More Than a Hundred Student Groups Set to Walkout on Sept. 24 (PR)

Sept. 20, 2010

Various sectors of the University of the Philippines Manila campus are set to join more than a hundred student and youth groups in a nationwide walkout on Sept. 24 against budget cuts to education in the proposed 2011 national budget. The UP System’s 11 campuses are facing a P1.39 billion budget cut, while the maintenance and operating budget of the country’s 112 State Colleges and Universities (SCUs) will be slashed by P1.1 billion.

At the press conference today by the UP Kilusan Laban sa Budget Cut (Movement against Budget Cuts), or KILBUC, Mudir Estrella of the UP Manila University Student Council said “Students will bear the brunt of the budget cuts through future hikes in tuitions and other fees”.

He cited a study by the Kabataan Partylist which showed that the share of state funding in the overall budget of state colleges and universities (SCUs) decreased in previous years. This was accompanied by an increase in the funds collected from tuition and other fees, both in absolute terms and in terms of its percentage in the overall SCU budget.

In the study, the share of state funding in the overall SCUs budget decreased from 87.74% to 66.31% from 2001 to 2010. In the same time period, SUCs’ total revenue from student fees increased from 1.16 billion to 7.04 billion pesos, or from 6.6% to 22.1% of the overall SUC budget.

He said “If a P357 million budget cut could be used as a pretext by the UP Administration to hike our tuition by 300%, we shudder to think of the after-shocks of a P1.39 billion slash”, in reference to the University’s budget cut in 2006, the same year the tuition in UP was raised from P300 to P1000 per unit.

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Professor Carl Marc Ramota of the teachers’ group CONTEND-UPM meanwhile blasted the huge cuts in the MOOEs (Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses) of UP and other SUCs, as well as the zero funding given for CO (Capital Outlay).

The MOOE is the money allocated for daily expenses such as electric and water consumption, repair of classrooms, and purchasing of chalk and other equipment. The CO goes to the construction of new classrooms and other facilities.

For her part, Christine Bangug of the KILBUC-UPM said the budget cut to UP would have an adverse impact on the thousands of poor patients of the Phil. General Hospital, whose funding is included within those received by the University.

She called the reductions ‘indicative’ of the ‘Aquino administration’s low regard for the Filipino peoples’ right to healthcare’. She noted that the budget for the 55 government hospitals nationwide would be slashed by P363 million, while GOCC (gov’t-owned and controlled corporations) hospitals will receive P970 million less.

“One only has to see the snail-paced ‘dengue express-lanes’ in public hospitals to see the dire situation of our public hospitals. Only someone as heartless as Aquino would even think of reducing these establishments’ funding” said Bangug.

The UP Manila leaders were joined by Mikko James Rodriguez and Sheryl Alapad, Student Regents of the Phil. Normal University (PNU) and Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), respectively. The two have pledged that students from their campuses would participate in the nationwide walkout. The PNU will receive the second-biggest budget cut, after UP, at P91 million.

At the same event, National Union of Students in the Philippines (NUSP) secretary-general Vanessa Faye Bolibol unveiled a Unity Statement in support of the Walkout which was signed by more than a hundred student and youth organizations from all over the Philippines, calling it the group’s “pabaon” to President Aquino who is set to leave today for the U.S.

“We suggest to the President that he uses the long flight to America to ponder over the wisdom, or lack thereof, of his decision to reduce education spending. The Sept. 24 walkout will be but a mere preview of the Filipino youth’s outrage should he continue on this course” said Bolibol.


Vanessa Faye Bolibol
NUSP Secretary-General

Groups that will join the walk-out:

Student councils and organizations led by the NUSP: University of the Philippines-Diliman University Student Council, University of the Philippines-Diliman League of College Councils, University of the Philippines-Manila University Student Council, University of the Philippines- Baguio University Student Council, University of the Philippines- Extension Program in Pamapanga University Student Council,

University of the Philippines- Baler Campus University Student Council, University of the Philippines- Visayas University Student Council, University of the Philippines- Cebu Campus Student Council, University of the Philippines- Miag-ao Campus Student Council, University of the Philippines- Tacloban Campus Student Council, University of the Philippines- Mindanao Campus Student Council,

Philippine Normal University- Manila University Student Government, Philippine Normal University- Agusan Student Council, Philippine Normal University-Cadiz Student Council, Philippine Normal University-Isabela Student Council, Philippine Normal University-Quezon Student Council,

Polytechnic University of the Philippines Sentral na Konseho ng Mag-aaral, Eulogio Amang Rodriquez Institute of Science and Technology Student Government, Central Luzon State University – University Supreme Student Council, Araullo University -College of Law Student Council, La Fortuna College – Supreme Student Gouncil, Asian Institute of E-Commerce – Alliance of Peer Leaders,

Provincial Manpower Training Center – Supreme Student Council, Eduardo L. Joson Memorial College – Supreme Student Council, College of Immaculate Conception – College Student Supreme Council, Good Samaritan Colleges – Supreme Student Council, ABE College of Business and Accountancy – Supreme Student Council, Midway Maritime Foundation Inc. – Supreme Student Council,

Nueva Ecija University of Sciece and Technology – University Student Government, Wesleyan University – Philippines – Central Student Council, Araullo University Supreme Student Government, San Jose Christian Colleges – Student Body Organization, STI Education Center – Supreme Student Council, Palayan City Institute of Technology – Supreme Student Council,
First Asian International Systems College – Student Body Organization ,Core Gateway College – Education Student Council ,Cavite State University- Indang College of Arts and Sciences- Students Committee, AMA Computer College (Cabanatuan) – Student Society on Information Technology Education, and the Laguna State Polytechnic University- Mechanical Engineering Society.

De La Salle Univ ersity, De La Salle- College of St. Benilde, St. Scholasticas College, Philippine School for Business Administration, City of Malabon University, Bicol University, and Ateneo de Naga University.

The following campus alliances also pledged to join: Student Movement for a Democratic UP (MOVE-DEM), Katipunan ng mga Sangguniang Mag-aaral ng UP (KASAMA sa UP), National Federation of Student Leaders in PNU, Nueva Ecija Colleges and Universities Student Councils Association, ANAK-PUP, STAND UP-UP Diliman, ASAP Katipunan-UP Manila, Sakbayan-UPLB, and the ACS-PDM-University of Northern Philippines.

They will be joined by the chapters of national youth groups Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students, Student Christian Movement in the Philippines, Kabataang Artista para sa Tunay na Kalayaan, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, and Kabataan Partylist in the following regions: Ilocos, Cordillera, Central Luzon, National Capital Region, Southern Tagalog, Bicol, Cebu, Iloilo, Negros, and Davao.

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2 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. haii nku sana naman d ma2loi ang budget cut blang magaaral ng pup mas nkatitipid kmi sa tuition fee subalit kung tataasan ito wla ring kwenta ang pagpasuk namin kulang na nga sa maaaus na pasilidad tapus babawasan pa ang budget.gravehh cla….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Akala ko kapag naupo si noynoy! mas pag lalaanan nya ng pansin ang edukasyon… edukasyon dapat ang mas pinaglalaanan nila ng pondo!! imbis na ang mga walang kabuluhan bagay!!! as a future teacher! naghahangad din kami ng magandang edukasyon para sa mga incoming generation! para hindi nila maranasan ang nararanasan na kahirapan sa edukasyon ng mga sinaunang henerasyon!

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