(Regent Bibeth Orteza-Siguion Reyna exits Quezon
Hall after the Dec. 17, 2010 BOR meeting.
Photos by Chanda Shahani)
(She is handed a pamphlet containing the poem, "Fliptop"
A 1975 U.P. Diliman graduate, Orteza-Siguion Rena
expresses surprise at this development)
Newly-appointed U.P. Regent Bibeth Orteza-Siguion-Reyna expressed surprise at the impending closure of the University Food Service (UFS) as she exited Quezon Hall after the December 17, 2010 University of the Philippines (U.P.) Board of Regents (BOR) meeting.
She was handed a pamphlet entitled Pandayan Special Issue December 10, entitled,"Wakas at Simula" and containing a poem entitled, “Fliptop” by Mykel Andrada which said in part, “”Computerized na ang Form 5/ Ang tuition per unit ay one-five/ Inuuna ang negosyo/ Walang pakialam sa serbisyo/ Isinasara na ang UFS” (http://upissues.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/pandayan-dec-2010/).
“Is this true? She asked the Diliman Diary as we were present on that day taking pictures and interviewing. This blogger confirmed this fact to her.
According to the U.P. website (http://www.upd.edu.ph/~ovcsa/ufs/university_food_service.htm), UFS “provides food that is acceptable, nutritious, safe, wholesome and reasonably priced to its University clientele of students, faculty and administrative personnel. It is managed by professional dietitians and nutritionists.”
“Until 1993, the UFS operated six dormitory dining halls and 15 canteens in various academic and administrative buildings. In 1994, through a management decision to privatize food outlets on campus, the outlets of the UFS were awarded to private concessionaires and their supervision was transferred to the Business Concessions Office under the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Community Affairs. Only three outlets were left to the UFS : its Catering Unit, Bakeshop and the Vinzons Grill.”
However,even these remaining outlets now face permanent closure by the outgoing Administration of U.P. Diliman Chancellor Sergio S. Ca whose term ends on February 28, 2011.
Union members, students, and some faculty in U.P. Diliman say that it is imperative that subsidies remain for the UFS as this is part of the overall package of subsidies granted to U.P. personnel and students that is necessary for it to maximally perform its function as the national university.
However, Chancellor Cao, a professor of business administration at U.P. Diliman has been working hand-in-hand with outgoing U.P. President Emerlinda R. Roman, also a professor of business administration to outsource the function of UFS to private concessionaires in order to fulfill President Roman's vision of “a more efficient university.”
Opponents of the measures to permanently close UFS down say that allowing the private sector to completely dominate the food scene at U.P. Diliman drives up overall costs for U.P. Faculty, staff and students making it even more untenable for them to make ends meet, in comparison to previous years.
(Reporting by Chanda Shahani)