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UPLB PERSPECTIVE | Volume 41 Issue 1





UPLB PERSPECTIVE | Volume 41 Issue 1

UPLB PERSPECTIVE | Volume 41 Issue 1

Students remain unsatisfied with new tuition scheme


SONA 2014 ni P-Noy

Only 4% in UPLB gets free tuition

words | Guien Garma & Marise Madlangbayan

words | John Paul Omac

Despite the administration’s lauding for the fast and convenient application process of the newlyimplemented Socialized Tuition System (STS), students remain unsatisfied with the amount of subsidy they are currently receiving from the current tuition scheme. Data from the report of Dr. Richard Gonzalo, Director of the Socialized Tuition System office, reveal that out of the estimated 43,000 undergraduate students in the University of the Philippines, only 1,559 students or merely 4% will be availing full discount this year. This is even lower to the already bad figure of 6% of the students that availed full subsidy last academic year. In UPLB alone, only 488 students or 4 out of 100 are to receive free tuition this academic year. This is significantly lower to 783 students who had the same benefits last year. On the other hand, students paying 1,500 per unit surged to around 940 students, or almost a tenth of the 10,093 undergraduate students who applied for tuition discounts under the STS. Student Regent Neill John Macuha expressed his dismay over the said socialized system, saying that the current tuition scheme had just made UP education more inaccessible to the youth. “This inaccessibility therefore creates the illusion that most of the student population is rich, further justifying high costs of education,” he said. Restructured tuition scheme In early June of this year, students for the incoming school year were introduced to the new tuition scheme—the STS—which replaced the 24 year old Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP). This is after majority of the UP Board of Regents (BOR) approved the proposed reforms for a new socialized tuition scheme in its meeting last December 2013. The new tuition system, spearheaded by UP President Alfredo Pascual, boasts increase in stipends, increases in income cut-offs, automation of bracket assignments, and simplified application process as major reforms of the STFAP. “Recent reviews revealed weaknesses in the program [STFAP], e.g., long and tedious application process, mismatches between assigned brackets and actual financial capacity of students, and inadequate benefits for students at the lowest bracket”, as stated in Pascual’s Proposal presented last October. According to Pascual, work for the reforms has started as early as 2011. Last March 2013, STFAP received wide attention throughout the country—with debates to either reform or scrap—after a 16-yearold freshman in UP Manila, Kristel Tejada, allegedly took her life after failing to pay her tuition. Of the nine present regents in the meeting, only former Student Regent Krista Melgarejo and Staff Regent Anna Razel Ramirez chose not to vote in favor of the proposal. According to Melgarejo, she and fellow Regent Ramirez chose to abstain from voting because the motion was phrased in a way that they were just asked to choose between the current STFAP system or to go with the proposed reform.



First implemented back in 1989 and amended in 2007, STFAP has since received countless criticisms for its ineffectiveness as it is always linked to staggering tuition increases (750% increase in 1989 and 300% increase in 2007). Various groups claim that the socialized tuition fee mechanism defeats its supposed purpose “to democratize access and admission to [UP’s] academic programs while promoting fairness and social justice in the University.” New scheme? Same woes. Although the new system introduced reforms which are supposed to answer the problems of the previous tuition scheme, students on the other hand were quick to point out that it has no significant difference with the STFAP in terms of addressing the high cost of education. Outrage over the STS flooded the social media in late June following the release of the first batch of STS results. Most of the posts that trended carried the tag #BracketAKaNa stating their dismay with the mismatch of bracket assignments. Students remain unsatisfied... Page 5


Kabataan, mababa ang kamalayan sa ASEAN

words | Andrew Estacio

Binigyang puna ang sektor ng kabataan sa ASEAN Student Leaders Forum (ASLF), partikular na ang mga kabataang estudyante, dahil sa mababa nilang kaalaman hinggil sa mga programa at layunin ng Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Ayon kay UPLB University Student Council (USC) Chairperson Allen Lemuel Lemence, isa sa mga representante ng ating

Southern Tagalog youth join people’s call to oust Aquino Declared a victory by the Southern Tagalog youth, the HULAGPOS: Breaking the chains of impunity regional youth summit held in July 14-15 ended with a clash – of plates on Aquino’s face. It is in this event that the youth of Southern Tagalog heeded the call of the people to oust President Benigno Simeon Aquino III. The delegates mentioned violation of national sovereignty, failure to bring justice to the victims of various extrajudicial killings and other human right violations, increased militarization and violence; continuous budget cuts for education, health, housing, and other social services; and the glaring and systemic corruption. After the caucuses and resolutions created by the different student councils, campus publications, school and community organizations, the participants came up with the decision. Aquino has reportedly set his sights on reducing state subsidy for education to allegedly make them self-sufficient and financially independent, pushing educational institutions to create income-generating projects, e.g. tuition and other fees increases, privatization of certain operations and partnership with local and foreign investors. This year, 171 colleges and universities were approved by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to raise tuition, and collect development fees, which have been banned by CHED Resolution 221-2012. These development fees range from PHP 120 – 2,000. Meanwhile, 79 out of 110 state colleges and universities (SUCs) will suffer budget cuts for 2014, the largest of which is to be suffered by the University of the Philippines, with PHP 1.43B to be cut off its funding. “Four years ago, Aquino promised to be an alternative candidate –

WORDS | Paul Carson

one that is committed to secure genuine change the people have yet to get. However, the lies he said are enough. The youth has spoken; it has linked arms with the low-earning workers, oppressed peasants and other sectors to push for the removal not only of these schemes, but also the brains behind them,” said Jio Baldesimo, regional coordinator of Youth for Accountability and Transparency Now (Youth Act Now). Breaking free from the chains of neglect and impunity, the youth staged a Tacsiyapo – a symbolic show of unity against corruption and state abandonment of the youth. The 120-strong delegation from different provinces and sectors of the youth in the region smashed plates onto Aquino’s face and anti-people policies in his administration. “For so long, the youth has been smashed by these policies of the Aquino administration,” Baldesimo said. He mentioned the slow trial against the pork barrel scam masterminds, including Aquino himself, which has denied involvement of himself and his political allies in the largely controversial scam. He added the recently-signed Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which puts communities in peril of military terror brought by US and local troops. However, the throwing of plates does not only symbolize the anger of the youth against the Aquino regime, but also heralds intensifying mass actions against violation of national sovereignty, increased violence, systemic corruption, state abandonment and persistence of poverty under his administration. “We do not only give in to symbolisms and rhetoric, but to concrete and genuine mass actions to prove our seriousness with the youth’s call to oust this inutile president,” ended Baldesimo. [P]

pamantasan na dumalo sa ASLF, “Nakakabahala ito, dahil papasok na ang Pilipinas sa tinatawag na ASEAN Integration of 2015 kung saan layon na bumuo ng tatlong komunidad: Socio-Cultural Community, Economic Community, at Political Community.” Ang nasabing forum ay ginanap sa Universiti Brunei Darussalam noong Hunyo 24-27, 2014 na dinaluhan ng mga lider-estudyante na nagmula sa iba’t-ibang bansa na kasapi sa ASEAN. Kinatawan ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas sina Student Regent Neill John Macuha, UPD USC Chairperson Arjay Mercado, UPD USC Vice Chairperson John Paul Delas Nieves, at ang Punong Patnugot ng Philippine Collegian na si Mary Joy Capistrano. Dumalo rin sina UPB USC Chairperson Daryll Mutya at UPM USC Vice Chairperson John Tanchuco. Bukod sa mga kinatawan mula sa UP, kabilang ang mga student affairs directors, ay dumalo rin bilang bahagi ng delegasyon ng Pilipinas ang mga mag-aaral at kawani ng De La Salle University. Nilayon ng ASLF na talakayin at pagplanuhan ang pagkakaroon ng ASEAN unit, magkaroon ng plataporma ang mga liderestudyante sa ASEAN kung saan pag-uusapan ang kanilang mga karanasan sa konseho o unyon ng mga mag-aaral, at magkaroon ng kooperasyon ang mga liderestudyante na gumawa ng mga aksyon sa mga sumusunod: edukasyon at kamalayan sa ASEAN, mga isyung panlipunan at pangkapaligiran, at kooperasyon ng kabataan. Hikayat ni Lemence na “sa bahagi ng mga lider-estudyante ng UP, marapat na aralin ang mga polisiya ng ASEAN sapagkat dito rin nakailalim ang Academic Calendar Shift at iba pang patakaran patungkol sa ating Unibersidad.” Upang mapataas ang kamalayan hinggil sa ASEAN, naging plano ng mga delegado ng Pilipinas ang magsatupad ng mga lokal na buildup. Magsasagawa ng programa sa Pilipinas na kahawig ng ASLF, ang Philippine Student Leaders Forum (PSLF) na dadaluhan ng mga delegado mula sa iba’t-ibang unibersidad at kolehiyo sa bansa. Ito ay gaganapin sa Hulyo 2015. “Maganda na nagpapalakas tayo ng relasyon sa iba’t ibang bansa para sa ikauunlad ng ating mundo,” ayon kay Lemence. Dinagdag din niya na “kung tayo ay makikitungo sa ibang bansa sa layunin na magpapalitan ng mga magagandang practices at knowledge, dapat [din munang palakasin] ang ating bansa sa aspeto ng ekonomiya, edukasyon, pulitika, at kultura.” [P]

Isang emosyonal na Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III ang humarap sa mga miyembro ng Senado at Kamara de Representantes, diplomats, at sa taumbayan sa kanyang 2014 State of the Nation Address (SONA) noong Hulyo 28. Sa mga huling bahagi ng kanyang talumpati, nanginig ang boses ng pangunahing lider ng bansang Pilipinas. “Mga boss, binigyan ninyo ako ng pagkakataong pamunuan ang transpormasyon. Kung hinindian ko ang hamon na iniharap niyo sa akin, para ko na ring sinabi na tutulong akong pahabain ang inyong pagdurusa, at hindi maaatim ng konsensya ko iyon. Kung tinalikuran ko ang pagkakataon, parang tinalikuran ko na rin ang aking ama’t ina, at ang lahat ng inialay nila para sa atin; hindi po mangyayari iyon,” sambit ng Pangulo. Dagdag niya, “Sa paghakbang sa tuwid na daan, pinili ninyo ang mabuti at ang tama; tumotoo kayo sa akin—at ako naman po ay tumototoo sa inyo.” Inantabayanan ng marami ang nasabing ulat sa bayan ng Pangulo dahil sa sunod-sunod na kontrobersiya na bumalot sa ating bansa, mula sa pagkakadiskubre ng pork barrel scam, hanggang sa pagkakadeklarang labag sa Konstitusyon ang Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) at ilang mga aksyon kaugnay ng Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) na ilan sa mga pangunahing dahilan ng paghahain ng impeachment laban sa kanya. Bilang ito na ang pangalawa sa huli niyang SONA, nagpahiwatig na ang Pangulong Aquino ukol sa halalang nasyonal na magaganap sa taong 2016. “Tandaan lang po natin, ito ang aking ikalimang SONA; isa na lamang ang natitira. Sa 2016, pipili kayo ng bagong pinuno ng ating bayan. Ang sa akin lang po, para ipagpatuloy at mas mapabilis pa ang pagbabagong tinatamasa na ng ating lipunan, iisa lang ang batayan sa pagpili ng papalit sa akin: Sino ang wala ni katiting na dudang magpapatuloy sa transpormasyong ating isinakatuparan?” ani ng Pangulo. May iginiit rin ang Pangulo na may kaugnayan sa isa sa mga pinaka-hindi malilimutang kataga ng kanyang amang si Benigno S. “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. Aniya, “Hangga’t buo ang ating pananalig at tiwala, at hangga’t nagsisilbi tayong lakas ng isa’t isa, patuloy nating mapapatunayan na, ‘the Filipino is worth dying for,’

‘the Filipino is worth living for,’ at idadagdag ko naman po: ‘The Filipino is definitely worth fighting for.’”

------------------------------------------------May TESDA, pero walang tertiary education

Sa unang bahagi ng kanyang ulat sa bayan, ipinagmalaki ng Pangulong Aquino na 223,615 na mga estudyante ang nakinabang sa Training-for-Work scholarship program ng Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA). 66% ng mga ito, ayon sa Pangulo, ay may trabaho na. “Tingnan po ninyo: Lahat po ng mga TESDA scholar, nakalista ang pangalan at iba pang datos, na puwede ninyong kumpirmahin,” dagdag ng Pangulo. Binanggit rin ng Pangulo na nakatulong ang Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), ang economic stimulus program na itinatag ni Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad na idineklara nang unconstitutional ng Korte Suprema. “Sa Trainingfor-Work Scholarship Program, nag-ambag ang DAP ng 1.6 billion pesos,” ani Aquino. Hinalimbawa rin ang Pangulo ang benepisyo ng Alternative Learning System (ALS) ng Kagawaran ng Edukasyon (DepEd). Ngunit sa kabila ng ulat ng Pangulo ukol sa TESDA, halos walang nabanggit ang Pangulo ukol sa lagay ng basic at tertiary education, maliban sa saglit na pagkakabanggit sa bagong K-12 curriculum.

------------------------------------------------Mga programa para sa mahihirap

Namumuhunan po tayo sa pinakamahalagang yaman ng bansa: ang taumbayan,” sabi ng Pangulo nang kanyang talakayin ang mga programang para sa mga mahihirap. Iniulat ng Pangulong Aquino na naglaan ang pamahalaan ng P12.3 bilyon sa conditional cash transfer (CCT) program. Dagdag niya, bumaba na ang poverty incidence sa bansa; naging 24.9% ito sa unang semestre ng taong 2013 mula sa 27.9% noong kaparehong panahon noong taong 2012. “Ngayong nadagdagan ang kakayahan natin, sinisikap nating hindi na manumbalik sa ilalim ng poverty line ang lahat ng nakaalpas na,” giit ni Aquino.

------------------------------------------------Transportasyon, imprastraktura, PPP

Sa larangan ng air transportation, iniulat ng Pangulong Aquino na


inalis na ng International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) “ang significant safety concerns” sa ating bansa. Ibinalik na rin sa Category 1 ng US Federal Aviation Administration ang Pilipinas. Pinayagan na rin ng European Union ang Philippine Airlines na lumipad patungong Europa. “Dumarating sa atin ang mga ulat na sa dami ng gustong bumisitang negosyante at turista sa ating bansa, dumarating ang mga panahong kulang na ang mga biyahe papunta rito,” dagdag ni Aquino. Pagdating naman sa mga kalsada, giit ng Pangulo na nasa 12,184 kilometro ng mga national roads ang nagawa, naayos, at napalawak. Ito, aniya, ay katumbas “ng apat na kalsadang nag-uugnay sa Laoag hanggang Zamboanga City.” Binanggit rin ng Pangulo ang pagpapatayo ng Aluling Bridge, Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, Ternate-Nasugbu Road, Basilan Circumferential Road, Laoag City Bypass Road, Cebu Bus Rapid Transit, at mga extension sa Light Rail Transit (LRT). Iniulat rin ni Aquino ang planong Kaliwa Dam. Sa panig ng public-private partnership (PPP), nag-apruba ang pamahalaan ng pitong PPP projects na sa pangkalahatan ay nagkakahalaga ng P62.6 bilyon. Kabilang sa mga PPP na ito ang NAIA Expressway, Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, at ang MactanCebu International Airport.

------------------------------------------------Laguna megadike expressway, ‘solusyon’

Iprinisenta rin ng Pangulong Aquino ang planong Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike, na inaasahang gugulong ang bidding process bago matapos ang taong ito. Ayon kay Aquino, ang expressway dike na ito ay magmumula sa bayan ng Los Baños, Laguna patungong lungsod ng Taguig. Ayon sa Pangulo, mababawasan ang baha, malilinis ang tubig ng Laguna de Bay, at mababawasan ang trapik dahil sa naturang expressway.

------------------------------------------------May pondo para sa ‘modernisasyon’ ng pambansang seguridad

Iniulat rin ni Pangulong Aquino ang patuloy na modernisasyon ng Sandatahang Lakas. “Nakuha na natin ang brand new na walong Sokol Combat Utility Helicopters, tatlong Agusta Westland-109 helicopters, at ang kauna-unahang landing craft utility ship na ginawa dito mismo sa ating bansa, ang BRP Tagbanua,” ani Aquino. Bukod pa riyan, itutuloy rin daw ng administrasyon ang pagbili ng karagdagang mga helicopter, aircraft, at mga radar. Sinabi rin ng Pangulo na may mga bagong M4 assault rifles na maaaring gamitin ang mga sundalo. Aniya, nakatipid ang pamahalaan ng P1.2 bilyon sa pagbili ng mga M4 “dahil sa maayos na proseso ng procurement at tapat na pangangasiwa sa pondo.” Sa kanyang pagtalakay sa pambansang seguridad, nabanggit niya ang kaso ng mga substandard na Kevlar helmets na binili mula sa kumpanya ng tinaguriang pork barrel scam queen na si Janet Lim-Napoles. “Di po ba noong araw: naubos na nga ang pondo, hindi pa alinsunod sa ispesipikasyong kailangan natin, tulad po ng biniling Kevlar Helmets. Sabi po ng ispesipikasyon, dapat sa U.S. Pero noong ibinili, sa ibang bansa. May na-convict na po dahil dito. Pati ang isang hukom na diumano’y sangkot dito, natapos na Ang Ulat sa Bayan... Page 4

UPLB’S Neill Macuha is New SR

words | Miguel Carlos Lazarte

SR Macuha with CEM Dean Dr. Isabelita Pabuayon and Secretary Prof. Amelia Bello during a courtesy call. PHOTO | CEM-DO UPLB

UPLB student Neill John Macuha has been elected as the 32nd UP student regent, replacing former SR Krista Melgarejo. Macuha was elected during the 38th General Assembly of Student Councils (GASC) held in UP Visayas Tacloban College on May 28 this year. UP Manila nominee Patricia Villa and UP Diliman nominee Allyna Haneefa Macapado are chosen as 2nd and 3rd SR-select respectively. The student regent is the sole student representative in the UP Board of Regents (BOR), the highest governing and policy making body in the UP System. He assumes the representation of the student body and caters the initiative of campaigns, statements, and reports concerning the studentry. Macuha graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Economics degree at UP Los Baños. He is currently taking up his Master of Science degree in Economics, also in UPLB. He is also a member of Sigma Rho Fraternity and UPLB Economics Society. Aside from University organizations, he is also a member of the Southern Tagalog chapters of Kabataan Partylist and Makabayan bloc; he was also the former deputy secretary general of Anakbayan Southern Tagalog. SR Macuha’s plan of action includes the maximization of student councils and regular consultations on all UP units. Furthermore, he aims to conduct system-wide activities to uplift student organizations’ role in pursuing a national, mass-oriented, and scientific education. “The key is to know the studentry—their struggles, their concerns,” he tells [P]. Mainly, Macuha seeks to unite the students’ struggle and the struggle of the people with various means of discussions that would lead to education and mobilization of students in pursuing the people’s democratic rights. He informs [P] that he plans to conduct a Luzon-wide student congress, which will be open to everyone. With this, he calls for the support of the students in the campaigns and activities of the Office of the Student Regent (OSR). “As the laws of Physics may have said, force is equal to mass times acceleration,” Macuha states, “the mass in this equation is our unity and the acceleration is our aspirations for achieving genuine social change.” [P]



UPLB PERSPECTIVE | Volume 41 Issue 1 Ang Ulat sa Bayan...cont. ang imbestigasyong inutos ng Korte Suprema, at hinihintay natin ang kanilang pasya,” anang Pangulo. Sa kabila nito, walang nabanggit ang Pangulo sa bangayang teritoryal sa pagitan ng Pilipinas at iba pang mga bansa sa West Philippine Sea.

ating makakaya, isusulong natin makatwiran, makatarungan, at katanggap-tanggap sa lahat,” sambit ni Aquino. Dagdag ng Pangulo, kung masusunod ang timeline para sa pagkakaron ng bagong rehiyong Bangsamoro, magkakaroon ng isa’t kalahating taon ang Bangsamoro Transition Authority upang ipatupad ang mga kinakailangan.

------------------------------------------------Disaster response ------------------------------------------------“hindi nagpatumpikThink tank: tumpik” Nagmalabis sa Sa kabila ng mga protesta ng ilang mga nasalanta ng bagyong katotohanan ang SONA Yolanda, sinabi ng Pangulong Aquino sa kanyang ulat na naging mabilis ang aksyon ng pamahalaan, tulad ng kaagad na muling pagbubukas ng Leyte Water District, paglilinis sa mga kalsada at ang pagpapamahagi ng mga relief packs sa mga nasalanta noong Nobyembre 22 ng nakaraang taon. “Kumbaga nga po sa Emergency Room, ibinuhos ng estado ang lahat ng kanyang kapangyarihan upang agad na mai-stabilize ang pasyente,” anang Pangulo. Ipinagmalaki rin ni Aquino na sa loob lamang ng walong buwan matapos ang pananalasa ng bagyo, ayon sa United Nations, nasa estado na ng rehabilitasyon ang mga naapektuhang lugar, hindi tulad sa taong inabot ng Indonesia, Haiti, at Amerika matapos ang tsunami, lindol, at bagyo na tumama sa mga naturang lugar.

------------------------------------------------PNoy: Patuloy sa repormang agrikultura, ngunit walang binanggit ukol sa kontrobersiya ng Hacienda Luisita

Ipinangako ng Pangulong Aquino sa kanyang SONA na matatapos na ang cadastral survey ng buong Pilipinas, na sinimulan noon pang 1913. Pagdating naman sa Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, sinabi ng Pangulo na “Ngayong taon, ihahain din nating muli sa Kongreso ang panukalang batas para i-extend ang paghahain ng Notice of Coverage, na hindi agad natapos nang husto dahil nga sa mga problemang kinailangan muna nating solusyunan.” Walang binanggit si Pangulong Aquino ukol sa mga paunang ulat na ginamit ang labag sa Saligang Batas na DAP bilang kompensasyon sa mga may-ari ng Hacienda Luisita. Iniulat rin ni Aquino na nakapagpamigay ang kanyang administrasyon ng “4,628 production machineries, 11,362 post-production machineries, at 105 rice mills.” Binanggit rin ng Pangulo na patuloy ang paguudyok ng pamahalaan sa mga kabataan na magsaka at maging kabahagi ng pagpapalayan. Pinagbantaan rin ng punong ehekutibo ang mga rice smuggler at ang mga nang-iipit ng suplay ng bigas sa ating bansa: “Kumikilos kayo kontra sa mga Pilipino; kami naman, isinusulong ang interes ng bawat Pilipino. Tingnan natin kung sino ang mananalo.”

------------------------------------------------Bangsamoro, pinapanday pa rin

Samantala, nagbigay-paumanhin ang Pangulong Aquino sa pagkakaantala ng pagpapadala ng Bangsamoro Basic Law sa Kongreso, na kasalukuyan pang “pinapanday.” “Mahalaga pong maging masusi ang paghimay natin ng bawat probisyong ilalatag. Sa abot ng



Sa kabila ng mga estadistika at mga ulat ng pag-asenso na iprinisenta sa ulat sa bayan ni Pangulong Aquino, naniniwala ang independiyenteng think tank na IBON Foundation na ang huling SONA ng Pangulo ay ginawa upang itago ang bumababang kredibilidad ng administrasyong Aquino. Ayon sa isang artikulo sa website ng IBON, “The president’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) appears to have been designed to arrest the administration’s declining credibility rather than present the real state of the country and how the government can use its vast powers to improve the poor economic conditions of the majority.” Ayon sa naturang think tank, ipinakita lamang ng ulat ni Aquino na umaasa ang administrasyon sa mga panandaliang solusyon sa pagpapa-unlad ng ekonomiya ng bansa. Dagdag ng IBON, hindi rin pinagtuunan ng pansin ng Pangulo ang pagpalya ng repormang agraryo sa Pilipinas dahil siyam sa 10 mga magsasakang dapat ay nakikinabang sa repormang agraryo ay hindi pa rin pagmamayari ang kanilang lupang sinasaka. Pinuna rin ng IBON ang tila pagmamalabis sa interpretasyon ng mga datos ukol sa pagbaba ng kahirapan at kawalan ng trabaho. Anila, “Incomplete data for employment and poverty were used to give the impression of a turnaround in the conditions of the majority. However these used low standards including glossing over the deterioration in the quality of work and estimating inhumanly low poverty lines.”

------------------------------------------------SR Macuha sa SONA ni PNoy: Singko

Kung si UP Student Regent Neill John Macuha ang masusunod, bibigyan niya ng singko si Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III sa kanyang ikalimang State of the Nation Address. Sa panayam sa kanya ng UPLB Perspective sa pamamagitan ng telepono, sinabi niya na ang ulat sa bayan ng Pangulo ay isang intellectual dishonesty. “Purong kasinungalingan ang binanggit ng ating Pangulo sa kanyang SONA,” giit ni Macuha. “Napakarami talaga ng mga kasinungalingan at mga panlalaro sa salita,” dagdag pa nito. Ipinunto ng Student Regent na pinasinungalingan ng People Surge, isang grupo ng mga nasalanta ng bagyong Yolanda, ang ulat ng Pangulo na mabilis ang pagresponse ng pamalahaan matapos ang bagyo, at ang lumabas na ulat sa isang pahayagan na kung saan pinasinungalingan din ng ilang mga residente ng lungsod ng Zamboanga ang pagkakaroon ng maayos nang relocation sites para sa mga nadamay sa kaguluhan roon. Pagdating sa pagmamalaki ng Pangulo sa mga naging produkto ng Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) ngunit tila’y paglimot nito sa

UPLB PERSPECTIVE | Volume 41 Issue 1

tertiary education, lalo na sa mga pamantasan at kolehiyong pampamahalaan, sinabi ng student regent na “Malinaw na maging kay President Aquino, wala siyang malinaw na plano kung paano ba talaga pauunlarin ang mga state universities and colleges.” Dagdag ni Macuha, patuloy pa rin ang pag-aabandona ng estado sa responsibilidad nito sa mga SUCs, katulad na lamang ng hindi pagbibigay ng buong badyet na kinakailangan ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas. “Nagvi-veer away siya; dapat ang mga mamamayan niya ay mga edukado,” aniya. Nilinaw ni Macuha na sa tingin niya ay maganda naman ang mga programa ng TESDA. Ngunit iginiit niya na ang TESDA ay “geared… towards serving the foreign market. Ito ang mas binibigyang-pansin ni President Aquino kaysa sa state universities and colleges.” Hindi rin boto ang Student Regent sa negatibong pagtingin ng Pangulong Aquino sa kanyang mga kritiko. “Imbes na i-acknowledge niya ang kanyang mga kritiko, na ito ay [may batayan] naman talaga at prinsipyado ang mga sinasabi sa Pangulo kung ano ang mga maling nakikita nila – na ito ay bahagi ng ating demokrasya – para bang sinasabi pa ng Pangulong Aquino na… tayong mga kritiko niya ay mga kaaway ng estado, kaaway ng mamamayan,” ani Macuha. Dagdag niya, “Ano ang pinagkaiba niya sa isang diktador?” Naninindigan rin si Macuha na karapat-dapat na ma-impeach si Aquino. “So far, ngayon, nawawalan na ako ng pag-asa sa kanya,” aniya. “In four years na siya ay naging Pangulo, outright, he betrayed us, ang mga boto na ibinigay sa kanya at ang pangalan ng kanyang mga magulang,” dagdag ng Student Regent. Nang tanungin kung ano ang gusto niyang mangyari sa huling dalawang taon ng administrasyong Aquino, sinabi ni Macuha na patuloy pa rin ang kanyang pagtindig sa pagtanggal sa lahat ng uri ng pork barrel, tulad ng lump-sum funds. Nananawagan pa rin si Macuha na kailangang “i-prioritize ng ating Pangulo ang mga pro-people reforms,” tulad ng pagtaas sa sahod ng mga manggagawa, genuine agrarian reform, at pagbibigay ng sapat na badyet sa edukasyon.

------------------------------------------------Panig ng mga konseho, partido sa UPLB

Bago pa man ang ikalimang SONA ni Pangulong Aquino, ipinahayag na ng UPLB University Student Council sa kanilang Facebook page ang mga usaping nais nilang talakayin ng pangulo sa kanyang SONA. Kabilang dito ang reporma sa lupa makalipas ang CARPER, ang pagkakaroon ng sapat at nakabubuhay na sahod at mga trabaho para sa mga manggagawa, ang Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement at iba pang polisiya patungkol sa relasyong panlabas, ang pagkakaroon ng sapat na badyet at aksesibilidad sa dekalidad na edukasyon, ang pagkamit ng abotkayang serbisyong pangkalusugan, ang pagkakaroon ng disenteng pabahay para sa mga maralita, ang pagkamit ng pakapantaypantay na walang panghuhusga, ang pagtugon ng gobyerno sa iba’t ibang mga sakuna, ang pagpasa ng mga makabayan at nararapat na

mga batas, ang nakapagsasariling ekonomiya na hindi nakaasa sa dayuhang kapital at produkto, ang kapayapaan at pagkamit ng katarungan para sa mga biktima ng paglabag sa mga karapatang pantao, at higit sa lahat, ang napakainit na usapin sa tamang paggamit ng kaban ng bayan at pagpapabasura sa lahat tipo ng pork barrel. Gaya ng UPLB USC, nagbigay rin ang partido pulitikal na BUKLOD-UPLB ng kanilang opisyal na pahayag tungkol sa noo’y gaganapin pa lamang na SONA. Nakasaad sa kanilang pahayag ang mga nais nilang pagtuunan ng pansin ng pangulo sa kanyang SONA at ang ilan sa mga mahahalagang pangyayari noong nakalipas na taon sa kanyang pamamahala. Kabilang dito ang kontrobersyal na PDAF at DAP, ang katapusan ng CARPER, ang pagresponse ng pamahalaan sa mga nasalanta ng bagyong Yolanda noong nakaraang taon, at ang estado ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas sa taong 2014. Sa konklusyon ng kanilang opisyal na pahayag, ipinahayag ng BUKLOD-UPLB ang kanilang kagustuhang magkaroon ng isang gobyernong para sa Pilipino – isang gobyernong may integridad at bukas, tumutupad sa kanyang mandato at mga pangako sa mga mamamayan, at ipinaglalaban ang dekalidad, napapanahon, at abot-kayang na edukasyon. Samantala, ang MOVE U.P. ay nagsagawa ng live updates sa kanilang Facebook at Twitter account. Ang College of Arts and Sciences Student Council naman ay nanghikayat sa mga mag-aaral na makinig ng mabuti at maging kritikal na manonood. Ang College of Human Ecology Student Council naman ay nagsagawa ng isang survey upang malaman kung ang mga mag-aaral ay natuwa, nagalit, o “no comment” sa naging SONA ng Pangulo. Nag-udyok ang partido pulitikal na Samahan ng Kabataan Para sa Bayan (SAKBAYAN), kasama ang iba pang mga grupo sa pamantasan, na sumama sa SONA ng Bayan, ang kontra-SONA ng mga progresibo at militanteng grupo na isinagawa sa Commonwealth Avenue sa Lungsod Quezon. Bago nito, isinagawa ang Daluyong: Tunay na SONA, kung saan nagsagawa ng iba’t ibang pagkilos ang mga militante mula sa rehiyon ng Timog Katagalugan noong Hulyo 26-28. [P]


Belano is new SOAD head words | Abraham Tabing

Student Organizations and Activities Division (SOAD), under the Office of Student Affairs (OSA), finds a new leadership under Prof. Zoilo Belano. Belano is a graduate of BA Asian Studies major in Political Science at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He is also a Masters degree (MS) holder in International Studies major in Peace and Conflict Resolution in University of Queensland. He has had experience in the field of student organizations. He has been active as a student leader during his college years, and as an adviser to a fraternity. Before becoming a professor at UPLB, Belano was a professor and an administrative officer at the Mapua Institute of Technology. As for the selection process, Belano said he was not privy to any information regarding the procedure, as well as the identities of any other candidates for the position.

In an interview, he said that he was asked to come for an interview with OSA Director Leticia Afuang, after which he was told that he will head the division, and was asked to submit necessary documents as requirements. When asked for his plans for his term as the new SOAD head, he said that he will continue what was started by the previous term, under the headship of Mark Lester Chico, specifically OrgsUP, the online system used for organization recognition in the university, and improve the existing policies for the benefit of the student body. Meanwhile, when asked about the issues of org recognition, Belano said he is still studying the issues and therefore cannot fully release a stand on 3-day process, submission of financial reports and others, the requirement that 80% of the residents should be in Good Academic Standing and that there should be a presence of an administrative personnel during an organization’s final initiation rights. Still, Belano assured that SOAD is open for student consultations and dialogues regarding concerns and issues. “It is a call for SOAD - OSA, and of course the student leaders, and the students also, to really work hard on what is the best interest of the students. Our ultimate goal is the best interest of the students,” Belano said. [P]


7 out of 10 farmers remain landless


The Philippine government has failed to distribute 41M hectares of land despite the third deadline set for the complete distribution. The Department of Agriculture (DA) designated June 30, 2014 as the last day for issuance of Notices of Coverage (NOC), which places parcels of land under the mandate of the government’s agrarian reform program. The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) or Republic Act 6657 was passed into law in 1988 by former Pres. Corazon Aquino as one of her administration’s flagship programs for legislative social justice. Having not completed the land distribution since its passing into law, it was further extended through Republic Act 9700, more popularly known as CARP Extension with Reforms (CARPER). CARPER, expired last June 30, 2014 and the House of Representatives has not yet passed a bill seeking for the extension of the land distribution deadline. Nestor Villanueva of KASAMATimog Katagalugan, a regional federation of peasant organizations in the Southern Tagalog Region which was established in 1985, however, emphasized that they never had high hopes for CARPER. KASAMA-TK, Kilusan ng mga Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and other progressive peasant organizations stand firmly against the implementation of CARPER. Villanueva added that in lieu of CARPER, the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) or House Bill 252 should be passed into law for comprehensive land distribution. GARB aims to seek free land distribution to millions of Filipino farmers. GARB vs CARP Villanueva of KASAMA-TK stated that in the Southern Tagalog region alone, seven out of ten farmers remain landless. On the

other hand, large stretches of land monopolized lands in Region IV such as Hacienda Looc in Batangas, Hacienda Yulo in Laguna, Hacienda Reyes in Quezon, Lupang Ramos in Cavite, Saulog estate in Mindoro, Yulo King ranch and Pujalte Estate in Palawan remain undistributed. “’Pag dating sa reporma sa lupa, ano pa nga ba ang maaasahan natin sa isang hacienderong pangulo? Kaya kung maipapatupad man ng maayos ang pamamahagi ng lupa, kailangan munang patalsikin si Noynoy,” Villanueva said. “When it comes to land reform, what can we expect from a President who is a landowner himself? So if we want to have our lands distributed, Noynoy needs to be impeached.” [P]

Students remain unsatisfied... cont. The administration, on the other hand, claims that the new scheme produced more beneficiaries than the former STFAP due to the swift and convenient online application process. Throughout the UP system, around 38,000 students applied for tuition discounts, compared to last year’s estimated 16,000 students when STFAP is still being implemented. The STS, however, compared to the STFAP, was required for the students. Moreover, current data shows that almost 6,710 students as of mid-July have filed appeals for rebracketting after they have been assigned to a higher bracket. This is equivalent to almost 16% of the applicants. SR Macuha holds that STS maintains the income generation scheme, that it is disguised as a way to help students when in fact it unjustly collects money from them, despite the role of the state to make tertiary education accessible and ensure UP as a national university. “In fact, even the administration admits they are forced to implement STS because of state abandonment.” Macuha said. Even former Student Regent Melgarejo, who was part of the Board when the reforms were deliberated and approved, already saw its flaws even before its approval. According to her, the main problem lies in the inherent defect of a socialized tuition scheme. “Having students pay for their tuition based on their perceived capacity to pay reflects a skewed logic, subjecting UP education to the whims of market forces, and treating UP as a private enterprise rather than a public service institution.” Melgarejo said. Melgarejo also stated that such tuition scheme “puts UP’s supposed public character in question” since current tuition rates are greater than the rates charged by some private institutions, which in turn puts UP education in prices beyond what the masses could afford. “The MORES 1SEC, for instance, does not actually reflect the situation of one’s household but rather only survey sources of income instead of discerning whether they actually suffice for the family’s expenditure. “ Melgarejo said. “Students are actually classified to check how much payment can be squeezed from them; and not for the administration to find out

which students deserve lower tuition”, she added. Previously, UP uses four indicators for the STFAP to assign brackets to students: (1) applicant’s desired bracket, (2) declared household income, (3) predicted income, and (4) special indicators. These indicators, primarily the predicted income and special indicators, make use of the data disclosed in the 14-page STFAP form. In the STS, however, the previous four indicators have been reduced to two. STS has dropped the special indicators and desired bracket and replaced the predicted income with one based from MORES socioeconomic classification (MORES 1SEC) instrument which features a ‘reduced number of data inputs’. This leaves the declared household income and MORES 1SEC the remaining indicators. The higher of the two will be accounted to determine the applicant’s bracket. Data from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for the year 2012-2013 showed that the national tuition rate average for educational institutions—including private institutions—is currently pegged at P475.47 per unit. UP’s default bracket is currently pegged at P 1,000 per unit—more than double the national average. “UP education is becoming more inaccessible to poor students. UPB is more expensive than St. Louis University (800Php/unit). UPLB is more expensive than De La Salle Dasmariñas. UP Mindanao is second most expensive in Southern Mindanao, next to Ateneo de Davao. UP default bracket is more expensive than UST. Support from administration is minimal to zero.” Macuha added. Flat-rate and affordable, not socialized Instead of a socialized tuition scheme, Macuha calls for a flatrate, low tuition scheme to ensure that poor but qualified students will be admitted to the University. He argued that a socialized tuition scheme operates on a singular and fundamental suspicion of students, seeking to expose those who do not seem to be paying enough for their tuition. Meanwhile, CHED has revealed that they have been studying the possibility of institutionalizing socialized tuition mechanisms similar to UP’s STFAP in other state university and colleges (SUCs) since early 2013. [P]

DPWH illegally cuts trees from Makiling Forest Reserve


The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was under fire for cutting down around 30 Kapok and young Mahogany trees. The grounds were cutting trees without a Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) permit, which should be necessary for the road-widening project. The cut-down trees belonged to the Makiling Forest Reserve buffer area under the care of the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems (MCME), an institution from the College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR). EO 23 vs PD 923 Five months have passed since a concerned citizen from Los Banos, Laguna uploaded a video of trees being cut down which sparked online clamor among netizens and the UPLB community. This shed light to the

allegedly illegal cutting down of trees. Environmental advocates claim that DPWH is mandated by the Exec Order 23 or Total Log Ban to present a DENR-issued permit to be able to cut down trees from any government-owned property. On the other hand, according to DPWH, Presidential Decree 923 only requires them an endorsement from a local official to proceed with the cutting down of trees. The DPWH was able to secure an endorsement from Brgy Captain Jun Reyes of Brgy. Timugan, Los Banos. Legal experts, however, argue that Executive Order 23 trumps the Presidential Decree. Isidro Mercado, head of DENRLaguna stated in an interview that the DPWH, had in fact, requested for clearance to cut the trees last February 2014. The tree-cutting took place before the approval of the permit, which puts DPWH in a bad light.

To avoid further confusions, CFNR and MCME initiated the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement with the stakeholders of the Makiling Ecological Road road-widening project last July 30, 2014. DECEASED KAPOK TREES According to the findings of the tree expert contracted for the project, the Kapok trees were already dying due to old age. Darla Lopez, chairperson of the CFNR Student Council, said that though aging, we cannot dismiss the fact that these trees are still able to sequester carbon and prevent soil erosions. The CFNR Student Council stands firmly against the cutting down of trees. Lopez says that this

DPWH illegally cuts... Page 11



UPLB PERSPECTIVE | Volume 41 Issue 1

Welcome to the Internet!

You are HACKED!

A perfect example for the perfect noob. But, what does it really words | AnON GRAPHICS | TRISTAN AGUSTIN tell us? What lies beyond the internet’s depths? layout | tristan agustin & trista gile Began as a military tool, the internet worked then like a simple telephone, with a fax, with a cam, and probably with lolis, etc etc—transferring sensitive files and military commands. The rise of the internet coincided with a rise of another culture; a rather novel kind of culture. A culture of randomness comprised with anonymous citizens that are sometimes not racist and mostly are, as they all worship the same god—cats. The internet provides a humongous venue for everyone to interact with one another. Facebook is one way if one wants to look at other people’s names. Twitter is another if one is addicted to this: ‘#’; or if one is ridiculously largely left behind. Instagram too if one wants to fap to their crushes; or if one thinks everything s/he sees are cool and awesome including his/her face. These are some of the social networking sites one is most likely to be in. And this. This is just the face of the internet. News sites are another with the comments section where opinionated people, debate addicts, and baiters, dwell. Youtube and Vines, of course, the ‘penis and vagina of the internet’ where most internet celebrities are born as they continually reproduce. 9gag, the conservative internet. This kind of activism, hacktivism, brings several forms that help Omegle and Simsimi, if one has the sickness known as ‘potato couch’ and to continue fighting the culture of apathy residing in a larger room cannot recover even for a second. Dating sites. Bitcoins sites, because why inside the internet: not! Porn sites, where no video has actually been completely streamed. 1. Political Websites. The best example would be Wikileaks. Fandom sites, because saranghae? Piratebay and Mediafire, because most Wikileaks, for those who do not know, is a website that seeks to people actually hate capitalism though they deny it. Forum sites, where keep governments open. It contains sensitive files governments try one would realize no one really needs to go to college. Google, because to keep from the public. no one is ignorant. Sites specifically designed for something since some people in the internet are actual persons. 2. DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service attacks. A thread starter will post a tutorial on how to DDoS a certain website with link of a downloadable software that can auto-visit a certain site. You do And, of course, 4chan, the mother of memes and the Anonymous. know that sites visited by way too many people do crash, right? Completed, all of that is the internet. As these bring bunch of That’s how we bring down PNoy’s website. information that draft everyone’s everyday lives, they also carry these things that certain people cannot comprehend: 3. Website Mirroring. This is essentially one of the techniques used for Wikileaks. It is used as a circumvention tool to bypass 1. Cyberbullying is nothing; but, bullying is a no-no. And censorship blocks on websites; as its contents will be copied to there are cases of bullying in the internet. another uncensored site. 2. You must never be ignorant. Use google for the hell it is. 4. Anonymous Blogging. Of course! To avoid libel---and Except when it comes to programming. Programmers are being killed. Usually having contents about human rights issues, high. government oppression, etc. 3. You are never the most intelligent person alive. Because 5. Occupy. Remember Occupy Wall Street? Or maybe, remember Einstein, the encyclopedia man [?], and me is still alive. just a million Guy Fawkes rallying in the major cities of the world? 4. R E S P E C T 5. Intellectual discussion is a thing but so is the popcorn. 6. There are more righteous person in the internet than what you think. 7. [insert some crap here, because every person has their own list] 8. The world is in its most corrupt state, and increasingly so, that the world needs you to think and act more. The internet and its deepest trench can be observed in 4chan specifically in the /b/ section. It is the gateway to the deepweb—where most things start. And, It is here that the widest array of attitude and opinions are compacted into one—the Anonymous. Categorized as a political organization, the Anonymous is behind activism that roots within the net; most notably the Project Chanology—in which they attacked the Church of Scientology.


UPLB PERSPECTIVE | Volume 41 Issue 1


One of the most notable achievement the Anonymous and hacktivism has done is their help in the wars at the Middle East. When Egypt suffered an internet blackout, Speak To Tweet was born. It was a service in which voicemail left by phone was then tweeted via Twitter with a link to the voice message on Google’s SayNow. It is designed for the Egyptian people to still be in touch with the world, and for the world to know what is the status inside the country. Other engineers helped by providing technical support, actually also helped them to create an artificial internet service provider. Today, the Anonymous is active to fight the injustices happening on Gaza. Even the seeming lack of entire morality, the internet, as always observed, is always against freedom suppression, discrimination, and the sorts. Second from role-playing games, internet is the main reason why people tend to sit in their houses rather than stand up and act up on their principles. People at the internet are so fed up with polemical discussions because most are not really making sense. And, although some are making sense, others that are speaking of the opposite are also making sense. WTF? Thus, the culture of trolling, the lols, and the embracement of idiocy. The real key though is to know that there is always a victim. People always try to find the truth. People always try to find the right point. But, as of today, people are dying in Gaza and Israel. More and more creditors in US are completely being fed more debts by the Wall Street. Filipinos’ income are being cut off to provide luxury to the people at the government and their cohorts. Students like us are required to pay more than we should. And, people died not only because of a storm but because of the drought after it—the lack of relief distributions and medical assistance; even though millions of relief efforts are made by private institutions. Go into the /b/ section of 4chan and find loli threads, dick threads, incest threads, yaoi threads, or simply porn threads. Because porn is actually quite elementary around these parts. But, occasionally find proofs for this: The world is in its most corrupt state, and increasingly so, that the world needs you to think and act more. [P]

STRUGGLING WITH REPRESSION PUP is one of hundreds of SUCs being repressed by the administration. Yet, they were able to prove how forceful their voices are to surpass the hitches slapped by the government’s counterfeit roadmap. WORDS | ANDREW ESTACIO LAYOUT&GRAPHICS | Paul Carson

Once again, victory stays with the students of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) for fighting for their rights for an affordable education and for opposing the newly proposed tuition hike, which was turned down by the PUP Board of Regents on July 2. “Sa 109 na taon ng PUP, pinatunayan nito ang lakas at kayang likhain ng sama-samang pagkilos,” said Charley L. Urquiza, co-president of Alyansa ng Nagkakaisang Konseho PUP (ANAK-PUP) and president of PUP Central Student Council. PUP students rallied to the main office of Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) where the BOR meeting was held. On July 1, prior the deferment, students walked out of their classes, raised their placards and yelled their resounding rage on the Aquino administration for its negligence on providing the people affordable and quality education. The resolution which inflamed anger of students, the Proposed Standard Tuition and Miscellaneous Fees for LocallyFunded PUP Campuses, would increase tuition at 830 percent or P100 per unit with exception of the Bansud and Biñan campuses. More than 70,000 students would be greatly affected, in essence. The PUP executive committee approved the said proposal and was endorsed by the BOR on June 20. But due to heated student demonstrations, it was postponed to July 2. Then, the postponement become forever. “If the proposed standardization of tuition and miscellaneous fees in local campuses will be implemented, sons and daughters of farmers and workers will once again be robbed of their dream to attain higher education,” spokeswoman of Ugnayan ng Magaaral Laban sa KomersiyalisasyonPUP (UMAKSYON-PUP) Jess Ferrera said in a report. Urquiza told Perspective that PUP students are still awash of exorbitant fees: Php 250 for student information system, Php 150 for sports development fee,

and Php 35 for insurance fee. “Sa ilalim ng apat na taon ni He claims that these expenses Noynoy, kailanman nakita natin na must not come from students walang s’yang balak pagtuunan themselves. ng pansin ang mga kabataan at edukasyon,” Urquiza exclaimed. “Pinipilit naming mabuhay, pero hanggang ganun lang, survival. Sarah Elago, national president of Nakita naman ninyo ang status ng the National Union of Students of PUP, siguro it can be much better the Philippines (NUSP), informed pa kung tuluyang mabibigay yung that RPHER is a neobudget,” Marissa J. Legaspi, liberal policy that Pres. Noynoy CPA Vice President for Finance, patterned from the United States, lamented in her interview with International Monetary Fund GMA News. (IMF), and World Bank. With the rhetoric of global competitiveness, Root of Nuisance the administration is concerned PUP was given only P979.257 on producing “semi-skilled, high M subsidy, far from their 2-billion school or technically educated budget proposal. Pres. Benigno workers” who could work abroad Aquino III’s scheme, Roadmap to and be paid cheaply. She added Public Higher Education Reform that the administration does (RPHER), has allegedly caused not envision on producing insufficient funding for PUP and intellectual, highly skilled workers other state universities and for the development of the nation. colleges (SUCs). “Aquino government has been a puppet to foreign dictates of US,” RPHER’s objective is to Elago said (Anne Marxze D. Umil, ‘rationalize higher education, March 18). improve its internal and external efficiency, optimize resources A Call to Revolution utilization and maximize resource SUCs have been enslaved generation.’ The budget allocation by repressive policies of the will be based on the SUCs administration. This is manifested performance, enrolment and through unjust tuition schemes, passing rates. tuition hikes, budget cuts, privatization, commercialization Priority budget will be allocated and many other issues that to SUCs offering courses in line diminish the affordability of with the government’s priority education for all. University of growth sectors such as agriculture the Philippines, for instance, is in and fisheries, tourism, business height of fighting against a tuition process outsourcing and emerging scheme (STS), putting no end to industries such as electronics, the expensiveness of education. semi-conductor and construction Consequently, clamors emerged industries. due to its unjust system. If one SUC did not meet the quality indicators demanded by the government, lower budget would be allocated to it. The system did not consider insufficiency of budget as factor for poor performance rating of some SUCs.

With all the problems of the education sector, still light could come out through collective action, and having been victorious against the malevolent attempts of the administration, PUP has proved the power of revolution. “Ang lakas ng malawak na hanay ng masa (estudyante) ay dapat na mahigpit Conversely, the reduction of nating katuwang upang labanan university subsidies adds peril ang ano mang banta sa paglabag to education. Due to this case, sa karapatan,” Urquiza said. universities impose skyrocketed fees in order to recompense PUP students have always won the government’s lackluster the struggle for the P12/unit support. In essence, education tuition. According to Urquiza, is becoming limited especially the last time tuition hiked was to the marginalized. RPHER on 1979, from P11/unit to P12/ allegedly targets privatization and unit which stayed up to present. commercialization of education. Attempts to escalate the cost of

STRUGGLING FOR SURVIVAL (Left) PUP employees, staff, professors and students stage a protest rally calling for greater state subsidy for education. (Right) A long-known act of disgust against fee increases, PUP students burn dilapidated chairs in condemnation of the impending tuition hike in the university. The activity, along with the campaign for higher state subsidy, achieved a suspension of the proposal for a fee increase in PUP. PHOTOS FROM BULATLAT, GMA NEWS

education happened in 2007 with P75/unit, P250/unit in 2010, and the recent P100/unit. Urquiza added in his interview with Perspective,“malinaw na hindi lamang sa edukasyon tumatagos ang pagiging tuta, pahirap at pagiging inutil ni Noynoy Aquino… [talamak] ang pagtaas ng mga bilihin, privatization ng mga public utilities, kapabayaan sa mga biktima ng kalimidad.” He also mentioned that corruption is intensified under the current government, given the P10 billion ill-gotten wealth of Napoles, the illicit procurement of P300+ billion DAP and the unliquidated P1.3 trillion presidential pork of PNoy. “Malinaw sa atin, ang gobyerno ni Noynoy ay may pondo para sa kurapsyon at wala sa edukasyon,” he also said. “Nararapat lamang na magkaisa ang mga kabataan upang manawagan ng mas mataas na budget sa edukasyon at social services, pagpapanagot sa lahat ng sangkot sa kurapsyon, at sa tuluyan na pagpapatalsik sa isang kurap, pahirap at tutang pangulong si Noynoy Aquino,” Urquiza said. PUP is one of hundreds of SUCs being repressed by the administration. Yet, they were able to prove how forceful their voices are to surpass the hitches slapped by the counterfeit roadmap of the government. As education and other social services are gradually fading out to the people, comes the greater need to clench our fists and be part of the struggle of the masses. [P]



UPLB PERSPECTIVE | Volume 41 Issue 1






UPLB PERSPECTIVE | Volume 41 Issue 1

UPLB PERSPECTIVE | Volume 41 Issue 1


With only Student Regent (SR) Neill Macuha vying for opposition during the Board of Regents (BOR) meeting last July 30, the 2012 Code of Student Conduct (CSC) for UP Diliman is to be implemented, effective this academic year.

The 2012 Code of Student Conduct, which was approved by the UPD University Student Council (USC), contains controversial provisions which were rejected by different student bodies. Upon its proposal, it stirred a commotion among student formations and organizations because of the repressive guidelines and intolerable vague usage of certain terms and provisions. Disturbance of Peace Having been called as Iskolar ng Bayan, it is the students’ responsibility to conserve the order and peace in the university, preserve its environment, and maintain the conducive ambiance inside the academe. However, these responsibilities should not be reinforced in the despotic way that the CSC does. As written in the CSC, any student of the university that would be found guilty of “creating and/or engaging in disorder, tumult, breach of peace, or serious disturbance such as, but not limited to, rumbles, within the University premises, resulting in harm to persons” may be chastised by a 15-day suspension or expulsion from the university. According to Allen Lemence, Chairperson of the UPLB USC, this provision “is a threat to students and student formations who conduct legitimate protest actions—the nature of which requires catching the attention of its audience through shouting calls and chants.” “The ambiguous ‘breach of peace’ provision poses a threat against student mobilizations inside the university. It would be easy to take advantage of this provision to impede mobilizations and other activities with the same nature,” Lemence added. He also stressed that all UPLB student leaders should be more vigilant now. Insolent Behavior Another provision in the CSC that needs further clarification is the definition and scope of ‘disrespectful behavior’. The provision which says that “disrespect towards any person, which includes, but not limited to, insulting” can also be used against the students because of its vagueness. The overt subjectivity of this provision jeopardizes the very right of students to articulate and verbalize their opinions. Once more, this disavows the right of an individual to freedom of expression, which is secured by the



Philippine Constitution itself. Article III Section 4 states that “no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances”. By means of this provision, logical and analytical discussions, especially during dialogues and consultations, are also threatened. The absurdity of this provision, if tolerated, may result to the deration in the capability of the students to think critically, which is a contradiction against the ideals of the university itself to mold and create open-minded individuals. With this, the mentioned provision is very un-UP. Consequently, this provision seems to target student leaders and student institutions that continuously attempt to stand up for the students’ rights and shake the repressive policies of the administration. Through the CSC and its provisions, student mobilizations could be crippled (or so they think). The implicit motives behind the CSC would be perceived clearly based on the repercussions it has on the students. Repressive Guideline Freshman recruitment in student organizations has long been in the center of argument in UPLB even before the CSC for UP Diliman was approved by the BOR. For years, student leaders stood up and strived against such policy. Upon the approval of the CSC for UP Diliman, “accepting a student who has not completed a one-semester residency in UP Diliman for membership in a registered student organization” will not be tolerated anymore. Also, freshmen will not be allowed to join any fraternity and/or sorority until they completed a two-semester (one year) residency inside the university. “The total ban on freshman recruitment among student organizations is a direct violation to our constitutionally-guaranteed right to association and to organization. The arguments for this provision also neglect the facts that organizations contribute to the holistic development of an Iskolar ng Bayan as organizations produce prominent leaders, graduates with Greek titles, athletes, and so on,” Lemence stated. Furthermore, when asked about their wouldbe response after the CSC has been approved, Lemence answered that, “the UPLB student

councils should start formulating the UPLB Student Code (as decided upon last March 2014, during the Student Leaders Summit), a Code that will also address organization recognition concerns.” As attested by SR Macuha, one of the underlying reasons why majority of the board members acquiesced to this provision is the recent hazing incidence that involved a De La Salle University student. However, this prohibition does not give an assurance that the total eradication of violence among organizations and institutions would be reached. To begin with, this neither answers nor puts hazing to its end. On the other hand, CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan recommended to the board that UP Diliman’s constituent universities must also adopt the said CSC. In response to this, Lemence stated that the suggestion is problematic because it fails to recognize the different culture, dynamics, and practices in different units. As an alternative to the CSC, SR Macuha even requested for the passing of the Student Handbook on Rights and Responsibilities (SHRR) instead of the said code. The said handbook was constructed by the students themselves way back during the second General Assembly of Student Councils (GASC) during the time of SR Maria Kristina “Krissy” Conti. Unfortunately, Pres. Alfredo Pascual refused to discuss such suggestion. “Malinaw na ang Student Code ay isang pagtapak sa karapatan nating mga magaaral. Pinapakita lamang nito na desperado ang administrasyon at natatakot na muling manumbalik ang init ng diwang mapanlaban ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan lalo na at sunod-sunod ang bigwas ng mga polisiyang kanilang ipinatutupad. Gayunpaman, asahan ng administrasyon na sa pangunguna ng opisina ay magpapatuloy ang ating kampanya upang maisulong ang demokratikong karapatan ng mga mag-aaral,” SR Macuha said. Putting the students in such ordeals will never decimate the students’ desire for a free and democratic university. As SR Macuha emphasized, “nefarious plots set to subdue the studentry will never succeed.” [P]

Obrang Kinupas N

akakabighani ang larawan ng birhen. Kay sarap pagmasdan ang pagtingkad ng mga kulay nito habang tinatanglawan ng ilaw. Bakas pa ang mga mabusising kumpas ng pintura. Kita pa ang kaunting bakat ng buhok ng pinsel; datapwa’t maingat itong nahimasan. Buhay din ang tekstura; angat ang pigura ng birhen sa anino nito. Kinain ng dilim ang malayong parte ng katawan. Ngunit maaliwalas ang mukha. Nangungusap ang maamong mga mata. Mga matang dahan-dahan akong hinahatak, dinadala sa pintado nitong mundo. Sa gaan ng damdamin, kusa na akong napapapikit. Kinikiliti ang tenga ko ng malambing na boses ni Elsa. Ginising ako ng malakas na buga ng orkestra. Walang anu-ano’y sumilaw sa naalimpungatan kong paningin ang higanteng screen ng sinehan. May malilikot pang kiti-kiti sa gilid; halatang matanda na ang gamit na film. Amoy na amoy ang nagdaang dekada otsenta. Muling pinunasan ang bibig; umayos ako ng pagkakaupo. Sentro ang palabas sa isang dalaginding na mag-isa sa burol; mukhang dinedeliryo ng matinding pananampalataya. “Ang birhen!”,naisip ko. Isang aparisyon. Nakita ko lang ang larawan ng babaeng ‘to sa saglit kong pagkaidlip. Lumuhod, saka siya tumingala sa langit. Bakat ang litid ng leeg sa pagtingala. Sinabayan pa ang senaryo ng lumang musikang natipuhan ni Ishmael Bernal. Nagpapakalma ang mga mata niyang humatak sa’kin kanina. Kung tititigan ito’y milyong pangungusap ang nais ipabatid sa manonood. Pinasilip ng mga ito sa akin ang naipintang tagumpay sa larangan ng sining. Ngunit bago pa man lumipad sa burol ang birheng dalaga, namuhay na siya sa piling ng mga pasahero sa tren. “Nora! Pabili ng tubig mo,” sabi ng nauuhaw. Sa Bicol namuhay at naglako ang minsang maralitang dalaginding. Walang kayaman-yaman kun’di ang angking talento sa pag-awit at pag-arte. Ambisyon n’yang maging sikat, na balang araw ay babayaran s’ya di sa isang bote ng tubig kun’di sa isang tonelada ng talento. Nang mapadpad sa Maynila, wala nang patumpik-tumpik pa. Bukod tangi ang ginintuang boses at kay bilis ang pagbulusok ng tagumpay. Isinali s’ya sa mga musicals at mga sikat na programang pang-bagets. Dahil malakas makahatak ang kanyang mga mata, damay na pati ang mga direktor at prodyuser ng pelikula. Kalaunan, pinasok n’ya ang mundo ng pag-aartista. Mga ilang araw lang ay lalong dumagundong sa mga pulo ng Pilipinas ang nag-iisang pangalan: Nora Aunor. Sa kanyang pagluhod sa buhanginan ng Paoay habang suot ang puting bestida ni Elsa, napaluhod rin ang mga tao sa kanyang angking ningning. Nahumaling ang madla sa mata n’yang sinasaniban ng iba’t ibang karakter. Tila milagrosa ang bawat kilos ng kanyang katawan habang binibidyuhan ng kamera. Nakakabighani ang larawan n’yang birhen. Walang karungisan sa pagarte. Tunay na nag-iisa. Mabigat ang pangalan. Sinalamin na n’ya ang kulturang Pilipino. Binigyan niya ng buhay ang mga kundiman at awiting may balat ng kasaysayan. Mayaman ang pagbikas n’ya ng sariling wika; batid ang puntong Pilipino. Matagumpay na ipininta ni Nora sa kanyang mga pagganap ang kaibuturan ng ating lahi. Minulat tayo sa mapanirang militarisasyon ng mga kano na dahilan ng pagkawasak ng mga buhay at mga pangarap ng mga pamilya sa bansa. Naramdaman din natin sa kanya ang hirap na sinuong ng isang OFW na naharap sa parusang kamatayan. Binigyang tanaw pa rito ang kolektibong aksyon ng mga Pilipino nang makamit ang katarungan ng kapwa mamamayan. Di rin malilimutan ang pinakita n’ya sa’ting pagbulag ng relihiyon at paniniwala sa mga taong uhaw sa himala. Saksi tayo sa matinding pananampalataya ng mga Pilipino sa diyos at kababalaghan na hinaluan ng kultura ng Kristiyanismo. Tila binalik din tayo sa madilim na panahon ng mga Hapon, ang pagyurak sa ating soberanya at tahasang pananamantala sa ating mga kababaihan. Kay rami pang kwento ang binuhay ni Nora Aunor. Ginintuan ang mga obrang ginawa n’ya na mas lalong nagpatingkad sa makulay na kultura at mayamang kasaysayan ng lahing Pilipino. Nararapat s’yang maparangalan. Nararapat na tingalain, di lang bilang diyosa ng sining kun’di bayani ng ating kultura at lahi. Laking dismaya ko lang nang marinig ang mensahe ng punong ehekutibo ng Pilipinas: “At sa aking pananaw iyong National Artist iyong binibigyan natin ng honor na ito, puri na ganito, dahil gusto natin sabihin malaki ang inambag sa lahing Pilipino at dapat tularan. Ngayon ang naging problema ko lang doon, alam naman natin lahat na iginagalang ko ulit si Binibining Nora Aunor, naconvict po siya sa drugs… illegal drugs do nobody any good … Paano siya as a role model?” Matapos ay kumalat na ang headline ng midya: National Artist list: Nora no more. Pinatumba ng desisyon ng isang tao ang sana’y parangal na inihihiyaw ng masa para kay Nora. Morality award na pala ang prestihiyosong karangalan para sa mga pambansang artista? Tinuturing ng punong ehekutibo na ang “National” sa National Artist ay para sa mga may katangiang tinutularan ng lahat. Ngunit ibinaling niya ito sa pansariling reputasyon ng tao. Tutularan ang kandidato dahil sa s’ya’y malinis at walang dungis ng pagkakasala. Subalit sa reputasyon lamang ba ng sarili dapat ihalili ang nasyunal? Sana’y ibinabatay ito sa mas malalim at malawak pang perspektibo. Sa pagka-nasyunal hinahalungkat ang konsepto ng patriyotismo at kontribusyon ng obrang nilikha para sa nasyunal na interes. Nawa ay paikutin ang pamantayan ‘di sa sariling rekord lamang, kun’di sa epekto na labas sa kanyang sarili—ambag para sa ating lipunan. Ito dapat ang may mas malaking konsiderasyon. Samantala, iginigiit ng kabilang panig na walang record ng kung ano mang

words | Andrew Estacio IMAGE | NORANIANS ON THE BOOK http://noranianbook.weebly. com/uploads/1/0/4/4/1044928/4019760.jpg?503x653

krimen ang binibini habang nasa Los Angeles. Ngunit ano at ano pa man, hindi sukatan ang moralidad sa paggawad ng nararapat na parangal at pagtangi sa malaking ambag na nagawa ng isang Pilipino sa kanyang bansa. Sa isang pikit ay lumutang ako papalayo sa pagkadismaya. Nadama kong muli ang suryalismo. Sa pagsayaw ng mga kulay sa loob ng peynting, sa mga buo-buo pang pigura ng babaeng birhen, dahan-dahan nang sinasakluban ng itim at puti ang buong kwadrado. Kusang gumagalaw ang bawat guhit ng pintura, nahihimay at nahihiwalay. Subalit nalulusaw ang pigura at nawawalan ng kahulugan. Huling nabura ang mga mata ng birhen. Ilang saglit ay nahinto ang pag-ikot ng mga guhit. Mukhang napagod at nahinto ang kamay na nagpipinta rito. Nabitawan na ang pinsel at nawalan ng saysay ang obra. Di na kakaiba ang damdaming ito sa mga artista. Si Irma Lacorte, isang pintor at propesor sa Department of Humanities, ay minsan na ring nagpinta ng birhen ng kanyang buhay. Ngunit naging lamat din itong parang droga kay Nora. Liban dito’y nagmula sa kanyang mga kamay ang sari-saring imahe ng ating kultura noon at ngayon. Kinilala na s’ya ng Asian Cultural Council at ng National Commission on Culture and Arts. Ngunit sa isyu ng kanyang pakikipagrelasyon sa isang dalaga, tila binasag pa nito ang karangalan n’yang Most Outstanding Artist na sana’y napasakamay na n’ya. Tila naging tinik pa ang pag-ibig. Hindi ba’t ang umibig ay isang karapatan? At hindi isang krimen na dapat pagdusahan. Nora Aunor, Irma Lacorte, nabalewala ang natatanging ambag sa sining dahil sa isyu ng moralidad. Maipipinta sa mukha ng lipunan ang mga matang palatingin sa kamalian ng isang indibidwal. Lumagpas lang ang pagpinta sa hangganan ng kwadrado, sira na ang pagtingin ng nakararami rito. Di na pinansin ang nilikhang sining na sa katunaya’y higit na mas malaki kaysa sa kapiranggot na linyang lumagpas. Ngunit pagkamuhi lamang ang nagpapalaki nito. Pinapalamon ng mga namumuhing mata sa kapangitan ang kagandahan. Sa ganitong kalagayan, higit lalong kukupas ang katarungan. [P] DPWH illegally cuts...cont. ...could be a precedent for worse cases of logging. She added that the 500-m stretch of area with trees cut down may extend to cover more of the Makiling Forest Reserve buffer zone. This will have serious environmental impacts on the UPLB community. Joel Limpengco, district manager for DPWH has confirmed that they will need to cut more trees but not in the near future, as DENR has yet to issue for a clearance. Meanwhile, DPWH has yet to replace the 30 cut down trees. Lopez of CFNR-SC said that despite their efforts to alleviate the age-old problem of traffic along College-Junction, no significant progress has been made. Aside from the fact that the Makiling Ecological Road is only open from 3am-10pm, public utility vehicles cannot pass through because it is not part of their designated route. The CFNR-SC calls for the entire UPLB community to assert for sustainable forest management. Every student should be aware and vigilant when it comes to forest preservation. “At the end of the day, all of us are affected,” Xendra Siman, CFNR-SC councilor said. [P]



UPLB PERSPECTIVE | Volume 41 Issue 1

UPLB PERSPECTIVE | Volume 41 Issue 1


Isang sulyap sa tunay na SONA WORDS | JOHN PAUL OMAC


Umaga nang ika-28 ng Hulyo, dahan dahang sumalab sa mga balat ng libo-libong mamamayang bumagtas sa lansangan ang init na nagmula sa matinding sikat ng araw. Gayunpaman, sa mata ng mga manggagawa, magsasaka, kabataan, at iba pang nagsipagmartsa, masasalamin na hindi ang init, o maging ang minsana’y pag-ulan ang kanilang iniinda, lalong hindi ang gutom o pagod na bunga ng ilang araw na paglalakad. Kung ikukumpara sa ipinaglalaban nila, napakaliit na bagay nang mga ito. Isa-isang nagtaas ng kamao ang mga nasa unahang hanay. Agad rin itong sinegundahan ng sumunod na hanay, at ng sumunod pa, at ng sumunod pa. Nagmistulang alon ang pagtataas ng kamao at sa loob lang ng ilang segundo, libolibong bisig ang nagsitaas. May ilan naman na may bitbit na mga karatula kung saan nakaukit ang mga panawagang halos taon-taong ihinihiyaw, ngunit binabalewala ng mga nasa posisyon. Ang ilan naman ay namahagi ng mga polyetong naglalahad ng kanilang hinaing. Maya maya pa’y isang sigaw ang bumasag sa katahimikan—isang tinig na mistulang bumuhay sa diwa ng mga nasa hanay—nagsipagwagayway ang mga bandila, kasabay ang daluyong ng pagsagot mula sa masa. Tumigil ang martsa. Sa isang banda, libo-libong masang Pilipino; sa kabila, barikada, kordon na may mga talim, at libong kapulisan. Ilang kilometro mula rito—ang Batasang Pambansa. Tumindig ang mga nagsipagmartsa sa harap ng barikada. Kahit na ilang kilometro pa ang layo sa tunay na destinasyon, nanatili na muna sila sa lugar na ito.




Nakarating na ang lakad ng bayan sa patutunguhan nito—at mula rito, Kasabay ng talumpati ni Benigno Aquino III, ipinahayag nila ang kasalukuyang kalagayan ng bansa sa loob ng apat na taong panunugkulan ng Pangulo. Hatol ng bayan Libu-libong mamamayan kabilang ang mga manggagawa, magsasaka, mag-aaral, at iba pang mga sektor ang nagtungo sa Commonwealth Avenue para iparating ang kanilang mga hinaing at panawagan ukol sa kasulukuyang pamamahala ni Aquino sa Pilipinas. Ito ay kasabay ng nakatakdang ika-limang State of the Nation Address o SONA ng pangulo. Ayon kay Renato Reyes, Secretary-general ng Bagong Alyansang Makabayan o BAYAN, pawang kasinungalingan lamang ang ilalahad ng pangulo sa loob ng batasang pambansa kung kaya’t nagpasya ang malawak na sambayanan na lumabas na lamang sa lansangan at dito ipahayag ang tunay nilang kalagayan. “Maaari niyang [Aquino] paliguan ng mabubulaklak na salita tungkol sa daang matuwid at sa diumano’y paglago ng ekonomiya ang talumpati niya, pero di na’ to bebenta”, ani Reyes. “Ni walang kahulugan para sa taumbuyan at uring anakpawis ang mga tinutukoy niyang ‘tagumpay’ sa ilalim ng pamamahala niya,” dagdag pa nito. Tinukoy rin ng iba’t ibang grupo ang kasulukuyang mainit na isyu ng P144 Bilyong Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) bilang isa sa malalaking kasalananan ng administrasyong Aquino sa taumbayan. Bunga nito, binansagan nila si Aquino bilang HolDAPer—na siya ring pangalan ng effigy na bitbit ng mga militante mula sa NCR.

Binatikos ni Adrianne Mark Ng, Regional coordinator ng Bayan MunaTimog Katagalugan, ang pauulit-ulit na pagtatanggol ni Aquino sa pagkakalikha at paggamit niya ng DAP. Agad niyang pinasinungalingan ang sinabi ni Aquino na napabuti ng DAP ang ekonomiya ng Pilipinas. “Hindi lamang pinatutunayan ng mga numero na eksaherasyon lamang ang sinasabi ng pangulo na nakatulong sa paglago ng ekonomiya ang DAP—pinatutunayan rin nito na mismong ang DAP ay anyo ng pork barrel ni Aquino”, wika niya. Bukod sa katiwalaan, kabilang sa tinaguriang “seven deadly sins”ng pangulo ayon sa mga militante ay ang laganap na kahirapan, kawalang trabaho, huwad na reporma sa lupa, pagtaas ng presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin, serye ng mga pagpatay at paglabag sa karapatang pantao, at ang patuloy na pagtalima sa interes ng Estados Unidos sa pamamagitan ng paglagda sa Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). ‘Karnabalbalan’ Para naman sa mahigit tatlong libong mamamayan mula sa Timog Katagalugan na tatlong araw na nagmartsa patungo sa Commonwealth, mistulang isang palabas lamang ang administrasyon ni Aquino na inaaliw ang taumbayan habang ikinukubli ang tunay na kalagayan ng bansa. Bunga nito, inilunsad ng mga kabataan, sa pamamagitan ng Southern Tagalog Cultural Network, ang isang pagtatanghal kasama ang isang labintatlong talampakan na effigy na pinamagatan nilang “Noynoy’s Karnabalbalan”.

Sa Effigy, makikita ang imahe ng mukha ni Aquino na mistulang isang payasong may malaking kulay pulang ilong. Nakabukas rin ang malaki nito bibig kung saan lumalabas ang iba’t-ibang nilalang na karaniwang makikita sa isang karnabal. Ayon sa mga tagapangasiwa ng pagtatanghal, sumasalamin ang bawat isa sa mga ito sa iba’t-ibang palabas ng kasalukuyang administrasyon at kung paano nito nililihis ang atensyon ng mga mamamayan sa tunay na mga isyu ng lipunan. Bago ang pagtatanghal, nagsagawa ng programa ang iba’t-ibang grupo mula sa timog katagalugan sa Pamumuno ng BAYAN-TK, kung saan ipinahayag nila ang kanilang pagkondena sa kasulukuyang pamamahala ng Pangulo. Nagtayo rin ng isang photo exhibit ang Southern Tagalog eXposure (STeX) at Artists’ Arrest sa kahabaan ng Commonwealth bilang pakikiisa sa pagtalakay sa tunay na kalagayan ng bayan. Sa kanilang exhibit na pinamagatang “Ligalig: Portraits of Human Insecurity and Public Unrest”, ipinakita ng grupo sa loob ng 25 larawan ang iba’t ibang mukha ng taumbayan na kasalukuyang nakakaranas ng talamak na kahirapan. Tinalakay nito ang iba’t-ibang issue mula sa isyu sa mga pagawaan, kalikasan, bilanggong pulitikal, at iba pa. Ayon kay Kame Lagang, mula sa STeX, pakay ng naturang exhibit ay magsilbing isang ‘kontra-SONA’. “Nais naming ipakita ang tunay na lagay ng bansa— mga isyu na kinakaharap hanggang ngayon ngunit nananatiling di nasosolusyunan ng pamahalaan”. Huling Sona Tahasang ipinahayag ng iba’t-ibang sektor na ito na ang magiging huling SONA ng pangulo, kahit pa may dalawang taon pang nalalabi sa kanyang termino. Pangunahing naging paksa ng SONA ng Bayan ang panawagang pagpapatalsik kay Aquino dahil sa kabi-kabilang isyu na idinadaing ng mga mamamayan. Ayon kay Leody De Guzman, Pangulo ng Buklurang Manggagawa ng Pilipino, sawa na sila sa paulit-ulit at gasgas na mga pakulo ng administrasyon upang isalba ang luma at nabubulok na sistema. “Tulad ng mayorya ng ating mga kababayan, wala nang anupamang dahilang nalalabi pa sa atin upang umatras at naisin pang maging katotohanan ang Daang Matuwid ni Noynoy sa susunod pang dalawang taon.”, ani De Guzman. “Tunay ngang ang nakalipas na apat na taon ay hindi pa sapat upang mapawi ang lahat ng

sakit ng lipunan, ngunit kay hirap nang tiisin ang lalo pang lumubha naming kalagayan,” dagdag pa niya. Ayon pa kay De Guzman, mula nang maupo sa pwesto, nilegalisa ni Aquino ang kontraktwalisasyon, dinoble ang kontribusyon ng manggagawa sa Social Security System (SSS) at Philhealth, pinababa ang sahod sa mga bayan, at itinanggi ang tax breaks sa mga empleyado. Bukod pa rito, sinabi niya na hindi nakiisa ang Pangulo sa panig ng mga manggagawa habang may labor disputes kahit na tahasan na ang mga paglabag ng mga ganid na kapitalista. Nagpahayag din ang sektor ng kabataan ng panawagan na patalsikin ang pangulo. Ayon kay Vencer Crisostomo, tagapangulo ng Anakbayan, hindi na maitatago ng mga kasinungalingan ni Aquino ang sistematikong katiwaliang nangyayari sa pamahalaan. “Malinaw na Guilty ang pangulo sa DAP, na siyang pinakamalaking scam sa kasaysayan. Sampung beses na mas malaki sa PDAF, at 800 beses na mas malaki sa PCSO scam.”, wika ni Crisostomo. Dahil dito, binansagan nila ang Pangulo bilang Thief Executive. “Ang unang hakbang upang mabago ang nabubulok na sitema ay ang alisin ang ulo nito, walang iba kundi ang Thief Executive na si Benigno Simeon Aquino III. Tinatatwagan naming ang lahat na manindigan at labanan ang sistemang pinagmumulan ng opresyon at pananamantala,” dagdag pa niya. Inilantad naman ng organisasyong Karapatan ang mukha ng pasismo sa ilalim ng pamamahala ni Aquino. Sinabi ni Cristina Palabay na patuloy na lumalala ang mga paglabag sa karapatang pantao sa loob ng apat na taon ni Aquino kung saang ang mga bikitima kadalasa’y mga tumututol sa mga di maka-taong polisiya at programa ng gobyerno. Mula noong naupo sa pwesto si Aquino, mayroon ng 204 na kaso ng extrajudicial killings. Sa mga ito, 117 ang napaslang na magbubukid dahil sa pagtatanggol nila sa kanilang krapatan sa lupa mula sa malalaking korporasyon habang 64 naman ang katutubong pinatay dahil rin sa pagtatanggol sa kanilang lupain mula naman sa pagsamsam ng mga mining companies.

SKETCHPAD Umalingawngaw sa kalangitan ang pagtunog ng kampana. Tinatawag na ng simbahan ang mga deboto nito. Disente at kaaya-aya ang kanilang gayak mula ulo hanggang paa. Nagnanais na silang makarinig ng salita ng Diyos. Kitang-kita ko sa mukha ng mga tao ang kanilang mga matang maamo. Tila kinandado nila sa loob ang totoong kulay, baka makita pa ng rebulto sa harapan. Malaki at matayog ang buong simbahan. Sinusuportahan ito ng pundasyong itinayo ng mga relihiyoso sa simula ng panahon. Katabi ko pa ang aking ina sa upuan. Di makabasag-pinggan ang kanyang kilos, parang may nagbabantay lang sa taas. Nakatitig lamang s’ya sa walang buhay na rebulto sa harapan. Walang imik, mukhang may pinagninilayan. Naalala ko pa, sa maliit naming tirahan, dinig na dinig sa bawat sulok nito ang winiwikang litanya’t misteryo ng rosaryo. Walang araw na di pinalampas ng aking ina ang pagsambit ng mga banal na salita, makaligtas lamang sa impyernong ipinanakot ng kura paroko. Sinisigurado n’yang ang pamilya’y nakaalinsunod sa libro ng Panginoon. Tila pinaghaharian ng isang kasulatan ang aming kilos at pananaw. Daang panalangin kada oras, wala pa ring dumarating sa’ming pagpapala. Ngunit positibo pa rin ang aking ina na makakamtan ang kaluwalhatian sa gitna ng aming kahirapan. Patuloy s’yang mananalig sa mga salitang nasusulat, luluhod sa Panginoon, at paulit-ulit na aawit ng mga panalangin. Sa pagsunod ay nakuha na rin n’yang pandirian ang mga ignorante sa Diyos, bakla’t tibo, di-binyagan, di-Kristiyano, walang paniniwala, at lahat ng pasok sa depinisyon nya ng ‘makasalanan’. Baka mapunta raw ng impyerno kaya ‘wag daw silang tularan. Isang gabi, habang nakahiga’y ramdam ko ang unti-unting paghakbang ng isang nilalang papalapit sa akin. Madilim ang paligid, di ko makita kung sino ang tila aswang na pumasok sa kwarto. Nangasim ang aking tiyan sa takot. Umaray ang sahig sa mabigat nitong pag-apak. Ngunit dinig kong binuksan n’ya ang kabilang pinto papunta sa kwarto ng aking ina. Pagkaraa’y dahan-dahan ang pagsara nito hanggang sa matahimik ang gabi.

Kamay na bakal Sa tantiyang 17,000 kalahok sa SONA ng bayan, tinatayang ito na ang pinakamalaking protesta kontra sa SONA ng pangulo. Bilang tugon, inulunsad rin ng administrasyon ang sinasabing pinakamalaking pwersa ng kapulisan at militar para sa isang kilos protesta. Halos nasa 10,000 pulis at military ang ikinalat sa kahabaan ng Commonwealth at nagmatyag sa bawat kilos ng mga nagsipagprotesta. Bukod dito pinuluputan rin ng concertina wires na mas mapanganib kaysa barbed wires ang mga bakal na harang sa paligid at kahabaan ng kalye. Hinarangan rin ng daandaang container vans ang harap at gilid ng pinagdausan ng programa upang matiyak na hindi makakalusot ang maga militante. Kinondena ng iba’t ibang grupo ang mistulang pagpapatupad ng pangulo ng kamay na bakal upang pigilan ang mga mamamayan na nagpapahayag ng kanilang hinaing sa pamahalaan. “Tanging isang pangulong guilty lamang sa kanyang kasalanan ang magpapakalat ng mahigit sa 10,000 kapulisan upang pigilan ang protesta ng taumbayan”, ani Crisostomo. Bandang alas-singko ng hapon, tinangka ng mga nagprotesta na makalapit sa barikada. Itinumba nila ang ilan sa mga bakod upang ipakita ang pagtutol sa administrasyon. Sa oras na iyon, sinimulan naman silang bombahin ng tubig mula sa mga firetruck ng ilang kawani ng Bureau of Fire Protection. Gayunpaman, di natinag ang mga raliyista na nagpatuloy sa pagtaas ng mga kamao at pagsigaw ng panawagang pagpapatalsik kay Aquino. Kapansin-pansin rin na hindi ordinaryong tubig ang inilabas ng mga trak ng bumbero, kundi kulay pulang tubig. May apat na trak ang nagtulong-tulong na bombahin ang mga raliyista sa loob ng halos 20 minuto para mapaalis sila. Sa kabila nito, payapang nagpasya ang mga militante na mag-walk out bilang tugon sa ipinamalas na pagmamalupit ng kapulisan. Gayunpaman, nagbanta sila na magbabalik na bitbit ang mas malaking pwersa mula sa nagkakaisang taumbayan na unti-unting naliliwanagan sa tunay na kalagayan ng bansa. Sa pagtatapos ng SONA ng bayan, ibinaba nila ang hatol sa pangulo: Pagpapatalsik sa pwesto. [P]

Isinulat ni RUSSAN17 Gusto kong makita kung sino ang nangahas na pumasok sa’ming bahay. Dali-dali kong sinilip ang butas ng pader direkta sa kwartong niloob niya. Di ko masyadong naaninaw. Ngunit parang may pigura ng dalawang tao na bahagyang nasinagan ng buwan. Dinig ko ang malalambing nilang bulong at ang tunog ng malilikot na labi. Ilang sandali pa’y nabulabog sila ng mga naglalagang gamit, mukhang nasagi ng malalaki nilang katawan. Sinilip ko pa nang mabuti. Binuksan ng isa ang ilaw. Laking gulat ko nang nakita ang mukha ng aking ina, yakap-yakap pa n’ya ang isang lalaki. Kamay niya’y may tatak na krus, ang banal na simbolong iniingatan ng mga malilinis, ngayo’y gumagapang sa mismong katawan ng aking ina. Tulala pa rin si ina sa altar. Umaawit na ang mga tao ng papuri ngunit siya’y walang imik. Tinalikuran na yata ng nasa taas. “Dalawa lang ang kahihinatnan ng tao sa bandang huli: impyerno o langit,” sermon ng pari. “Kasalanan ang pangangalunya!,” hiyaw pa niya sa mga taong naroon. Hindi tinuloy ang eksplanasyon hinggil sa ika-anim na utos. Pumila ako sa linya ng mga tatanggap ng banal na ostya. Nasa likuran ko lang ang aking ina. Nang lumapit na ako sa harapan ng kura paroko, nagbigay senyales ang kanyang kamay. Habang isinuksok n’ya ito sa kopita, sumagi sa’king alaala ang bawat pagsambit ng litanya ng rosaryo sa tahanan, ang ingay na tumatagos sa butas doon sa kwarto, ang paggambala sa gabi; lahat ay nagpapakita sa’kin ng imahe ng tao at serpyente. Nang itinawid na ang ostya tungo sa’king bibig, kuminang ang krus na nakatatak sa kamay ng pari. Kamay na gumapang sa’king ina, krus na nanghimasok sa kanyang kamalayan. Sumingaw ang maruming sikretong di nailalabas sa likod ng mga bato ng simbahan. Nalaglag ang kapirasong tinapay, tila may nilalang na nanghatak pababa.

Anong kababalaghan pa ang tatambad sa susunod na pagsilip? Abangan ang Sketchpad sa ikalawang isyu ng [P]!



UPLB PERSPECTIVE | Volume 41 Issue 1

UNDER SCRUTINY To start off, the structure is actually named after the students. Engraved in the halls of the edifice overlooking the eminent freedom park of the university is a deep context of the students’ culture—be it from the usual group meetings, food trips, or just plain hang-outs and chit-chats, or on to a deeper tradition of a long history of students’ struggle that its walls has housed. It has witnessed the students as they battled against repression, and it has rejoiced with them in their victories, notably the establishment of UPLB Perspective in 1973 and UPLB USC in 1978—the first student publication and student council to be re-established after Marcos ceased student organizations in an attempt to quell student movements during martial law. Therefore, it is only fitting for the Student Union building, commonly known as the SU, to prevail as the “stronghold” of its original and primary stakeholders— the students. However, it seems now that there remains less of that public character it originally has back then. At first glance, the SU might have improved aesthetically than it was before. I have recently scrambled through our archives in the office and found several old photographs, with some may be dating as early as late 80’s. There were photos of the SU of course. Gone were the gray dusty floors and brown wooden ceilings that graced the students that time. These are now replaced with white tiled flooring as well as the white furnished ceiling. The once dim Molawin hall now gleams brilliantly. And oh, what would UPLB students ever do without the 7-11 branch within the campus? Yet, spaces of the SU before were primarily for the students. It is quite odd that majority of the SU today (the ground and basement floors) is under the supervision of the Business Affairs Office (BAO) which continues to lease large spaces for commercial uses— while students, wishing to use the halls for practices, meetings, and other activities were strapped to the bureaucratic process of securing permits---a blatant smack against the rights of the students.

UPLB PERSPECTIVE | Volume 41 Issue 1

Fortress Under Siege

Foods were even subsidized before through the University Food Services (UFS). However, in 2006, former Chancellor Luis Rey Velasco ordered the UFS to cease subsidies under the rationale of budget deficiency—which was also their rationale for tuition fee increases, dorm fee increases, and large class policy. This commenced the commercialization and privatization of the food services in the SU which led to higher prices. More recently, student institutions, such as the UPLB USC and UPLB Perspective, along with the Textbook Exchange and Rental Committee (TERC) were ordered to depart their offices and move to oblivious locations at the back of the SU to give way to the expansion of the Office of Student Affairs (OSA). This is somehow an insult for the front runners of the student movement back in the time of martial law who struggled against student repression—to whom the edifice is actually dedicated for. Putting historical and sentimental considerations aside, isn’t it odd that the offices of the representatives of the students are located in places which are not easily accessible to them? These are manifestations that when laid down on a list, we, the students, fall nowhere near the top. The privatization of SU is just a manifestation of a larger scale commercialization of social services brought by neo-liberal policies. The issue is not the building per se, but its representation as a student service we are yet to reclaim. If the younger batches are already being met with such kind of commercialization, I can’t imagine the kind of SU the generation of my child will be visiting come his vacant periods. The once silly idea I had that a time that they might charge entrance fees might come is now turning into a probability that I fear. That is, if we won’t step up to reclaim the services due for us. The very same halls who witnessed the students of the previous generations are the same halls I hope this generation will engrave their addendum to the deep context of students’ culture, advocacy, and struggle. But before we sign our marks on it, we are left with the task to reclaim the halls our forerunners marked initially—and once again put the “student” into character in the Student Union building.

John Paul Omac

It is quite odd that majority of the SU today (the ground and basement floors) is under the supervision of the Business Affairs Office (BAO) which continues to lease large spaces for commercial uses— while students, wishing to use the halls for practices, meetings, and other activities were strapped to the bureaucratic process of securing permits...


Daydreaming with a Curfew

miguel lazarte

Summer has always been a haven for hopes and expectations such, and setting up my alarm earlier than usual so that in the morning I’d go back to the dorm, clean of violation and free from “sin”. — unrelenting fantasies that delve the bored man. Maybe I was not fit for that dorm system. With all my other seven male It was the perfect beginning. Hangover from the fulfillment of finishing high school, I entered that roommates, it was hard to stay fair—tables cluttered, belongings messed summer with a long list of what I wanted to do. I scrolled through the up, and everything soiled. I let it be. There are nights I curl up and imagine myself waking up in my own bed limitless corners of the internet and even befriended high school alumni who study there. I thought I had found what seemed then was everything in Manila, which is empty, cold, and stale in the weekdays. Instead, I find myself waking in the sounds of the insects, the smell of manure, or the I needed to know. betraying illusions of my home. Summer was when I told myself that I’ll turn over a new The euphoria of freshman life made me find myself leaf. Pardon me to cliché the “new place, new me”. I thought Maybe I was not walking around the campus, hanging out under the fertility that manipulation is all there is to it. Be the better me who tree, and sluggishly treading the irregular tiles of the FPark didn’t have the chance to be back then. Hide and soon forget fit for that walkway. I’d bring out my phone and tweet out describing the past full of fragility and weaknesses. Mantras of good dorm system. how each place in UPLB is a beauty Such places and dreams luck sprayed like whispers heard in my soul. With all my were mended together by my one visit back in March when I I remember the summer instances when people would ask if I’d be staying in a dormitory there. I’d reply a nod and a smile, other seven male had submitted my confirmation forms. I have been ignorant. My visit to the fertility tree is the restraining myself from pretentiously saying obviously, duh or roommates, last time since then. I had never known how far each place alangan namang mag-uwian ako. I was giddy and excited that it was hard was. Maybe I was just driven by excitement and curiosity like finally, I’d stand on my own ground; I’m finally independent. My to stay fair— every freshman, it was inevitable. Now, I suffer running from high school buddies and I planned back then to stay together, settle in one dormitory, return by dawn, and live the fantasy of tables cluttered, EE Audi to CPCLH, even jeepney rides that would still require a few blocks to pace. The active incoming freshman who’d the high school classroom. Life can let you down sometimes. belongings run corners of the campus slowly grew to the frustrated, Instead, those plans remained written in the stars. messed up, and tiresome old freshman, both literally and figuratively. The campus dormitory randomizes its dormers, thus a It was summer heat turned into the new year’s cold. Every everything soiled. sad sentiment, ending our ‘roomie’ dreams. Furthermore, summer love ends, and so do my summer prospects. Pipe the curfew strictly forbids us to stay after 10 in the evening. I I let it be. dreams were instantly drained, destiny made its toll. It was understood that it was for our safety, as freshmen especially, not the same when I entered UP. Things were for the worse, but there came immediate needs like group works that require some were for the better. long nights. There were the late and overnight permits, which are only As much as I made effort in becoming the better person, the frustrations strictly given in accordance to legal papers that were vaguely informed to and complaints of academics and society were infuriating. I try to stay us in the beginning. Once you forgot to write it all in black and white with a lawyer, your whole calm, happy in the arms of high school buddies and coursemates, as our young minds wander farther and farther. Fresh we were, there were year’s a mess: rubrics laid out to us, told in our Guidance Instruction (GI), on what Your name repeated in the violation logbook, they say three strikes and curious things are prohibited and how to ‘be’ a student. you’re illegible for a UP dorm next semester unless having a dialogue in the A few days ago, I escorted my roommate, saying he’d reimburse his housing office. It took me a single strike, simply called “priority” automatically gains you a ticket to have that dialogue to clear your name and be separated 650 pesos deposit we made on our first ever dorm payment. He came from your ‘roomies’ for the next semester, on the other hand, those of the back and I asked “Where’s the money?” He said that he was told to return, in one month’s time. I laughed. “privilege”, the zero violation dormers, happily remain in their old rooms, without the punishment we “dorm delinquents” went through. With the rules to follow and minds to wash, I started to question the In the second semester, fears of “getting a violation” were scarred to me. systems made, the standards set, and the promised freedom slowly I ended up not going back at all, throwing myself to friends’ apartments and being pulled away. [P]


The Discrepancy of Good Faith kahil wayan

Last July 21, the first valid impeachment against Aquino was filed as endorsed On June 30, 2014, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told by three members of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives. PDI that they will leave DAP’s constitutionality to the Supreme Court. Lacierda somehow changed his stance last July 2 when he told Little was known about the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) However, GMA News DAP was done in good faith and that the Supreme Court’s until Sen. Jinggoy Estrada mentioned in a privilege speech last September, ruling didn’tthat that neither the President nor the Executive branch that an ‘incentive’ with an amount of P50 million was given to senators committed a mean criminal act. Aquino himself questioned the Supreme Court who voted to convict former Chief Justice Renato Corona. Corona was found by blatantly challenging the country’s highest court in his speech. guilty in May 2012 for culpable violation of the Constitution because of dishonesty in financial disclosure. As Briones stressed, the President, being this country’s leader must how to listen to the Supreme Court’s decision. If Aquino will continue Recently, the Supreme Court declared DAP as unconstitutional with a learn to push idea of good governance, spending the money of the Filipino 13-0-1 votes. DAP faces the issue of the creation of savings prior to end people inhis good faith, it will only prove that he is indeed a spoiled brat that fiscal year and withdrawal of funds for implementing agencies. Moreover, decides illogically just because he wanted to get what he wants. the cross-border transfers of savings of the executive department to outside offices added to the controversy. There is also an issue regarding Morever, DAP’s raison d’ etre as noted by the Department of Budget the funding of projects, activities, and programs that are not outlined in and Management (DBM) to be “high impact, quick disbursing, sociallythe General Appropriation’s Act (GAA). responsive projects” is flawed itself. As reported by PCIJ, COA observed projects funded by DAP range from mediocre to bad which forfeits Of course, Aquino defended this controversy in his 5th State of the that its supposedly high impact purpose. It only shows that in this case, the Nation Address (SONA) and in his speech last July 16, 2014. Aquino end does not justify the means. In the first place, the end is emphasized the DAP’s benefits to the Philippine not good either. economy enumerating the projects that have been made possible through his strategy of releasing funds. What good faith? But, isn’t it more Rebuttal A smorgasbord of questions lie despite the administration’s interesting to pay attempt of taking the DAP issue lightly through empty Contrary to Aquino’s defense, former National attention to the rhetoric and misdirection. As far as we know, DAP funded Treasurer Prof. Leonor Briones, emphasized that the projects that Aquino projects did not only remain vague but are also questionable economic growth was not achieved through DAP alone when it comes to the details. Did those DAP funded projects didn’t mention in but through the National Economic Budget and the the tedious process and documentation necessary his speech rather undergo efforts of the private sectors. for transparency and accountability of government projects? But, isn’t it more interesting to pay attention to the than his list projects How about the gaps in paper trails? projects that Aquino didn’t mention in his speech rather “made possible” Moreover, claiming that these were done in good faith than his list projects “made possible” through DAP? through DAP? is not the explanation the people demand. What would be Aquino didn’t explain the billions of money spent on the the standard for all other cases if this discrepancy can pass Cordillera Liberation Army, Moro Liberation Army, ARMM because it was done in good faith? Most importantly, (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao), and Bangko Sentral which what kind of just leader does take oath to follow the constitution but blatantly according to Briones, is not under the Department of Finance and is questions it if he is situated in the hot seat? It seems that Aquino cannot an independent monetary authority. Moreover, the Committee on Audit hide his elitism despite his failed attempts to serve his so-called bosses. (COA) is also an independent and constitutional body that is, supposedly, also not under his supervision. The Filipinos had enough. A purchase of a free ticket to abuse our squandered country would not further be tolerated. It is time for The discrepancy of this ‘good faith’ can be explained further by already to realize that the Philippines is not his hacienda and that the scrutinizing the ‘meaty’ part, as the Philippine Center for Investigative Aquino Filipinos are not his laborers. Journalism (PCIJ) noted the DAP fund that amounted to P35.54 billion. The meaty part went to ‘various priority projects’ that are actually vague and With all these controversies and discrepancies that could be slapped such as “farm-to-market roads, flood control projects, capacity-building hardly in his face, Aquino should finally admit his guilt and should stop and skills training activities, and Registry of Sectors in Agriculture”. pointing fingers. As more and more Filipinos become more involved in the of PDAF and DAP, he should do more than worrying about his flunked The Crux of the Matter issue ratings. Aquino should spend more time figuring his way out of the matuwid The issue here is not dishonesty but unconstitutionality. Of course, if na daan he chose because good faith is not and will never be enough. Aquino will be confronted with dishonesty, he can escape this through And yes, this time, the Filipino people his endless rhetorics and blame games. would not dare wear a yellow ribbon. [P]





UPLB PERSPECTIVE | Volume 41 Issue 1


What happened, UP?

The UPLB Perspective AY 2014-2015 Editor in Chief Jil Danielle Caro Associate Editor John Paul Omac Managing Editor Princes Bulaclac News Editor Guien Garma

GRAPHICS | John Paul Omac

Features Editor Kezia Grace Jungco Culture Editor John Moses Chua Production Editor Trista Isobelle Gile Business Manager Ana Catalina Paje

Whereas most students all over the country went back to school last June, UP students had it differently. Effective this academic year 2014-2015, UP adopts a new academic calendar from June to March to May to August, which was approved by the Board of Regents (BOR) during its meeting last March. According to UP, one of its key is the initiative for internalization, which fulfills its mandate to be a regional and globally competitive university of the country. UP takes the academic calendar shift positively as we would be synchronized with other universities that belong to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). UP believes that through enhanced interaction among other ASEAN countries, it would be able to produce Filipino graduates who are internationally oriented and globally competitive. To further internationalize UP, there would also be pursuits in faculty and staff developments, credit transfer arrangements and infrastructure modernizations, and the calendar shift was seen as the answer to make these possible. UP even cited three ‘benefits’ of the academic calendar shift to the institution. The first one is that the synchronization with ASEAN, European and American universities would result to an increase in participation of the students and staff through exchanges, partnership and conduction of joint activities and programs. Also, the students can easily get credit transfers under ASEAN+ 3 Credit Transfer System (ACTS). Another benefit is that combined Christmas break and semestral break would result in continuous classes as there would be no more disruption, plus the students could save for transportation. The third one is that the shift would result to less suspension of classes due to typhoons and other calamities. Alongside the academic calendar shift, the UP administration starts to implement the Social Tuition System (STS), replacing the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP) which was established in 1989. The STFAP was criticized for its long application process, number of requirements to be submitted and mismatches of bracket results to the actual financial capability of the student. There is of course, the need to apply for STFAP as early as possible because of the delay in results. UP President Alfredo E. Pascual believed that the STFAP no longer caters to the needs of the students. Thus, initiated the reform of STFAP to STS which resulted to five major changes. The first one is that new tuition system is regarded as simpler and easier when it comes to application process, from a 14-page long STFAP application form to a 2-page STS application form using Marketing and Opinion Research Society of the Philippines (MORES) socioeconomic classification of households. The second one is the reduction of indicators for bracket assignments from four to two. For the third major change, there would be a 30% upward adjustment of the income cut-offs of Brackets A to D. With this, UP argued that students will fall into lower brackets.



The fourth change, is the increase in the monthly allowance of Bracket E2 students from P2,400 to P3,500. Lastly, the application would be online. These changes were justified to help UP students have an affordable UP education. Or do they? Looking beyond the two changes that we have faced even before our first step back in the university, have we tried reflecting if this is still the same UP? The academic calendar shift did not undergo proper student consultation and was approved during the BOR meeting last March within the first 30 minutes, as told by former Student Reagent (SR) Krista Melgarejo. As a member of ASEAN, we were forced to follow its regulations in order to make the ASEAN Community possible by 2015. As per the justification of the administration that the shift would enhance interaction among students of other ASEAN countries, it is questionable why UP does not develop enhanced interaction among our own communities and holds basic mass integrations as part of the curriculum. Instead, UP caters to the needs of other countries, forgetting the needs of its own people. Should not UP develop a nationalist Filipino students first that would serve its fellowmen than aim to develop globally competitive ones? Why do we need to pattern our education system to other countries when we can pursue a scientific yet nationalist and mass-oriented education? Aside from colonialization of education which is evident in UP’s curriculum and was proven by the implementation of the academic calendar shift, it is also undeniable that UP’s education system is now commercialized. Through the years, UP has faced fluctuations on budget allocations by the government. Alongside with the continuous budget cuts are the continuous tuition and other fees increases. The most prominent was the approval of 300% tuition increase back n 2006. Looking closely, STS is just the same as STFAP. Aside from the easier application process, they are basically, the same thing. Worse. In STS, the default bracket is A, which means the tuition of rate of UP is now P1500 per unit. Now, how can the administration justify that UP is a state university, and not an investor-dependent and incomegenerating institution. With education commercialization on one hand, and internalization on the other, we could not help but ask, “What happened, UP?” The UPLB Perspective, which was called as a ‘mosquito press’ during the Martial Law, traces its roots to the militant and collective action that fights against oppression. Normally, the first editorial should contain the editorial plans and policies of the student newspaper, but this time, the issue of UP commercialization should be addressed first. Since its re-establishment in 1973, UPLB Perspective stands that education is a right. Therefore, the student publication calls to scrap all tuition schemes and to rollback tuition fees instead, and that UP, as premiere state university of the country, should promote a scientific, nationalist, and mass-oriented education. [P]

News Staff Marise Madlangbayan Abraham Tabing Features Staff Miguel Lazarte John Marvin Surio Culture Staff Andrew Estacio Production Staff Paul Carson Apprentices Tristan Agustin

The UPLB Perspective is a member of College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) and UP Solidaridad UP systemwide alliance of student publications and writers’ association UPLB Perspective @uplbperspective

UPLB Perspective Volume 41 Issue 1  
UPLB Perspective Volume 41 Issue 1