UP Cebu walkout vs budget cuts

 

Cebu City

 

November 26,2010

 

   The New UP Student Regent     ■   Caucus of SUCs at UP      ■    Bonus Tracks

 

 

   

Articles and statements:

 

   
   

■  Strike by Sarah Raymundo

   
   

■  Response to Aquino government lies about SUC budget cuts by Kabataang Partylist

   
   

  Privatization of the University of the Philippines: Circumstance, Forms, Resistance by UP Faculty Regent Judy M. Taguiwalo

   
   

  Epilogo: Ang Sentenaryong Hinaharap ng Pamantasan ng Mamamayan ni UP Faculty Regent Judy M. Taguiwalo

   
   

  Para sa Bayan, Para sa Kinabukasan! by Kristian Jacob Abad Lora

   
   

  A Call to Strike by CONTEND-UP Manila

   
               
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UP Cebu Isko and Iska Walkout to protest budget cut!
A report by UP Faculty Regent Judy M. Taguiwalo who was attending a U.P. Board of Regents meeting in Cebu  on the same day, Nov. 26, 2010..

Protests against the budget cut were not limited to Metro Manila universities. U.P. Cebu students , professors and staff walked out today to send the same message to the Aquino government--education is a right, no to the reduction in the already inadequate government subsidy to U.P. and other state universities and colleges.

 

As the U.P. BOR held its meeting in U.P. Cebu, the protest also called for the implementation of the May 2010 decision granting Sarah Raymundo tenure, the grant of tenure to U.P. Cebu professor Roberto Basadre, financial allocation for U.P. Cebu which will be autonomous from U.P. Visayas starting January 2011 among other concerns. We are so proud to have been part of the U.P. Cebu protest. Padayon!!
 

 
 

 

 

From Strike by Sarah Raymundo:

 

“… because it is clear for those of us who oppose the 2011 budget that the state has a constitutional duty to protect the youth’s education in all levels, we can only critique the government’s 2011 ‘reform’ budget in the light of its acquiescence to the imperatives of structural adjustment—a U.S. imperialist imposition on its neocolonies that effectively aligns the latter’s economy and culture to the demands of neoliberal globalization. This economic strategy which doubles up as a form of social discipline aims to speed up the privatization of social services which includes education among others. And the fact that the administration of the University of the Philippines consists of a bunch of business fanatics whose compulsion for income generating schemes that result in never before imagined business tie-ups with the country’s compradors and other possibilities of partnerships with multi-national corporations (read: misguided blind faith in foreign capital) are symptoms of privatization’s tyrannical hubris defining higher education.”

 

From: Privatization of the University of the Philippines: Circumstance, Forms, Resistance, 2009 by Prof. Judy M. Taguiwalo,

 

The present Philippine government under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has fully embraced the World Bank prescriptions on higher education “reforms”. Arroyo’s “Long Term Education Development Plans” (LTEDP) covering the period from 2001 to 2010 lays down specific targets for the adoption of privatization policies and programs by state universities and colleges (SUCs):

• 20% of SUCS to be financially self-reliant through sale of intellectual property rights and grants
• 50% of SUCs will have active income-generating projects
• 70% of SUCS will have tuition comparable to those charged by private higher education institutions
• 60% of the universities will have forged collaboration with big business and industries

The above plan has been accompanied by lower budgetary allocation for public higher education institutions in the country. The Arroyo government’s appropriation for higher education has shown nominal increases in the past seven years: from P15. 35 billion in 2001 to 22.57 billion in 2008. On the other hand the share in the expenditures for state universities and colleges coming from internally generated revenues has increased from P 2.42 billion pesos in 2001 to P7.54 billion in 2008. Student subsidy has drastically dropped as shown by the increase in the percentage of income generated from students compared to total income of SUCs: from 11% in 2001 to 80% in 2008.

 

 

Poster by David Daniel San Juan

   
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Photos by Arkibong Bayan,  Judy Taguiwalo, Kristian Lora,

Sarah Raymundo and Tochi Pat as indicated by the image filename

 
■  UP Cebu Walkout vs Budget Cut
           
     

 

Strike
by Sarah Raymundo

 

The past week astounded a lot of us whose wild thirst for a big protest to happen at the University of the Philippines-Diliman had almost assumed the looks of pipe dreams if not for the strikes’ definitive success. A few months ago, radical students were talking of a November Storm on Facebook. I was so thrilled and intrigued that I fervently hoped to get invited should a brainstorming activity takes place for this event. I never was. So I went on with my so-called life performing everyday tasks and some habits, meeting indispensable people and beating a few deadlines. The first week of November came and there was hardly any indication of this month being an interesting time, save for the fact that it’s a birthday month I share with very dear friends therefore making the idea of a bottomless party a welcome possibility because I always love talking to people when they are drunk and I’m not.

But even before the first week of November was over, I already got news of a multi-sectoral meeting happening on the 2nd week of the month. I like meetings because they are almost always a good venue for hearing people out as opinions drop out of their mouths. In such situations, I keep myself busy thinking of either an affirmative statement or a counter-argument to convey. It really depends on what is being laid down and by whom. I don’t usually express my disagreement with young activists because in my head, they always have the best of intentions and besides, they look like they would only say something that is already a product of a unity forged within their respective organizations. So I’m usually in my best behaviour during multi-sectoral meetings. And it’s surely something that my dear comrades from CONTEND would find strange if I started adopting that kind of disposition in our very own weekly get-together.

And so it was from the youth activists that I’ve learned that the Aquino Administration’s 2011 Reform Budget can’t be anything other than an anti-development and a counter-insurgency budget. RG Tessa reminded all of us of the analysis that it is not a reform budget at all. It is no different from the Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo mode of corrupting the national budget to the core. But nothing could impress me more than their presentation of planned activities. Terry Ridon, National Chairperson of the League of Filipino Students, University Student Council Chair Rainier Sindayen and Former Student Regent Cori Co took turns in providing a run-down of activities that organizations from different State Universities have had planned. Yes, I was almost in tears listening to this because nothing moves me more than the signs of an emancipatory collective in action.

I was made to understand that the next few weeks are crucial in terms of mobilizing students in public state colleges and universities to fight for greater state subsidy and to expose the unjust budget cuts to education. The cuts were made to allocate a huge portion of the national budget for debt servicing and military spending. The line which argues that the cuts were necessary to allocate more funds for basic education is an attempt to divide the education sector that badly needs funding from the state. First of all, the proposed allocation for basic ed is far from what is actually needed. Thus, to imply that college students who oppose the budget cuts are nothing but brats for wanting to deprive their younger brothers and sisters who are just about to learn the basics is downright retarded. Second, because it is clear for those of us who oppose the 2011 budget that the state has a constitutional duty to protect the youth’s education in all levels, we can only critique the government’s 2011 “reform” budget in the light of its acquiescence to the imperatives of structural adjustment—a U.S. imperialist imposition on its neocolonies that effectively aligns the latter’s economy and culture to the demands of neoliberal globalization. This economic strategy which doubles up as a form of social discipline aims to speed up the privatization of social services which includes education among others. And the fact that the administration of the University of the Philippines consists of a bunch of business fanatics whose compulsion for income generating schemes that result in never before imagined business tie-ups with the country’s compradors and other possibilities of partnerships with multi-national corporations (read: misguided blind faith in foreign capital) are symptoms of privatization’s tyrannical hubris defining higher education. Sometimes I cannot help but think that some people in the University must have already developed this almost sexual appetite for profit. Surely, they, too, need protection.

Having all these in mind and more, a bunch of faculty members got together on November 11 to synchronize our activities with that of the youth activists’ plan for a strike. It was not difficult to come up with a united stand against the budget cut as conditions of privatization in the University aren’t new to all of us. We are, in fact, tired of it if that apart from wishing it away, we are all too eager to do whatever it takes to critique and oppose it together with the students and other members of the UP Community. And so an alliance was formed on this day and we called it the Concerned Faculty Against the Budget Cut (I know. But creativity is primarily for advertisements that distastefully sell a particular image of a given product. We, on the other hand, mean to subvert rather than entertain).

Let November 17 be a teach-in day. And so it was. Apart from being a big success in that it was able to mobilize more that 400 hundred students who stayed in Palma Hall and listened to the lectures that focused on a critique of the budget cut in relation to neoliberalism and our urgent tasks, it was also a moment that we enjoyed having been able to march with students on a snake rally which meant climbing up and down the stairs of Palma Hall while chanting all of that anti-budget cut slogans. Perhaps, this occasion offered us a duty and a promise of being everywhere and together whenever education is at stake.

The campaign against the budget cut got more intense as we approached the 2-day strike. People got busy examining the strengths and weaknesses of how we have so far implemented our campaign plan. It was also a time when people got busy publishing their statements of solidarity for the strike. Teachers and students found themselves conducting classes in protest centers. This, according to one student activist, was necessary so that people will be able to rehearse for the strike. And how I love rehearsals of this sort.

Finally, it was the 25th. One of two things could have happened. The strike could be nothing more than a virtual facebook phenomenon with almost everybody affirming their support and participation. Or it could be a real event taking place in the University of the Philippines-Diliman. The strike was both of these things and even more. I was, after all, right in deciding to wear my very old pair of shoes, the same pair I wore during the largest protest-action staged in UP when I was still in college. It was a big rally with 2,000 students protesting the Commonwealth Property Development Plan (CPDP) of the University. But for this strike, approximately 3,500-4,000 students participated at varying periods and activities of the day. Being the sucker that I am for happenings such as this, it is not difficult to imagine how I had been there all day and in all of the activities. I have in my desktop a total of 2 hours of video recording of snippets of images which to me were so compelling that I had to capture them using a camcorder that never fails to confuse me. At some point during the march to Quezon Hall, I chanced upon Cori Co and Rainier Sindayen atop the Union’s van. I approached the vehicle to capture an image of the two together as they lead the agit-prop. But I was discomfited to see them up close in tears. And when I was just about to confirm a weird suspicion (you two are suspended for leading the strike, aren’t you?), Cori, all red and looking at the crowd of students mutters: Sobrang dami , grabe ito (We are too many, this is overwhelming!). I immediately turned away as I just want to keep taking pictures because it’s a nice way to hide my tearful gaze. I too was astounded by all that action. I kept asking where did they all come from? And when it was time to sing UP Naming Mahal at the University Avenue, I again decided to stick to my self-appointed role as documentor for keeping still and singing with the crowd as a drama queen would have meant a funny breakdown scene featuring me.

While recording, I thought of my dear comrade Johnatan Pimentel who’s been in Spain. This would have made his day. I thought of Ginny Misa and Melvin Salta with whom I’ve shared my high hopes for the kind of life I’ve wanted to lead. I thought of my dear friend Lala Calma who was with me the last time that I was in the same spot with too many people. It was UP’s Centennial kickoff and I was just so ridiculously jolly until she reminded me of Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno in a form of a cunning joke that brought to mind images of WWII, the military, war helicopters and the coming back of all of the disappeared UP activists since the First Quarter Storm. My brother took a day off from work to participate in the strike. Activism is not something that people outgrow on account of maturity. My sense is that mature people struggle to keep their lives align with the struggle. Meanwhile, there are those who are dwarfed by the alienating conditions in the workplace. To believe that activism is a mere phase in one’s life is to actually believe that the world revolves around one’s self when it doesn’t. And the struggle for a just society happens and by no means is it determined by crude psychologisms such as “life phases."

The subsequent program that took place at the AS steps (Palma Hall) is historic not only in terms of numbers but more because of the solidarity that was in the air as everybody witnessed one performance after another and as representatives from different colleges and organizations gave their solidarity messages. The performance of UP Repertory was outstanding. It was a tough and thoughtful critique of the budget cut and the impact of privatization on the University and on the Iskolar ng Bayan and it made everybody laugh and think at the same time. The students stayed at the AS steps until the next day. On the 26th, the strike continued. After a few hours of massing up at the AS Steps, strikers marched to the National College of Public Administration to unite with the University Council (faculty members Assistant Professors-Full Professors) that decisively made a unanimous stand for an increase in state subsidy to UP and all SCUs. Students, faculty and workers then headed to Mendiola to unite with other strikers coming from different SUCs in Metro Manila.

It doesn’t stop there. On the 27th, student, faculty and administrators from various SUCs gather together in a caucus that was intended to assess the strike, conduct an in-depth discussion of the debates on the budget proposal in relation to the conditions in the different SCUs and preparations for the December 1 Senate hearing on the 2011 proposed budget. A bigger mobilization is expected and being worked out. On Sunday, a media event took place at UP Diliman featuring a anti-budget cut morning jog. The anti-budget cut booth was visited by 231 joggers who signed the manifesto against the 1.39 budget cut to the University of the Philippines.

I feel compelled to note everything that has happened in the past week and I’m afraid that I am doing so in a manner that almost sounds perfunctory. With more energy, I might have given this account of the strike more justice that it truly deserves. But this is all that I can deliver for now. And a vivid memory of a homework of many years ago that brought me to the Main Library where I encountered the following words from Frantz Fanon: “Every time a man has contributed to the victory of the dignity of the spirit, every time a man has said no to an attempt to subjugate his fellows, I have felt solidarity with this act (Black Skin, White Masks).”

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

Response to Aquino government lies about SUC budget cuts

28 November 2010 332 views View Comments

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ON “GHOST” BUDGET CUTS

We allocated P23.4 billion to 112 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in 2011. This is 1.7 percent lower than the P23.8 billion budget for 2010. We are gradually reducing the subsidy to SUCs to push them toward becoming self-sufficient and financially independent, given their ability to raise their income and to utilize it for their programs and projects.

– Pres. Noynoy Aquino in his Budget message (August 24, 2010)

President Aquino said it himself. Before we challenged the budget cuts, he proclaimed the truth about the government’s real intentions. It was when we began speaking up when the government began singing different, and often conflicting, tunes to cover up the President.

Source: Budget Expenditures and Sources of Financing (BESF) report of Department of Budget and Management

**Estimated real value of state subsidy based on government’s Consumer Price Index, according to the value of the peso in the year 2000 (rounded-off to the nearest hundreds).

Despite nominal increases in state subsidies through the decade, its actual worth or value is decreasing because of inflation. It becomes even more grossly insufficient taking into consideration the growing number of programs and students in state universities through the years.

One component of any government’s agency’s budget is MOOE or Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses. The MOOE of state universities for 2011 will be cut by a whopping P1.1 billion. Even if the government justifies the budget cut by claiming that much of the “cut” was a result of the non-inclusion of completed infrastructure projects (like new buildings) or the non-inclusion of “congressional insertions” in 2010 (which were all in the form of “Capital Outlay”), we cannot ignore the real cut on MOOE, which represents the funds allocated for the operations of the various services of government agencies, from payments of utilities such as water and electricity, to purchases of office and laboratory supplies.

Source: Budget Expenditures and Sources of Financing (BESF) of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM)

Taking into consideration that the value of money decreases as time goes by due to inflation, it can be seen that as computed against the government’s Consumer Price Index, the state subsidy for the operations of state universities would be at its lowest in 2011. Click here for the full list of state universities with their corresponding cuts in MOOE, as proposed by the Aquino administration. Click here for the full budget briefer on SUC’s.

ON SELF-SUFFICIENCY

To claim that SUC’s can and should generate their own income is to affirm the inevitable tuition (and other fees) increase that always comes with or after a budget cut. DBM Secretary Abad and Malacanang Palace Spokesman Edwin Lacierda have often been quoted as saying schools should increase tuition instead of asking for more state subsidy.

Technohub myth
Ayala pays only P160 million per year for the lease of the UP-AyalaLand Technohub, a rather small amount compared to the P18 billion – the UP administration estimate of what UP needs annually. This means UP has to build more than 100 huge commercial centers to augment insufficient state subsidy.

Billions of unused savings and funds?
As affirmed by the Dean of the UP College of Home Economics‎. “Do not be decieved when you read in the papers today that ‘UP has P11 billion in income that is not plowed back to the national treasury’. That P11 billion constitute endowment funds obtained from private donors which are for specific purposes such as professorial chairs that administrators cannot use for MOOE, Equipment Outlay or Capital Outlay.”

ON PRIORITIZING BASIC EDUCATION FIRST

They say, the Department of Education budget was increased from P175 billion to P207.27 billion = +P32 billion. Of this, P23 billion is in the form of an increase in salaries because of the Salary Standardization Law, of which Pres. Aquino cannot take any credit because it is automatic.

The rest of the P9 billion increase will go to:

  • 18,000 new classrooms, while the shortage is pegged at more than 152,000

  • Target additional armchairs is about 1 million while the shortage is at a staggering 13 million.

  • Only 32 million new textbooks are planned to be purchased while the current shortage is at 95 million.

  • Target for new teachers meanwhile is only 10,000 when the shortage is 103,000.

Government is to spend only P5.79 per day per Filipino for basic education.

THE REAL PRIORITIES

Pitting state universities and basic education against each other, where contradiction shouldn’t exist in the first place, is a ploy to divide the education sector and to serve as a smokescreen to the real priorities of the government. What are they trying to cover up?

  • Pork barrel funds for legislators will be increased by more than P13.9 billion for a total of P24.8 billion.

  • Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be given an additional P2 billion in pork barrel funds.

  • Lump-sum (read: corruption) funds for 2011 total P245 billion. Of this amount, P68 billion represents audit-free Presidential pork barrel.

  • Dole-out and patronage funds under the Conditional Cash Transfer program of the DSWD has a budget of P29 billion.

  • The military, notorious for violating human rights and killing civilians, will be awarded a P10 billion increase in its budget for a total of P104.7 billion.

  • Debt servicing eats the chunk of the budget, getting an increase of P80.9 billion with P823 billion in total spending for both interest payments and principal amortization.

From Kabataan Partylist website:

http://kabataanpartylist.com/blog/response-to-aquino-government-lies-about-suc-budget-cuts/

 

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     
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Privatization of the University of the Philippines: C

ircumstance, Forms, Resistance

UP Faculty Regent Judy M. Taguiwalo, Ph.D.

Professor

College of Social Work and Community Development

University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

(This paper was published in the CSCWD Development Journal 2009)

 

Privatisation is a policy tool, not just a giving up by the state of the capacity to manage social problems and respond to social needs, but part of an ensemble for innovations, organisational changes, new relationships and social partnerships, all of which play their part in the re-working of the state itself. In this context, the re-working of education lends legitimacy to the concept of education as an object of profit, provided in a form which is contractable and saleable. [1]

 

Introduction:

           

The University of the Philippines (UP)  is a product of the first war of aggression of the United States, a relatively new imperialist power,  at the tail end of the 19th century. UP was established in 1908, ten years after the Philippine-American War and seven years after the United States launched a “pacification campaign” to eradicate continuing patriotic armed resistance in the countryside. The armed campaign of the United States was paired with the establishment of a nation-wide public school system which provided a “benevolent” image of the foreign aggressors as it weakened the spirit of resistance of the Filipino people through the use of education.

           

            In its 100 years of existence, the university’s institutional and official role has been as a defender of the ruling system. From the direct colonial rule of the United States, to the neo-colonial period after the so-called grant of independence to the Philippines in 1946, through the martial law period under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, a law graduate of the university up to the present period of neo-liberal policies and the war of terror against the people under Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, an economics graduate, UP has provided legitimation  to the neo-colonial and semi-feudal system and has produced leading bureaucrats, local managers of big businesses and highly- trained intellectuals in the service of this system. In UP’s centennial celebrations last year,  the university administration proudly announced the following statistics:247,000 alumni, 30 out of 31 National Scientists, 34 out of 57 National Artists,7 out of 14 Presidents, 12 Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, 8,000 lawyers, 15,000 doctors, 15,000 engineers, 23,000 teachers.

 

            While the role of legitimizing the ruling system is one performed by all higher education institutions in the country, the University of the Philippines plays a unique role as the country’s “premier state university”. This description of UP highlighted the public character of the university and its high academic standards. 

 

            With the passage of a new UP Charter in 2008, a charter vigorously pushed by the present UP administration, the university has abandoned its description as the country’s premier state university and is now officially known as the national university. By removing the description “premier state university” and replacing it with national university, ostensibly to assert that UP is the best not only among state universities but among all higher education institutions of the country, the UP administration has actually called attention to the diminishing public character of the university. The privatization of the University of the Philippines is an ongoing process which has accelerated in the past decade.

 

Privatization of government-run educational institutions is a component of  neo-liberal globalization. My paper deals with the ongoing privatization of the University of the Philippines  It  starts with a discussion of higher education “reforms” coming from the World Bank which serve as the policy framework for privatization of public universities and the particular policies adopted by the Arroyo government related to the World Bank advisory. I will then describe the circumstance and major manifestations of privatization in the University of the Philippines. The paper ends with a presentation of the resistance of organized faculty, staff and students of the university to privatization policies and programs in the university and the future prospects of such struggle.

 

Education “Reforms” and Neo-liberal globalization Policies

 

            A key World Bank policy paper which elaborates on the so-called higher education reforms is the 1994 “Higher Education: Lessons of Experience”. The paper recognizes the important role of higher education institutions not only for the benefit of individual students but in advancing economic and social development:

 

Institutions of higher education have the main responsibility for equipping

individuals with the advanced knowledge and skills required for positions

of responsibility in government, business, and the professions. These institutions produce new knowledge through research; serve as conduits for the transfer. adaptation, and dissemination of knowledge generated elsewhere in the world, and support government and business with advice and consultancy services. In most countries. higher education institutions also play important social roles by forging the national identity of the country and offering a forum for pluralistic debate. [2]

 

 

                The document notes that higher education is in crisis through out the world because of the “compression” of education budgets, particularly expenditures per student. As a result the quality of teaching and research is compromised in many countries as “ higher education institutions operate under adverse conditions: overcrowding, deteriorating physical facilities, and lack of resources for nonsalary expenditures such as textbooks, educational materials. laboratory consumables, and maintenance” .[3]

 

                However, while the World Bank recognizes that investments in higher education actually contribute “to increases in labor productivity and to higher long-term economic growth, which are essential for poverty alleviation” [4], its proposed educational reforms accept as given that state financial support to higher education cannot or should not  be the main source of financing.

 

The four key directions for reforms proposed by the World Bank are framed by a market-driven perspective. These are:

* Encouraging greater differentiation of institutions. including the development of private institutions

* Providing incentives for public institutions to diversify sources of funding.

including cost-sharing with students, and linking government funding

closely to performance

* Redefining the role of government in higher education

* Introducing policies explicitly designed to give priority to quality and

equity objectives.[5]

 

            The role of the state is defined as providing a positive environment for higher education institutions with the advise of the World Bank that success in implementing  higher education reforms  depends on  “the establishment of coherent policy framework”,  “greater reliance on incentives and market-oriented instruments to implement policies” and “increased management autonomy for public institutions.”[6]

 

The multilateral institution offers priority funding assistance to “countries prepared to adopt a higher education policy framework that stresses a differentiated institutional structure and diversified resource base, with greater emphasis on private providers and private funding.”[7] This is privatization of public education: the reduction of public support for education simultaneous with the growing emphasis on efficiency and cost-savings by generating revenues through varied means including imposition of higher fees, elimination of non-profitable units, and going into profitable joint ventures.

 

Education International (EI), a global organization of unions and associations of education workers, describes two forms of privatization in public education. in a paper entitled “Hidden Privatization in Public Education”[8] . It refers to “privatization in public education or endogenous privatization” as the “import(ation) of ideas, techniques and practices from the private sector in order to make the public sector more like businesses and more business-like”. The “privatization of public education or exogenous privatization” refers to “the opening up of a public education services to private sector participation on a for-profit basis and using the private sector to design, manage or deliver aspects of public education.”

 

            Education International notes that:

 

The first form of privatisation, where the public sector is asked to behave more like the private sector, is widespread and well established. The second form of privatisation, where the private sector moves into public education, is a newer but rapidly growing form of privatisation.

 

These forms of privatisation are not mutually-exclusive and are often inter-related, indeed, exogenous privatisation is often made possible by prior endogenous forms.

Both privatisation in public education and privatisation of public education

often remain hidden and are not subjected to public debate – in the first case

techniques and practices are not named as privatisation, in the second case

privatisation is not publicly known about or properly understood.

 

The privatization of higher education in the Philippines in line with the World Bank dictates and in forms similar to those forwarded by Education International is an ongoing process in the country.

 

 In a 1998 study entitled “Philippine Education for the 21st Century: The 1998 Philippines Education Sector Study”, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) underscored the fact that increasing government allocation to secondary and tertiary education is inefficient especially when such is provided “free of charge or at very low cost-recovery rates”. The study avers that such subsidy undermines the private sector’s share of the education market and recommends charging more for post basic education while offering subsidies to “deserving” students.[9]

 

The Philippine Government: Embracing Higher Education “Reforms”

 

            The present Philippine government under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has fully embraced the World Bank prescriptions on higher education “reforms”.  Arroyo’s “Long Term Education Development Plans” (LTEDP) covering the period from 2001 to 2010 lays down specific targets for the adoption of privatization policies and programs by state universities and colleges (SUCs):

 

         20% of SUCS to be financially self-reliant through sale of intellectual property rights and grants

         50% of SUCs will have active income-generating projects

         70% of SUCS will have tuition comparable to those charged by private higher education institutions

         60% of the universities will have forged collaboration with big business and industries

 

            The above plan has been accompanied by lower budgetary allocation for public higher education institutions in the country. The Arroyo government’s appropriation for higher education has shown nominal increases in the past seven years: from P15. 35 billion in 2001 to 22.57 billion in 2008. On the other hand the share in the expenditures for state universities and colleges coming from internally generated revenues has increased from P 2.42 billion pesos in 2001 to P7.54 billion in 2008. Student subsidy has drastically dropped as shown by the increase in the percentage of income generated from students compared to total income of SUCs: from 11% in 2001 to 80% in 2008.

 

The University of the Philippines under the present Roman Administration: Institutionalizing and Accelerating Privatization of the University

 

            The UP Charter enacted in April 2008 institutionalizes the privatization programs and projects of the university which have been started even prior to passage of the new charter. Mention has already been made of the change in the description of the university from the premier state university to a national university.

 

            A section in the UP Charter , Section 22 on “Land Grants and Other Real Properties of the University” details the various ways by which the university can generate income from its properties. Land leases and joint ventures are among the modes allowed by the charter, in effect giving license to the university to go into business. On the other hand, the entry of big business into the university is institutionalized in another section. Section 24, “Management of Funds”,  designates representatives of big business as investment advisers to the university through the creation of a so-called “independent trust committee”. The President of the University heads this committee with one representative each from the Bankers Association of the Philippines, the Investment Houses Association of the Philippines, the Trust Officers Association of the Philippines and the Financial Executive Institute of the Philippines. The so-called Independent Trust Committee “shall provide the Board with direction on appropriate investment objectives and permissible investments with the view to preserving the value of the funds while allowing the University to earn a reasonable return thereon”. [10]

 

            It is not surprising that the Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND), an organization of UP faculty members describes the 2008 UP Charter as providing the Transition from the Premier State University to a Privately Run Corporate Enterprise Driven by the Search for Profit[11]

 

Tuition and Other Student Fee Increases

 

Tuition was raised by the University last December 2006. From a high of P300 per unit (campuses situated outside of the three main campuses charged lower than this), tuition was pegged to an average of P1,000 per unit and as high as P1,500 per unit for undergraduate students. In addition, miscellaneous fees such as laboratory and library fees were also increased. This move transfers to the students in increasing amounts the failure of the government to adequately support state universities and colleges. State subsidy per student was drastically slashed from the previous  78% per student to 47% or even as low as 23% . Based on the P1,531.00 cost of instruction per unit as pegged by a University committee which proposed the increase, full tuition subsidy is P27,558 for 18 units which UP undergraduate students usually take.

The following table illustrates the decline of state subsidy to UP students’ tuition (miscellaneous fees are not included) as a proportion of the cost of instruction after the implementation of the tuition increase.

 

 

Previous Rate

P300/unit

New P700/unit

 

TF

P1,000/unit

TFI

P1,500/unit

Total cost for 18 units

P6, 015

P14,600

P21, 240

P27,000

Government Subsidy

P21, 543

P12,958

P6, 318

558.00

% of government subsidy to total cost

78%

47%

23%

2%

Adapted from the 2006 primer of STAND-UP, a student organization of the university

 

Opening the university to big business

 

          Prior to the passage of the 2008 UP Charter, the university had already planned to open 129.5 hectares of its 493 hectares campus in Quezon City for so-called joint ventures with big business and have actually implemented a number of these.

 

            As early as 2004, a science and technology park was established and was proclaimed a special economic zone of the Philippine Pesident. Two Japanese companies and six local start-up companies occupied this park.

 

             The biggest  of the joint ventures entered into by the university is the lease of prime UP property to one of the biggest land developers in the country, the Ayala conglomerate. Under the guise of advancing science and technology, a ”techno park” is being built in 38.6 hectares of prime land. While obstensibly promoting academe-business partnership to advance the academic agenda of the university, the ”techno park” is now the location of several call centers or business processing outsourcing (BPO) companies such as the Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and IBM; a restaurant and fast food locale. Also in the pipeline is the construction of hotels and residential complex.

 

Big business continues to be welcomed with open arms by the university administration. Recently several projects involving joint ventures or providing additional incentives to big business have been approved. Others are due for approval by the university’s highest governing body. [12]

 

            A Centennial Dormitory was approved last December 2008. This is a project intended to provide a solution to the perennial lack of student housing in the major campus of the university. Four five-story buildings are intended to be built in 2,500 square meters of UP land. Two of these buildings will be built using university funds while the other two will be constructed by the Philippine Investment Management (PHINMA) Inc., which will provide the funds and will have naming rights over the two buildings. The management and operation of the dormitory will be given to “a private management group” which shall be under the supervision of an Oversight Committee.  The Oversight Committee shall be composed of the Chancellor of UP Diliman as chair, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs of UP Diliman, Dean of the College of Business Administration, Dean of the College of Engineering, a representative from the foundation of the College of Engineering which helped raise the fund, a representative to be named by the Dean of the College of Business Administration and a representative to be named by the Dean of the College of Engineering.  

 

Students of the College of Engineering shall have first priority over 50% of the total number of slots in the PHINMA constructed buildings at any time. Traditionally, dormitory slots have been allocated on the basis of students’ enrolment status (freshies, upper class, graduate students) and on the basis of residence of origins with priority given to students coming from the provinces. The project is precedent setting in two ways.

 

This is the first time in the history of the university that dormitory slots are reserved for students of the college which helped generate the funds for the building and first time that a private management team will oversee a UP dormitory. In effect, the project initiates prioritizing access to student housing on the ability to generate funds and the entry of private entities in building and running university dormitories.  

 

Another proposal from the UP Administration  which was presented to the BOR in the July 31 meeting is a revision on the existing “Guidelines for Naming Buildings, Structures, Streets, Parks and Other places in the university approved by the UP President on 27 July 2004 and noted by the BOR at its 1185th meeting on 26 of August 2004. The present policy regarding naming of buildings, structures, streets, parks and other places in the University allows the naming of buildings, structures, streets, parks and other places after living persons or juridical persons only when it is made a condition in a donation in favor of the University and for meritorious considerations. The proposed revision (among others) is the replacement of and to or:

Buildings: A proposal for naming a building (or significant and identifiable section of a building) in honor of a person or organization may be considered when that person or organization:

·        is a major benefactor who makes a direct and substantial contribution to the capital cost of constructing the building (at least 50% of project cost) or

·        has given extraordinarily distinguished service to the University that merits recognition in the University’s history (on special recommendation by the President to, and subsequent approval by, the Board of Regents.

 

The main criticism to this amendment is that gives naming rights to UP buildings based solely on financial considerations, in effect institutionalizing another form of “UP for Sale”. Traditionally UP buildings have been named after heroes, dead statesmen and women or deceased outstanding academic and administrative leaders of the University. Recognition of financial donations to the university has been in the form of commemorative plaques placed in a strategic location of the building (for major donors in the construction of buildings)  and the naming of professorial and faculty chairs and rooms within a building.

 

Another proposal presented to the Board of Regents is the leasing, conversion and development of a building situated inside the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), a component of the University of the Philippines in Manila, to a private entity, the Mercado General Hospital.

 

To be known as the UP Manila-PGH Faculty Medical Arts Building, the terms of the contract do not only provide clinic space for UP faculty members of the College of Medicine to allow them to practice their profession instead of going to private hospitals (a provision not objected to by the Board) but also allows the Mercado General Hospital to put up a pharmacy, x-ray facilities and laboratories. These facilities are already found in PGH and setting these up inside the premises of the hospital is superfluous. The rental rate is P1,000,000 per month (net of all taxes) subject to a yearly increase or escalation at the rate of 10% per annum commencing on the 6th year of the term of the lease. This amount is way below the current rates of commercial spaces around the hospital.  The period of lease is 25 years exclusive of a rent-free period of 18 months from date of signing of contract within which the lessee must perform, comply with and complete all the works for the conversion, rehabilitation and development of FAB.

 

The above  forms of privatization: transferring to the students a larger part of the cost of their education, joint ventures with big business and  selling naming rights are only  some examples of the accelerating and diversified ways of privatization of the University of the Philippines.

 

State Subsidies: The carrot and the stick to further the privatization of the university

 

Government allocation for the University has diminished or has barely increased through the past eight years while self generated income has reached the P1 billion peso mark. (Table 1). Government allocation is way below the proposed budget of the University (Table 2)  giving  the UP administration the justification for its various schemes to impose new fees and to enter into partnership ventures with big business.

 

 

Table 1. UP Budget 2001-2007 (in thousand pesos)[13]

 

GF

RLIP

RF

Internal Operating Budget

2001

3,576,893

255,377

868,564

4,700,834

2002

4,338,955

268,778

951,734

5,559,467

2003

4,340,000

287,000

967,291

5,594,291

2004

4,230,741

289,043

935,703

5,455,487

2005

4,162,794

289,046

951,024

5,402,864

2006

4,105,205

289,046

1,018,822

5,413,073

2007

4,783,529

291,283

1,194,072

6,268,884

2008

6,523,576

(included in GF amount)

1,113,706

7,637,282

GF=Genaral Fund/fund from government;      RF=Revolving Fund/fund raised by UP

RLIP = Retirement Life Insurance Premium (automatic allocation for employees)

 

 

Table 2. University Proposed Budget and Actual Approved Appropriation [14]

 (in thousand pesos)

Year

Proposed Budget (A)

UP Appropriation (B)

Difference (A-B)

2001

6, 840,153

3, 576, 893

3, 263, 260

2002

7, 069,681

4, 338, 955

2, 730,726

2003

7, 327, 993

4, 627, 000

2, 700, 993

2004

7, 010, 580

4, 519, 784

2, 490, 796

2005

6, 261, 654

4, 451, 840

1, 809, 814

2006

7, 821, 010

4, 394, 251

3, 426, 759

2007

8, 375, 753

5, 074, 812

3, 300, 941

              2008

11,546,311

6, 232, 649

5, 313, 662

 

While the chronic shortfall in government allocation to UP and UP’s actual needs is usually given as the reason for the various income-generating activities of the university, it cannot be denied that the UP administration has also embraced the ideological justification for the need for public higher education institutions to generate its own income, particularly in imposing higher student fees.

The UP committee which recommended the proposal for the 2006 tuition increase was emphatic about the fact that the idea of students paying their way through higher education (though possibly through state-financed loans) has gained ground even in developed countries not facing budget-constraints demonstrates on the other hand that this is not merely a response to the exigency of a budget-shortfall but a general principle to be affirmed [15] Further, the same committee averred that “virtually all the benefits of an undergraduate education are in fact appropriable by the private individual himself, who should therefore be willing to pay for its cost.”[16]

These arguments send a strong message that higher education is not a public good as it is the individual who benefits most from such. It denies the contribution of education, particularly public higher education,   to the country’s development. These arguments provide strong justification for transforming education from its service orientation to a profit-generating one.

Resistance to privatization within the university

 

            The University of the Philippines has a long tradition of resistance against threats to the integrity of the university as a public higher education institution with accountability to the people. In the past, some of these resistances were directed against attacks to academic freedom enjoyed by the university.

 

The ongoing privatization of the university has been met by resistance from a progressive section of the university’s students, faculty and staff. Through various university and multi-sectoral alliances, the progressive section of the university opposed cuts to the university budget, lobbied for an alternative UP charter, launched struggles against tuition and other student fees’ increases and the closure of vital service units, such as the University Press and the University Food Service.

 

Through the formation of alliances, lobbying in Congress and collective actions, the progressive sector of the university resisting  privatization launched struggles against various manifestations of the state abandonment of its responsibility to provide quality and accessible higher education services.

 

The Kilusan Laban sa Budget Cut  (movement against budget cut) formed in 2000, held a rally near the Philippine President’s official residence to protest cuts in the UP budget. That action helped reduce the cut by about P100 million.

 

The UP-Wide Democratization Movement (UP-Widem) opposed the UP administration’s charter proposals during deliberations in Congress in 2005 and 2007. While the final charter institutionalized many of the income generating schemes of the university, the lobby of UP Widem  successfully prevented the inclusion of a provision allowing UP to sell its lands and removed the provision giving the UP president a second six year term. Through the efforts of the UP community a provision on democratic governance spelling out the need for transparency, participation and accountability was included as one of the purposes of the university.

 

The anti tuition and other fee increases (TOFI) struggle in 2006 was unable to prevent the UP administration from adopting and implementing the tuition increase. The highest policy making body of the university, the Board of Regents approved the proposal at the eve of Chrismas break in 2006 in a meeting held in an undisclosed location and in the absence of the student and faculty representatives to the Board. Even then, the struggle launched  by the anti TOFI alliance brought to the public the debate over the nature of public higher education and the need to struggle against the embrace of market values and market criteria in running a state university.

 

Reclaiming the public character of the University of the Philippines

 

            In the first decade of the second century of the University, the erosion of the public character of UP continues through various forms of privatization which include charging higher student fees, increasing partnerships with big businesses, putting in place various schemes to generate revenues and even in adopting corporate practices in the administration of the university.

           

            However, the opposition to these privatization schemes would continue so long as the section of the university which refuses to embrace the neo-liberal dictum of the primacy of the market and profit as the best gauge of efficiency remains organized and assertive. As importantly, this resistance should link itself with the broad national and international resistance against the havoc of neo-liberalism on social services badly needed by the marginalized section of the population of the nation and of the worlds’ peoples.        

 

References:

 

Stephen J. Ball and Deborah Youdell, “Hidden Privatization in Public Education”. Preliminary Report prepared for Education International

 

World Bank. “Higher Education, Lessons of Experience, 1994

 

World Bank and Asian Development Bank, Philippine Education for the 21st Century: The 1998 Philippines Education Sector Study”. 1999

 

UP Ad-hoc committee to review tuition and other fees, “Final Report”, posted on the up.edu.ph website, December 7, 2006

 

Republic Act 9500, The 2008 University of the Philippines Charter

 

University of the Philippine System. “Comparative Report on UP Budget Proposal and Internal Operating Budget, CY 2001-CY 2008 (in thousand of pesos). July 17, 2009

 


[1] Stephen J. Ball and Deborah Youdell, “Hidden Privatization in Public Education”. Preliminary Report prepared for Education International.

[2] World Bank. “Higher Education, Lessons of Experience, 1994, p. 15

[3] World Bank. “Higher Education, Lessons of Experience”, 1994, p. 2

[4] Ibid., p. 15

[5] Ibid, p. 4

[6] Ibid., p. 9

[7] Ibid., p. 9

[8] Stephen J. Ball and Deborah Youdell, “Hidden Privatization in Public Education”. Preliminary Report prepared for Education International

[9] World Bank and Asian Development Bank, Philippine Education for the 21st Century: The 1998 Philippines Education Sector Study”. 1999, p. 14.

[10] Republic Act 9500, The 2008 University of the Philippines Charter

[11] This is the title of the critique of the 2008 UP Charter issued by the Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND)

[12] As Faculty Regent, the representative of the faculty to the Board of Regents (BOR), the author has access to the proposals presented to the BOR.

[13] Source: University of the Philippine System. “Comparative Report on UP Budget Proposal and Internal Operating Budget, CY 2001-CY 2008 (in thousand of pesos). July 17, 2009

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ad-hoc committee to review tuition and other fees, “Final Report”, posted on the up.edu.ph website, December 7, 2006, p. 2

[16] Ibid., p. 2

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
           
     
     
     

 

Epilogo: Ang Sentenaryong Hinaharap ng Pamantasan ng Mamamayan

ni UP Faculty Regent Judy M. Taguiwalo, Ph.D.

Professor

College of Social Work and Community Development

University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

 

This was published in the book, Serve the People)

 

Walang kaparis ang kasalukuyang pagtindi ng krisis sa larangan ng pampublikong edukasyon sa lahat ng antas, kasama na ang krisis sa tersaryong edukasyon. Sa panahong hinayaaan ang matrikula sa mga pribado at pampublikong unibersidad na sumirit papaitaas sa kalangitan na parang mga kwitis ng fireworks ng Sentenaryo ng UP ay lalong maraming kabataang Filipino mula sa uring anakpawis ang napagkakaitan, kahit ng pag-asa man lamang, na makamit ang inaasam na diploma sa mataas na edukasyon. Ang mga opisyal na palabas na ito, hindi man lang sila nababanggit o naaalala, ay malinaw na hindi para sa kanila.  Mahalagang arena ng tunggalian ng uri ang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas. Ito ang pangunahing aral na mahahalaw sa 100 taong kasaysayan ng pamantasan.

 

            Iniluwal ang UP ng unang malaking digmang agresyon  ng relatibong bagong imperyalistang kapangyarihan noong huling bahagi ng ika-19 na siglo, ang imperyalismong US. Itinatag ang UP noong 1908, sampung taon mula ng Digmang Pilipino-Amerikano  at pitong taon mula nang inilunsad ang kampanyang pasipikasyon ng mga Amerikano para mabura ang palabang diwa ng rebolusyong Pilipino. Nagsilbi ang pamantasan bilang mahalagang ideolohikal na aparato sa paghulma ng ”little brown brothers” at pagbigay ng pang-akademikong pagsasanay sa mga pangunahing burukrata, mga Pilipinong manedyer ng malalaking empresa, mga pangunahing propesyonal at mga administrador sa burukrasya ng kolonyal at malapyudal na sistema sa panahon ng direktang paghahari ng Amerika sa Pilipinas.

 

Ang kasaysayan ng UP, bilang likha ng kolonyalismong US, ang naging papel niya sa konsolidasyon ng paghahari ng US at lokal na elite at cooptation ng mga intelektwal mula sa panggitnang uri, ang nagtakda sa pangunahing katangian ng unibersidad. Mula sa panahon ng direktang kolonyal na paghahari ng imperyalismong US sa Pilipinas, sa panahon ng paglatag at pagpapatatag ng malakolonyal at malapyudal na sistema pagkatapos ng Ikalawang Digmang Pandaigdig, sa panahon ng batas militar sa ilalim ng alumnus ng UP College of Law na si Ferdinand Marcos, at sa kasalukuyang panahon ng neo-liberalismo at ng teroristang gyera laban sa mamamayan sa ilalim ng alumna ng School of Economics na si Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, ang institusyunal at opisyal na papel ng UP ay bilang tagapagtanggol, nagbibigay lehitimasyon at nagluluwal ng mga intelektwal para magsilbi sa sistemang pinaghaharian ng malaking burgesya komprador at malaking panginoong maylupa at sa imperyalistang kontrol at paghahari sa Pilipinas.

 

Ang pakikitunggali para ihanay ang unibersidad sa panig ng mamamayan

 

             Dahil nakapaloob sa lipunang makauri, sinasalamin sa UP ang tunggalian sa lipunan. Ang tradisyong radikal sa unibersidad ay ang tradisyon ng pakikitunggali ng bahagi ng mga sektor ng UP, laluna ang mga estudyante nito, para ipanig ang unibersidad sa hanay ng mamamayan at ng bayan.

 

Ang pakikipaglaban para sa kalayaang pang-akademiko at pagtatanggol nito sa UP, ang kinakailangan pero hindi sapat na kondisyon para maigiit ang tindig na makabayan at makamamamayan. Iginiit ang academic freedom sa panahon ni Quezon para ipagtanggol ang mga gurong kritikal sa kanyang administrasyon at laban sa pagsesensor sa Philippine Collegian. Tumindi ang labang ito sa anti-komunistang ”witchhunt” noong maagang bahagi ng 1960, at usapin din ng academic freedom at pagiging sekular ng unibersidad, ang laban sa pakikialam ng Simbahang Katoliko sa pamamagitan ni Fr. John Delaney ng UP Student Catholic Action.

 

            Ang institusyunalisasyon ng isang general education program (GE) noong 195? ay naging suhay sa pangingibabaw ng liberal na kaisipan sa loob ng unibersidad. Naging rekisito ang pag-aaral ng kasaysayan ng Pilipinas , at sa UP nangangahulugan ito ng kasaysayan mula sa punto de vista ng mga Filipino, hindi ng mga kolonyalista. Pinag-aralan at pinagdebatehan ang iba’t ibang pilosopiya, kabilang na ang Marxismo.

 

At mas mahalaga, pursigidong nag-organisa, nagmulat at kumilos ang makabayang seksyon ng komunidad ng UP, para ipanig ang unibersidad sa hanay ng nakararami,ng mamamayan. Ito ang mga panloob na kondisyon para lumitaw at umiral ang ”unibersidad sa loob ng unibersidad.”

 

            Ang determinadong laban para sa demokratisasyon ng pamamahala ng UP, ang paglantad sa Amerikanisasyon ng UP kabilang na ang paggamit ng UPLB sa mga eksperimento ng Dow Chemicals ng mga sandatang kemikal na ginamit laban sa mamamayang Biyetnames sa panahon ng gera ng agresyon ng US sa Vietnam, ang paglaban sa patuloy na pagyurak sa soberaniya ng Pilinas na rumurok sa malawakang paglahok ng UP sa pagpaalis sa mga base militar noong 1990, ang anti-pasistang pakikibaka sa panahon ng diktadurang Marcos at sa mga anti-mamamayang pakana ng mga sumunod pang mga rehimen; ang pagsuporta sa pakikibaka para sa lupa ng mga magsasaka kabilang na ang pagbigay kanlungan sa loob ng UP para sa libo-libong magsasakang kumilos para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa. Ang mga ito ang ilang maniningning na halimbawa ng matatagumpay na pagsulong ng unibersidad sa loob ng unibersidad sa makabayan at demokratikong adhikain ng mamamayang Filipino.

 

Ang kasalukuyan at kinakaharap na hamon ng ”unibersidad sa loob ng unibersidad”

 

            Sa kasalukuyang panahon, neo-liberal na globalisasyon at teroristang gera sa mamamayan ng buong daigdig ang anyo ng pagmamantine ng pang-ekonomiya at pampulitikang hegemoniya ng imperyalismo. Sa Pilipinas, matapat na tagapagpatupad ng mga patakaran ng globalisasyon at teroristang gera ang rehimeng Macapagal-Arroyo.

 

Sa loob ng Unibersidad, lubos ang pagyakap ng dalawang pinakahuling administrasyon ng UP sa pangunahing pilosopiya ng neo-liberal na globalisasyon: ang pangangailangang maging globally competitive at ang pagtanggap sa pagtalikod ng estado sa responsibilidad nito sa pagpopondo sa serbisyong panlipunan kabilang na ang limitado at papaliit na pondo para sa pampublikong tersyaryong edukasyon.

 

Markado ang pagpihit ng unibersidad sa pilosopiyang free market at pagiging globally competitive sa panahon ni Francisco Nemenzo. Binago ang general education program na nag-alis ng mga kursong rekisito at sa halip ay nagtakda lamang ng mga bilang ng mga yunits sa iba’t ibang larangan. Binigyang paunang pagpapahalaga sa pagtasa sa kaguruan, ang pananaliksik at publikasyon laluna sa mga publikasyong internasyonal, ibig sabihin sa Ingles at para sa mga dayuhang mambabasa. Inumpisahan ang pagpapataas ng tuition sa antas ng mga gradwadong kurso sa pamamagitan ng pagbigay laya sa mga indibidwal na yunit na magtakda ng halaga. Pumasok sa kontrata sa Ayala para magtayo ng techno park sa kampus. Inihapag sa unang pagkakataon ang pagpalit sa katawagan sa UP bilang ”premier state university” tungo sa pagiging ”national university,” at ginamit ang National University of Singapore at Chulalungkorn University ng Thailand bilang mga modelo.

 

Ang administrasyong Roman, isang administrasyong dominado ng mga opisyal na galing sa College of Business Administration, ang nagpormalisa, nagpapabilis, at nagpapalawak sa tunguhing pribatisayon, korporatisasyon at komersalisasyon ng UP. Sa ikalawang taon pa lamang ng panunungkulan ni Roman, itinaas ang tuition ng UP mula P300/yunit tungo P1,000/yunit kahit sa harap ng malawak na pagtutol ng mga estudyante. Nagsara ng bagong kontrata sa Ayala kung saan ____ ektarya ng UP Diliman ay pinalease sa korporasyon para raw sa isang science and technology park. Nakatayo na ngayon dito ang samu’t saring call centers. Matagumpay na naipaglobby ang pagpasa ng bagong UP Charter na nag-institusyunalisa sa mga patakaran ng komersyalisasyon, pagmantine sa Board of Regents na binubuo ng maliit na bilang ng kagawad na ang karamihan ay taga-labas ng unibersidad, lumikha ng “managerial stratum” bilang tagapangasiwa ng UP sa pamumuno ng presidente ng unibersidad na siya ring chief executive officer at chair ng isang “independent trust committee”. Tunay na ang “UP naming mahal” ay “UP na nagiging mahal.”

 

            Sa pagpapatupad ng mga patakaran ng neo-liberal na globalisasyon sa loob ng unibersidad, tinatahak ng UP ang korporatisadong modelo ng unibersidad na umiiral sa mga kapitalistang bansa, laluna sa United States. Papaliit ang bahagi ng subsidyo ng mamamayan,  malaki ang iniaasa sa tuition at iba pang bayarin ng mga estudyante, madikit sa mga malalaking korporasyong handang magbigay ng pera kapalit ng paggamit sa talino at iba pang rekurso ng unibersidad at namamayagpag ang ideolohiya ng pagiging competitive at pagsukat sa halaga ng kontribusyon ng faculty ayon sa halaga nito sa pamilihan. Kaya nga, sa mga unibersidad sa U.S., iba ang salary scale ng mga faculty ng  taga College of Engineering at College of Business sa salary scale ng mga faculty sa humanities at sa social sciences. May maliit na bilang ng faculty na tenured at tumatanggap ng mataas na sweldo habang marami ang mga contingent o temporary na bilang ng teaching staff na mababa ang sahod. Di malayong mangyari ito sa UP sa hinaharap.

 

            Nangyayari na ang paglaganap ng kontrakwalisasyon ng mga manggagawang di-akademiko sa UP. Karaniwang hindi na pinapalitan ang mga kawaning nagretiro o namatay. Sa halip, kinakarga ng natitirang kawani ang mga naiwang gawain, kaya laganap ang multi-tasking gayong inalis naman ang overtime pay.  Kalakaran na rin ngayon sa unibersidad ang mga pribadong ahensya sa security o sa maintenance na umuupa ng mga manggagawa na naglilingkod sa UP pero hindi itinuturing na empleyado ng UP at hindi tumatanggap ng mga benepisyong napagtagumpayan ng mga organisadong kawani ng pamantasan. Kung gayon, ang kalakaran ng kontrakwalisasyon sa loob ng UP ay atake sa karapatan sa kaseguruhan sa trabaho ng mga manggagawa at atake sa unyonismo sa loob ng pamantasan.

 

            Sa ganitong kalagayan, lalong tumitindi at titindi ang tunggalian ng mga uri sa loob ng Unibersidad. Magiging matabang lupa ang laganap na kontraktwalisasyon sa hanay ng mga guro at kawani at ang walang habas na pagtaas ng mga singilin sa mga estudyante para sa pagsusulong at pagpapalakas ng unibersidad sa loob ng unibersidad. Mahalaga na malinaw ang wastong direksyon at mga panawagan sa bawat panahon, ang masikhay na pag-oorganisa at pagmumulat at ang walang pagod sa militanteng pagkilos ng komunidad ng UP na sumusulong sa makabayan at makamamamayang mga adhikain.

 

            Ang unibersidad sa loob ng unibersidad ay patuloy na lalakas habang patuloy na iniuugnay nito ang sarili sa mas malawak na kilusan para sa demokrasya at kalayaan na isinusulong ng iba’t ibang organisadong lakas ng mamamayan sa Pilipinas at sa pandaigdigang kilusang anti-imperyalista sa buong mundo. Ito ang landas na tinahak ng daang-daang martir ng UP sa nakaraang mga dekada. At ang mga martir natin ang magsisilbing patuloy na inspirasyon sa paggigiit, pagsusulong, at pagpapalawak sa kilusan para ipanig ang UP sa hanay ng mamamayan sa susunod na 100 taon.

 

Mga Sentenaryo ng Pagbabago

 

Hindi lamang UP ang state university na nagdiwang ng sentenaryo nitong nakaraang mga taon.   Naglunsad ang Philippine Normal University (PNU) at Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) nitong 2001 at 2004 ng sarili nilang mga bonggang selebrasyon ng ikasandaang taon ng pag-iral. Itinatag ang PNU noong 1901, at ang PUP naman noong 1904. Nakagawa pa nga ng bagong pandaigdigang rekord ang PUP ng pinakamalaking “human rainbow.” Tulad ng UP, labis na naging importante ang papel ng mga institusyong ito sa maagang konsolidasyon at pagpapatatag ng kolonyal na dominasyon ng US sa Pilipinas. Mahalaga ang pangkasaysayang papel ng PNU sa kasaysayan ng kolonyalismong Amerikano dahil itinatag ito bilang pinakauna at nangungunang kasangkapan tungo sa pangkultura, pangwika, at pangkamalayang Amerikanisasyon ng mga Pilipino sa larangang pang-edukasyon. Ang PUP naman, na unang pinangalanang Manila Business School, ay nagbigay ng mga pagsasanay sa mga Pilipino sa gawaing pang-komersyo, alinsunod sa ikauunlad ng ekonomyang kolonyal, at tungo sa ikalulugmok ng kabuhayan ng mga Filipino mismo.

 

Pagkaraan ng panahon ng tuwirang kolonyal na pananakop ay masasabing masalimuot ang mga prosesong pinagdaanan ng mga institusyong ito at ng kanilang mga mag-aaral sa pagharap sa mga matitinding hamon ng kasaysayan at lipunan na kanilang kinalulubugan. Nakapagpunla rin ang mga ito ng kani-kanilang mga tradisyon ng makabayan at militanteng pagkilos sa pagtataguyod ng kapakanan ng sambayanan, sa kabila ng pangingibabaw ng konserbatibong katangian ng mga institusyong ito. Marami nga rin talagang dapat ipagdiwang na sentenaryo ng mga maniningning na kasaysayan ng mga "unibersidad sa loob ng unibersidad." Marami ring kailangang bigyang parangal na mga huwarang makabayang guro at mag-aaral.

 

Ngunit ang masaklap ay kagyat na sinundan o sinabayan ang mga pang-sentenaryong selebrasyon ng sunod-sunod na mga hakbanging nagbabadya ng walang kaparis na transpormasyon ng mga institusyong ito. Tulad ng UP, na nagtaas ng matrikula sa P300/unit nitong 2007, nagtaas noong 2003 ang PNU ng matrikula mula P35 patungong P100. Napigilan lamang nitong taon ang drastikong pagtaas ng matrikula sa PUP mula P12 patungong P100 dahil sa maagap at umatikabong pagkilos ng mga mag-aaral. Nagpatupad din ang mga paaralang ito ng sunod-sunod na pagtaas ng mga bayarin ng mga mag-aaral. Sa harap ng malawakang pagbabawas ng bilang ng mga SUC mula 264 noong 1998 na naging 111 na lamang nitong 2004, at sa matinding pagbabawas ng badyet para sa natitira pang mga institusyon sa tersaryong antas ay malaking tanong kung pagpapalain pa ang mga institusyong ito ng ikalawang dantaon ng pag-iral. Habang sinasakal ang badyet ng mga SUC ay nagpapatupad ang mga ito ng mga malawakang patakaran sa komersyalisasyon ng kanilang lupain at ng iba pang mga mapapagkakitaan.

 

Binabalak ng pamahalaang itransporma ang mga SUC mula sa mga institusyong pang-estadong nakatuon sa serbisyo patungo sa pagiging mga ganap na pribado o semi-pribadong korporasyon na lantarang nakatuon sa negosyo. Kasabay nito'y sabik na sabik na rin ang mga lokal na burukratang utak-kapitalista ng bawat paaralan na pagpiyestahan ang kikitain nilang tubo sa ilalim ng ganitong mga iskema. Aatakehin nila ang mga karapatan, seguridad sa trabaho, at babaratin ang mga pasahod ng mga guro, kawani at iba pang empleyado. Magsasabit sila ng mga karatula na pang-mayaman lamang ang de-kalidad na edukasyon. Sa ngalan ng tubo ay papatayin ng puhunan ang mga manggagawa ng kasalukuyan, at mamangmangin ang mga manggagawa at mamamayan ng kinabukasan.

 

Hindi dapat magpabingi sa umaalingawngaw na mga paputok ng mga sentenaryo. Hindi dapat magpabulag sa mga naglalakihang fireworks sa kalangitan. Hindi dapat masilaw sa mga makikinis na palabas sa entablado. Dapat laging maging mapagbantay, dapat laging handang kumilos dahil tiyak na sa ika-21ng dantaon magaganap ang mapagpasyang laban upang ang "unibersidad sa loob ng unibersidad" ang siyang ganap nang magiging Unibersidad ng Sambayanan.

 

 

     
     
     

 

  The new Student Regent: Jaque Eroles  ▼

 

 

Fromn a note by UP Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalo

 

Jaque Eroles took her oath as the new Student Regent last November 26, 2010 in UP Cebu. She will serve until April 2011. Jaque's record as Vice Chair of the USC of UP Diliman indicates that she will be a militant representative of the students in the Board of Regents and will advance democratic governance in the univer...sity and in opposing policies that will further erode the public character of UP.

 

We bid goodbye to Cori Alessa Co as Student Regent and acknowledge her tremendous contribution in uniting the UP students, through their Student Councils and organizations in the whole UP system in opposing the continued state abandonment of tertiary education and asserting that education is a right. We are confident that even as Cori is not part of the BOR anymore, she will continue to be a strong pillar of the youth and student movement.

 

Mabuhay ang mga iskolar ng bayan!

 
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
■  Caucus of SUCs at UP
           
     

 

Para sa Bayan, Para sa Kinabukasan!
by Kristian Jacob Abad Lora

November 28, 2010 at 11:52am

This is the manuscript of the message I delivered originally in Cebuano-English on behalf of the Nagkahiusang Kusog sa Estudyante (UPCC NKE) to the UP Cebu protesters during the WALKOUT + Rally attended by around 400 students, teachers, and workers to coincide with the UP Board of Regents Meeting, November 26. Some parts of this message might have not clearly delivered due to technical difficulty during the program.

Isang mapulang pagbati at pagpupugay sa ating lahat pagka't pagkatapos ng ilang taon, muling nagkaisa ang mga Iskolar ng Bayan, mga guro, manggagawa't administrador at yan ay kitang-kita sa dami natin ngayon!

Isang Goliath ang ating kinakaharap ngayon na matagal nang nanggugulo sa ating pag-aaral at ito ang patuloy na Education Budget Cuts. At ang Goliath na ito ang siyang ugat ng mga iba'-ibang problema sa komunidad ng UP Cebu at ng buong UP System: 300% Tuition and Other Fees Increase, imposition of other fees like Lab Fees and Insurance Fee, Main Gate closure, at iba pa.

We hoped that under the new Administration, magiging 'tuwid na ang daan' as the new president promised. Subalit ang ginawa nila, tinakdang babawasan ng 437M ang budget ng SUC's at ng 1.39B ang budget ng UP habang mas dinagdagan pa lalo ang budget sa AFP at PNP at sa Pork Barrel kasama na ang 2.2B PB ni Rep. Gloria Arroyo.

Mula sa simula, we have made our stand very clear and that is we are against the budget cuts for education. This is because education is a right to everyone at all levels; di pwedeng sa basic education lang. This is because our Constitution mandates the State to ensure quality education accessible for all at all levels.

To strongly oppose the cuts and to prevent them from being approved, we udnerwent various diplomatic means: we had appeals to have dialogue with the President or with the lawmakers, we had signature campaigns and letters to government officials, and we had lobbied in the Congress.

However, the President answered by telling us that we should recognize that they have increased the budget for basic education via DepEd's budget. The Aquino Administration never thought that many youths could no longer enter college and become doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers, etc. Hanggang semi-skilled workers na lang ba ang gusto niya sa atin para magserbisyo sa mga 'Kano?

We do not need President Noynoy's lovelife. We need "greater state subsidy". But his Administration refuses to listen to the plight of the Filipino youths.

This is the reason why we resorted to go out of our classrooms, to the streets to create public opinion, and show that without the students and without the youth, our country will not progress.

Subalit ang pagkilos na ito'y hindi ang katapusan subalit ang simula pa lamang ng sunud-sunod na mga pagkilos ng kabataan at mga Iskolar ng Bayan. Sa Disyembre 1, 87 SUC's sa buong bansa ang mag-sta-strike at tutungo sa Senado upang magprotesta habang aaprubahan na ng Senado ang budget proposal ng Aquino Administration. Huwag tayong sumuko hanggang sa i-rerecognize ng gubyerno ang ating karapatan sa higher education.

Bakit ba tayo nag-aaral dito sa UP? Siyempre sa simula, aim natin ay makakuha agad ng trabahong mataas ang sahod. But if we still think until now that we study here in UP just for ourselves, for our families, to get decent jobs, to work abroad, then we are being selfish.

I would like to quote Dr. Caster during the Cultural Night kagabi where she said, "Unawain natin kung para kanino ang ating katalinuhan, ang ating kahusayan." Para kanino na nga ba? Ang mga ito'y para sa bayan at para sa masa. We need to serve the people first before ourselves and this is what Oble embodies that we should uphold as mga Iskolar ng Bayan.

Thus, let this event be carved in History that the next generation will know na ang UP Cebu ngayon ay hindi nananahimik at hindi kumikibo sa gitna ng pakikibaka para sa edukasyon and that our generation has contributed much to the reason kung bakit makakapasok pa sila sa kolehiyo at low cost. Someday, we will be proudly telling our children and grandchildren that kaisa tayo sa mga kumilos upang ipaglaban ang karapatan nila sa edukasyon.

Bagkus, tayong lahat, kasama kaming mga taga-NKE, ay dapat magpatuloy sa pagtayo at pagkilos upang ipaglaban ang karapatan ninuman sa "quality and accessible education" dahil sa ating sama-samang pagtayo, nariyan ang ating nagkakaisang lakas.

UP, lahat ng kabataan, guro, kawani at mamamayan, patuloy ang ating pagkilos laban sa basic services(education, health, etc.) budget cuts...

PARA SA BAYAN!
PARA SA KINABUKASAN!
Serve the People!
Padayon, mga Iskolar ng Bayan!

 

     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

December 1:

 

We March as One
by KABATAAN PARTYLIST


We salute and congratulate the thousands of students, councils and organizations, educators, faculty unions and associations, employees and administrators in state schools nationwide who made history last week in a resounding expression of unity and commitment to oppose the planned budget cuts on education and social services.

We stood up, walked out and waged staged a strike, not only for ourselves and our schools. We fought for the right of every Filipino to education. We suspended our classes so that more students may be able to study. We barricaded our campus gates for days so that our schools may be open to more young people especially the poor.

We took action for the nation, and for the future. We lived up to being genuine iskolars ng bayan.

We expressed disgust over the fact that the government chose to fund debt servicing, pork barrel and military over education and other social services. We waged a strike against injustice, against government neglect, against corruption. We called upon those in power to stand for the interests of the people and not the elite few.

Instead of heeding the people’s call, the Aquino government and its allies insult the people’s intelligence by responding with lies and lame excuses. These however, only serves to expose their criminal intentions. They provoke further our collective outrage by saying that tuition should be hiked to compensate for budget cuts, that tertiary education is a private good, and that SUCs should be abolished.

They arrogantly display their power and greed, they try to tell us that we can do nothing to stop their misdeeds. Through their grand lies, they wish to drown us in apathy, divide us and undermine our collective strength. They want us to abandon our fight, surrender and join them in betraying the interest of the Filipino people.

We will not be cowed. We have a duty to our nation and we have a future to fight for.

We are calling on all students, professors, administrators from state schools, private schools and high schools nationwide. We are calling on out-of-school youths, already abandoned by the current system. We are calling on Filipinos, workers, peasants who will be pushed into further destitution. On December 1, we march as one.

Let it not be said that we did nothing the day a few robbed the nation of their rights, their hope, and their future.

Para sa bayan, para sa kinabukasan.

Ipagtagumpay ang laban. 

 

           

BONUS TRACKS

NAKAMAMATAY

           
   
Sign at Commonwealth, Tandang Sora crossing Budget cut placard

Mendiola Bridge

FQS Battle of Mendiola, Jan. 30, 1970: 4 killed

Mendiola massacre, Jan. 22, 1987: 13 killed

Sign at Commonwealth, Tandang Sora crossing Budget cut placard

Hacienda Luisita

Hacienda Luisita Massacre, Nov. 15, 2004, 7 killed

   
           
**          

 

/p

  
 

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