“This only means that Doc G (Dr. Guevarra) is already isolated. It is not true that the PUP community is against the students who protested against the tuition hike,” Canela told Bulatlat.
On Friday March 26, presidential bet Bro. Eddie Villanueva visited the PUP 5 at the MPD. He called on Guevarra, PUP president, whom he addressed as a friend, to withdraw the case because it would only shame him.
“We have already paid the price during the martial law years. This kind of arrest and false charges should not be happening at the present,” Villanueva, an alumnus of PUP, told journalists.
“We knew we were winning because the tuition hike in PUP has become an issue nationwide,” Cheysser Soriano said, adding that continuing the case against the PUP 5 will only expose the real condition of education in the country.
Ken Ramos, chairman of Anakbayan and fifth nominee of the Kabataan Partylist, said “the root of the problem is the lack of budget for education.”
Ramos said that the National Youth Action Day for Education held on Monday was called upon by Kabataan Partylist to show that the PUP protest was only a manifestation of a bigger problem in the education system. He said there are other schools who face the same situation but have not been covered by the media.
Fellow students and supporters of the PUP 5. (Photo by Janess Ann J. Ellao / bulatlat.com)
Einstein Recedes, national chairman of the National Union of Students of the Philippines, said only 2.7 percent of the gross domestic product is allotted for education when the United Nations recommends at least 6 percent of GDP.
In the national budget, he said, only 14 percent is allotted for education. “This means that only P6.80 is allotted for every student studying in SUCs per day. This is very small because international standards recommends at lest 20 percent of the composition of the national budget.”
Ramos said Kabataan Partylist and its member organizations are challenging all politicians running this May Elections to initiate reforms in the education system. He also blamed the present administration for the continuing deterioration of the education.
The PUP administration had earlier planned to increase the tuition in the state university from the present P12 per unit to P200, or nearly 1,700 percent increase.
“No matter what angle you try to look at it, tuition increase in state universities is never reasonable,” said Ferrin Louise Umagat, 19, one of the students who protested in PUP, told Bulatlat.
PUP president Dr. Dante Guevarra and PUP students at the Manila Police District. (Photo by Janess Ann J. Ellao / bulatlat.com)
The protest actions of the students bore fruit when Emmanuel Angeles of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said last March 24 that there would be no increase in PUP’s tuition yet. Angeles is also the president of the Board of Regents of the said university.
Judy Anne Fabito, 19, one of the PUP 5 and a B.S. Chemistry student, said one of the most affected colleges of the proposed tuition hike in PUP is the College of Science. She said that laboratory fees would have increased from P60 to P500.
“If the earlier batches of PUP students did not fight for our P12 per unit tuition — when there was an earlier plan to increase it — then I would not have been able to avail of the cheap tuition. That is why I am fighting for the rights of the incoming first year students to education,” Fabito said.
Kabataan Partylist secretary general Vencer Crisostomo said an investigation should be pursued against people who have been trying to rob students of their future by pushing for a tuition hike. (Bulatlat.com)