QUEZON CITY (BicolToday.com) UP students, led by the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP), Office of the Student Regent and other mass organizations protest the failure and neglect of the UP administration in providing accessible student housing to more than 300 students / dorm applicants.
STAND UP Chairperson Mench Tilendo said that “It is enraging that the University of the Philippines administration forces students to take semi-private dormitories amounting to 3,000 pesos per head. Some cases of appeals are that of students from impoverished families, belonging to Brackets D and E.”
While UP Diliman Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Neil Santillan, in a text message to the Office of the Student Regent (OSR) last August 5, 2015, said that “The process is tedious because we have to be discerning in allocating the remaining slots due to the volume of appeals.”
However,Tilendo stressed that “The university administration is insensitive to the plight of the students. Instead of providing adequate, accessible, quality and affordable UP dormitories and housing, the UP administration makes milking cow out of students. August 3 pa inaantay ng mga estudyante ang kanilang apela. Kasabay na wala na silang matuluyan ay marami sa kanila ang wala pang pambayad ng matrikula at wala pang subjects o underloaded dahil sa dami ng estudyante.”
Literally More Than It Can Take
Moreover, students without classes are still piled up due to overpopulation. The UP administration carelessly took in more students, more than what it could actually accommodate, to compensate for the lack of enrollees next academic year due to the K to 12 program.
The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) lambasted this scheme as part of the neo-liberalization of education.
“What is happening in UP is symptomatic of neoliberalism. The UP administration’s adherence to the privatization and commercialization of UP education destroys the public character of UP and hinders a lot of students from achieving UP education. Raising tuition and other school fees, imposing skyrocketing dormitory fees, and taking in more students than what it can actually accommodate – these have drastically made milking cows out of the students,” said NUSP Vice President for Luzon JC Sibayan.
Hon. Mico Pangalanan, UP student Regent, said that “By now, it is very clear that the K to 12 program has produced this voluminous number of students in the UP system. This resulted to the failure to accommodate a large number of students in dormitories and classes. This is not a simple case of non-accommodation, but a bad, bad case of system failure. This will not be passed off simply. This is a case of both gross negligence and profiteering by the UP administration!”
Students led by STAND UP and OSR, as well as other mass and activist organizations, are continuously conducting campouts, vigils, protest rallies and the like, to strengthen the fight for quality, accessible and affordable dormitories / housing, and for adequate classes. [BicolToday.com]