CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region, 18July2013 (BicolToday.com) – Students and faculty members of the Polythenic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Manila held a unity march on Wednesday, July 17 to bring into national attention regarding issues on education and social services, reports reached Bicol Today.com on Thursday.
“The Aquino government is pushing the Filipino people to the limit. They are leaving us with no other option but to unite against the unjust systematic abandonment on education and other social services,” said Jessica Ferrera, spokesperson of Ugnayang Muti-sektoral para sa Karapatan sa Edukasyon-PUP (UMAKSYON-PUP).
UMAKSYON-PUP is a multi-sectoral alliance advancing the rights of all sectors in PUP community including employees, faculty, and the administration.
Thousands from the PUP community including students, employees, and faculty members, headed by UMAKSYON-PUP and Sandigan ng Mag-aaral Para sa Sambayan (SAMASA) Alliance, held a unity march in the opening of the 3-day strike on July 17 to call for a higher education budget and to protest against all price hikes, Aquino’s policies of commercialization and privatization of social services.
“The insufficient education budget results to lack of conducive facilities. Also, higher state subsidy could have been a great help to give decent benefits to our hardworking employees and faculties,” Ferrera said.
“Scarce subsidy pushes SUC administrations, just like PUP, to implement fee increases. Again, we are being challenged to show our great dismay on Aquino’s systematic abandonment on SUCs.” Ferrera added.
For 2013, SUCs proposed a P54 billion budget but the government allotted a much smaller P37.1 billion. Instead of giving sufficient education budget, Aquino government pushed through anti-student policies such as K to 12 and Roadmap for Public Higher Education Reform which will worsen education crisis.
“We call on organizations, institutions, employees and the whole PUP community to unite with the rest of the Filipino people against tuition, fare, and commodity price increases which continuously worsen the lives of the Filipino people under the presidency of NoyNoy Aquino,” Ferrera said.
As Aquino prepares for his upcoming State of the Nation Address which will only be composed of rhetoric and illusions of national development, the Iskolar ng Bayan together with the Filipino people should confront this with strikes and a genuine SONA of the People.
The march is then followed by a press conference to further discuss the situation of the education system particularly in PUP. A “Unity Wall” will be filled with the students’, teachers’ and employees’ sentiments and message to the Aquino administration. [BicolToday.com]