Last sem hangover!! May nagzumvong na jisa kong afow tungkol sa kanyang froppy last sem na farang Lex Luthor ang peg. Terror kung terror!!! Saveh ni afow, nakaka-three strikes na daw si froppy sa kaniley. Unang instance daw, may exam siley kasabay yung pag-vwisita ni Kikiam Dispenser za YuFiEm. Sovrang aral daw ginawa ni afow and her prends and classmates, tafos vooom! Nalaman na lang nila nung supposed oras ng exam na cancelled daw ‘yung exam dat day, at ayun si froppy, audience na daw sa talk ni Kikiam. Mygah. Next nomon, sumvong ni afow, may field trip daw dapat sila. But becoz da class consisted op isang block and oder students prom oder courses, ‘yung taga-ivang course e nagkaconflict sa sched sa field trip. Dey chose not to go to da pild trip daw, at humiling kay froppy na payagan silang gumawa ng ivah. BUT NOOO. Heartless ang peg ni Froppy, ang tagal daw niyang basahin at firmahan ‘yung mga ineffortan mizmo ni afow en her coursemates, en di man lang daw nagvigay ng help si froppy za kanila, ni di nga raw sinagot mga queztions nila. Sad. But huweit! Ders moar! Saveh ni afow, farang di naman daw nag-turo si froppy sa kanila, tapos ‘yung finagjirapan daw nila na final project, kinomentan daw ni froppy ng

“incredibly sloppy.” Ang saket saket nu’n. Tafos heto pah, medyo mean si froppy! InoOP ‘yung mga taga-oder courses!!! Saveh vah naman daw ni froppy tungkol sa jisang exam nila, “Exam is basically Handthrow Juan...” jisang suvjekk na tinake nung block sa klaseng iyon earlier at hindi tineyk ng mga taga-oder courses ever. Hong unferr lung!!! Va’t ka nomon gonyon froppy. Sa pagkakaalam koh, maraming afows ko na ren ang dumaan za kanya at BV din after. Kalurkeeeeeeee.

SUPER KALURKEY SUMVONG #2: YOU’RE MY KRYPTONITE, ENROLLMENT Grabety, nakakalurkey na naman daw ang enrollment! Layk, poreber naman nakakawindung ang enrollment de vaaahh! But huweit! Sovrang nkklk daw ang enrollment dis June, na fwede na siyang i-dub as “pinakaworse enrollment evur!” Omg devah!! Sovrang gulow daw ng enrollment dis taym, lalo na za CheverlooAnekSung! Sumvong ng jisa kong afow, gurabeeey daw ang kaguluhan za skedyul ng leyt registreyshun. ‘Yung mga naka-skedyul za unang araw ng leyt reg, wiz natafos dat day at finavalik da next day, kung kelan may iba pang afows ko na skedyuld magleyt reg. So ayun, warla warla mga utaws dahil di nila malaman kung sino ang dafat mag-enroll za araw na ‘yun. KALOKA!!! May nag-report sa lowlah mo, halos pipty perzent ng finavalik at pipty perzent ng skeydyuld fara mag-leyt reg nu’n lomong ang nakafag-enroll. ‘Yung iba, finavalik ulit za ibang day. Wawa naman afows ko!!! Favalik-valik?! Ganown na vah kadali magkaroon ng moneh pamasahe? Der’s sumthing wrong wid the enrollment system huh... Paki-ayos naman powz. Herkey?!

SUPER KALURKEY SUMVONG #3: YOU’RE MY KRYPTONITE, ENROLLMENT (PART TSU!) Di tologo matatafoz ang enrollment blues noh? Kwento sa akin ng jisa kong afow, ilang veses daw winaley ng Opisinang Chaka at Sadista ang kanyang add slot porm! Yung unang veses daw siyang nagsuvmit, complete wid pirma op the frop, dept head and adviser, kinavukazan, wiz daw mahanaf ng Opisinang Chaka at Sadista ang kanyang add slot porm. So ayun, inulit niya ang buong add slot porm process at sinabihan siya na vumalik na lang ulit sa zuzunod na working day. Wen he came vak, ayuun saveh na naman sa kanya, wiz na naman daw siyang add slot porm!! Kalurkeeeyy! Wat’s wrong wid u, OCS*?! Bucket nagsiwaley ang mga imfortant fafelez ng afowz koh! Take note, di lung jisa ang nag-complain abt dis ha. High blood na ko mga ‘te. F na F ko ang rage ng mga afowz ko sa mga kaganafan za vuhay nila sa aangkaYuFiEm-an. Don’t weri, my afows, you are not aloooown, I am hir por yuu. Vasta, be strong my afows, be suuuper loike meee! Let’s meyk baka da evil all around us, huh?! Herkei!?! Herkei. En za inyong mga nang-aafi sa beloved afows ko, tsk tskk ayos ayos din pag may taym. Owkie?! At jan nagtatafoz ang jisa na namang edishun ng Lola Patola!!! Pasukan na nomon!! Enjoy mga afows koh! Mwah mwaaaaahh tsuuupppp!!! XOXO Labyyuuu <3

Isko’t Iska 1

Nararamdaman mo ba ang diumano’y pagturing sa Pilipinas bilang nangungunang ekonomiya sa Asya dahil sa nakamit na 7.8% GDP growth? Baka parang ‘Red Wedding’ din ng episode 9 ng GOT yan. HAHAHA – superhero ng ermita Parang di naman. – *toot*nalangkasidinatalagablockhead, OrCom, CAS Capitalists should be the people to be asked of this. I don’t feel any significant improvement to be quite honest. – Raseac, 2010-33377, College of Pharmacy Hindi gaano. Mararamdaman mo ang katiting na ginhawa sa pagbubukas ng mga negosyo dito sa Pilipinas at sa pagdami ng trabaho, pero hindi naman ganoon katindi ang impact kasi hindi bumababa ang presyo ng mga bilihin, hindi tumataas ang sahod at hindi bumababa ang pamasahe. Pero ika nga nila; “Progress no matter how small is better than no progress at all.” – Madason, 2010-61315, CAS Kung ang pagmamahal mo, hindi ko ramdam, yan pa kaya? :)) – NullSet, 2012-xxxxx, CPH No. The Gross Domestic Product is just a number. The main issue is whether the quality of the lives of the people really improved. Bakit, mapapakain ba ng numero ang mga nagugutom? – Touchy, BA SocSci. OO!!! SOBRA. -.- – shewhoshallnotbenamed Kung pagbabasihan yung mga bagong businesses na nagbubukas dito, and in terms of money exchange, medyo nafefeel coming from that sector (not boasting). Pero yun nga, in terms of quality of living, the changes that are happening are only changes that matter to the upper sector, and do not benefit the majority of the citizens. –Pazuzu Prince of Darkness, 2010-24742, BA Journalism, College of Mass Communication Hindi. Walang pinag-iba. – Ina, 2010-3689, BAPS, CAS Ang saya talaga ng jokes ng PNOY Admin. HAH HAH HAH. – ComeBack, BASS Somehow, Oo. Maraming business na ako na nakikitang lumalaki today, including ours. Dahil dun, lumaki narin ang allowance ko :)) – NALopez, 2010-14484, BSCS, CAS Growth daw? WEHHH. – Chewbacca, 2012-x3x3x, CAS No. Eh ba’t andaming mga gusgusing bata sa lansangan? Sa may OUR na lang eh. Asdfghjkl – aji, 2011-00991, ComSci, CAS :> Meron palang pangununang nagaganap? – G Ay, tumaas pala. Alam ko matagal na yang tumaas at hanggang ngayon, wala pa rin akong

maramdaman. – IamnotaHappyStudent, 20xxx4xx5, BAPS CAS

2 Kumusta naman ang enrolment mo? Eh di ayun, mabilis. Ang tanging hassle na nakuha ko ay di ko nakita si ka-sparks :))))) – superhero ng ermita Parang mas naging efficient ang enrollment process this sem. Good job! – *toot*nalangkasidinatalagablockhead, OrCom, CAS Mga 8:30 nagstart, reassessed na by 10. And kudos to the fast enrollment system of CP this semester. Yung pagprint lang ng Form 5 yung medyo mabagal, pero it’s actually systematic. (Well, in my opinion...) – Raseac, 2010-33377, College of Pharmacy Parang kanta lang din iyan ng Eraserheads: Walang Nagbago – Madason, 2010-61315, CAS Okay lang. Kahit papaano, mabilis kasi maaga ako dumating. – NullSet, 2012-xxxxx, CPH Haggardo versoza. Kelan naging madali ang – shewhoshallnotbenamed

pa ba enrollment?

Kamangha-mahang maaga ako natapos. It’s either mabilis na yung proseso o natapat sa unang araw yung schedule ng batch. – Ina, 2010-3689, BAPS, CAS enrollment ko? yun masaya. salamat pala kay ateng RVC na nasa computer 10 nung June 5. I owe you one lol. – labanderoNgIHFI Puno ng conflict. – ComeBack, BASS Actually masaya. Ngayon lang ulit ako nakapagenrol na walang in-EPN or in-addslot (4th yr na kasi). Also, nakalimutan ko yung med cert ko sa bahay so nagpabalik-balik ako sa Health Services at sa OSS para makakuha ng bago. May nakilala pa akong bagong BehSci friend dahil doon. – NALopez, 2010-14484, BSCS, CAS Ayos na ayos naman ang aking enrollment, surprising na nakapag-enroll ako sa 1st day at di na kinailangang makipag-agawan sa slots. Nagbunga yung 48 units na nilagay ko sa ESF kahit 15 lang kailangan tas maasikaso yung natapat saking RVC. Kaso feel ko first and last ko na to sa maayos na enrollment. – Doraemon, 2012-xxx77, CAS Okay naman. Hindi naman ako inamag sa paghihintay ng Form 5, at pati ang pila ng EPN, mas mabilis na ang pagusad. – Chewbacca, 2012-x3x3x, CAS Ayun. ‘Yung papers ko sa OCS, parang Ina Kapatid Anak. Kelangan, sinusubaybayan. -__-” – aji, 2011-00991, ComSci, CAS :> Di dapat magtiwala sa CRS. Pag sinabi niyang may slot ka, ‘wag ka na masyadong umasa. – G First time kong naglate reg at sinusumpa ko na HINDING HINDI KO NA ITO UULITIN KAHIT KAILAN. – IamnotaHappyStudent, 20xx-x4xx5, BAPS CAS

OSA DETACHES FBCP | FROM PAGE 03

Assembly. “Because the Freshman Assembly is at the same level as the USC. If you study the student handbook, it says there that they’re not under the USC,” Labor commented. No Backing Down On April 29, the OSA was supposed to conduct an orientation for the OVCs, however, the activity turned into a meeting with the Association of Parents and Counselors (APC), CSC representatives from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Nursing, Public Health, and Allied Medical Professions, regarding the MOU. In the meeting, the OSA presented a newlydrafted MOU. Supposedly, anyone who signs the letter shall be part of the OVC and shall be entitled to help with the freshman enrollment and orientation activities. Allegedly, the OVC’s training did not push through due to urgent matters. Issues such as the alleged unpreparedness of the OSA and its new volunteers, the already accomplished training of the new batch of FBCs, and the dental and physical examinations of incoming CAMP freshmen which were held the next day, April 30, were raised. After the members of the APC and OSA staff left the meeting, representatives from the colleges and the FBCP who were present during the meeting moved to draft a Manifesto of Unity,

aiming “to legitimize the existence of the FBCs during the enrolment process for first year students.” The said activity was presided by USC Chairperson Maryliz Zubiri. Demotica later noted that the FBCs together with the CSCs, and not the OVCs, continued to assist the freshmen in this year’s enrollment period. Demotica believed that the OSA failed to get the necessary OVCs. As of press time, however, no dialogues have been held between the OSA and the FBCs as Dr. Labor requested to speak first with Zubiri. Furthermore, Demotica stressed that the only reason they have been “disassociated” from OSA is because they failed to sign the MOU, as Dr. Labor explicitly told them. Demotica also noted that Dr. Labor denied the FBCs’ request to be distinguished from the rest of the OVC members. “The FBC(P) has always been true to its mandate in serving the freshmen. Despite the recent issues, the welfare of the freshmen will always be our topmost priority. Tatak sturdy, dugong FBC,” Demotica said, reasserting the FBCs’ stand. Likewise, Labor claimed that the OSA shall continue to uphold the University Rule, that no freshman shall be allowed to join any fraternity or sorority in their first year. She added that there would be no change in its implementation. *Full transcription of interviews will be posted on the Facebook page of The Manila Collegian.


FEATURES 05

Volume 27 Number 1 Thursday | 20 June 2013

Pagtindig at Paglilingkod Pagkilatis sa mga Adhikain ng Bagong UP Student Regent

JEWEL ANNE MASONGSONG FORMELOZA AT ANGELICA NATIVIDAD REYES

S

Larawan mula sa Facebook profile ni Bb. Krista Iris Melgarejo

A PAGPAPALIT NG TAONG AKADEMIKO, PANIBAGONG KINATAWAN NG mga Iskolar ng Bayan ang haharap sa hamon ng pagtindig sa gitna ng mga isyung pampamantasan at panlipunan. Sa nalalapit na pagtatapos ng panunungkulan ni Cleve Kevin Robert Arguelles, isang mag-aaral mula sa University of the Philippines Manila, ang posisyon ng Student Regent (SR) ay mapupunta na sa isang Iskolar mula sa University of the Philippines Mindanao (UPMin). Ang susunod na SR ng pamantasan ay si Krista Iris V. Melgarejo, isang mag-aaral na kamakailan lamang ay nakapagtapos ng kursong BS Food Technology. Bilang siya ang kauna-unahang SR na mula sa UPMin, malaking pagbabago sa pamunuan ng SR ang inaasahan mula sa kaniya. Gamit ang perspektibo niya bilang isang mag-aaral na mula sa “yunit ng pamantasang umuusbong pa lamang,” ayon sa kanya, palaisipan ang kaniyang magiging paraan ng paggampan sa kaniyang mga tungkulin bilang kinatawan ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan.

edukasyong de-kalidad at hindi dumadagok sa mga Iskolar sa aspektong pinansiyal. Batayan ang kanilang kalagayan sa UPMin, hangad niya na magkaroon ng sapat na badyet ang UP nang sa gayon ay matugunan ang mga pangangailangan ng mga mag-aaral tulad ng maaayos na pasilidad. Kaugnay nito, nais niyang pagtuunan din ng pansin ang mga isyung may kinalaman sa mga polisiyang antiestudyante, komersalisasyon at pagkawala ng pampublikong karakter ng pamantasan. Nang tanungin ukol sa kaniyang magiging pamumuno bilang SR, sinabi ni Melgarejo na ang kaniyang mga karanasan sa loob ng student council at sa student publication ang kaniyang gagamitin upang maisulong ang kaniyang adhikain para sa pamantasan. Batid ang ilang pagkakapareho ng student council at student publication, nais niyang gamitin ang dalawang nabanggit na institusyon sa pagpapalaganap ng mga isyung panlipunang dapat malaman ng mamamayan. Sa pakikipagtulungan ng kaniyang magiging opisina sa mga student publication, nais niyang mahimok ang bawat isa na makilahok sa mga kampanyang kaniyang isusulong. Kaya, upang lalo pang mailapit ang opisina ng SR sa mag-aaral, isasagawa niya ang pagkakaroon ng liaisons at volunteers na magmumula sa lahat ng yunit ng pamantasan.

“WE WOULD DO THIS BY ENGAGING OUR STUDENTS IN DISCUSSIONS ABOUT ISSUES AND THEN ESTABLISHING TACTICAL ALLIANCES TO ADDRESS THESE ISSUES” (Melgarejo, 2013). Upang maisakatuparan ang kaniyang adhikain para sa pamantasan, ang hakbanging makalap ang partisipasyon ng mga mag-aaral ang inihahain ng kasalukuyang SR. Sa pamamagitan ng kolektibong aksiyon ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan, kaniyang inaasahan ang ganap na pagkamit sa karapatan ng mga magaaral at ng mamamayan. Nais niyang maibalik sa pamantasan ang oportunidad na makapaghubog ng mahuhusay na mga mag-aaral nang hindi nasasakripisyo ang pampublikong karakter nito; upang sa gayon ay mapasilbihan ng mga ito ang mamamayan sa hinaharap.

Pagsusumikapang Adhikain

Piniling Lakbayin “WE’RE IN THE DIRECTION OF RECLAIMING THE UNIVERSITY FOR THE PEOPLE. UP SHOULD BE REORIENTED AND REMINDED OF ITS SOCIAL OBLIGATION TO THE FILIPINO YOUTH AND PEOPLE” (Melgarejo, 2013). Sa kaniyang naging pahayag tungkol sa nais niyang mangyari sa pamantasan at sa mga magaaral nito, mahihinuhang mariing isinusulong ni SR Melgarejo ang pagbabalik sa mga mag-aaral ng kanilang karapatan sa edukasyon –

“COMING FROM AN ISLAND WITH A TRIPARTITE COMPOSITION, WE CAN NOW GIVE LIGHT TO THE MORO AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S STRUGGLES FOR THEIR RIGHT TO SELFDETERMINATION AND ANCESTRAL DOMAIN” (Melgarejo, 2013). Ngayon, higit kailanman, napapanahon ang pagkakaluklok ng isang kinatawang nagmumula sa Mindanao. Batid ng bawat isa ang mga isyung pumupukol sa malayong parteng ito ng bansa. Hindi lamang ukol sa kapayapaan bagkus pangunahing bumabagabag rin dito ang mga suliraning hindi maikakaila ng administrasyon, tulad na lamang ng lumalalang kahirapan at ang iba’t ibang sanhi nito. Sa pagkakaluklok ng isang kinatawan mula rito, inaasahang mas mapapaigting ang mga pagkilos at mapapalakas ang panawagan sa mga pinuno ng bayan ukol sa pagbibigaypansin at pagtugon sa mga suliranin sa

Mindanao. Ang pagpapalawak sa usaping pangkapayapaan at ang konkretong paraan ng paglapit sa isyu ng Government of the Philippines-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (GPH-NDFP) peace talks sa mga Iskolar ng Bayan ay inaasahang maging isa sa mga priyoridad ng bagong kinatawan. Malaki ang kinalaman ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan sa pagsasatinig sa kahalagahan ng kamalayan at kamulatan ukol rito kaya marapat lang na manguna ang bagong kinatawan ng mga mag-aaral sa pagbigay-diin sa mga isyung ito. Bagaman magiging malaki ang gampanin ng isang rehenteng mula sa Mindanao upang iangat ang kasalukuyang kalagayan ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan at mamamayan roon, mariin namang tinitiyak ni SR Mergalejo na hindi lamang ito ang pagtutuunan niya nang pansin. Ayon sa kanya, ang pamumuno niya ay nagbigigay-garantiya na diringgin at bibigyan ng agarang aksiyon ang bawat hinaing ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan sa lahat ng UP campuses at ng sambayanan. Dagdag pa niya, ang UP Mindanao ang nagbigay sa kaniya ng ideya at nagmulat sa kanya sa kasalukuyang kahabag-habag na kalagayan ng mga mag-aaral at taumbayan na hindi nabibigayan ng sapat at de-kalidad na serbisyo mula sa pamahalaan. Ang mga naging karanasan ni SR Melgarejo kapiling ang mga mag-aaral at masa ay maituturing niyang nagbigay sa kanya ng kasanayan at kahandaan patungo sa pagiging kinatawan ng mga sektor na ito. Sa kanyang pagkakaluklok, ang mga kasanayang ito ay inaasahang magagamit niya sa pagpapaigting ng mga kampanya upang iangat ang kalagayan ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan at ng sambayanan.

“LIKE THE PAST STUDENT REGENTS, WE WOULD LIKE TO ADDRESS THE STUDENTS’ PERENNIAL PROBLEM ON THE THE RISING COST OF EDUCATION BY CALLING FOR HIGHER STATE SUBSIDY AND ROLLBACK OF THE TUITION” (Melgarejo, 2013). Pangunahin sa mga layuning inaasahang isusulong ni Melgarejo ay ang panawagan sa pamahalaan sa pagkakaloob sa mga mamamayan ng nararapat na edukasyon. Ang pagpapababa sa patuloy na tumataas na halaga ng edukasyon at ang paglutas sa mga suliraning bumabalot rito ay magiging priyoridad din ng kanyang pamumuno.

T

UNAY NGANG MALAKI ANG gampanin na nakaatang sa bagong kinatawan ng mga mag-aaral ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas. Sa kanya nakasalalay ang pamumuno sa mga magiging pagkilos para sa pagtugon sa mga suliraning pumupukol hindi lamang sa mga Iskolar ng Bayan bagkus pati na rin sa mas malawak at matinding pangangailangan ng masa. Sa untiunting pagbabago ng demograpiya ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, isang malaking hamon sa kanya kung paano muling maibabalik ang pampublikong karakter ng pamantasan at mapagbuklod ang bawat Iskolar ng Bayan sa pagharap sa mga suliranin ng sambayanan – isang hamon na susubok hindi lamang sa kanyang pamumuno bagkus magdidikta sa magiging direksyon ng Unibersidad sa mga darating pang panahon.


06 FEATURES W

E ARE WITNESSING THE dawning of a new era: where a world system is slowly becoming a very huge factory—with humans becoming machines, and machines becoming humans. Classical economics is telling. The need to maintain the capitalist order is the need to curtail its very antimatter: the potent labor force. Knowing that a united front of laborers is the very threat to a class reversal, the corporate did all means to preclude such potency; even to the extent of wielding force to the dissenters and imbibing false consciousness to the masses.

The Unquenched “We warned them.” At 4 p.m of May 21, 2013, operations were ceased at the Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Incorporated (CCBPI), Sta. Rosa, Laguna, the largest Coca-Cola plant in Asia. Confronting the administrators of the said plant were 300 members from the Unyon ng Mga Manggagawang Drayber, Forklift Operator at Picker-CCBPI-Independent (UMDFP-CCBPI-Independent), together with members from Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog KatagaluganKilusang Mayo Uno, and other unionists, picketing and closing the four gates of the plant to strike and reverse the unjust labor practices maneuvered by the administrators of the said plant. Workers who have been directly hired by the company for more than a decade, have been placed on contractual status under The Red System Company, Incorporated (TRCI), a logistics company which is said to be ‘99%-owned’ by CCBPI. Under this new company setting, some 430 company drivers, pickers and lifters are now denied of the benefits they obtained as regular employees, such as 13th-month bonuses and rice subsidies. Salary is more like devaluation, as CCBPI contractual workers were paid on a per-delivery basis, devoid of the fatigue experienced and the time spent working. They were measly paid Php4000 per payday, Php8000 monthly, well below the 327.5 minimum wage pegged at Laguna (9825). Taxes, social service contributions and delivery shortages were likewise even deducted from their salaries. Not to say the utter neglect of the company in providing safety and health standards to the most exhausted and precarious group of workers at the said plant. With no immediate medical facility or even restrooms, ill workers are forced to work and are required to submit explanation letters. The aim to reach the company’s quota of deliveries callously compromises even the most basic of these workers’ rights. Not contented with providing oppressive working conditions, the management never stopped blocking the recognition of the union.

The union had undergone several legal ditches, gaining nothing but legal losses. On July 18, 2012, they filed a petition for certification election to establish a union that will represent the workers in a collective bargaining agreement. Despite the January 24, 2013 ruling of the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) CALABARZON unit, that all 430 workers should be regular employees, the illegal transmittal of the case to the DOLE national office led to the reversion of the BLR decision, a decision not appealable. Under the Department Order 18-A of DOLE, Section A-IV, inhouse agencies, defined under the pretext that an independent subsidiary is owned or represented in any share of stocks, are prohibited. Articles 5,6 and 10 of said Section-A also prohibit contracting out under conditions of a strike out (whether actual or imminent), and restraining of worker’s right to establish union. A company-backed union, Federation of Free Workers, then filed a motion for intervention to prevent the forming of a new union. FFW would then allegedly elude workers to join their union instead by promising bonus offers worth P30,000. Section 8 of the said Department Order also provides for the rights and privileges a contractual worker may attain, such as 13th month bonuses, security of tenure, collective bargaining agreement, and selforganization. With nothing to lose, the worker’s knew that the strike was inevitable, this step being their most potent political action. But the company is also ready to wield its power for the dispersal of the workers. CCBPI then filed damages against the union, hours after the strike commenced, to the Regional Trial CourtBiñan Branch. The latter then ruled and issued a Temporary Restraining Order for the strikers to vacate the area, or else, the police would assist the company in forcefully removing the workers from their positions. The union would have to pay the company Php150,000 for damages. But nothing, not even the issued TRO and the police-company collusion could quash the only thing left from these workers: dignity. The dispute ended into an amicable settlement, favoring the workers. The workers know that victory is temporary and that they could never be complacent. The company’s retaliation is proverbial, but so is the union’s call.

The Soldered Blood flows like melted alloys. About 140 steel workers from the galvanizing department of Pentagon Steel Corporation have been summarily dismissed by the company after

the workers held series of protests manufactures galvanized roofing, nails, G.I wires and other steel products. Workers were experiencing the most brutal of all treatments. They are working without any protective gears or safety suits, which were ludicrously complemented by the absence of safety standards such as clinics, doctors and at the very least, first aid remedies. Thus, the workers are experiencing work-related accidents, making the company responsible and liable for these circumstances as per the provisions of their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). But such was not the case, as workers have to cover everything on their own — hazard and liability pays are deducted from their salary. It should be noted here that under Article 162 of the Philippine Labor Code on Occupational Safety and Health, every company/ corporation is mandated to provide its workers occupational safety and health standards. Besides the inhumane conditions at the company, workers were subjected to the corporation’s oppressive measures to curb their unity and potency. Cases such as transferring workers from one department to another without prior notice, discrimination, decreasing the time of work and illegal suspensions, were rampant. Initially, the company has some 400 workers, but due to the working conditions, their number greatly decreased to 240. Those who resigned were given measly amounts of separation pay. With the CBA violated, the union’s democratic processes and legitimacy disrespected, and safety working conditions not assured, it is an affront to violently disperse those workers who have picketed. Following the protests on April 15, 2013 at the PSC located at Brgy. Apolonio Samson, La Loma, Quezon City, the management, deployed its ‘goons’ alongside intelligence officers from Police Community Precinct 1 of the Quezon City Police District (PCP1-QCPD) to quell the picketing of the workers. Workers were punched, threatened with pistols, and were electrocuted by stun guns. Six workers were illegally detained by the police at La Loma, Quezon City. Three were reportedly hit by police handcuffs, thereby suffering minor head injuries with one taken to a

FREED FRO BOND

Chronicles of the W

CHRISTIAN REYNA ILLUSTRATION BY GE


DOM OM DAGE

Workers’ Struggle

AN IBAÑEZ DURANA ERALD MIRANDA GOCO

FEATURES 07

workers.

hospital. The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) asserted the obvious collusion between the management and the police. According to CTUHR coordinator Arman Hernando, the extent of support given by the police was alarming since the response of the police clearly and gravely violated the fundamental rights of the workers. Hernando added that the police acted as if they were employed by the management, and that has been fairly obvious, since they’ve been reported looming around the picket premises guised in civilian clothes. He furthered that what the police did were not only inhumane, but illegal, as provided by Sec. 10 Rule XIII Book V of the Omnibus Rules Implementing the Labor Code clearly provides that it is illegal for any member of the armed forces or even the police to assist a corporation/ company who seeks to replace strikers within the strike area. The six workers who were illegally detained and charged with trumped-up violations were freed since the police violated the guidelines for warrantless arrest. The pro-management union, affiliated with the Governmentbacked Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, was absent before and after the incident. What is clear is that, not only did the company gravely violate the fundamental rights of its workers, but also the corporatist interest of the State, prevails — as exemplified by the obvious collusion of the police and the company to upend the workers. All the workers longed for was a transparent collective bargaining agreement, a safe working area complemented by protective equipment, and job security. They do not even wish for a wage hike. All they’ve wanted is to be dignified, and not be treated as scrap metal.

The Disconnected Under a Php69.2-billion shareswap deal, Manny V. Pangilinan of Smart Telecom now owns majority of Digitel Communications, while the latter’s owner, John Gokongwei would own 12 percent of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT). Digitel was secured though the merger — but such was not the case for most of its

let the workers retire and be rehired when the company could have just absorbed them. Note here that the retirement clause is in accordance with the premise that the workers are dismissed. Negotiations as of now, facilitated by the DOLE.

Periods from April-May of 2013 saw about 88 workers conducting a hunger strike to demand the absorption of the dismissed Digitel workers to PLDT and further talks through the collective bargaining agreement.

Today, PLDT’s workforce is composed of 25,000 employees, of which, 80 percent are hired under contractual status. MVP knows business.

Last year, as quoted from NewsDesk Asia, Pangilinan clearly promised upon buying Digitel that the merger would not cause “lay-offs.” For the most part, all things were set favoring the workers — or so they thought.

Globalization and neoliberalism put much power on multinational corporations, so much that the State became only its righthand slave, perpetuating the power of the few controlling the “many”. Labor, once a dignity of manhood, became a commodity, a surplus devoid of any value.

Some 500 workers were dismissed from their jobs. That despite a Supreme Court Decision penned last October 2012, to recognize and negotiate with the Digitel Employees’ Union (DEU) and deem the dismissal of workers as illegal. The decision to commence anew the CBA and to reinstate the workers was then enforced last March 2013 through a Writ of Execution ordered by DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz. The company has been defiant in refusing to respect the union. Digitel Spokesperson Reuben Pangan cited “redundancy” as the primary rationale for laying-off the aforementioned Digitel personnel. Pangan stated that such move was unavoidable, simply because the Digitel network is decommissioned. Because 140,000 Digitel subscribers from Luzon would be compounded to PLDT, which has enough number of workers, Digitel personnel will be considered surplus workers, and thus, their service would not be needed. Digitel then offered a voluntary retirement program/ early retirement package (VRP/ ERP) which provides for a retire and rehire scheme in which Digitel workers may get severance packages equal to 190-250 percent of their monthly salary, per year of service plus a two-year medical coverage plan and a chance to be rehired as PLDT employees under a contractual status. But the DEU maintains that the said VRP/ERP offered by Digitel is a mere smokescreen to hire those who availed the VRP/ERP and agreed to be contractual workers, replacing the displaced regular workers. Citing Section 80 of the Company Code, the protesters maintains that it is a mandatory responsibility for the surviving/ consolidated entity (herein the PLDT) to recognize the security of tenure and the length of service of the workers of the merging consolidating corporations. Thus, it is quite flawed for the company to provide such program on a voluntary basis, without even any assurance and legal manifestation that the displaced workers would be rehired. For DEU, it is dubious to

***

Tracing the cases, one can infer patterns. Trade unionism in the country is particularly weakened, simply because unionism is undermined by contractualization, the dominant bureaucratic tool of the company-State to upend the labor force. Contractualization, along with other moves promulgated by the company, weakens the united front of the workers and subjugates the power of their collective action. The current regime would have duped the people by the so-called boost in economic growth, amounting to a 7.8 increase, largest so far in Asia. Such growth, as Aquino declared, could be credited to workers doing a ‘good job’ in anchoring the economy. But basing upon his newly signed labor laws concerning tripartism and compulsory arbitration that complements his dreaded two-tier wage system, what Aquino has been profoundly swanking could be quite the contrary. The creation of a National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council will neutralize and subjugate unions into a supposed nostrike atmosphere. Complementing such tripartite mode is the law on compulsory arbitration whereby two parties would be arbitrated by a Labor department official, the workers would then have to abide every decision of the Labor official, and if they defy the official’s orders, their actions, including the conduct of a strike, will be illegal and those who participated will be terminated from work.

L

ABOR UNIONS AND WORKERS themselves, provide the democratic life left abashed by the chronic rationalization of the industrial sector. Their struggle is the very manhood of labor, the effort these workers put is their very political power. But so long as oppression of workers continues, the struggle facilitates a revered imagery; workers all united, all indivisible. The struggle is the victory itself—the dominance of a class-consciousness, never rationalized, never mechanized.


08 CULTURE W

ELCOME TO MANILA.

Halina sa siyudad kung saan ang lahat ng tao ay may kanya-kanyang motibong pinipilit mabigyang kaganapan. Mamangha sa bawat sulok nitong may mga ipinagmamalaking tradisyong nagpapatingkad sa ‘di nito mapantayang kultura – isang kulturang magpaparanas na pinasok mo ang entrance ng impyerno. Kaya’t kung baguhan ka sa lungsod, isang naiibang survival kit ang kailangan mo upang malagpasan ang mga hamong tila ba especially made by Satanas for you. Naiiba, sapagkat ang kailangan mo ay lakas ng loob, tapang, talino, at dagdagan na rin ng kaunting swerte. Dahil ang pakikipagsapalaran sa Maynila ay isang paglalakbay – isang paglalakbay tungo sa realidad ng buhay at pagkilala sa makamundong mga hamon at pagsubok nito.

Langhap-sarap na polusyon Enjoying and relishing pollution: It’s more fun in Manila Kung hindi ka pa rin kumbinsido, bakit hindi mo naman subukang mag-skydiving? Humandang mamangha sa kakapalan ng maitim at mabahong hamog na sinisinghot ng lahat ng tao sa Maynila. Pagkatapos, makakasalamuha mo naman ang walang hanggan na nakakasulasok na usok na nagmumula sa samu’t-saring pabrika sa Pandacan. Ang huling level ay ang lambong ng nakamamatay na usok na nagmumula naman sa dagat ng mga hindi umuusad na sasakyan. Manila’s nine levels of atmosphere, ika nga. Kung trekking naman ang peg mo, humandang mag-warm up sa nakahandang obstacle course sa iyo. Bukod sa nagkalat na iba’t ibang uri ng basura, may mga bumubulagtang open manholes din, may nanonorpresang mga falling debris, at kung umuulan, humandang tuklasin ang hiwaga

Volume 27 Number 1 20 June 2013 | Thursday ng mga ilog sa Maynila, lalo na ang instant swimming pools ng Taft river at Lagusnilad spring. Sa huli, ang dapat na sumisimbolong perlas ng bansa at kaunlaran ay nagmimistulang alikabok.

Palasyo ng pinagtagping mga pangarap at yero Ang Maynila ay isang pugad na binubuo ng pulu-pulutong na maliliit na kaharian. Para doon sa mga lumalagi sa pusod ng siyudad, ang Maynila ay isang kaharian, kung saan sila ang mga pinagpipitagang hari at reyna. Pwede na nga itong itanghal na Guinness record dahil sa dami ng mga hari’t reynang nagsisiksikan. Paano’y naeengganyo pa ring makipagsapalaran iyong mga nasa probinsiya, sa pag-asang guminhawa ang buhay at makabahagi rin sa trono’t korona. Pero sa halip na bigyangbuhay ang mga pangarap, ang Maynilang sinamba nila ay siya pang mismong papatay sa alab ng kanilang mga pangarap. Tulad na lamang sa Baseco at sa San Andres na may iba’t-ibang mga kastilyo – mayroon sa ilalim ng tulay, ang iba’y sa de-tulak na kariton at ang iba nama’y kapiling ang mga humahagibis na tren. Ang kanilang mga palasyo’y sinikap buuin gamit ang kinakalawang na yero, mga lumang tarpaulin, at mga haligi ng kahoy na isang anay na lang ang kakagat ay bibigay na.

kailan, at saan mo gustong magpabinyag.

lang, all the way na.”

Kung hanap mo ay marathon kasama ang magnanakaw, subukan mo ang Pedro Gil. Dito, redeemable ang mga bagay na mananakaw sa’yo – ‘yun eh kung makakasigaw ka pa at mahahabol mo pa ang tiwaling humablot sa dala-dalahan mo. Ngunit kung ang trip mo ay tipong you can’t feel a thing, punta na sa Binondo. Mga malaLupin na mga kamay naman ang expertise nila dito. Ang bonus pa, hindi mo alam kung sino ang sisisihin o aakusahan, dahil bukod sa mukhang kahinala-hinala ang lahat ng tao, hindi mo alam kung kailan, saan, at sino ang nagnakaw sa iyo.

Sa Malate, may iba’t ibang gimik ang mga mga karinderya. Ito ay bukas sa lahat ng gustong kumain. Ngunit kakaiba ang karinderyang ito sapagkat ang mga putahe ay nakahanda hindi sa isang mahabang hapag, kundi sa isang entabladong pinaiilaw ng disco ball at pinalalamutian ng mga steel pole. Pwedeng ikaw mismo ang pipili ng babae o lalaking gusto mong makapiling na may kanyakanyang presyo, bentahe, at talento na ginagamit upang makapagpaligaya sa kama. Pwedeng rin namang ikaw mismo ang lalapitan at aalukan. Tila umo-order ka sa isang fastfood chain at may special delivery pa – as long as the price is right. Karaniwang ang mga ganitong uri ng prostitusyon ay patok sa mga turistang naghahanap ng mapapagparausan.

Last but not the least, kung gusto mong istilo ng pagnanakaw eh ‘yung tipong malamagic show dahil sa kanilang hipnotismo, well, all you need is Recto. Sobrang flexible ng promo na ito ng Recto, dahil pwede mo itong maranasan kahit saan - sa sasakyan, sinehan, tindahan, o naparaan ka lang sa maputik nitong kalsada – kasabay ng panghihipnotismong mga salita at titig upang mailigaw ang atensyon ng maswerteng dudukutan. Pero teka, nawala yata sa eksena ang mga kapulisang inaasahang pipigil at huhuli sa mga tiwali na ito. Paano’y partnersin-crime pala itong sila mamang pulis at mamang magnanakaw, at hatian sila sa madididilihensya ng tiwali, kapalit ng katahimikan at kawalang-aksyon ng mga otoridad sa mga kasong ganito.

Sila ang mga hari at reynang kinalimutan at tinalikdan ng lipunan at pamahalaan. Sila ang nagmamay-ari ng mga koronang gawa sa plastik na protekta nila sa init ng araw, at lakas ng ulan, habang ang mga trono ay naroon sa mga bangketang kailangan nilang linisin.

Ganyan ang nakawan sa Maynila – it comes in all shapes and sizes. Parang isang malaking karnabal ng mga payasong walang pinipiling biktima.

Lamyos ng tinig ni Mamang Holdaper

“Ay! Bet ko ang muscles at panghaharot mo! Sige, discounted na for you. Limang daan na

“Miss, holdap ‘to.” Pamilyar ba? Kung oo, marahil ay napagdaanan mo ang isa sa mga pagbibinyag sa Maynila – ang manakawan. Ngunit, sa Maynila, may say ka sa kung sino ang gusto mong magbinyag sa iyo, at kung paano,

Discounted na haplos ng mga babae sa Malate

Ito ang handang isugal ng mga babae at lalaking ito – ang mga sariling kaluluwa sa isang nakakapasong impyerno para maitawid sa langit ang kanilang customer at ang kanilang kumakalam na sikmura.

Big sale ng smuggled at pirated goods Pampagandang tatak-Intsik, Louis Vuitton na Php500 lang, iPhone na bagong nakaw, at malabong kopya ng pelikulang kalalabas pa lang sa mga sinehan. Kung gusto mong maka-experience ng great sale araw-araw, punta na sa Quiapo at Divisoria. Ngunit, bukod sa presyo na bentahe ng mga naglipanang tindera dito, namumukodtangi rin ang isa pang katangian ng mga


CULTURE 09

Volume 27 Number 1 Thursday | 20 June 2013 produktong nagkalat dito – ito ang pugad ng mga smuggled at pirated goods sa bansa.

sinturon ni Hudas kung magsunod-sunod na magpataasan ng mga matrikula?

Taun-taon, daig pa ng isang blockbuster na pelikula ang dami ng mga taong dumadagsa upang makisiksik sa masisikip na kalsada ng Quiapo at Divisoria. Pero, may dark little secrets ang mga tindera dito. Ang mga pampaganda at pampaputi na gustonggusto mo ay palihim palang ipinuslit galing China. Mayroon ding mga gadget na kahahablot lang sa mga naglalakad sa Recto, at mayroon ding mga pelikulang kabi-video pa lamang nang pasikreto sa mga sinehan.

Bawat taon, panibagong uri ng fees ang idinadagdag sa babayarin ng mga estudyante – development fees, computer lab fees, cultural fees. Minsan ang kulang na lang ay hospital fees at funeral fees dahil halos lagnatin at mamatay na ang mga estudyante’t magulang kung paano babayaran ang mga ito.

Pero, there’s more. Hindi lamang mga produkto ang pirated dito, kundi pati mga mismong tao. Kilala mo na siguro si ateng manghuhulang hindi matumbok-tumbok ang kapalaran mo. E ‘yung mga feeling healthcare professionals na nag-aabort ng bata at nagbebenta ng pampagana sa kama? Pero kapag palpak ang kinalabasan ng trabaho, para silang mga bulang biglang nagsisipulasan kapag iyong binalikan. Kaya’t kung gusto mong makaranas ng great sale araw-araw, pasyal na sa Quiapo at Divisoria – name it, they have it. Who knows? Malay mo’y swertehin ka at may bonus ka pang toxic na kemikal at sakit sa balat sa susunod mong pamimili.

Nakakalulang educational fees at nilalapastangang landmarks Sa sobrang hirap ng buhay sa Maynila, pati edukasyon at mga makasaysayang pasyalan ay pinagkakakitaan. Hunyo na naman, at dagsa na ulit sa Maynila ang mga estudyanteng galing sa mga probinsiya sa pag-asang makapagtapos sa lungsod. Pero, paano na ang kanilang mga pangarap kung ang mga tinitingala nilang mga unibersidad ay malupit pa sa

Ang masaklap pa, hindi naman talagang nabibigyang-hustisya ang kanilang mga ibinabayad, sapagkat may hinala silang pinagkakakitaan na lamang ang kanilang edukasyon. Pero ang mas masakit para sa kanila’y ang madalas nilang pagbubulagbulagan upang matatakan lamang ang mga registration form ng “enrolled.” Isa pang biktima ng komersalisasyon sa lungsod ay ang mga national landmarks, partikular na ang Luneta Park at ang Intramuros. Ang dapat sana’y libre at malayang pagliliwaliw sa lugar ay natutumbasan ng pera dahil sa mahal na entrance fee. Kung mapapansin, nagsulputan din ang samu’t saring mga gardens at camps sa loob mismo ng pasyalan, na kung makapaningil ay wagas din. Idagdag pa ang mga souvenir shop, pati mga nagkalat na tindahan na kung anu-ano ang tinda na kung makapaningil ay ginto ang presyo. Kung tutuusin, halos kalahati ang matitipid kung bibilhin ang mga parehong produkto sa mga tindahan sa labas ng pasyalan. Kaya’t maiisip na para bang ang pagkakatatag ng kanilang tindahan sa loob ng pasyalan ay nagiging karapatan nila upang mag-overprice at pagkakitaan ang kagandahan ng landmarks. Ngunit, may masaklap pa sa pagiging negosyo ng mga landmark na ito, dahil sa kasalukuyang estado ng mga pasyalang

ito, tila hindi yata naituro sa Makabayan na dapat igalang, pangalagaan at panatilihin ang kasagraduhan at kalinisan ng mga lugar na ito. Ang mga kalsada ay napapalamutian ng mga banderitas ng plastik at pinagkainan, ang mga berde sanang damuhan ay parang langgam na kanilang tapak-tapakan at ang historical relics ay unti-unting nasisira. Picture dito, picture doon, pero sa kanilang kinukuhang mga larawan ay hindi nila makita ang mga lugar na kanilang nilalapastangan. Dahil kung ang lahat ng bagay ay tutumbasan natin ng pera, lalo lamang nating ilulugmok ang ating bansang nasasadlak na sa dusa.

Mapanlinlang na maskara “ANG TAO, ANG BAYAN, NGAYON AY LUMALABAN!” Hindi kumpleto ang Manila experience mo kung hindi mo pa nakikita ang mga rali sa Mendiola. Dito rin makikita ang Peace Arch – isang simbulong kumakatawan sa mapayapa ngunit mas pinaigting na pakikibaka ng mga rallyista. Ngunit sa paglipas ng panahon, ang sanang makabuluhang tanda ay tila ikinulong sa bisig ng mga alambre at nakabantay na mga barikada. Sa kalauna’y ang dating simbolo ng kapayapaan ay naging simbolo na ng kasinungalingan, ‘pagkat naging tanda ito ng pagpapanggap ng lungsod ng Kamaynilaan. Ang kasalukuyang itsura ng simbolo ay naging takip sa mga mata at pag-iisip ng mga Manilenyo, sapagkat hindi na nila makita ang kahalagahan ng ipinaglalaban ng mga rallyista. Imbes na ituring na kanilang mga tagapagtanggol, demonyo ang mga ito sa kanilang paningin dahil lamang sa kaunting minutong pagkakahuli sa eskwela o trabaho o dahil lamang sa sandaling ingay na gagawin ng mga ito.

Pagkilala sa Kultura ng

Lungsod ng Maynila

JAMILAH PAOLA DELA CRUZ LAGUARDIA

Ngunit, hindi pa huli ang lahat. Ang mismong matingkad na dilaw na kulay ng arko ang nagpapaalala na mangingibabaw pa rin ang natatagong pagnanais na magbago sa puso ng bawat Manilenyo, pati na rin ang kagustuhan nilang umunlad ito. Tao ang naglagay ng mga balakid at harang sa Peace Arch. Sa huli, tao lang din ang makapagpapalaya ng kanyang sarili mula sa pagkakagapos.

N

ATATAKOT KA NA BA? PATIKIM lang ‘yan.

Kumpara sa totoong impyerno, katiting pa lamang ang mararanasan mong mga problema’t pagsubok sa Maynila sa mga tunay na sitwasyong ng Pilipinas. Subalit, ang mga pasong naiiwan ay hindi dapat iyakan. Ito ay senyales ng kinakalawang na sistema ng pamamahala, at palatandaan na panahon na upang buhayin ang lungsod na matagal nang nahimbing at namanhid sa kahirapan. Ang impyernong ito ay hindi dapat katakutan. Ang mga apoy na patuloy na nagbabaga dito ang siyang nagpapaalab ng tapang, tiwala at lakas sa kaibuturan ng mga tao, upang magapi nila ang mga diablong humihila sa kanila pababa. Ito ang apoy na nagdadala sa kanila buhat sa purgatoryo, upang makamit nila ang matagal na ninanais na langit. Dahil ang Maynila ay gate pa lamang – ang totoong impyerno ay naghihintay sa ‘yo sa kalawakan ng buong mundo. *Linya mula Eraserheads

sa

kantang

“Manila”

ng


10 EDITORIAL

W

Volume 27 Number 1 20 June 2013 | Thursday

ALANG TITIWALAG SA HANAY.

Nagpapatuloy ang laban para makamit ng malawak na hanay ng kabataan at ng masa ang karapatan sa edukasyon. Pinakatampok na problema sa sektor ng edukasyon, partikular na sa tersaryong antas, ay ang pag-abandona ng kasalukuyang rehimen sa responsbilidad nitong bigyan ng nakasasapat na badyet ang mga state universities and colleges (SUCs). Sa taong 2014, planong kaltasan muli ng administrasyong Aquino ang badyet para sa 111 SUCs ng tatlong bilyong piso. Lubhang makakaapekto rin sa kalidad ng edukasyon sa tersaryong antas ang pagpapatupad ng batas na K-12 ni Aquino. Ang tunguhin ng K-12 ay hindi para masolusyunan ang mababang kalidad ng edukasyon sa bansa, kung hindi ang pagturo sa mga kabataan ng mga kursong vocational na maaaring maghikayat sa kanila na maging overseas Filipino workers o kaya ay murang lakas-paggawa na gagamitin ng mga dayuhang kompanya. Ang K-12 ay maaaring mag-udyok nang mas malalim na pagkahati ng mga uri sa lipunan: ang mga mahirap na kabataang na kayang makapag-aral hanggang sa senior high school ay magiging manual laborers habang ang mga may-kaya naman ang tutuloy sa kolehiyo. Hindi nalalayo sa kabuuang imahe ng bulok na sistema ng edukasyon sa bansa ang sistemang umiiral sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas (UP). Sa pagbubukas ng klase, muling kinaharap ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan ang mga perinyal na mga pagsubok na pumupukol sa pamantasan — dalawa sa mga ito ang Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program o STFAP at ang pagsasalaula sa pampublikong karakter ng UP sa pamamagitan ng komersyalisasyon at lubhang mataas na tuition fee. Sa pamamagitan ng STFAP, isinasara ng Unibersidad ang pinto nito sa mga mahihirap na mga mag-aaral na gustong makapasok sa UP. Mula nang unang ipatupad noong taong pang-akademiko 1989-1990, ang STFAP ay ginamit ng administrasyon ng UP upang itaas ang base tuition fee na lubusang nagpahirap sa mga estudyante. Ang pag-amyenda ng STFAP noong 2007 ang siyang nagdulot ng P1000 kada unit na bayarin mula sa dating P300. Ang kasaysayan ng STFAP ay kasaysayan ng panlilinlang at pagpapahirap sa mga estudyante. Nilinlang at patuloy na nililinlang ng administrasyon ang mga estudyante nito sa pagsasabing ipinapatupad ang STFAP upang magkaroon ng social justice at upang maging demokratiko di-umano ang pagpasok sa pamantasan. Simple ang lohika ng administrasyon sa pagpapatupad ng STFAP: ang mayayaman na kayang magbayad ng tuition fee ay dapat pagbayarin habang ang mga naghihirap ay dapat magpasa ng mga rekisitong magpapatunay na hindi nila kayang magbayad ng itinakdang base tuition fee. Ngunit, kung susundin ang buktot na lohikang ito, ginagawang isang produkto ang edukasyon sa UP sa halip na maging isang responsibilidad ng estado at karapatan ng mamamayan. Ipinapakita ng STFAP ang isang malagim na katotohanan — pinagkakakitaan nito ang mga Iskolar ng Bayan upang punan ang kakulangan ng estado sa mandato nito na suportahan ang mga pampublikong kolehiyo at pamantasan. Higit pa rito, isang

LIZETTE JOAN CAMPAÑA DALUZ

Hakbang Pasulong balintunay na maituturing ang pagpalagay sa iskemang ito bilang demokratiko kung ito ang mitsa ng hindi pagtuloy ng maraming estudyante sa pamantasan. Naka-angkla sa isyu ng STFAP ang paglapastangan sa pampublikong karakter ng unibersidad. Dahil sa iskemang ito, lumobo ang base tuition fee sa pamantasan na nagresulta sa hindi pagpasok ng mga mahihirap na estudyanteng nakapasa sa pamantasan. Nasasakripisyo ang akses ng kabataang Pilipino sa de-kalidad at murang edukasyon na mula sa UP dahil sa taas ng tuition sa Unibersidad. Nawawalan ng silbi ang pagiging pampubliko ng isang unibersidad kung hindi nito kayang panindigan ang esensya ng salitang ‘publiko’ — at ito ay ang pagiging bukas sa kung sino man, at hindi nagiging hadlang ang pinansiyal na kapasidad o estado sa lipunan, upang matamasa ang edukasyong ibinibigay ng institusyon.

ng mga malalaking kompanya tulad ng Ayala. Higit pa rito ang mapait na katotohanan na kayang isakripisyo ng pamantasan ang pampubliko nitong karakter para sa isang takdang halaga upang patuloy itong umiral. Hindi na maitatanggi ang kabalintunaan sa sistema ng edukasyon sa bansa. At lampas pa sa pagkilala na nagpapatuloy ang mga problemang pumupukol dito ay ang malalim na pagsuri at pagninilay sa kung ano ang nararapat na aksyon para wakasan ang mga nasabing balakid. Ito ay isang panawagan upang mag-armas — hindi ng baril o sundang kung hindi ang pagkakaroon ng isang matalas at kritikal na isipan na pumapangibabaw sa malabnaw na pagtingin sa mga isyu ng lipunan, partikular na sa sektor ng edukasyon. Gamit ang kritikal na pagsusuri ay mahihinuha ang ugat ng mga problema sa edukasyon — at ito ay

NAWAWALAN NG SILBI ANG PAGIGING PAMPUBLIKO NG ISANG UNIBERSIDAD KUNG HINDI NITO KAYANG PANINDIGAN ANG ESENSYA NG SALITANG ‘PUBLIKO.’ Bukod sa mataas na tuition fee na halos pumapantay na sa mga pribadong kolehiyo at unibersidad, mamamalas din ang pagsalaula sa pampublikong karakter ng UP sa mga atake ng komersyalisasyon at pribatisasyon ng mga lupa at gusaling pagmamay-ari ng pamantasan. Noong nakaraang taon, natuloy na ang pagtatayo ng UP Town Center sa UP Diliman na kung saan magtatayo ang Ayala Land Incorporated ng isang commercial complex sa dating pinagtayuan ng UP Integrated School (UPIS). Bagama’t may kapalit na bagong kampus ang UPIS sa pagpapatayo ng UP Town Center, hindi pa rin maiwawaglit na muling naging bulnerable ang pamantasan sa korporatistang interes

Angelo Dennis Aligaga Agdeppa Christine Joy Frondozo Angat Ezra Kristina Ostaya Bayalan Lizette Joan Campaña Daluz Mon Gabriel Posadas Distor Christian Reynan Ibañez Durana Daniel John Galinato Estember Mark Jason Santos Flores Elizabeth Danielle Quiñones Fodulla Jewel Anne Masongsong Formeloza Gerald Miranda Goco Krishna Jeanne Padre Godino Alyssa Nicole Cacho Gratil Kathleen Trinidad Guiang Princess Pauline Cervantes Habla Aries Joseph Armendi Hegina Ehcel Sañga Hurna Leonard Dangca Javier Kerwin Poblete Lim Ruth Genevieve Austria Lumibao John Vherlin Canlas Magday Jennah Yelle Manato Mallari Carlo Rey Resureccion Martinez Ronilo Raymundo Mesa Deonah Abigail Lugo Miole Romelyn Taip Monzon Noemi Faith Arnaldo Reyes Joanne Pauline Ramos Santos John Zeus Cabantog Taller Charlotte Porcioncula Velasco Kessel Gandol Villarey OFFICE 4th Floor Student Center Building, University of the Philippines Manila, Padre Faura St. corner Ma. Orosa St., Ermita, Manila 1000 EMAIL themanilacollegian@gmail.com WEBSITES issuu.com/manilacollegian www.facebook.com/themanilacollegian www.twitter.com/mkule

MEMBER

College Editors Guild of the Philippines

Solidaridad - UP Systemwide Alliance of Student Publications and Writers’ Organizations

The Cover

ang patuloy na pag-iral ng isang sistemang tangan ang pagiging komersyalisado, pasista at kolonyal. Mahihinuha na ang kolektibong pagsinsay sa nasabing bulok na sistema ang magiging unang hakbang sa pagkamit ng inaasam na reporma. Dapat maging masikhay din ang pagkilos upang patuloy na igiit sa estado na tuparin ang responsibilidad nito na bigyan ng sapat na badyet hindi lamang ang UP kung hindi ang lahat ng SUCs. Ang paglaban sa kamalian ay makatarungan. Sa patuloy na pakikibaka sa batayang karapatan ng mamamayan, walang ibang direksyon ang dapat tahakin kung hindi ang patuloy na pagsulong.

Illustration by Noemi Faith Arnaldo Reyes


OPINION 11

Volume 27 Number 1 Thursday | 20 June 2013

BLUE CHEESE

Emerge and Immerse*

John Vherlin Canlas Magday

E

DUCATION DOES NOT END WITH the pursuit of academic excellence.

This year is not much different from the preceding ones. Freshmen students pacing to and fro while searching for their respective classrooms, old students grumbling on their short-lived vacations, and professors acquainting themselves with the new roster of students they will handle. Indeed, everything will run smooth. However, a horrid reality thrives beneath the monotony of schooling. The dilapidated classrooms, the insufficiency of instructional materials, and the lack of teachers, especially in remote areas – these are just some of the glaring attestations to the subsistence of a decrepit educational system in the Philippines. Take the problems we face as students of tertiary education, for instance. Every year, we are haunted by the persistent problem of tuition and other fee increase. What makes it worse is that even state universities and colleges (SUCs), which should be accessible for every student, have been gradually commercialized. Simply put: schools which should be subsidized by the government are covertly abandoned, making education a privilege – even a luxury, rather than a right. Let us not go too far. The case of our beloved University of the Philippines (UP) can set an example. Despite being tagged as the premier state university, it seems that UP’s public character has diminished. The number of enrollees who come from the lower income classes decreases year

after year which is undeniably due to the huge cost needed to study in this university. Ergo, only those students who can afford the financial demands would enter UP – a disheartening and implacable reality. In addition, repressive policies also contribute to the diminishing public character of UP, most notably the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program

WE MAY BEAR THE PRESTIGE OF UP, BUT WE MUST ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT WE ARE STILL ONE WITH THE MASSES AND NOT ABOVE THEM.

(STFAP). Its guise as a determining tool in bracketing the students through their parents’ income tax return and other aspects is only but a scheme to further commercialize UP education as this mechanism is being utilized by the UP administration to raise the tuition fee in the university. Now a question arises: What do these problems have to do with our lives as students? First of all, we are the stakeholders in this educational system. We have the right to express our opinions regarding the actions taken by the government concerning the education sector. Also, along with this right is our responsibility to defend our right to education against any form of repression.

CONSTRUCTIVE DILEMMA Ruth Genevieve Austria Lumibao

Y

OU WAKE UP FULL OF HOPE. YOU compress yourself with other hurrying employees in an uncomfortable and sweaty jeepney ride. You climb up the towering stairs of the train station and your legs start to hurt but you keep on going. You squeeze yourself in a cabin where one inch of space can still barely make room for another passenger. You move along with the people as you gasp for air at the brush of fresh, rather heavily polluted, wind. Finally, you get out of the hellish train station and rush towards the crowded street of Pedro Gil. You walk around, ignoring all other things in the world while reciting the periodic table inside your head. You think you are prepared for school – for everything. But face it... you’re not. No one really is. The university offers us more than the best teachers, the greatest individuals you will ever meet, and the possibility of meeting your life partner. In fact, it offers us nothing but tests that will either mold us into better individuals or drive us mad into despair and isolation. But instead of giving up, you opt to stand, to strive, and to continue fighting. In my freshman year, I joined The Manila Collegian in the hope of pursuing what I always loved to do – writing. It turned out that it demanded more than skill. Later on, I found myself so grounded on the institution that my parents began to question me, “What’s in it for you?” But the truth is, I never thought about that. I just knew that good things would follow. And it did. After that, I juggled my academics with publication work and other extra-curricular activities. I even began to shoulder problems that were not my own –

simply for the love of it. I dared myself to go into a tragic circus of uncertainty until I found myself extremely exhausted, and intoxicated with every brand of energy drink that exists. Once you enter the university, you are back to square one. You work restlessly and unwaveringly for every honor that it gives you. You scramble through your notes and readings before an exam and find yourself frustrated when none of what you studied actually appeared in it. No, you were not ready.

WE MAY BE PREPARED, BUT WE WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT.

The university is not simply a school ground. It is not just a building full of classrooms. It is an institution grounded on the ideals of service and nationalism. We have been immersed to the realities of not only politics, but also the whole Philippine situation. It is the most inevitable consequence of being a student in the university. Your books will not serve you well – only your eyes and an open and critical mind will help you get through the real culture of the university. We joined rallies, we ran in the streets, we lived with farmers, and we even crossed rivers to visit a community. Some people (especially my parents) tell me that doing so is futile and worthless, that we should just study and stick our books to our noses until our eyes meet at the middle. But what is worthless is

Luisa A. Katigbak

We should all partake in the fight against despotic education measures in order to attain the revamp of our rotten educational system. Secondly, you were given a chance to take your spot in this vast microcosm that is the University of the Philippines. Thus, your identity will be marked with the honor and excellence of this institution. But that does not just end there. You may not be fully aware of it, but as you take the challenge of being a student of the University of the Philippines, you are carrying the title as an Iskolar ng Bayan. Hence, you are not just taking the prestige, but with it is the responsibility to join the bigger struggle of the people who pay for the subsidy of your education. As an Iskolar ng Bayan, we must heed the call of the Oblation. We may bear the prestige of UP, but we must always remember that we are still one with the masses and not above them. We may strive for honor and excellence, but we must also learn the struggles of the majority. And as we discover our genuine purpose of serving the people, we must never be passive – we must become active catalysts for social change. Because a true Iskolar ng Bayan must know how to emerge to be the best, but at the same time how to immerse and serve the people and the country. *As a UP student, this is the greatest challenge worth taking.

Penrose Illusion* not being able to find meaning and concrete realities from what you learn. An exam is just a sheet of paper – beyond that paper is what really defines an Iskolar ng Bayan. You have passed every single subject. You failed no exams. You set yourself in an ivory tower, feeling that you can face everything. You get a job interview, and you think you could nail it. But no, you are not ready. To tell you the truth, I am uncertain – uncertain of where I will go from here. This is my last year in the university (God forbid that I have to extend), and I feel like every aspiration that I had as a freshman has already dissipated – reduced to the barest minimum, which is to graduate. But I have not yet lost all hope – I just ceased to bite more than I can chew.

Forget Yesterday Whether if it is sheer luck or manifested fate that brought me all the way here in UP, I do not consider giving a damn anymore. I am here. And it is all that matters. It may seem preposterous to some but really, who would have thought that an unnoticeably plain high school student like me could pass the UPCAT? Save the fact that I might have fared well in class, I did not dare to delve on the thought of pursuing a college degree the moment I received my high school diploma. In a world like ours where we barely have anything to eat, I am mauled to live a life any parent would never have imagined for his child. Growing up in a fishing village situated at a coastal barangay in Samar, I have become well-accustomed to the fact that life indeed holds no promises. Contrary to the sprawling city life featured in TV shows, way of life in our barrio seems to not have come to terms with reality. Abject poverty is what you see the moment you open your eyes until the moment that you close them. Words cannot give justice on how suffering took its toll among the folks. I waved goodbye to the world I have known for seventeen years only to venture out on the realm of what-I-thought-was-impossible. With only a couple of bucks in my pocket and a strong will I wear directly on my sleeve, I braved my way towards a city and a future I have never laid eyes upon. *** In an attempt to console myself from the stress that I willingly inflicted to my system for the past couple of weeks, I decided to stroll my way through the crowded sidewalks of Padre Faura. Contrary to my classmates who have been itching to find their MacLaren’s Pub somewhere in Roxas Boulevard, I was more than grateful after finding, using Charlotte Bronte’s description in Wuthering Heights, “a perfect misanthropist heaven.” For bookworms of my kind, the Solidaridad bookshop, owned by none other than the National Artist for Literature, F. Sionil Jose, was my saving grace. Err, no. It was, until I bumped into someone who clumsily picked up a copy of Nabokov’s Lolita I was hesitating to buy. As always, I am not in the habit of making a scene in a public place like a bookshop. To hell with this nerd who immediately rushed to the counter to buy a book that I am fated and predestined to have, I would have lounge myself directly at him. Did I just say that? Look, I am not really into anything. I don’t know if it is just my raging hormones that are starting to kick in but I never get to admire geeks who wear braces coupled with drooping pair of eyeglasses, until now. As much as I want to scowl at him for having been able to grab a once-in-a-blue-moon hardbound copy of Lolita, I guess I have no other choice but to watch him gracefully storming his way out of the bookstore with a rare book in his backpack and with my heart in his pocket.

I have drunk more coffee than I can quantify, I have photocopied more readings than Alva can bind, and I have defied more rules than I can say I am sorry for. But behind all that, I do not regret a single thing that I have done. I may be uncertain, but being uncertain is different from being ready to face it. The past three years were supposed to equip us with adequate skills and understanding for this culmination of our time in the university. We may be prepared, but we will never know what to expect.

P.S.

You are not ready, but despite the fear of stumbling, you continue walking. You face every obstacle, either in a whim or with a wise decision. But all you tell yourself is: “No regrets.”

My editor told me that writing this column will render me vulnerable to the extent that I should remove the barriers that I’ve set to protect my fragility. Well, for this chance to share my story, I’m willing to pay the price.

*A geometrical illusion where the beginning and end are indeterminable.

There is no turning back.

I’ve been told that the two columnists before me were famous for their infamous runs, but I couldn’t be happier to write for The Manila Collegian, and as such, I never dreamed of analyzing why they chose me. I’ve been told to withhold my other affiliations in this column (if the suppression of ideologues translated into words on paper could be possible), so as not to color the motives of the publication. Some students see that as an excuse to tarnish the reputation of the publication.


DIBUHO NINA DANIEL JOHN GALINATO ESTEMBER AT ACE VINCENT PONSECA MOLO

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The Manila Collegian Volume 27 Issue 1  

The official student publication of the University of the Philippines Manila || Issue No. 1 | Volume 27| 12 pages Thursday, June 20, 2013 |...

The Manila Collegian Volume 27 Issue 1  

The official student publication of the University of the Philippines Manila || Issue No. 1 | Volume 27| 12 pages Thursday, June 20, 2013 |...