Thursday, September 30, 2010

Students and union members protest at the entrance of NISMED in the September 24 Search for the Next UP President public forum held in UP Diliman

Editor's note: If one picture is worth a thousand words, then the pictures posted below of the protest actions engaged in by U.P. students and union members must be worth several thousand words worth of turgid prose. The following protest action took place in front of the NISMED Auditorium at U.P. Diliman on September 24 and was timed to coincide with the 2nd forum for the 2010 Search for a new U.P. president where the eleven nominees for U.P. president presented their visions and answered questions.

In the spirit of American broadcast jorunalist Edward R. Murrow who deliberately lowered his microphone on a curb so he could convey the sounds and hurried footsteps of people fleeing the bombing of London in the Blitz in World War II, to his listeners back in America, we are embedding below the pictures of the protest action which convey, in graphic detail, the protester's concerns ranging from and which were sent to as a link by Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalo and taken from the Facebook page of the All U.P. Workers Union. These concerns are many of which the next U.P. President will have to grapple with; but we will let the placards, the streamers and the expressions on the faces do all the talking below.

(Nominee for U.P. President Consolacion Alaras
strides into the NISMED Auditorium. To
enlarge the pictures, just click on them)

A nominee for U.P. President complains about dirty tactics emanating from Quezon Hall

Editor's note: We have received today an email from Dr. Patrick Azanza, a nominee for U.P. President decrying unprincipled tactics utilized against him by unknown persons who do not like the message he has been conveying in the various fora he has been attending. Entitled, "I hope Diliman Diary will cover the U.P. Law Forum on the U.P. Presidency held this morning at Ambion Hall, U.P. Law," the Diliman Diary is reproducing the email in line our principle of full and balanced longitudinal coverage:

"During the forum I exposed the malicious and desperate moves of a few people resorting to concocted lies to discredit me as a candidate knowing that my campaign for change in UP is gaining ground. Several men walking from Quezon Hall distributing white paper against me printed on a government-sized bond paper were seen by my supporters and gave me a copy of the white paper. It turned out that even during the UP Diliman Forum held at NISMED the same document was being distributed to attendees. The black propaganda is an insult to the intelligence of the UP community and the Board of Regents. It is reminiscent of the dirty tricks done by traditional politicians to discredit their leading opponents. This was resorted to even during the last presidential elections wherein P-Noy himself was victimized. This act which stands to benefit the quarters representing the status quo in the university is an act of mockery and desecrates the sacred process of the search for the next U.P. President. The student regent attended the UP law forum. I also informed the Admin Regent as well as the Philippine Collegian Editor so that dirty tactics such as this which could mislead the members of the UP Board of Regents must immediately be checked by an unbiased person. I trust that the CHED Chairman, the Faculty Regent and the other objective members of the UP Board of Regents will look into this in order to make sure that the search process will remain fair and just.

Thank you.

Dr. Patrick Azanza
Nominee for UP President"

Prof. Leonor Briones's U.N. Speech: "FULFILL YOUR PROMISES"

(Editor's note: In light of the Diliman Diary's policy of providing balanced coverage over time, we are reposting below the speech of National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) Professor Leonor M. Briones regarding the Millenium Development Goals to world leaders in the 2005 World Summit High Level Plenary Meeting of the 60th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The link from which the speech was taken from is the Facebook page of Prof. Leonor M. Briones for U.P. President (!/note.php?note_id=121381014582448&id=105231616202962&ref=nf). However, the link itself was emailed by Professor Briones to one of our readers, Lila R. Shahani, who forwarded the link to the Diliman Diary. Ms. Shahani is the sister of the Editor, Mr. Chanda Shahani. The Diliman Diary is encouraging any or all the nominees for U.P. President to email us at any relevant material in the interests of giving our readers the maximum amount of information regarding their capabilities).

(Facebook page Admin) Five years ago, it was Professor Leonor Magtolis Briones, faculty of the University of the Philippines' National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG), who delivered a strongly-worded statement on the Millenium Development Goals to world leaders in the 2005 World Summit High Level Plenary Meeting of the 60th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. She was selected among the best and the brightest in the world's civil society in a very rigorous selection process on choosing who to speak for and in behalf of them. Here's a copy of her statement:


Statement Submitted to the United Nations General Assembly in behalf of Civil SocietyPresented by Prof. Leonor Magtolis Briones, Social Watch, International Facilitating Group on FfD and Global Call to Action against Poverty.

14 September 2005.

The Millennium Development Goals will not be reached by 2015. This is the assessment of civil society organizations five years after their adoption by the global community of nations. The promises of the Millennium Declaration are not fulfilled; the financial resources identified under the Monterrey Consensus have not all been generated. The leading actions on financing for development which heads of state and leaders of government agreed upon have not been fully implemented.

As a consequence, more than a billion people continue to live in absolute poverty, girl children are not able to go to school; infant mortality rates remain high; mothers still die in childbirth, the HIV pandemic continues to escalate, the environment continues to be devastated, and global issues on trade, on debt and on ODA remain unresolved.

Mobilizing domestic financial resources for development. Developing countries are continually reminded that they are responsible for mobilizing domestic financial resources. But, how can they collect more taxes when their economies stagnate and are stunted because of unfair terms of trade, because of massive debt burdens and structural adjustment programs?
Mobilizing foreign direct investment. We deplore conditionally in structural adjustment programs which compel countries who are unprepared to open their markets and their natural resources to foreign investment.
Developing countries demand that foreign investors should not only exercise corporate responsibility. They need to be transparent in their operations. They have to be accountable to their host countries whose natural resources they exploit for profit.

International trade. Trade is the single most important external source of development financing. Ironically, developing and least developed countries continue to suffer from unfair terms of trade. As poignantly stated by an African official, “You demanded that we faithfully pay our debts, and we did. You asked us to restructure our economies. Our people underwent indescribable suffering but we did it. You even demanded that we change our leaders, and we did. But you refuse to buy our cotton, our cocoa and our other products!”

ODA. Substantial increase in ODA to developing countries has not been achieved. A number of rich countries steadfastly refuse to honor their 30-year commitment to share .7% of their GNP. We ask the General Assembly to remind recalcitrant member countries of this promise.

External Debt. The debt crisis continues to rage in many countries in Asia, in Latin America and in Africa. While the G8 committed to cancel all the debts of eligible HIPCs, countries which are euphemistically described as “middle-income” teeter on the brink of disaster as they struggle with unsustainable debts.

It has been two decades since the last global debt crisis. The babies who have survived are now 20 years old. They still carry the scars of malnutrition, inadequate education and poor health. They have been tragically deprived of the basic capacities for human development.

These countries have been further shaken by natural catastrophes, bad terms of trade, bloodletting and conflict.

We therefore urge the General Assembly to support debt relief for “middle income” countries whose economies have been devastated by natural catastrophes like the tsunami, as well as those with high levels of poverty and debt.

The persistence of debt crises underscores the need to reform the international financial system. We demand transparency and accountability from multilateral institutions. Developing countries voice and vote in the governance of these institutions need to be strengthened.

Follow up of Monterrey Consensus

Gender Equality. We likewise urge the members of the General Assembly to allocate resources to promote gender equality in their respective countries.

Promises, Promises. The heads of state and leaders of governments have made many promises for decades, some of which are the World Summit on Social Development in 1995, the Beijing Conference also in 1995, the G7 meeting of 1999, the Millennium Summit in 2000, the International Conference on Financing for Development in 2002, the Johannesburg Summit, also in 2002, and the G8 Summit in Gleneagles.

Promises, promises. This General Assembly is not the time for more promises. It is time to fulfill old and new promises. The poor of the world cannot wait until 2015. Fulfill your promises!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Commentary and Public Service Annoucement: We believe in the marketplace of ideas, for nobody has the monopoly on Truth

The Diliman Diary has done its best to cover key developments at the University of the Philippines, which we count as being one of the major sources of news to our readers who are primarily interested in relevant news coming from, influenced by or having an influence on events in the Diliman area.

Certainly, important events in the Diliman area would include the 2010 Search Process for a New U.P. President. The Diliman Diary does not pretend to be an online newspaper or a wire service. We do not have the resources of these organizations to provide comprehensive coverage of any event. We are an alternative thrice-monthly blog (although these days we find ourselves covering events more frequently than anticipated due to the fast-moving nature of events) that is opinonated, takes a stand but still tries its level best to follow the blogger's code of ethics ( We are also dependent, to a certain extent, on information submitted to us by our readers that supplement our own individual efforts at reportage. We welcome submissions that may be the exact reverse or even permutations of our editorial stands for we aim at balanced coverage from a longitudinal perspective, and all viewpoints are welcome and we assure you that we will kill a story not just because we disagree with its contents, but only if will not serve the greater good. However, we draw the line at anything offensive such as hate language, libelous statements or anything that a minor should not hear, view or read.

Editorially, we do not support any particular nominee for U.P. President, but we have been consistent in criticizing heavy-handed attempts by the outgoing U.P. Administration to subvert the creation of a true marketplace of ideas within the Board of Regents (BOR) by interfering with the composition of the BOR itself by perpetuating the terms of the 3 Malacañang midnight appointee regents by renominating them recently when Malacañang asked for NEW nominees. The U.P. Administration nominated them anyway, despite their abysmal voting records, which perpetuated many of the failed policies of the outgoing administration, including the unilateral removal of PGH Director Jose Gonzales, railroading the privatization of portions of PGH despite a legal opinion by the Department of Justice that this was not in accordance to the 2008 U.P. Charter of 2008 among others.

Intervention with Malacañang allows the U.P. Administration to load the dice in their favor so as to help their chosen nominee, as the BOR selects the next U.P. President. Not only is this cheating, but the results of such cheating go far beyond a mere tarnishing of the cheaters' own reputations but end up afflicting everybody: other U.P. nominees who expected a fair contest, U.P. students, alumni and faculty, and the Filipino People, many of whom expect much from the next leader of U.P., and who deserve nothing less than the best possible choice amongst all the eleven nominees for U.P. President. This can only be done if the members of the BOR remain open-minded for as long as possible before they make their choices. What we object to are regents who have already made up their minds from the very get-go, upon strict instructions from the outgoing U.P. Administration who only want one candidate to win (theirs).

The U.P. Adminsitration should include the nominees of the Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalo, as well as from other sectors, such as the U.P. Alumni Association (through the Alumni Regent) in its official communication to Malacanang so that President Benigno S. Aquino III has a buffet of choices of nominees to the BOR from which to choose the next three Malacanang Regents.

The Malacanang Regents should be people familiar with U.P. and who will be accountable not just to President Aquino, but to the national interest and the U.P. community as well. Since U.P. is an academic institution, we would expect them to be experts in their fields in order to bring a multi-disciplinary perspective to the BOR. An independent-minded BOR stands the best chance of making the best possible choice for U.P. President, given the fact that there are so many talents now (including the U.P. Administration choices too, by the way) who have accepted the nomination to be U.P. President. If U.P. claims to be a meritocracy, then surely it is the most meritorious candidate, chosen by the BOR, who should make the grade, no matter what "faction" he or she belongs to.

If we allow the BOR to be dominated by one singe interest which produced U.P.'s top academic leader in 2004, then we are setting ourselves up "for six more years of the same failed policies as the outgoing Administration" (with apologies to U.S. President Barack Obama on the administration of former President George W. Bush). Nobody wants six more years of untrammeled mediocrity running the premier national university. The results speak for themselves.

But we digress from the issue at hand. The Diliman Diary believes that our readers, decisionmakers, policymakers, and the members of the BOR benefit from an embarrassment of information which allows them to make up their own minds about who should be the best candidate gto be U.P. President. This is the marketplace of ideas versus the tyranny of numbers, with the former besting the latter (or so we hope). In this respect, we will do our humble bit to add to the stock of knowledge about the nominees to our readers, not only through coverage of the nominees' fora, but by publishing information they send us directly.

For example, we have published an article sent in by one nominee, Dr. Patrick Azanza of the U.P. Diliman College of Education (please see and are also posting the speech of Professor Leonor M. Briones (see above or please click on before the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

We encourage other nominees and their friends and supporters to send in their material as we are an equal opportunity community blog trying to accomodate all the sectors of the Diliman community in its coverage. The Diliman Diary is encouraging any or all the nominees for U.P. President to email us at any relevant material in the interests of giving our readers the maximum amount of information regarding their capabilities.

We wish all the nominees the best of luck!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ADB Lifts Philippines' 2010 Growth Outlook on First-Half Surge

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - A strong and broad-based recovery during the first six months of this year will ensure the Philippines records solid growth for 2010, despite an expected moderation in the economic outlook for the next six months, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) says in a new major report.

According to the Asian Development Outlook 2010 Update (ADO Update), released on September 28, 2010, the Philippine economy is riding on the crest of a stronger-than-expected surge in domestic investment and industrial output, helped by external demand in the January to June period. Economic growth jumped 7.9% in the first six months of the year, up from a tepid 0.9% in the same period last year. As a result, ADB has lifted its growth forecast to 6.2% this year, up from a 5% forecast made in July.

The report also forecasts growth of 4.6% in 2011, unchanged from a projection in April, when ADB launched the flagship annual economic publication ADO 2010.

“Reduced policy stimulus at home and abroad, slower growth in world trade, and higher 2010 numbers are likely to temper the growth momentum in 2011,” says Neeraj Jain, Country Director for ADB's Philippines Country Office.

In 2010, the report says, private consumption grew 5.1% largely on higher spending on food and drinks, utilities, and transportation, mainly buoyed by overseas remittances.

Investment also made a significant contribution to growth, with fixed investment as a ratio to gross domestic product rising 17.2% during the period, the highest level in 7 years. Exports jumped nearly 40%, while imports increased 28.5%, reflecting the stronger demand for capital equipment and consumer goods.

However, the growth momentum has started to ease in the second half of the year, mainly due to leveling off of inventory building by businesses.

Inflation is expected to average 4.5% this year and 4.4% in 2011. Slower economic momentum and reduced policy stimulus will offset moderate increases in global energy and commodity prices next year.

ADB cited two key challenges for the Philippine economy – improving revenue collections and the investment climate.

“The country needs to increase its revenue collection in order to support social and development spending, which have lagged for many years,” said Mr. Jain.

Enhancing tax administration remains a key focus of efforts for revenue mobilization, the report highlighted.

The Philippines also needs to upgrade its investment climate to encourage new businesses and improve employment opportunities for its people, the report said. The relatively low level of private investment in recent years has been attributed to infrastructure deficiencies, as well as to weaknesses in governance and in the policy climate.

Downside risks to growth forecasts are from uncertainty over the strength and pace of the global economic recovery and La Niña weather disturbance that could hurt agriculture. Despite balance-of-payments surpluses and substantial foreign reserves, financial markets could also become unsettled if fiscal slippage continues, raising the country’s risk premium, it added.

Asian Development Outlook and Asian Development Outlook Update are ADB’s flagship economic reports analyzing the economic conditions and prospects in Asia and the Pacific, and are issued in April and September, respectively.

To download the ADB report on the region, including the Philippines, please click on this link:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Updates to the open forum during the 2nd forum for the Nominees for U.P. President held on September 24 at U.P. Diliman

(U.P. Diliman Dept. of Speech & Theater Arts Prof.
Antoinette B. Hernandez moderated the nominees
forum at NISMED Auditorium, U.P. Diliman)

(Students from U.P. Mindanao protest education
budget cuts online. Other U.P. students protested
online from U.P. Visayas and in person in front
of the NISMED Auditorium at U.P. Diliman)

By Chanda Shahani

The Diliman Diary is uploading details about the question-and-answer portion of the second nominees forum for the search for the next U.P. President held at the NISMED Auditorium at U.P. Diliman, last September 24, 2010.

We attended the forum from out of U.P. Baguio via livestreaming prepared by U.P. Open University and have already uploaded details about the nominees’ presentations proper. For readers who are interested in reading this, please click on this link:

The Diliman Diary also covered the first nominees’ forum held at U.P. Los Banos on September 20, 2010 out of U.P. Manila through livestreaming with subsequent updates on September 21, 2010. Since we are striving to furnish a representative sampling of the nominees’ remarks and positions over an extended period of time, rather faithful reproductions of everything they said in each forum, we encourage our readers to check out our coverage of these by clicking on these links in order to get a holistic appreciation of the capabilities of each nominee: (please click on: and .

Additionally, readers are also encouraged to check out and download the vision statements and curriculum vitae of the eleven nominees for U.P. President from the U.P. website (please click on:

Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalo said there was a protest action on September 24 at the entrance of NISMED before the start of the forum. The student activists of Diliman protested only outside the venue and before the start of the public forum as they went to Mendiola in the City of Manila for the national protest against budget cuts in education. Parallel protests were made by the students of UP Mindanao and UP Cebu who held up protest posters during the livestreaming (please see the picture embedded above).

Here is Regent Taguiwalo’s narration of events up to the point of asking questions, which was posted on her Facebook page:

“All eleven nominees were present at the September 24 Public Forum on the Next UP President held in UP Diliman.”

“This time the presentation of the vision statements started with UPLB Chancellor Velasco and ended with Prof. Briones.”

“Where the UPLB forum had only two rounds, there were four rounds of Q and A in the second forum. Two questions, one at the beginning and the other at the end of the forum, were answered by all the nominees and sandwiched in between were individual questions drawn by the nominee from a pool of written questions from Diliman or question from a remote site.”

“Based on the notes I made during the forum, here are the questions raised during the forum.

The common questions were:

What are your plans to make UP a research university?
Ilarawan ang inyong management style kung kayo ang magiging Pangulo ng UP.

The following questions were answered by individual nominees based on the sequence determined by drawing lots. 1) Chancellor Velasco, 2) Prof. Ben Diokno, 3) Prof. Maris Diokno, 4) Prof. Alaras, 5) Prof. Azanza, 6) Prof. Teodosio, 7) Dean Pangalangan, 8) Dr. Cabral, 9) Former Alumni Regent Pascual, 10) Chancellor Cao and 11) Prof. Briones.

1. What is your stand about constructing a mosque in UP Diliman/ UPLB?
2. Apathetic na raw ang mga UP students, ano ang programa ninyo para mahimok ang mga estudyanteng lumahok sa mga pakilos?
3. What has been your greatest legacy to UP based on your last administrative position?
4. In UP Mindanao, some of the faculty members have to resign in order to pursue graduate studies because of the lack of faculty items. What are you going to do to help UP Mindanao obtain more faculty items?
5. From UPV Miag-ao: What are you going to do about the DBM proposed 2011 UP budget cut of P1.39 billion?
6. What policy can be put in place to encourage partnership with the private sector in utilizing the land grants of UP?
7. Today is the 17th year of the inception of Pahinungod, what are you going to do to strengthen volunteerism among the students?
8. How do you plan to address illegal occupancy of UP properties?
9. Is there anything being done or need to be done in the regional CUs that you will continue to do or will do if chosen President?
10. Should you be selected as UP President which strategy presented by other nominees would you adopt? For example, a strategy that addresses the pressing problems of the university such as the budget deficit without unduly burdening the students?
11. Ano ang inyong specific program on women and gender?

Second round of individual questions:

1. Ang ating unibersidad ay nakatuon sa pagtuturo at pananaliksik sa agham at teknolohiya, hindi masyadong nabigyang pansin ang sining. Ano ang iyong gagawin para maiwasto ito?
2. What your plans for informal settlers in UP?
3. Some students need financial assistance in spite of STFAP and scholarships. What are you going to do to address this problem?
4. According to the Constitution, education should be a priority, how do you intend to retain the public character of UP?
5. According to the attrition law, items vacated by administrative staff cannot be filled up leading to deficiencies in administrative staff support to faculty. What do you intend to do to address this?
6. The BOR should defer to the university on academic decisions. What do you think about the case of Dr. Jose Gonzales of PGH?
7. How can you assure the students that in spite of the budget cuts, UP will not transfer such amount to students through higher tuition and other fees?
8. With the autonomy of UP Cebu from UPV, it will be under the office of the UP President. What are you going to do to support the growth of UP Cebu?
9. What steps are you gong to take to develop the particular strengths of UP Baguio? Please give specific answers.
10. Aside from the academic side, do you have plans for the welfare of the students?
11. What do you propose to do with the RGEP?”

Inconsistent audio quality in U.P. Baguio and a lack of manpower prevented us from providing our readers with the comprehensive coverage we would have wanted for the Q&A part of the open forum. However, we encourage readers who attended any of these fora to send us any updates which we may incorporate into our ongoing coverage of the 2010 Search for the Next U.P. President.

(Photos by: Chanda Shahani)

(Chanda Shahani is the Editor of the Diliman Diary)

Dynasty vs. Destiny: 73rd Season UAAP Finals

By Katherine Verances Marfal

Going to this season, Far Eastern University Tamaraws and Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles received different expectations from different spectators. Even the Tamaraws let down their intact lineup last season; they are still bankable to be considered as the heavy favorite to bag the title. Meanwhile, the back to back champions Blue Eagles have doubts on their back in repeating this year because of losing their key players. Definitely, two teams are both expected to close out this season and it happens right now. Big game from the top guns, maximizing their advantages and controlling the tempo of the series are vital keys for the Tamaraws to end that 5-year drought, while for the Blue Eagles, it’s their veterans who have to show up, the young frontline have to step up their game and continues to believe on the system of coach Norman Black to pull out an upset.

Time and time again, the Tamaraws’ are always dangerous because of having so much weapons and reliable personnel. MVP candidate Ryan Roose Garcia is leading the pack for the Tamaraws.  The sophomore sensation is able to evolve as the best player this season after averaging 16.4 points per game and 3.4 assists per game. Even his game gone down in the second half of the season, Garcia is always a mark man for Glen Capacio’s squad and how he adjusts to this is still to be seen. The only main concern in his game is consistency. Lately, it seems the opponents are already finding their solution in preventing Garcia.  In the final four, he only managed to score 8 points against the De LaSalle Green Archers. Obviously, the Zamboanga native will have a tougher time against the Eagles defenders. With Garcia, struggled in the past few games, holdovers like Aldrech Ramos, Reil Cervantes, J.r  Cawaling, Paul Sanga and rookie Terrence Romeo have to play major roles as the series gets underway. Ramos and Cervantes are the best big men duo in the league. Their game are complimenting to each other, scoring and rebounding wise. Throughout the season, these two versatile forwards have been dependable especially in the down to the wire ball games. Sanga and Romeo have ups and down in this season. However, in the last game against the upset-minded Green Archers, these two wildcard picks shine in the pressure situation, which obviously earn the trust of Coach Capacio. Sanga sank 14 points, including 3-three point shots, including the game-tying shot to force overtime. Meanwhile, Romeo, stepped up big time by leading the comeback and seals the game for the Tamaraws. Perhaps, in terms of talent and experience, the Tamaraws have the huge advantage. With so many guys, who played for more than 3 years under the mentorship of coach Capacio, the Tamaraws can maximize this to gain the momentum of the series. Also playing their game is the Tamaraws’ priority heading to this series. Tough defense, especially on man to man and better half-court execution are the Tamaraws’ key ingredient in winning this series.

For the Blue Eagles, even there are the defending champions; the expectations are not so much high heading to this season. Losing their three main players, the Blue Eagle will have a tough time in defending their crown. However, Coach Norman Black relies always on his holdovers. Team captain Erik Salamat, Ryan Buenafe, Kirk Long, Nico Salva and Emman Monfort became the stabilizers in the big games of the Blue Eagles. Salamat has dismal performance this season in terms of point production but his tenacity on defense and provides much needed leadership on the floor; other guys were able to contribute well in all of their games. Buenafe is expected to be the focal point of their offense. Despite his inconsistency in this department, being aggressive and willing to share the ball helps the cause of the team. Long, Salva and Monfort have become the reliable role players to balance the attack of the Blue Eagles. All these names have not been noticeable to everyone, but because of their brilliant play and good team basketball, the Loyola-based squad was able to make their return in the finals. Ateneo’s liability as of now is there big’s. Remain to be seen are if someone like Frank Golla, Jimbo Escueta and Justin Chua can challenge the well-stabilized frontline of the Tamaraws.  Though, Coach Black can give his young big men a good account. Despite  inexperience, they have the potential to outhustle and outwork the big men of the Tamaraws, just they did in their past opponents. Winning a grandslam is not far from reality for the Blue Eagles, especially with Coach Black guiding them in the sideline. Throughout the years, it was not the player but it’s the system of Mr. 100% that made them so successful. He is able to maximize the pieces that they have and in this series, the Ateneans will rely anew to the magic of their prolific mentor.

Obviously, everyone believes that this is the year for the Tamaraws. After being frustrated in the recent year, they don’t want to let this opportunity slip away from them. Coach Capacio’s contract will expire after this season and some players are also on their final years. Expect them to give all their guts and marbles to bring back the UAAP glory in Morayta area. For the Blue Eagles, aside from eyeing a repeat, their mission is to destroy all the criticisms regarding their capabilities in maintaining the crown. After this series, two questions will be answered. Can the Blue Eagles build a new dynasty or can the Tamaraws finally nail their destiny by winning the title?

(Katherine Verances Marfal is a freelance writer. Among the publications she writes for are the Manila Bulletin, Sports Digest, Panorama and Pilipino Star Ngayon. She is a graduate of Philippine Normal University).

Friday, September 24, 2010

U.P.'s problems are ventilated by its very own nominees for U.P. President as they present their visions, and answer questions before critical audiences at UP Diliman and the rest of the U.P. System

 (The Oblation at U.P. Baguio)

By Chanda Shahani

Baguio City - Tough talk and frank admissions about the state of the University of the Philippines (U.P.) dominated presentations by eleven nominees for U.P. President who made their second out of a series of three presentations before a live audience in U.P. Diliman which was beamed online in interactive format to the other constituent universities within the U.P. System last September 24.

The nominees fora, which took place at the NISMED auditorium in U.P. Diliman, was covered by the Diliman Diary from U.P. Baguio. Since we also covered the first forum which took place in U.P. Los Baños on September 20, online and out of U.P. Manila, we decided not to publish the exact same points made by the nominees, fearing redundancy. For those readers who are interested in getting a sense of the breadth of the nominees' remarks over time, please refer to our earlier dispatch in order to get a proper appreciation of the essential nature of each nominee (Please click on: 

Meantime, the well-laid plans of the outgoing U.P. Administration to preempt the new President of the Philippines from appointing replacements to outgoing Malacañang regents Abraham Sarmiento, Francis Chua and Nelia Gonzales by convincing then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to reappoint them as "midnight appointees," may be in trouble inasmuch as Malacañang has requested the U.P. Administration to submit the names of new nominees for Malacañang regents in light of Executive Order # 2, removing all midnight appointees of the previous administration. But since R.A. 9500 or the 2008 U.P. Charter does not expressly give U.P. President Emerlinda Roman the sole monopoly to submit nominees' names for the consideration of President Benigno S. Aquino III, Roman has simply resubmitted the names of the three outgoing regents, along with other names; but other names have been submitted by the U.P. Alumni Association, Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalo, Senator Edgardo J. Angara and even other third parties.

The practical result of all of this is that it is no longer possible to predict the outcome of the result of the search process for U.P. President, which we have written about in the past (, and which was based on the assumption that a Roman-dominated BOR would hand-pick the next U.P. President. This is no longer the case, since President Aquino may choose among the plethora of nominees being submitted. It is with this uncertain outcome very much in place, that the eleven nominees gave their presentations which were markedly livelier and focused on how they would improve U.P. as it currently stands right now.

Here is what each candidate said they would do if they were selected as U.P. President. We are posting this in order of their actual presentations at U.P. Diliman:

1. Velasco, Luis Rey

U.P. Los Baños Chancellor Luis Rey Velasco said he would emphasize building up a research university. He also said that he wanted to see a comprehensive review of the revised general education program. He added that he would make use of U.P.'s idle lands so as to generate more income for the university. He said that it was important, if he were chosen as U.P. President, for his administration to be marked by transparency, accountability and that mechanisms for feedback should be put into place.

2. Diokno, Benjamin E.

Former Budget Secretary and U.P. School of Economics Professor Benjamin Diokno said it was imperative for U.P. to make itself "more relevant to national goals."

"The U.P. diploma is as good as ever and the faculty remains to be our most important resource," he said, adding that it was important toi put into place policies designed to keep the best and the brightest of the faculty for the longest time. He stressed that it was time to review existing programs and prioritize the trult important programs while engaging in creative financing in view of looming budget cuts.

He said that U.P. could continue to provide the Filipino people with expertise in the areas of global warming, disaster preparedness, health care reforms, poverty alleviation and the promotion of human rights. He said that while there are competing demands for state funds, U.P. needs to innovate and become more resourceful. Given a choice between expanding or excelling, U.P. should choose to excel, he said.

3. Diokno Ma. Serena I.

Former U.P. Vice President and U.P. Diliman Department of History Professor Ma. Serena I. Diokno said if she were chosen as U.P. President that she would do what she could to remove "one size fits all policies" that were not appropriate to specific situations.

By way of example, she said that data needs to drive the formulation and implementation of policies. For example data is needed to determine how many students drop out of U.P. due to poverty. Another example, she said is to obtain data to find out what kind of learning U.P. needs. Correspondingly, the formulation of U.P. policies should flow from the data and conclusions derived thereof, she said.

Diokno said that she wanted to promulgate a Learning in Education Assistance Program (LEAP) that students could participate it as researchers. "This will enable them to earn as they learn," she said, saying that LEAP can be promoted to the Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Education who would also want to develop their own baseline data on specific subjects.

Aside from LEAP, she also placed great importance on the development of an academic leadership program for current and future student and faculty leaders based on their interests and abilities. She also said that an academic appeals system was necessary; implying that there was no particular system currently in place that would quickly decide on academic matters. She said that the final decision on academic matters should rest with the U.P. President who was the chief academic officer of the university. However, the role of the Board of Regents was to ensure that there was no abuse of authority in the process itself.

4. Alaras, Consolacion R.

Retired Professor Consolacion R. Alaras, a Former Department of English and Comparative Literature (DECL) Chair, began her presentation of her vision for U.P. if she became a U.P. President, by referring in an allegorical manner to the 2010 centennial celebrations of the DECL which she called "historical and prophetic." She mentioned that 2010 was also the 150th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal, one of the founding fathers of the Philippine independence movement that was later consummated when the Philippines became a full-fledged republic in 1946.

"Time will come when we can rediscover who we are and when that happens, we will discover the wide road of progress," she said in reference to the the Philippines. She said that it was "now time to Rizalize the Philippines because the time will come when Rizal's ideas of governance, development and diplomacy will take root."

Professor Alaras pointed to as medal pinned on her chest and said that it was part of an award given to her by the Czech Republic through Cezch Republic Prime Minister who conferred the award on her in 2009 in Manila for her contributions to the understanding of the professional and personal friendship Dr. Rizal had with Ferdinand Blumentritt of the then Czechoslovakia. Blumentritt, a scholar of the Tagalog language, wrote the preface of El Filibusterismo in German, and who pointed out to Rizal that the root words of government ("pamahalaan") and God ("bathala") had a common ancestor in the Sanskrit language which had influences on the Philippine and Southeast Asias languages. "Pamathalaan" therefore embodies Rizal's and Blumentritt's writings as "Pamathalaan" refers to Sacred Prophetic Politics and Its Impact on Education, Governance, Development, and Diplomacy. In her "Pamathalaan studies", Rizal embodies the spirit and ideals of Pamathalaan or A Moral Sacred Nation.

She said that if she became U.P. President, she would press for a U.P. run on moral and sacred grounds, and that this would spill over, by way of example into the rest of the country.

5. Azanza, Patrick Alain T.

Dr. Patrick Alain T. Azanza, President of Winsource Solutions, Inc., and a senior lecturer at the U.P. College of Education opened his presentation by sounding the alarm that U.P. already lags behind in several fields of study. Azanza, a B.A. Sociology graduate from UPLB said that once-upon-a-time it was UPLB that dominated in the field of agriculture, but that distinction now belonged to Mindanao State University. It was Visayas State University that excelled in agricultural enginnering, and not U.P. He said kudos belonged to Benguet State University in the area of veterinary medicine and not U.P. He said San Beda is now the top school in the field of law and that in medicine the distinction belonged to the University of Santo Tomas.

Azanza said that U.P. needs to modernize as it lacks technology and equipment. He also said that the large class scheme needed to be reexamined. He said that he was disappointed at the U.P. Administration's highly touted U.P.-Ayala Technohub along Commonwealth Avenue in Diliman because all it was was "a bunch of eateries and call centers. It is not the research hub in partnership with industry that it was meant to be." He said that by way of comparison, National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan was in strong partnership with such global Taiwanese giants such as Acer, which is the number one laptop manufacturer in the world and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. which is the world's largest independent dedicated semiconductor foundry. "U.P. should be like the Silicon Valley of Asia," he said and added that if he became U.P. President, he would work to ensure that U.P. became a global ICT university.

He also pointed out that the lease rental enjoyed by U.P. for the rental of the 36 hectare property on Commonwealth Avenue to Ayala Land, Inc.and on which the U.P.-Ayala Technohub stands, only garnered U.P. PhP 160 a million a year in rental income. The rental income would average only PhP 36 per square meter per month, which is a far cry from what call centers pay in Makati City and Libis who pay anywhere from PhP 350 to PhP 600 per square meter per month for their facilities. "U.P. could have easily raised the capital to construct the facilities to Ayala's requirements and charged commercial rates, thus netting higher revenues for itself," he said.

As U.P. President, he said he would take a more tough-minded bargaining approach to private sector enterprises wanting to conclude deals with U.P., compared to the outgoing administration of U.P. President Emerlinda R. Roman who has a Ph.D. in business administration from U.P. Diliman.

6. Teodosio, Virginia A.

U.P. School of Labor and Industrial Relations Professor Virginia Teodosio said that if she became U.P. President, that she accepted the challenge for U.P. to become financially self-reliant.

She said that based on her experience in providing consultancy services as a cooperative development expert to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that it would be perfectly possible to set up social enterprises within U.P., if she becomes U.P. President, in order to attend to business concerns in the face of U.P.'s declining budget. She cited government universities in China who were doing the exact same thing.

She added that U.P.'s faculty and students still merited high marks, but that U.P. could not afford to isolate itself from the high population growth in the country and the large swathes of the population suffering from poverty. U.P. had to remain engaged with those issues, as a national university, she said.      
7. Pangalangan, Raul C.                            

Former College of Law Dean Raul C. Pangalangan said that the concepts of universities and democarcies "compete with each other," in the sense that democracies are based on the principle of one person having one vote. But a university is not dependent on the tyranny of numbers in the way that a democracy might be, because a university is own reason for being, since its principal audience is a community of scholars dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. Having said that, however, he said a special obligation belongs to public universities such as U.P.

Pangalangan said every nation needed a public university to showcase its talent and that it was wrong to "go down to the market." As U.P. President, he said he would "inspire the marketplace of ideas to go to U.P.'s higher level."

8. Cabral, Esperanza I.

Esperanza I. Cabral, M.D., currently a senior policy adviser to the United Nations Population Fund, the former Secretary of Health and a former professor of pharmacology at the U.P. College of Medicine said that if she was chosen by the BOR as U.P. President, that she would run an administration "based on honesty, fairness, independence of mind and tolerance of adversity."

Quoting Bertrand Russell, she said "Mankind has become so much one family, that we cannot ensure our propserity without ensuring everyone elses propserity."  Therefore, as U.P. President, she would make sure that resource allocations are priotized for academic offerings, student assistance, the welfare of the faculty and the upgrading of facilities in U.P.

9. Pascual, Alfredo E.

Alumni Regent Alfredo Pascual (on leave), who is also a former Asian Development Bank executive and a
former professor from the Asian Institute of Management, said that “U.P. has been eclipsed,” and that it needed to assume a leadership role for national development for the developing needs of the country.

“The country’s many problems remain unresolved, and that’s because many of them are not properly defined,” he said, adding that many of the problems transcended one discipline, requiring a multi-disciplinary approach, “and that’s where U.P. with its many experts in various disciplines can come in and participate in the national discussion,” he said.

As U.P. President, he said he would continue to build up on U.P.’s highly regarded research function, such as the planning of the country’s socioeconomic strategies, strengthening centers of excellence, and use U.P.’s expertise to address the issues of poverty, food self-sufficiency and public health.

Pascual said he would expand U.P.’s graduate program . He also said that:

  • U.P.’s excellent faculty and staff need a good compensation program to retain talent and he would work for that, including improving employment terms, medical care, and making housing affordable and accessible.
  • U.P. would continue to attract the best students, and thus U.P. should offer comparatively low tuition fees to allow those disadvantaged but bright students from availaing of an excellent education, and thus maintaining “U.P.’s public character.”

He said that to address the issue of financial sustainability, it was important for U.P. to develop a ten year strategic plan in order to justify long-term funding from the government. He said that while the U.P. Charter ensured that government could not renege on its financial commitments to U.P., U.P. still needed to work on its financial sustainability.

Incentives can be offered to alumni and other donors, such as giving donors tax breaks in return for making financial donations to U.P. Pascual, who was a professor of finance at AIM or nine years also said that corporate taxes can be tapped to also ensure sustainable funding for the national university.

“If I become U.P. President, I will have an administration that is characterized by god governance, collegiality, predictability, accountability, responsible stewardship and ethical conduct,” he said.

10. Cao, Sergio S.

U.P. Diliman Chancellor Sergio Cao, who is also a professor of finance from the U.P. Diliman’s College of Business Administration, stressed that his administration would concentrate on making U.P. a true research university.

“I will concentrate on helping to develop a research culture,” he said, saying that he would put into placed policies on hiring, the granting of tenure and the provision of funds for the purpose.

He said that it was imperative that only Ph.Ds be teaching in the specialist programs and that for individuals who wanted to teach in general programs, that they must have Ph.Ds before they are given tenure.

He said as U.P. President he would impart to the students the culture of “making moral decisions” and “how to have respect for oneself and for others.”

11. Briones, Leonor M.

Former National Treasurer and U.P. Diliman National College of Public Administration and Governance Professor Leonor M. Briones told the audience that she "left PhP 125 billion with the National Treasury when I was fired by then President Gloria M. Arroyo," adding that "hindi ako agree na nabubulok na ang U.P.," in apparent reference to some of the statements of her fellow nominees that U.P. was not doing so well.

She said that U.P. still excelled in giving sacrifices and "sa pagsabi kung ano ang pagkakamali, kung ano ang totoo."

Briones said that U.P. is still the leading institution of higher learning with the best writers, artists and dancers. She added that "there are many patriotic contribtions that U.P. has made that cannot be quantified and are underalded."

Briones called on U.P. to conduct a comprehensive annual state f the nation review to complement the Philippine President's State of the Nation Address which is given every year. She said that U.P. can help contribute heavily to the Philippines reaching its millenium development goals.

Briones said that those from U.P. should not feel that "hindi tayo ang sinusweldohan. Tayo ang resource."

(Editor's note: After the presentations by the nominees, there was an extended open forum with questions pouring in from all over the U.P. System. To read the proceedings of the open forum, please click on this link:

(Photos by Chanda Shahani)

(Chanda Shahani is the Editor of the Diliman Diary)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More details emerge on the U.P. Los Baños public forum to present nominees for the next U.P. President

 (Nominees table inside Umali Hall, UPLB)

The first of the three public forum to present the nominees for the next UP President was held on September 20, 2010 in UP Los Baños. Ten of the 11 nominees presented their vision for the university. The order of the presentation was done by drawing lots, according to Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalo.

The Diliman Diary covered the event yesterday from the remote viewing site of the College of Nursing auditorium in U.P. Manila (please click on this link for the story:

 (Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalo)

 (Student Regent Cori Alessa Co)

 (Staff Regent Clodualdo "Buboy" Cabrera)

Regent Taguiwalo, who attended the UPLB forum, together with Student Regent Cori Alessa Co, Staff Regent Clodualdo "Buboy" Cabrera and Acting Alumni Regent Gladys Tiongco, informed the Diliman Diary about additional details which we would like to share with our readers.

After the 10 minute presentation of each of the nominees, an open forum where questions from UPLB and from other constituent universities (through livestreaming) were asked. The questions included the following concerns:

(U.P. Diliman Chancellor Sergio S. Cao)

1. What are your plans to make UP a research university?
2. Earnings of UP Diliman are shared with other CUs. What are you going to do to reduce the subsidy of Diliman to other CUs.
3. Do you agree to the need for ensuring transparency in the financial allocation and transactions of the university?
4. What are you going to do to assist UP Mindanao which has limited resources compared to other CUs.
5. What is UP's most important problem?
6. What program of the current administration is worthy of continuing support?
7. What are you going to do to unify the various constituent universities?
8. If UP becomes exempted from SSL how do you propose to generate funds for the salaries of the personnel?

 (Former National Treasurer and NCPAG
Professor Leonor Briones)

The first and last questions were asked of all nominees. In addition, each nominee answered a question drawn from the pool of questions from UPLB or asked from a remote site.

(Protesters inside Umali Hall.
To enlarge the pictures, just click on them)

But interspersed with the nominees' eloquent presentations which is all we witnessed from the comfort of our remote viewing site at the College of Nursing auditorium at U.P. Manila, we were unable to determine that on the ground, in UPLB, students and union members had additional concerns that they wished to bring to the attention of the nominees, one of whom will be chosen by the Board of Regents on a first round of voting (or maybe even more) starting November 17, 2010 during a special BOR meeting or series of meetings.

(UPLB Chancellor Luis Rey Velasco)

 (Sign opposing Chancellor Velasco as a choice for U.P. President)

(A long line of UPLB security guard the protesters' every move)

Protests occurred inside and outside Umali Hall and the pictures, both of nominees presenting, and protesters protesting, courtesy of Regent Taguiwalo, are posted here one after the other as a kind of visual juxtaposition and narrative in order to add greater context to the event and highlight the concerns that the different sectors feel have been left unaddressed by the outgoing administration of U.P. President Emerlinda R. Roman and should be addressed by the next U.P. President.

(Former U.P. Diliman Dept. of English and Comparatve
Literature Chair Consolacion Alaras)

(Former U.P. College of Law Dean Raul Pangalangan)


(Former Budget Secretary and School of Economics
Professor Benjamin Diokno)


(Former Vice President for Academic Affairs &
U.P. Diliman History Professor Ma. Serena Diokno)



(U.P. Diliman College of Education Senior
Lecturer Dr. Patrick Azanza)



(U.P. Diliman SOLAIR Professor Virginia Teodosio)


(Alumni Regent (on leave) Alfredo Pascual)





(Photos and updates are courtesy of Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalo)

Blog Archive

The Diary Archive