Saturday, July 31, 2010

JobStreet.com Career Congress 2010: "Booksmart is not Enough"



By Chanda Shahani

In today's competitive job market, being "book smart" is no longer enough for new graduates. They not only have to bring in technical skills to the table; but they also have to have people skills and the right attitude as well.

Penny Bongato, Human Resources Director for Logica, who was speaking before an estimated 400 school administrators from all over the country at the Jobstreet.com Career Congress '10 held on July 30, 2010 at the SMX Convention center at Pasay City said that several studies conducted by the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) conclusively show that the gaps that remain between what industries want and what schools can supply from its fresh graduates are "in the areas of skills and attitudes."

To drive home the point, she also showed a video that is available on Youtube.com (Please click on the video embedded above to watch this) which dramatizes the dillemma of a new graduate's not being able to make the grade in a job interview, despite possessing that all-too-precious diploma.

"A PMAP study made in 1999 showed that many graduates applying to staffing entry level positions fail in basic communication skills," she said.

She said that another PMAP study made in 2006 also showed that many graduates lack English oral communication skills, personal confidence and the ability to solve problems independently.

In 2008 a detailed study foucing on behavioral cometencies and surveying eight (8) industries showed that the growth areas for jobs were in Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Pharmaceutical industries, and Hospital Serrvices. It found that the three main cometencies expected outside the technical competency ofthe graduates were in communication, initiative taking and critical thinking.

"By communication I mean understanding and being understood," she said. She said that listening was a communication skill that graduates needed to possess. This also involves questioning and probing skills and also diplomatic skillls as well as being able to express one's ideas inoral and written format."

Many graduates have poor comprehension, are introverted and lack self-confidence, she said.

Initiative taking was also important because companies expect graduatesto have the emotional confidence to make a decision as well as being proactive and self-starting. She said that the graduate in today's workplace has to have the courage to take action and to be accountable. In this regard, a student who had extra curricular actities in school involving extending assistance in difficult situations would be able to bring valuable skills to the workplace beyond what was taught in textbooks.

Critical thinking was also important because it involves the ability to bring solutions to challenging situations. "The root causes of a problem need to be defined correctly and then creative problem solving must be employed using logic," she said.

"In this context, being "book smart" is no longer enough for graduate to be considered being hired by an employer. The graduate must show an ability to think on his or her feet and express himself confidently," she said.

(Chanda Shahani is the Editor of the Diliman Diary).

Friday, July 30, 2010

Josephine Turalba: Art as unspeakable violence and malignant trauma intertwined with Filipino myth and folklore on the Fashion Catwalk

Josephine Turalba's installation art, which depict two “diwatas” dressed in high fashion and adorned with gun shells, is on display at the Manilart fair from July 30 to August 1, 2010, at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

Inspired by an unspeakable episode from her past where her father died from the barrels of guns in Laguna, Turalba refers to the diwata (or, “goddess.”) as “a goddess and guardian of the place – the Spirit – Genius loci. But, I dressed her with bullets. The dress is the present Diwata, the link from the past to the traumatized place in the present. She brings the forgotten trauma from the unconscious back to consciousness. DIWATA is a carrier of reflection and attempts to awaken people. She is not the guardian of the place anymore. She has transformed into the critical reflection of the place by warning and reminding people of who they were before the colonial times. She insists on questioning, investigating, transforming and re-defining her people’s identity today.

This bullet dress comprised of 1482 shotgun shells was conceived late 2007 but was finished in 2009, since the process of collecting these shells involved legal, social and cultural complications. The video (duration 2:04mins) was shot with a Sony digital video camera on location in Laguna, Philippines, the land of trauma. The work has been exhibited for the first time in Berlin, Germany on August 2009. “ (http://www.josephineturalba.net/state/Diwata.html)

University of the Philippines (U.P.) Diliman Department of Arts Studies Associate Professor Flaudette May Datuin, said in a critical essay entitled “The Trauma of the Scarab and the Phoenix” and displayed together with Turalba's art displays in the Manilart fair, that, “Dressed in various guises, diwata walks the streets of a crowded city, goes through desolate landscapes overgrown with weeds, and in a more recent work, parodies the language of glamour by performing exaggerated catwalks on a fashion catwalk.”

“Trauma, especially that which psychologists refer to as “malignant trauma” arising from atrocities inflicted by humans on fellow humans is so overwheling, so overflowing with meaning that it is beyond language ... malignant trauma thus represents that which cannot be symbolized and memorialized that which remains untouched, resistant and remaining outside of meaning and language draining the traumatized of her life and sense of humanity."

"Diwata as body, and as place and metaphordwells in the various runways and walkways, acting as the ultimate divine mediator, linking the living with the dead, our traumatic past with our nostalgic present. She is also a divine wirness and an inner drive; Diwata gives voice to deep resentments and sorrow. In the process of "her works," she brings the dead back to life through public mourning and remembrance. The mataphoric concept compels us neither to tolerate nor to look away, n not to turn our backs and most importantly, not to forget."

Editor's note: To enlarge the photos to see greater detail, just click on each photo.

(Photos by: Chanda Shahani)

U.P. Asian Institute of Tourism Professor's Top Nine Places to eat in U.P. Diliman

University of the Philippines (U.P.) Asian Institute of Tourism Professor Ivan Henares writes about some of the best places to eat in U.P. Diliman without breaking the bank: http://www.ivanhenares.com/2010/07/quezon-city-where-to-eat-in-up-diliman.html

"Jejemon" is now the 2010 word of the year, and these two Opposing "Jejevideos" are the Diliman Diary videos of the Week

A "Jejelover" Video



A "Jejebuster" Video



Editor's Note:

The word, "Jejemon" was chosen today as the 2010 Word of the Year in Sawikaan 2010: Word of the Year Conference in UP Diliman.

The Filipinas Institute of Translation (FIT), Inc. in cooperation with the Blas Ople Foundation, Anvil Publishing, DepEd, CHED, U.P. Sentro ng Wikang Filipino, and the U.P. College of Arts and Letters held Sawikaan 2010: Pambansang Kumperensiya sa Salita ng Taon on July 29-30, 8:00am-5:00pm at the Pulungang Claro M. Recto, Bulwagang Rizal, Diliman, Quezon City.

In 2007, “miskol” was declared word of the year because it perfectly captured the Filipino style of appropriating a foreign communication practice to suit the local mores. The conference was not held in 2008 and 2009, as the organizers believe no words came out at that period worthy of the title. It follows then that in 2010 there were enough word contenders for the event’s revival.

Old or new words were be considered by the judges as possible word of the year as long as these impacted on the sociocultural, political, social, economic, and other aspects of Filipino life in the last two years. These could be borrowed from a foreign or a local language, or an old one that has acquired a new meaning. The word of the year is a significant addition to Filipino vocabulary and a welcome dictionary entry. As in the previous years, Sawikaan has invited language experts to talk about how to further develop the Filipino national language. Speakers for the July 29 sessions included Dr. Mario I. Miclat, the dean of the U.P. Asian Center; Dr. Zeus Salazar, the respected historian; Dr. Jaime Caro, computer scientist; and Dr. Jesus Federico Hernandez, the Chair of the U.P. Department of Linguistics. Topics to be tackled are neologism, lexicon from non-English languages, computer technology and language, and contribution from the gay subculture.

The revised edition of the UP Diksiyonaryong Filipino (Anvil Publishing) will be launched after the fora. National Artist for Literature Virgilio S. Almario is the editor of the dictionary.

On July 30, papers were presented. Entries included “jejemon, “unli,” “load,” “tarpo,” “spam,” “solb,” “emo,” “namumutbol,” “Ondoy,” and “Ampatuan.” Presentations were judged according to the paper’s outstanding research, power of evidence and argumentation, and quality of writing. The Blas Ople Foundation gave cash prizes to the first, second, and third best papers. The Sawikaan papers will be later published as a book.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Invasion of the Imports in UAAP Season 73


By Katherine Verances Marfal

A few years back, someone like Michael Hackett, Billy Ray Bates, Norman Black and Tony Harris invaded the Philippine Basketball Association. These reinforcements set numerous championships, statistical records and relentless moments and memories in the eyes of the Filipino fans. No doubt, the Philippines tagged as one of the best destinations for the international players to prove themselves. Most of them have found their place in the history books of local basketball. Until now, new breeds of talent from other countries continue to arrive in the local basketball scene and most of them never regret staying here. In the recent years, various discussions came out about bringing an import to the upcoming battles of Smart Gilas RP team in different international games. In addition to that, most of those personnel are willing to be naturalized as Filipinos.

However, it seemed that this trend is also adapted also by different collegiate leagues in the country like Universities and Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Some schools opted to recruit imports to be able to strengthen their lineups and chances in contending competitively in the tournament. Acquisition of Nigerian behemoth Sam Ekwe is considered as the biggest factor why San Beda College Red Lions built its own dynasty in three years in NCAA. Aside from that, other colleges and universities are also benefiting from having these players like Sudan Daniel of San Beda, who seemed a perfect replacement for Ekwe and Niki Nhoundu of Far Eastern University and Emjei of Jose Rizal University; both are versatile forwards who can put their muscles on the floor.


This season 73 of UAAP, another set of international flavors is already starting to make noise, not only in their respective schools but also in the entire league.

Emmanuel Mbe of National University, Austin Manyara and William Stinett of Adamson University are expecting to play major roles in their school’s campaign not only this season but in the upcoming years.

(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 also a Web Content Writer and is a graduate of Philippine Normal University).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In the Firing Line: The University of the Philippines Administration strips the U.P. Board of Regents and a U.P. Professor of their Academic Freedoms


A new battle is now is now brewing in the halls of pathways of the University of the Philippines (U.P.) at Diliman over the issue of Academic Freedom. The  issue stems from U.P. Diliman Sociology Professor Sarah Raymundo's being granted tenure by the U.P. Board of Regents (BOR) last May 27, 2010 and the U.P. Administration and U.P. Diliman Department of Sociology's vigorous inaction in implementing a direct order of the BOR by not giving her an item, teaching load and commensurate remuneration.

Some faculty of the Sociology Department are demanding that their Academic Freedom be recognized in their opposition to Professor Raymundo's not being a suitable candidate for tenure in view of her apparently radical political beliefs. This opens a can of worms because all available Philippine jurisprudence recognizes that Academic Freedom belongs to the institution and if the highest policy-making body in the University as defined by the 2008 U.P. Charter (R.A. 9500) is the BOR, then it is the Academic Freedom of the BOR to choose who shall teach that is being trampled upon by the asserted Academic Freedom of the U.P. Administration and the U.P. Diliman Sociology Department. Additionally, there is the issue of Professor Raymundo being stripped of her Academic Freedom to teach freely without being targetted for her political beliefs by her being not being allowed to teach despite an executive decision of the BOR. It is, after all, a well-accepted doctrine that the very essence of Academic Freedom is the ability to teach, write, speak and research freely without being singled out for one's political beliefs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_freedom).



We therefore have an anamalous situation where Academic Freedom itself is on the firing line. Or should we say, Academic Freedoms? After all, there is Professor Raymundo's Academic Freedom, the Academic Freedom of the U.P. Diliman Sociology Department as supported by the chief academic officer of the University, President Emerlinda Roman and also the Academic Freedom of the BOR itself. Which shall prevail?

To read an extended analysis of this issue please check the weblog, U.P. Issues, and click on this link: http://upissues.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Commentary: The Fallout in U.P. Diliman from President Aquino's SONA: It's Time for the 3 Malacañang Midnight Appointees to go.



By Chanda Shahani

U.P. Regents Francis Chua. Abraham Sarmiento. Nelia Gonzalez. These are the three Malacañang-appointed regents who were among the thousands of midnight appointees of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who left President Benigno S. Aquino III with the burden of having to co-govern this country with people who did not enjoy his trust and confidence and who may actually constitute stumbling blocks to his oft-repeated claims to governing this nation transparently and democratically as seen by their own track records in governing U.P.

We remind our readers that the U.P. Administration, counting these 3 regents as its allies in the BOR, has been rocked by a series of controversies, ranging from the stripping of U.P. Diliman Sociology Professor Sarah Raymundo of her academic freedom, to pursue her own political beliefs outside the classroom, by denying her a position in her own department despite being granted tenure by the majority of the BOR; to other problems emanating from the lack of legitimacy of these 3 regents to remove Dr. Jose Gonzales as director of the Philippine General Hospital last January 25, 2010, as their acting appointments by former President Arroyo in 2008 had already lapsed and they had not yet been given their midnight appointments (on February 10 and March 8, respectively before the March 10 prohibited period had set in). These regents also have to answer for their voting records in privatizing portions of the PGH through a lease contract that has been deemed by the Department of Justice as being contrary to R.A. 9500.

President Aquino has already issued Memorandum Circular Number 1, reversing midnight appointments by President Arroyo by July 31, 2010 unless there are exceptional and mitigating circumstances for retaining them, either legally or due to outstanding performances by these midnight appointees.


Former President Arroyo, who struggled with the issue of of her own elected legitimacy during her term, essentially tried to water down popular anger and repeated attempts to oust her by idealistic elements within the military; cause-oriented organizations and within the halls of congress by essentially dispensing the people's money and co-opting dissent within the ranks by dispensing money for large-scale projects and government positions like so much largesse and releasing pork-barrel funds to congressmen and senators who did not oppose her. During her term, many positions within the government were filled by her by appointing individuals not to a full term, but in "acting" capacities, so that these individuals, including the three (3) Malacañang Regents could be kept on a tight leash, and undertake actions, according to her own interests. Individuals who were appointed in "acting" capacities, therefore, could be easily removed if they did not toe the Macapagal-Arroyo line.

In the case of U.P. PGH, we are given a window into former President Macapagal-Arroyo's absolutely cynical frame of mind when it becam clear that Macapagal-Arroyo, who was already intending to run for Congress (3rd district, Pampanga) was biased in favor of disbursing funds for Pampanga versus other provinces who needed the funds more. According to President Aquino's July 26, 2010 SONA: “Sa kabuuan ng 108 million pesos para sa lalawigan ng Pampanga, 105 million pesos nito ay napunta sa iisang distrito lamang. Samantala, ang lalawigan ng Pangasinan na sinalanta ng Pepeng ay nakatanggap ng limang milyong piso lamang para sa pinsalang idinulot ng bagyong Cosme, na nangyari noong 2008 pa.”

Little surprise, then that these three (3) Malacañang regents participated in voting in a BOR meeting on January 25, 2010 that installed Dr. Enrique Domingo who not only is in favour of the continuation of the U.P. Administration-initiated privatization of certain areas of PGH but is also from a prominent political family in Pampanga. It would therefore have been in the interests of former President Macapagal-Arroyo and the U.P. Administration to find a way to oust Dr. Gonzales, who, in the overall scheme of things, did not come from a politically sensitive region (Dr. Goznales hails from General Santos City) unlike Dr. Domingo. Dr. Gonzales' other perceived liability was that he was against the current model of privatizing portions of PGH. We have written about this in great detail in the the past, as the convergence of U.P.-Administration interests with the interests of Malacañang: http://diliman-diary.blogspot.com/2010/03/alternative-copy1.html

In the “University of the Philippines: the First 75 Years,” (U.P. Press, 1985), we are made aware that as early as 1925, then U.P. President Rafael Palma had already warned about “the need to keep the University beyond political interference.” A Commission created then by the Philippine Legislature, and headed by Dr. Paul R. Monroe of Columbia University issued a report stating that “Higher Education is an activity which can only be carried on effectively only in an environment of detachment and and independence reasonably far removed from considerations of expediency and policy (such as governed political afairs)."

It is therefore, time for these three (3) regents to step down and resign before they are automatically removed on July 31, 2010, in order to give President Aquino, who has the undisputed mandate of his people, a free hand in considering the recommendation of the BOR in recommending replacements, which is in accordance with R.A. 9500 (Section 12i): “Three other Regents who have distinguished themselves in their professions or fields of specialization, to be appointed by the President of the Philippines, considering the recommendation of the Board. At least two (2) of these Regents should be alumni. All these Regents shall each serve for a term of two (2) years.”

It would be a conflict of interest for these three (3) Malacañang Regents to recommend themselves for regular appointments by President Aquino because that would be a self-serving action. As for their regular two-year appointments by President Macapagal-Arroyo in February and March 2010, these are precisely part of the cluster of midnight appointments being questioned by President Aquino in his July 26, 2010 SONA when he said in reference to midnight appointments to the MWSS Board of Trustees, and their abuse of their positions, by saying that: “Hindi naman sila agad maaalis sa puwesto dahil kabilang sila sa mga Midnight Appointees ni dating Pangulong Arroyo. Iniimbestigahan na natin ang lahat nang ito. Kung mayroon pa silang kahit kaunting hiya na natitira - sana kusa na lang silang magbitiw sa puwesto.”

President Aquino might as well have been talking about the three (3) Malacañang regents – and by inference – he actually was – as he was referring to the total population of midnight appointees as well.

Do we really want the three regents to be unceremoniously removed? Or do we really these three (3) Regents, who have been serving endlessly for several terms or more to go down in flames and embarrass the entire institution by challenging the Philippine President in a protracted legal dispute? Would it not be better, in the interests of the service, for them to resign now? There is no shortage of qualified people who are willing to serve for free (there is no compensation per se for serving in U.P.'s BOR). Unfortunately, and as was the usual style of the current and outgoing U.P. Administration, no consultations were made of the different sectors (student, alumni, staff and faculty) before these three regents were automatically renominated. This is undemocratic and not sustainable. It would be better for the different sectors in U.P. to recommend able and qualified people made up of fresh blood so that the recommendation to President Aquino is made as democratically, and not in some back rooms in Quezon hall in the dead of night.

By way of example, PAGCOR Chairman Efraim Genuino filed his "retirement" papers with outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on May 28, 2010 after the May 10, 2010 elections.

Genuino resigned despite the fact that Malacañang had earlier defended his appointment and four Pagcor board members, saying these were dated March 9 or the eve of the start of the constitutional ban on midnight appointments?

In fact Genuino had already taken his oath on March 9, 2010 before Judge Caroline Rivera-Colasito of the Manila Regional Trial Court’s Branch 23, before the constitutionally mandated cut-off date of March 10, 2010.

Genuino acted ethically in resigning instead of desperrately hanging on to his position and defending his "midnight" appointment. This unilateral move on Genuino's part has allowed incoming PAGCOR Chairman Cristino "Bong" Naguiat, Jr. to conduct an investigation into any irregularities that may or may not have occurred during Genuino's term. It allows the truth to come out in an administrative investigation and charges filed by Chairman Naguiat, if warranted.

So, it is with a great sense of urgency that we ask the three (3) Malacañang regents to follow the path blazed by former PAGCOR Chairman Genuino, by doing the the right thing by resigning. This would be for the good of U.P. and the Filipino People, and would spare us all a long-drawn out and unseemly struggle. Please resign. now. Please.

(Photo credits: Pictures of dwarfs: http://florentinofloro4.blogspot.com/

(Chanda Shahani is the Editor of the Diliman Diary. He has a Master's in Entrepreneurship from the Asian Institute of Management (ME) and is an A.B. Comparative Literature graduate from U.P. Diliman)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Text of the 1st State of the Nation Address of President Noynoy Aquino, in Filipino, on July 26, 2010

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte; Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; Vice President Jejomar Binay; Chief Justice Renato Corona; Former Presidents Fidel Valdez Ramos and Joseph Ejercito Estrada; members of the House of Representatives and the Senate; distinguished members of the diplomatic corps; my fellow workers in government;

Mga minamahal kong kababayan:

Sa bawat sandali po ng pamamahala ay nahaharap tayo sa isang sangandaan.

Sa isang banda po ay ang pagpili para sa ikabubuti ng taumbayan. Ang pagtanaw sa interes ng nakakarami; ang pagkapit sa prinsipyo; at ang pagiging tapat sa sinumpaan nating tungkulin bilang lingkod-bayan. Ito po ang tuwid na daan.

Sa kabilang banda ay ang pag-una sa pansariling interes. Ang pagpapaalipin sa pulitikal na konsiderasyon, at pagsasakripisyo ng kapakanan ng taumbayan. Ito po ang baluktot na daan.

Government has long stayed to the crooked path

Matagal pong naligaw ang pamahalaan sa daang baluktot. Araw-araw po, lalong lumilinaw sa akin ang lawak ng problemang ating namana. Damang-dama ko ang bigat ng aking responsibilidad.

Sa unang tatlong linggo ng aming panunungkulan, marami po kaming natuklasan. Nais ko pong ipahayag sa inyo ang iilan lamang sa mga namana nating suliranin at ang ginagawa naming hakbang para lutasin ang mga ito.

RP Problems wide-ranging; True state of the nation kept secret from public

Sulyap lamang po ito; hindi pa ito ang lahat ng problemang haharapin natin. Inilihim at sadyang iniligaw ang sambayanan sa totoong kalagayan ng ating bansa.

Problema sa Budget

Sa unang anim na buwan ng taon, mas malaki ang ginastos ng gobyerno kaysa sa pumasok na kita. Lalong lumaki ang deficit natin, na umakyat na sa 196.7 billion pesos. Sa target na kuleksyon, kinapos tayo ng 23.8 billion pesos; ang tinataya namang gastos, nalagpasan natin ng 45.1 billion pesos.

Ang budget po sa 2010 ay 1.54 trillion pesos.

Nasa isandaang bilyong piso o anim at kalahating porsyento na lang ng kabuuan ang malaya nating magagamit para sa nalalabing anim na buwan ng taong ito.

Halos isang porsyento na lang po ng kabuuang budget ang natitira para sa bawat buwan.

Saan naman po dinala ang pera?

Calamity Fund

Naglaan ng dalawang bilyong piso na Calamity Fund bilang paghahanda para sa mga kalamidad na hindi pa nangyayari. Napakaliit na nga po ng pondong ito, ngunit kapapasok pa lang natin sa panahon ng baha at bagyo, 1.4 billion pesos o sitenta porsyento na ang nagastos.

One district in Pampanga got 105M; Pangasinan only got P5M for 2008 Calamity

Sa kabuuan ng 108 million pesos para sa lalawigan ng Pampanga, 105 million pesos nito ay napunta sa iisang distrito lamang.

Samantala, ang lalawigan ng Pangasinan na sinalanta ng Pepeng ay nakatanggap ng limang milyong piso lamang para sa pinsalang idinulot ng bagyong Cosme, na nangyari noong 2008 pa.

Funds for Pampanga given on Election Month, 7 months after "Ondoy," "Pepeng"

Ibinigay po ang pondo ng Pampanga sa buwan ng eleksyon, pitong buwan pagkatapos ng Ondoy at Pepeng. Paano kung bumagyo bukas? Inubos na ang pondo nito para sa bagyong nangyari noong isang taon pa. Pagbabayaran ng kinabukasan ang kasakiman ng nakaraan.

MWSS

Ganyan din po ang nangyari sa pondo ng MWSS. Kamakailan lamang, pumipila ang mga tao para lang makakuha ng tubig. Sa kabila nito, minabuti pa ng liderato ng MWSS na magbigay ng gantimpala sa sarili kahit hindi pa nababayaran ang pensyon ng mga retiradong empleyado.

Noong 2009, ang buong payroll ng MWSS ay 51.4 million pesos. Pero hindi lang naman po ito ang sahod nila; may mga additional allowances at benefits pa sila na aabot sa 160.1 million pesos. Sa madaling sabi, nakatanggap sila ng 211.5 million pesos noong nakaraang taon. Beinte-kuwatro porsyento lang nito ang normal na sahod, at sitenta'y sais porsyento ang dagdag.

Ang karaniwang manggagawa hanggang 13th month pay plus cash gift lang ang nakukuha. Sa MWSS, aabot sa katumbas ng mahigit sa tatlumpung buwan ang sahod kasama na ang lahat ng mga bonuses at allowances na nakuha nila.

Mas matindi po ang natuklasan natin sa pasahod ng kanilang Board of Trustees. Tingnan po natin ang mga allowances na tinatanggap nila:

Umupo ka lang sa Board of Trustees at Board Committee meeting, katorse mil na. Aabot ng nobenta'y otso mil ito kada buwan. May grocery incentive pa sila na otsenta mil kada taon.

Hindi lang iyon: may mid-year bonus, productivity bonus, anniversary bonus, year-end bonus, at Financial Assistance. May Christmas bonus na, may Additional Christmas Package pa. Kada isa sa mga ito, nobenta'y otso mil.

Sa suma total po, aabot ang lahat ng dalawa't kalahating milyong piso kada taon sa bawat miyembro ng Board maliban sa pakotse, technical assistance, at pautang. Uulitin ko po. Lahat ng ito ay ibinibigay nila sa kanilang mga sarili habang hindi pa nababayaran ang mga pensyon ng kanilang mga retirees.

Pati po ang La Mesa Watershed ay hindi nila pinatawad. Para magkaroon ng tamang supply ng tubig, kailangang alagaan ang mga watershed. Sa watershed, puno ang kailangan. Pati po iyon na dapat puno ang nakatayo, tinayuan nila ng bahay para sa matataas na opisyal ng MWSS.

Hindi naman sila agad maaalis sa puwesto dahil kabilang sila sa mga Midnight Appointees ni dating Pangulong Arroyo. Iniimbestigahan na natin ang lahat nang ito. Kung mayroon pa silang kahit kaunting hiya na natitira - sana kusa na lang silang magbitiw sa puwesto.

Road Users' Fund

Pag-usapan naman po natin ang pondo para sa imprastruktura. Tumukoy ang DPWH ng dalawandaan apatnapu't anim na priority safety projects na popondohan ng Motor Vehicle Users Charge. Mangangailangan po ito ng budget na 425 million pesos.

Ang pinondohan po, dalawampu't walong proyekto lang. Kinalimutan po ang dalawandaan at labing walong proyekto at pinalitan ng pitumpung proyekto na wala naman sa plano. Ang hininging 425 million pesos, naging 480 million pesos pa, lumaki lalo dahil sa mga proyektong sa piling-piling mga benepisyaryo lang napunta.

Mga proyekto po itong walang saysay, hindi pinag-aralan at hindi pinaghandaan, kaya parang kabuteng sumusulpot.

Tapos na po ang panahon para dito. Sa administrasyon po natin, walang kota-kota, walang tongpats, ang pera ng taumbayan ay gagastusin para sa taumbayan lamang.

Negotiated Contracts

Meron pa po tayong natuklasan. Limang araw bago matapos ang termino ng nakaraang administrasyon, nagpautos silang maglabas ng 3.5 billion pesos para sa rehabilitasyon ng mga nasalanta nina Ondoy at Pepeng.

Walumpu't anim na proyekto ang paglalaanan dapat nito na hindi na sana idadaan sa public bidding. Labingsiyam sa mga ito na nagkakahalaga ng 981 million pesos ang muntik nang makalusot. Hindi pa nailalabas ang Special Allotment Release Order ay pirmado na ang mga kontrata.

Buti na lang po ay natuklasan at pinigilan ito ni Secretary Rogelio Singson ng DPWH. Ngayon po ay dadaan na ang kabuuan ng 3.5 billion pesos sa tapat na bidding, at magagamit na ang pondo na ito sa pagbibigay ng lingap sa mga nawalan ng tahanan dahil kina Ondoy at Pepeng.

NAPOCOR

Pag-usapan naman natin ang nangyari sa NAPOCOR. Noong 2001 hanggang 2004, pinilit ng gobyerno ang NAPOCOR na magbenta ng kuryente nang palugi para hindi tumaas ang presyo. Tila ang dahilan: pinaghahandaan na nila ang eleksyon.

Dahil dito, noong 2004, sumagad ang pagkakabaon sa utang ng NAPOCOR. Napilitan ang pambansang gobyerno na sagutin ang dalawandaang bilyong pisong utang nito.

Ang inakala ng taumbayan na natipid nila sa kuryente ay binabayaran din natin mula sa kaban ng bayan. May gastos na tayo sa kuryente, binabayaran pa natin ang dagdag na pagkakautang ng gobyerno.

Kung naging matino ang pag-utang, sana'y nadagdagan ang ating kasiguruhan sa supply ng kuryente. Pero ang desisyon ay ibinatay sa maling pulitika, at hindi sa pangangailangan ng taumbayan. Ang taumbayan, matapos pinagsakripisyo ay lalo pang pinahirapan.

MRT

Ganito rin po ang nangyari sa MRT. Sinubukan na namang bilhin ang ating pagmamahal. Pinilit ang operator na panatilihing mababa ang pamasahe.

Hindi tuloy nagampanan ang garantiyang ibinigay sa operator na mababawi nila ang kanilang puhunan. Dahil dito, inutusan ang Landbank at Development Bank of the Philippines na bilhin ang MRT.

Ang pera ng taumbayan, ipinagpalit sa isang naluluging operasyon.

NFA

Dumako naman po tayo sa pondo ng NFA.

Noong 2004: 117,000 metric tons ang pagkukulang ng supply ng Pilipinas. Ang binili nila, 900,000 metric tons. Kahit ulitin mo pa ng mahigit pitong beses ang pagkukulang, sobra pa rin ang binili nila.

Noong 2007: 589,000 metric tons ang pagkukulang ng supply sa Pilipinas. Ang binili nila, 1.827 million metric tons. Kahit ulitin mo pa ng mahigit tatlong beses ang pagkukulang, sobra na naman ang binili nila.

Ang masakit nito, dahil sobra-sobra ang binibili nila taun-taon, nabubulok lang pala sa mga kamalig ang bigas, kagaya ng nangyari noong 2008.

Hindi po ba krimen ito, na hinahayaan nilang mabulok ang bigas, sa kabila ng apat na milyong Pilipinong hindi kumakain ng tatlong beses sa isang araw?

Ang resulta nito, umabot na sa 171.6 billion pesos ang utang ng NFA noong Mayo ng taong ito.

Ang tinapon na ito, halos puwede na sanang pondohan ang mga sumusunod:

Ang budget ng buong Hudikatura, na 12.7 billion pesos sa taong ito.

Ang Conditional Cash Transfers para sa susunod na taon, na nagkakahalaga ng 29.6 billion pesos.

Ang lahat ng classroom na kailangan ng ating bansa, na nagkakahalaga ng 130 billion pesos.

Kasuklam-suklam ang kalakarang ito. Pera na, naging bato pa.

Zero Budget

Narinig po ninyo kung paano nilustay ang kaban ng bayan. Ang malinaw po sa ngayon: ang anumang pagbabago ay magmumula sa pagsiguro natin na magwawakas na ang pagiging maluho at pagwawaldas.

Kaya nga po mula ngayon: ititigil na natin ang paglulustay sa salapi ng bayan. Tatanggalin natin ang mga proyektong mali.

Ito po ang punto ng tinatawag nating zero-based approach sa ating budget. Ang naging kalakaran po, taun-taon ay inuulit lamang ang budget na puno ng tagas. Dadagdagan lang nang konti, puwede na.

Sa susunod na buwan ay maghahain tayo ng budget na kumikilala nang tama sa mga problema, at magtutuon din ng pansin sa tamang solusyon.

Immediate Steps

Tax Evasion

Ilan lang ito sa mga natuklasan nating problema. Heto naman po ang ilang halimbawa ng mga hakbang na ginagawa natin.

Nandiyan po ang kaso ng isang may-ari ng sanglaan. Bumili siya ng sasakyang tinatayang nasa dalawampu't anim na milyong piso ang halaga.

Kung kaya mong bumili ng Lamborghini, bakit hindi mo kayang magbayad ng buwis?

Nasampahan na po ito ng kaso. Sa pangunguna nina Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares at Customs Commissioner Lito Alvarez, bawat linggo po ay may bago tayong kasong isinasampa kontra sa mga smuggler at sa mga hindi nagbabayad ng tamang buwis.

Extra Legal Killings

Natukoy na rin po ang salarin sa mga kaso nina Francisco Baldomero, Jose Daguio at Miguel Belen, tatlo sa anim na insidente ng extralegal killings mula nang umupo tayo.

Singkuwenta porsyento po ng mga insidente ng extralegal killings ang patungo na sa kanilang resolusyon.

Ang natitira pong kalahati ay hindi natin tatantanan ang pag-usig hanggang makamit ang katarungan.

Truth Commission

Pananagutin natin ang mga mamamatay-tao. Pananagutin din natin ang mga corrupt sa gobyerno.

Nagsimula nang mabuo ang ating Truth Commission, sa pangunguna ni dating Chief Justice Hilario Davide. Hahanapin natin ang katotohanan sa mga nangyari diumanong katiwalian noong nakaraang siyam na taon.

Sa loob ng linggong ito, pipirmahan ko ang kauna-unahang Executive Order na nagtatalaga sa pagbuo nitong Truth Commission.

Public-Private Partnerships

Kung ang sagot sa kawalan ng katarungan ay pananagutan, ang sagot naman sa kakulangan natin sa pondo ay mga makabago at malikhaing paraan para tugunan ang mga pagkatagal-tagal nang problema.

Napakarami po ng ating pangangailangan: mula sa edukasyon, imprastruktura, pangkalusugan, pangangailangan ng militar at kapulisan, at marami pang iba. Hindi kakasya ang pondo para mapunan ang lahat ng ito.

Kahit gaano po kalaki ang kakulangan para mapunan ang mga listahan ng ating pangangailangan, ganado pa rin ako dahil marami nang nagpakita ng panibagong interes at kumpyansa sa Pilipinas.

Ito ang magiging solusyon: mga Public-Private Partnerships. Kahit wala pa pong pirmahang nangyayari dito, masasabi kong maganda ang magiging bunga ng maraming usapin ukol dito.

May mga nagpakita na po ng interes, gustong magtayo ng expressway na mula Maynila, tatahak ng Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, hanggang sa dulo ng Cagayan Valley nang hindi gugugol ang estado kahit na po piso.

Sa larangan ng ating Sandatahang Lakas:

Mayroon po tayong 36,000 nautical miles ng baybayin. Ang mayroon lamang tayo: tatlumpu't dalawang barko. Itong mga barkong ito, panahon pa ni MacArthur.

May nagmungkahi sa atin, ito ang proposisyon: uupahan po nila ang headquarters ng Navy sa Roxas Boulevard at ang Naval Station sa Fort Bonifacio.

Sagot po nila ang paglipat ng Navy Headquarters sa Camp Aguinaldo. Agaran, bibigyan tayo ng isandaang milyong dolyar. At dagdag pa sa lahat nang iyan, magsusubi pa sila sa atin ng kita mula sa mga negosyong itatayo nila sa uupahan nilang lupa.

Sa madali pong sabi: Makukuha natin ang kailangan natin, hindi tatayo gagastos, kikita pa tayo.

Marami na pong nag-alok at nagmungkahi sa atin, mula lokal hanggang dayuhang negosyante, na magpuno ng iba't ibang pangangailangan.

Mula sa mga public-private partnerships na ito, lalago ang ating ekonomiya, at bawat Pilipino makikinabang. Napakaraming sektor na matutulungan nito.

Maipapatayo na po ang imprastrukturang kailangan natin para palaguin ang turismo.

Sa agrikultura, makapagtatayo na tayo ng mga grains terminals, refrigeration facilities, maayos na road networks at post-harvest facilities.

Kung maisasaayos natin ang ating food supply chain sa tulong ng pribadong sektor, sa halip na mag-angkat tayo ay maari na sana tayong mangarap na mag-supply sa pandaigdigang merkado.

Kung maitatayo ang minumungkahi sa ating railway system, bababa ang presyo ng bilihin. Mas mura, mas mabilis, mas maginhawa, at makakaiwas pa sa kotong cops at mga kumokotong na rebelde ang mga bumibiyahe.

Streamlining Processes

Paalala lang po: una sa ating plataporma ang paglikha ng mga trabaho, at nanggagaling ang trabaho sa paglago ng industriya. Lalago lamang ang industriya kung gagawin nating mas malinis, mas mabilis, at mas maginhawa ang proseso para sa mga gustong magnegosyo.

Pabibilisin natin ang proseso ng mga proyektong sumasailalim sa Build-Operate-Transfer. Sa tulong ng lahat ng sangay ng gobyerno at ng mga mamamayan, pabababain natin sa anim na buwan ang proseso na noon ay inaabot ng taon kung hindi dekada.

May mga hakbang na rin pong sinisimulan ang DTI, sa pamumuno ni Secretary Gregory Domingo:

Ang walang-katapusang pabalik-balik sa proseso ng pagrehistro ng pangalan ng kumpanya, na kada dalaw ay umaabot ng apat hanggang walong oras, ibababa na natin sa labinlimang minuto.

Ang dating listahan ng tatlumpu't anim na dokumento, ibababa natin sa anim. Ang dating walong pahinang application form, ibababa natin sa isang pahina.

Nananawagan ako sa ating mga LGUs. Habang naghahanap tayo ng paraan para gawing mas mabilis ang pagbubukas ng mga negosyo, pag-aralan din sana nila ang kanilang mga proseso. Kailangan itong gawing mas mabilis, at kailangan itong itugma sa mga sinisumulan nating reporma.

Negosyante, sundalo, rebelde, at karaniwang Pilipino, lahat po makikinabang dito. Basta po hindi dehado ang Pilipino, papasukin po natin lahat iyan. Kailangan na po nating simulan ang pagtutulungan para makamit ito. Huwag nating pahirapan ang isa't isa.

Parating na po ang panahon na hindi na natin kailangang mamili sa pagitan ng seguridad ng ating mamamayan o sa kinabukasan ng inyong mga anak.

Freeing up Funds


Education

Oras na maipatupad ang public-private partnerships na ito, mapopondohan ang mga serbisyong panlipunan, alinsunod sa ating plataporma.

Magkakapondo na po para maipatupad ang mga plano natin sa edukasyon.

Mapapalawak natin ang basic education cycle mula sa napakaikling sampung taon tungo sa global standard na labindalawang taon.

Madadagdagan natin ang mga classroom. Mapopondohan natin ang service contracting sa ilalim ng GASTPE.

Pati ang conditional cash transfers, na magbabawas ng pabigat sa bulsa ng mga pamilya, madadagdan na rin ng pondo.

PHILHEALTH

Maipapatupad ang plano natin sa PhilHealth.

Una, tutukuyin natin ang tunay na bilang ng mga nangangailangan nito. Sa ngayon, hindi magkakatugma ang datos. Sabi ng PhilHealth sa isang bibig, walumpu't pitong porsyento na raw ang merong coverage. Sa kabilang bibig naman, singkuwenta'y tres porsyento naman. Ayon naman sa National Statistics Office, tatlumpu't walong porsyento ang may coverage.

Ngayon pa lang, kumikilos na si Secretary Dinky Soliman at ang DSWD upang ipatupad ang National Household Targetting System, na magtutukoy sa mga pamilyang higit na nagangailangan ng tulong. Tinatayang siyam na bilyon ang kailangan para mabigyan ng PhilHealth ang limang milyong pinakamaralitang pamilyang Pilipino.

Legislative Agenda

Napakaganda po ng hinaharap natin. Kasama na po natin ang pribadong sektor, at kasama na rin natin ang League of Provinces, sa pangunguna nina Governor Alfonso Umali kasama sina Governor L-Ray Villafuerte at Governor Icot Petilla. Handa na pong makipagtulungan para makibahagi sa pagtustos ng mga gastusin. Alam ko rin pong hindi magpapahuli ang League of Cities sa pangunguna ni Mayor Oscar Rodriguez.

Kung ang mga gobyernong lokal ay nakikiramay na sa ating mga adhikain, ang Kongreso namang pinanggalingan ko, siguro naman maasahan ko din.

Nagpakitang-gilas na po ang gabinete sa pagtukoy ng ating mga problema at sa paglulunsad ng mga solusyon sa loob lamang ng tatlong linggo.

Nang bagyo pong Basyang, ang sabi sa atin ng mga may prangkisa sa kuryente, apat na araw na walang kuryente. Dahil sa mabilis na pagkilos ni Secretary Rene Almendras at ng Department of Energy, naibalik ang kuryente sa halos lahat sa loob lamang ng beinte-kwatro oras.

Ito pong sinasabing kakulangan sa tubig sa Metro Manila, kinilusan agad ni Secretary Rogelio Singson at ng DPWH. Hindi na siya naghintay ng utos, kaya nabawasan ang perwisyo.

Nakita na rin natin ang gilas ng mga hinirang nating makatulong sa Gabinete. Makatuwiran naman po sigurong umasa na hindi na sila padadaanin sa butas ng karayom para makumpirma ng Commission on Appointments. Kung mangyayari po ito, marami pa sa mga mahuhusay na Pilipino ang maeengganyong magsilbi sa gobyerno.

Sa lalong madaling panahon po, uupo na tayo sa LEDAC at pag-uusapan ang mga mahahalagang batas na kailangan nating ipasa. Makakaasa kayo na mananatiling bukas ang aking isipan, at ang ating ugnayan ay mananatiling tapat.

Isinusulong po natin ang Fiscal Responsibility Bill, kung saan hindi tayo magpapasa ng batas na mangangailangan ng pondo kung hindi pa natukoy ang panggagalingan nito. May 104.1 billion pesos tayong kailangan para pondohan ang mga batas na naipasa na, ngunit hindi maipatupad.

Kailangan din nating isaayos ang mga insentibong piskal na ibinigay noong nakaraan. Ngayong naghihigpit tayo ng sinturon, kailangang balikan kung alin sa mga ito ang dapat manatili at kung ano ang dapat nang itigil.

Huwag po tayong pumayag na magkaroon ng isa pang NBN-ZTE. Sa lokal man o dayuhan manggagaling ang pondo, dapat dumaan ito sa tamang proseso. Hinihingi ko po ang tulong ninyo upang amiyendahan ang ating Procurement Law.

Ayon po sa Saligang Batas, tungkulin ng estado ang siguruhing walang lamangan sa merkado. Bawal ang monopolya, bawal ang mga cartel na sasakal sa kumpetisyon. Kailangan po natin ng isang Anti-Trust Law na magbibigay-buhay sa mga prinsipyong ito. Ito ang magbibigay ng pagkakataon sa mga Small- at

Medium-scale Enterprises na makilahok at tumulong sa paglago ng ating ekonomiya.

Ipasa na po natin ang National Land Use Bill.

Una rin pong naging batas ng Commonwealth ang National Defense Act, na ipinasa noon pang 1935. Kailangan nang palitan ito ng batas na tutugon sa pangangailangan ng pambansang seguridad sa kasalukuyan.

Nakikiusap po akong isulong ang Whistleblower's Bill upang patuloy nang iwaksi ang kultura ng takot at pananahimik.

Palalakasin pa lalo ang Witness Protection Program. Alalahanin po natin na noong taong 2009 hanggang 2010, may nahatulan sa 95% ng mga kaso kung saan may witness na sumailalim sa programang ito.

Kailangang repasuhin ang ating mga batas. Nanawagan po akong umpisahan na ang rekodipikasyon ng ating mga batas, upang siguruhing magkakatugma sila at hindi salu-salungat.

Peace Process

Ito pong mga batas na ito ang batayan ng kaayusan, ngunit ang pundasyon ng lahat ng ginagawa natin ay ang prinsipyong wala tayong mararating kung walang kapayapaan at katahimikan.

Dalawa ang hinaharap nating suliranin sa usapin ng kapayapaan: ang situwasyon sa Mindanao, at ang patuloy na pag-aaklas ng CPP-NPA-NDF.

Tungkol sa situwasyon sa Mindanao: Hindi po nagbabago ang ating pananaw. Mararating lamang ang kapayapaan at katahimikan kung mag-uusap ang lahat ng apektado: Moro, Lumad, at Kristiyano. Inatasan na natin si Dean Marvic Leonen na mangasiwa sa ginagawa nating pakikipag-usap sa MILF.

Iiwasan natin ang mga pagkakamaling nangyari sa nakaraang administrasyon, kung saan binulaga na lang ang mga mamamayan ng Mindanao. Hindi tayo puwedeng magbulag-bulagan sa mga dudang may kulay ng pulitika ang proseso, at hindi ang kapakanan ng taumbayan ang tanging interes.

Kinikilala natin ang mga hakbang na ginagawa ng MILF sa pamamagitan ng pagdidisplina sa kanilang hanay. Inaasahan natin na muling magsisimula ang negosasyon pagkatapos ng Ramadan.

Tungkol naman po sa CPP-NPA-NDF: handa na ba kayong maglaan ng kongkretong mungkahi, sa halip na pawang batikos lamang?

Kung kapayapaan din ang hangad ninyo, handa po kami sa malawakang tigil-putukan. Mag-usap tayo.

Mahirap magsimula ang usapan habang mayroon pang amoy ng pulbura sa hangin. Nananawagan ako: huwag po natin hayaang masayang ang napakagandang pagkakataong ito upang magtipon sa ilalim ng iisang adhikain.

Kapayapaan at katahimikan po ang pundasyon ng kaunlaran. Habang nagpapatuloy ang barilan, patuloy din ang pagkakagapos natin sa kahirapan.

Panawagan

Dapat din po nating mabatid: ito ay panahon ng sakripisyo. At ang sakripisyong ito ay magiging puhunan para sa ating kinabukasan. Kaakibat ng ating mga karapatan at kalayaan ay ang tungkulin natin sa kapwa at sa bayan.

Inaasahan ko po ang ating mga kaibigan sa media, lalo na sa radyo at sa print, sa mga nagbablock-time, at sa community newspapers, kayo na po mismo ang magbantay sa inyong hanay.

Mabigyang-buhay sana ang mga batayang prinsipyo ng inyong bokasyon: ang magbigay-linaw sa mahahalagang isyu; ang maging patas at makatotohanan, at ang itaas ang antas ng pampublikong diskurso.

Tungkulin po ng bawat Pilipino na tutukan ang mga pinunong tayo rin naman ang nagluklok sa puwesto. Humakbang mula sa pakikialam tungo sa pakikilahok. Dahil ang nakikialam, walang-hanggan ang reklamo. Ang nakikilahok, nakikibahagi sa solusyon.

Napakatagal na pong namamayani ang pananaw na ang susi sa asenso ay ang intindihin ang sarili kaysa intindihin ang kapwa. Malinaw po sa akin: paano tayo aasenso habang nilalamangan ang kapwa?

Ang hindi nabigyan ng pagkakataong mag-aral, paanong makakakuha ng trabaho? Kung walang trabaho, paanong magiging konsumer? Paanong mag-iimpok sa bangko?

Ngunit kung babaliktarin natin ang pananaw-kung iisipin nating "Dadagdagan ko ang kakayahan ng aking kapwa"-magbubunga po ito, at ang lahat ay magkakaroon ng pagkakataon.

Maganda na po ang nasimulan natin. At mas lalong maganda po ang mararating natin. Ngunit huwag nating kalimutan na mayroong mga nagnanasang hindi tayo magtagumpay. Dahil kapag hindi tayo nagtagumpay, makakabalik na naman sila sa kapangyarihan, at sa pagsasamantala sa taumbayan.

Akin pong paniwala na Diyos at taumbayan ang nagdala sa ating kinalalagyan ngayon. Habang nakatutok tayo sa kapakanan ng ating kapwa, bendisyon at patnubay ay tiyak na maaasahan natin sa Poong Maykapal. At kapag nanalig tayo na ang kasangga natin ay ang Diyos, mayroon ba tayong hindi kakayanin?

Ang mandato nating nakuha sa huling eleksyon ay patunay na umaasa pa rin ang Pilipino sa pagbabago. Iba na talaga ang situwasyon. Puwede na muling mangarap. Tayo nang tumungo sa katuparan ng ating mga pinangarap.

Maraming salamat po.

UP Kilusan para sa Demokratikong Pamantasan ng Bayan - Press Release and SONA Statement

Embedded below is the UP Kilusan para sa Demokratikong Pamantasan ng Bayan (U.P. Kilos Na)  press release on their State of the Nation Address (SONA) Statement the scans of which are embedded below. Student Council - U.P. Diliman, U.P. Kilos Na is made up of the following groups: Office of the Sectoral Regents, All U.P. Workers Alliance, CONTEND, STAND-UP, Multi-Sectoral Alliance, University:

UP Community Launch Alternative SONA

July 26, on the day of the first SONA of President Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" C. Aquino, III members of the UP Community in an alliance called: "UP Kilos Na!" staged an alternative SONA bewailing the current state of the University and calling on Pres. Aquino to address the demands of the UP Community

"We have seen how the UP Administration and the Government have taken the path of a commercialized university with us primary stake holders being at the losing end" laments Ms. Cori Alessa Co, Student Regent

"The University of the Philippines must be retained as the premier public institution of higher learning accessible to qualified but poor students through higher state subsidy" says Prof. Judy Taguiwalo, Faculty Regent and Convenor of "UP Kilos Na!”.

The group will hold their SONA, 8am today hours before Pres. Aquino delivers his in the opening of the 15th session of congress today. They assessed the state of the university alongside that of the education sector under Arroyo and outgoing UP President Roman. They also forwarded the UP Agenda as a challenge to Pres. Aquino.

"He should first and foremost prosecute former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her cohorts in her administration. I fear that with the way P-Noy's (Aquino) appointments are going we will be seeing more of the same thing in his term. We challenge him to take a different path than the previous administration took" says Mr. Clodualdo Cabrera, Staff Regent

"If indeed we are his 'Boss', then this is your boss talking: prosecute Arroyo and her clique, reverse her regressive economic policies, and increase state spending for education, health and other social services" says Mico Maestro, Chairperson of the Student Alliance for the Advancement of democratic Rights in UP (STAND-UP).
(To zoom in on the documents, just click on it)

(Source: UPD-USC Community Rights and Welare Committee Facebook Page)

Classes in U.P. Diliman will be suspended on July 26, 2010 from 12 noon

"...Classes and offices in UP Diliman will be suspended from 12 noon on Monday,July 26.Thank you.-U.P. Diliman Chancellor Sergio Cao" (from the UP SLIS FB page). This is due to the massive traffic expected along Commonwealth Avenue due to the expected delivery today by President Benigno S. Aquino of his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the House of Representatives in Quezon City.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ateneo Blue Repertory presents musical revue EDGES until July 31, 2010


From our Past: President Quezon Addresses the Second Session of the National Assembly, October 18, 1937

(Source: House of Representatives of the Philippines Facebook Page)

President Quezon addresses the National Assembly on October 18, 1937, with a speech remembered to this day for its theme of social justice. To read the actual speech, please click on this link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/17687224/MLQ-2nd-State-of-the-Nation-Address

President Noynoy Aquino's Inaugural Speech: It's now time to keep score


We're  sorry, President Noynoy Aquino - but the Honeymoon is now over because we have an impatient electorate chomping at the bit for dramatic change who just cannot wait and are pinning much of their hopes on your (hopefully) stellar performance. In this regard, we are reposting your inagural speech so that our readers can undertake their own variance analysis against your July 26, 2010 State of the Nation Address and your future decisions and actions. Have a nice term - but understand this - with the installation of the 15th Congress, the long knives once directed at a former President will undoubtedly be unsheathed with you, the former fiscalizer now at the receiving end. But that's democracy!: http://www.thepoc.net/breaking-news/politics/8244-transcript-pres-noynoy-aquinos-inaugural-speech.html

Diliman Video of the Week: Noynoy's 2010 SONA - Will there be real change or just an illusion of change? Will former President Arroyo be Prosecuted?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Book Review: Beyond the Cross and the Sword: Growth and Decline - Essays on Philippine Church History


Reviewed by Paul Lee

John Schumacher S.J. Growth and Decline: Essays on Philippine Church History; Ateneo de Manila University Press; 291 pages.

Ever since the first mass at Limasawa was held on the shores of what is now Cebu half-a-millennium ago; Catholicism in the Philippines has have both had its share of changes accompanied by the usual myths.

Of course, many of the myths surrounding the Catholic Church in the Philippines often leaned from the simplistic to the outright negative; the latter brought by the political movements of the later half of the 19th century aiming at the abuses of both Spanish governance and the role of the Church. For many laypeople including the writer of this piece, a first read of Fr. John Schumacher’s Growth and Decline may both provide new insights into the role of the Catholic Church and the changes that shaped its role in the Philippines.

Basically a collection of historical essays written and compiled both by Schumacher et al Growth and Decline is a detailed chronicle of the Catholic Church in the Philippines not as the monolithic ecclesiastical instrumentality familiar with many local laypeople but initially an institution struggling with growing pains in its evangelization of the islands before transforming into a decrepit establishment fearful of change.

The first chapters are focused on both the evangelisation and consolidation of the Church’s role in the Philippines. One central myth was the relationship between the ecclesiastical and royal authorities. Contrary to the myth of the Cross and the Sword collaborating in the subjugation of the islands, the Church did not exactly enjoy a smooth relationship with the Spanish government in the Philippines during the early years of Spanish rule given its desire to win souls; it had to shield the native population from the excesses of the authorities. In spite of its outreach, the Church had to also contend with the issue of racial prejudice then prevalent amongst both the Spanish rulers and the religious authorities especially on education and the
native clergy.

Likewise there was the infighting amongst the respective religious orders as well as between the orders and the secular sometimes leading to closures of institutions and the occasional backsliding of converts to paganism and syncretism. Thus, the Catholic Church had its share of rough times during its early years in the Philippines. If the nascent years in the Philippines saw the challenges of the Catholic Church in the evangelization of a nation; the latter phase saw it struggling to stay relevant as factors from both within and without play from the influx of liberal ideals brought by the French Revolution to the increasing restiveness of the local clergy and intelligentsia culminating in the upheavals of the latter quarter of the 19th century. Inevitably those selfsame social upheavals had greatly contributed to some of the myths surrounding the Catholic Church in the country and the collection of essays by Schumacher et al certainly provided new
insights into the Church and its relation with the Philippines.

(Paul Lee is a freelance writer. He is currently finishing his master's degree in Creative Writing at U.P. Diliman).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dulaang U.P. launches its 35th Season

(To zoom in on the picture, just click on it)

Dulaang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas (Dulaang UP), the University of the Philippines’ official performing theatre arts group launches its 35th season with the theme “Return Engagement: Plays Deserving a Second Look” on July 22, 3:30 pm at its improved home, the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theatre, 2nd Floor, Palma Hall, Diliman, Quezon City.

The season will restage various DUP productions, among which are Orosman at Zafira on August 11-29, a musical hailed as 2008’s first great production with Dexter Santos as director and original music by Carol Bello; Shock Value..Take 2 on September 14 –October 3, a new chapter is added in this exciting comedy that mirrors the wacky and controversial truth about showbiz life with Floy Quintos as playwright and Alexander Cortez as director; Isang Panaginip na Fili on November 24-December 12 is another powerful and compelling post-modern musicale of Rizal’s El Filibustersimo and nominated as 22nd Aliw Awards Best Musical production under the direction of Floy Quintos with Cj Javier providing the music; and Amphitryon on February 16 to March 6, a Filipino translation by Jerry Respeto based on Heinrich Von Kleist’s play with Josefina Estrella as the director.

Also, UP Playwrights’ Theatre on its 22nd season will present Floy Quintos’ new play Fake on May 4-13 at the Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan with Dulaang UP founder Tony Mabesa as director. Aside from these theatre productions, Dulaang UP has two upcoming fund-raising efforts: Backstage Sale with various Dulaang UP artists on July 27-30 at the College of Arts and Letters’ new building and the launching of Friends of Dulaang UP on July 22.

For further details, please contact telephone numbers (632) 9261349 and 9818500 local 249 and Telefax (632) 4337840.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

U.P. Faculty Regent's Short Report on July 14, 2010 Special BOR Meet

Short Report on this Morning's Special BOR Meeting, July 14

Dr. Judy Taguiwalo, Faculty Regent

This morning, the special BOR meeting was held in spite of the brownout (the Board Room in Quezon Hall has a generator for lighting and for four electric fans). The meeting approved the criteria for the search for the next UP President. The call for nomination starts on July 15 until August 25. Actual selection will be done in late November 2010. Please check the UP website where the details of the search will be posted.

The Board also affirmed its authority to decide on appeal for tenure of UP faculty after the faculty has gone through the various appeals' level in the university. It also asked the UP President to ensure the implementation of the May 27 BOR decision granting tenure to Prof. Sarah Raymundo who up to now has no appointment, no loading and no salary.

This was also the last meeting of Chairman Angeles as Dr. Patricia Licuanan takes over as CHED Chair on July 19. The All UP Workers Union extended its thanks to Chairman Angeles for his support for the tenure of Prof. Raymundo, his stand against the privatization of PGH through the FMAB.

The regular July BOR meeting is on July 29, 9 am at Quezon Hall.

(Source: http://upissues.wordpress.com/author/upissues/)

On the Policy of the Use and Implementation of the Tuition and Miscellaneous Fee Increases by U.P. Student Regent Cori Alessa C. Co

Background

This was the first policy paper filed by the Office of the Student Regent to the Board of Regents during the 1256th Board of Regents Meeting. As the title suggest, this OSR policy paper questions the issues regarding the use of the Tuition and Other Fees Increase in a limited use by the Roman Administration (using TOFI revenues for the construction of dormitories alone), in relation to the current lack of funds for the improvement of the campus facilities of each college and for more beneficiaries of the STFAP. This forces college adminstrations to propose to have Laboratory and Miscellaneous Fees Increase aside from the current TOFI which aimed to solve these problems.

Also, the policy paper also addressed the cases of college administrators bypassing or deviating the process of comprehensive consultation of students for their proposals for Laboratory and Miscellaneous Fees Increase. With this, the Office of the Student Regent motioned policies in order to address the following problems stated above.

At the end of the meeting, the Board of Regents ratified and approved the policies as motioned by the Student Regent Cori Alessa Co, in a unanimous decision thus creating implementing rules and regulations regarding fee increase proposals. In effect the concept of "comprehensive consultation" stated in the Republic Act 9500 or the UP Charter of 2008, is now defined as "50%+1 of the total population of the students that will be affected together with the college and university student councils concerned" and is a major prerequisite before a fees increase proposal shall even be considered in the Board of Regents meeting.On the Policy of the Use and Implementation of the Tuition and Miscellaneous Fee Increases



As Student Regent of the University of the Philippines System, my mandate is to represent the students of the university system, whether they are certificate, non-degree, undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students as stipulated in the section 12, sub-section 1-G of the Republic Act 9500 or also known as the UP Charter of 2008.

For the past semesters there had been numerous petitions of the colleges in the university system to raise miscellaneous fees, due to the lack of funds. But, if your honours please, let us be reminded about the rationale of the tuition and other fees increase approved by the UP Board of Regents in December 2006.

According to the Primer on the Proposal to Adjust Tuition and Other Fees released by the Office of the UP President as per Memorandum Number PERR 06-036 in September 12, 2006 that the proposal to increase the tuition fee:

“will translate into quality academic services (in terms of instruction and supervised research) provided by highly qualified faculty members, improved student-computer ratios, increased internet access, well-maintained teaching and research laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment, easy access to a wider and updated collection of textbooks and reference materials (in various forms, i.e., online, print, etc.) in UP libraries, and increased stipends and a larger number of recipients of the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP).”

However, an interview with the President Roman published in the March 22 Issue of the Philippine Collegian as cited below, caught the SR’s attention:

“According to [UP President/ UP BOR Co-Chairperson] Roman, the funds generated from the tuition increase will go to the incremental income which will be used to build dorms.”

Limiting the use of the funds generated from the tuition increase to the problem of the dormitories is limiting the capacity of the full maximization of the funds, which is immediately needed by the college administrations in order to upgrade the necessary facilities to benefit their students or even benefit more beneficiaries of the STFAP.

With this track of administrating the funds on the Tuition and Other Fees increase, it burdens even more the current and future Iskolars ng Bayan and therefore, violates Section 9 of the RA 9500 which states that:

“The national university shall take affirmative steps which may take the form of an alternative and equitable admission process to enhance the access of disadvantaged students, such as indigenous peoples, poor and deserving students, including but not limited to valedictorian and salutatorians of public high schools, and students from depressed areas, to its programs and services.” (emphasis mine)

Meanwhile, RA 9500 states in Section 13 that the Board of Regents has the capacity to fix tuition and other fee increases after a comprehensive consultation with the students concerned:

“Power and Duties of the Board of Regents – The administration of the national university and the exercise of its corporate powers are vested in the Board of Regents:

(m) To fix the tuition fees and other necessary school charges, as the Board may deem proper to impose, after due and comprehensive consultation with the students concerned. Such fees and charges, including government support and other income generated by the national university, shall constitute special trust funds and shall be deposited in an authorized government depository bank. Any and all interest that shall accrue there from shall from part of the same funds for the use of the national university.”

and Section 21 states the role of the student council:

“Student Affairs - ... The student council shall serve as the primary student body that shall advance the interests, welfare, and aspirations of the students of the national university. It shall have the power to adopt internal rules of procedure consistent with the provisions of the Act..”

With these provisions in the RA 9500, it is then rendered crystal clear that the students affected by the proposed increases and the student councils must be well-informed by the college administrations in order to facilitate comprehensive consultations. However, this has not been the practice in the recent miscellaneous and laboratory fee increases as reported by the student councils to the Office of the Student Regent. Some college administrations only give the details of the increase, a week before the Board of Regents meeting. There are cases that some college administrations, do not even consider even informing the college student councils, university student councils and the supposed affected students regarding these issues, arbitrarily saying that it is not the concern of the students nor the student council because it is purely an administrative matter.

With these actions, the undersigned respectfully avers that the student’s right to information and inquiry is being suppressed and that these reports are gross violations to the UP Charter of 2008.

In line with the ideals of the UP Charter of 2008, the undersigned is thus requesting the honourable members of the Board to support the following:

• 15 days before the proposed fee increase is set to be evaluated by the College Executive Board, the students (or future students, if it will be applied to the incoming freshmen/ transferees from other educational institutions), the respective college and university student councils must have a copy of 1.the whole proposal of the proposed increase (including the justifications and the studies done by the college/university administration) and 2. a notice of a comprehensive consultation, requiring at least 50% + 1 of the total number of students affected by the fees together with the college and university student councils as active participants in the consultation;

• 10 days before the proposed fee increase is set to be evaluated by the College Executive Board, the Office of the Student Regent must be copy furnished of the complete proposal and an invitation to attend the comprehensive consultation set by the college/university administration; and

• if these provisions are not followed, any proposal to increase shall not be entertained by the Board of Regents.


The undersigned is confident that the honourable members of the Board are cognizant that the student councils are highly recognized as the legitimate representation of the largest stakeholders of the university, and are duly mandated to take a stand for our current and future Iskolars ng Bayan. Thus, their right in forwarding students’ rights, interests, and welfare should not be disregarded. Ultimately, we enjoin every sectors of the University of the Philippines’ community in upholding this university as a national and premier state university that caters to the people’s right to quality and accessible education.###


(sgd.)


Cori Alessa C. Co
Student Regent
University of the Philippines System

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The U.P. Fighting Maroons: Or would a Rose by any other name smell just as sweet?


From Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, 1600:
JULIET:
      'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
      Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
      What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
      Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
      Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
      What's in a name? that which we call a rose
      By any other name would smell as sweet;
      So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
      Retain that dear perfection which he owes
      Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
      And for that name which is no part of thee
      Take all myself.

  (Photo courtesy of http://maroonsbasketball.com)

Announcement from the Facebook Page of  U.P. Diliman Name your Team


NAME YOUR TEAM CONTEST
Naming Rights for the New UP Mascot

BACKGROUND OF THE CONTEST:
➢ The “UP Fighting Maroons” is the name carried by all UP Varsity Teams.
➢ Based on the symbols however, the UP Seal bears an eagle probably because it was the first university established by the Americans in the country.
➢ The eagle, as we all know is a common American symbol.
➢ Another symbol familiar to UP Alumni is the Parrot which was often used on car stickers and the cover of notebooks. The parrot however doesn’t seem an appropriate symbol for UP as al it does is imitate its’ human master. Some sectors claim it was used to represent UP students because they “talk too much”.
➢ The last and most famous symbol of the university is the “Oblation”, the nude statue located at Quezon Hall which is suppose to symbolize freedom and service to the nation.
➢ In the course of participation in various sports competitions, it was necessary to have a team mascot. In absence of such, the color “maroon” was instead selected.
➢ The color maroon has no personal qualities. In some instances, a pun on the word especially if the team loses, ends up as the “UP Morons”.

SIGNIFICANCE OF A NAME:
➢ A name is very important because it identifies a person/group of people.
➢ A mascot – is a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck – colloquially (informally) includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school.
➢ It also becomes a brand name that may be used collectively for many purposes
➢ The choice of a mascot is suppose to reflect a desired quality, a common example of this is the “fighting spirit”, in which a competitive nature is personified by warriors (archer and Igorot warrior of DLSU and UE) or predatory animals.
➢ Since UP joined the NCAA and later the UAAP, it could not use the eagle as the Ateneo de Manila which was established ahead of UP by 50 years had already used it for its’ own team.
➢ UP had no choice but to choose something else. Probably due to the lack of time, it thus resorted to using the university’s colors – maroon to call its varsity athletes.
➢ The goal of this contest is to choose a moniker that is probably original or, at the very least historical and appropriate for the team and the university it represents.Eligibility: Open to all students, faculty, staff and alumni of the University of the Philippines. The contest will be system wide, however the winning entry shall be the property and exclusive use of the U.P. Diliman Varsity only.

CONTEST DETAILS:
Limit: As many entries may be submitted.

Entry procedures:
1. All entries will be submitted online.
FACEBOOK ACCOUNT: U.P. DILIMAN NAME YOUR TEAM (GROUP)

2. The Logo of your team should be submitted in .jpeg file and the write up describing the name and logo of the team should be typed in 2003 Microsoft Word Document.

3. The entry should have the contestant’s name and student/staff/faculty number to confirm the contestant’s identification in the UP Diliman campus.

4. Send your entries online to nameyourt@yahoo.com. DEADLINE IS ON SEPTEMBER 3, 2010

JUDGING CRITERIA:
➢ Appropriateness of the mascot for a sport setting
➢ Reflects the desired qualities of a varsity team in particular and UP in general.
➢ Name Recall
➢ Originality
➢ May be used as a brand name
➢ Five of the best entries will be presented to the public for online/text voting


PRIZES:
The winner of the contest will receive:
➢ Cash award of PhP 20,000 for the winning entry
➢ Plaque of recognition for submitting the winning entry
➢ 2 season passes to all UP Men’s Basketball games for UAAP Season 73
➢ 1 Varsity Jacket

DATES TO REMEMBER:

SEPTEMBER 3 (FRI) - DEADLINE OF SUBMISSION OF ENTRIES
SEPTEMBER 6-9 - ONLINE AND TEXT VOTING
SEPTEMBER 10 - JUDGEMENT DAY
SEPTEMBER 12 - ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNING ENTRY AT THE UAAP CHEERDANCE COMPETITION
CHEERDANCE COMPETITION.

EMAIL YOUR ENTRIES AT:
nameyourt@yahoo.com

TEXT YOUR VOTES AT:
0916-492.1314

Diliman Video of the Week; U.P. Diliman's Zorro: The Man behind the Mask

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Search for the Next U.P. President is on!

(Student Regent Cori Alessa Co speaking at the First U.P.
Sectoral Regents Forum in UPLB, July 15, 2010. To zoom in on the picture, just click on it)

The University of the Philippines (U.P.) Board of Regents (BOR) is now inviting nominations for the President who will succeed U.P.’s outgoing President, Dr. Emerlinda R. Roman. Roman’s term will come to a close on February 9, 2011.

At its 1255th meeting on June 2, 2010, the Board constituted itself into the Search Committee for the next U.P. President. Composed of all the Regents, the Committee will prepare a list of nominees among whom the Board will make the final choice, according to U.P.'s website at: http://www.up.edu.ph/).

Any outstanding Filipino known to possess integrity, stature in the academic profession, a national and international reputation as a scholar, and proven administrative capability may be nominated by any person, group, or organization both from within or outside the University System. The Search Committee hopes to encourage as many nominations as possible and welcomes the widest participation of the University’s constituents and stakeholders.

The Search Committee shall conduct fora and dialogues throughout the UP System in September and October. Nominees shall be asked to present their vision and programs before the Board on November 8, 2010. The U.P. Charter empowers the Board to elect the President which it shall do at its 1262nd meeting on November 26, 2010.

Each nomination shall include (1) the nominee’s curriculum vitae, (2) his or her vision statement, (3) a statement of his or her willingness to serve, and (4) a brief justification for the nomination. All nominations must be in sealed envelopes, addressed to the UP Board of Regents Search Committee for the U.P. President, and submitted to the Office of the Secretary of the University and the Board of Regents, Quezon Hall, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City no later than 5:00 p.m., August 25, 2010.

Nominations welcome

For those interested in the position, each nominee is required to submit a curriculum vitae; a vision statement; a statement of willingness to serve; and a brief justification for the nomination. All nominations must be in sealed envelopes, addressed to the UP Board of Regents Search Committee for the UP President, and submitted to the Office of the Secretary of the University and the Board of Regents, Quezon Hall, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City no later than 5:00 p.m., August 25, 2010. For further information, the UP Secretariat may be contacted by regular mail at Quezon Hall, University of the Philippines, Diliman Quezon City 1101, Philippines; at telephone no. (632) 927-67-80; telefax nos. (632) 920-68-97 and (632) 920-68-85; or via email at osu@up.edu.ph.

Timetable for the Search for the Next U.P. President

1. Constitution of the Search Committee 2 June 2010

2. Discussion of the Criteria for the Selection of the UP President 14 July 2010

3. Call for nominations 15 July 2010 to 25 August 2010

4. Evaluation/Screening of Nominees 27 August 2010 (Friday) - BOR Meeting

5. Nominee’s Forum September to October 2010

6. Presentation of Vision and Programs before the BOR and Interviews 8 November 2010 (Monday)

8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

7. Election of the New President 26 November 2010 (Friday) - BOR Meeting

Criteria Selection - 1

  • Stature in the academic profession.
  • Administrative capability.
  • National and International reputation as a scholar.
  • Probity and moral integrity.    

Criteria Selection - 2

  • Values and perspectives.
  • Possesses the political will and the political skills to defend and promote academic freedom and institutional autonomy.
  • Committed to academic excellence.
  • Has a clear and inspiring vision of UP’s role in the 21st century.
  • Leads in ensuring the implementation of democratic governance in the university based on collegiality, representation, accountability, transparency and active participation of constituents.

Criteria Selection - 3

  • Has the ability to raise funds without compromising the traditional values and ideals of academia.
  • Possesses the capacity to manage available resources to sustain the UP Modernization program.
  • Fair in dealing with all constituents; does not engage in factionalism.
Criteria Selection - 4

  • Preserves the secular, public and non-sectarian character of UP.
  • Maintains and enriches intellectual diversity; does not promote a particular religion or school of thought.
  • Keeps UP above politics, but respects the rights of faculty members and and students to participate in political debates and campaign their beliefs within the limits of the law. 
Sectoral regents organize fora on the selection process for a new U.P. President

According to the Facebook page of Faculty Regent Judy M. Taguiwalo, the 2008 U.P. Charter (RA 9500) defines in Section 13(j) the powers and duties of the Board of Regents in this manner:  "To elect the President of the University for a single term of six (6) years following a process of democratic consultation with the university community based on standards and guidelines set by the Board."

Since the term of U.P. President Roman ends in February 2011. The Board of Regents in its June 2 and July 14 meeting approved the criteria for nomination and the schedules of the search. The call for nomination is from July 15 to August 25, 2010 with the actual selection to be held during the November 2010 BOR meeting.

The U.P. Sectoral Regents composed of the Faculty, Student and Staff Regents, are sponsoring a series of forum in the different UP campuses with the title"The Search for a New U.P. President, Criteria, Process and Experience" with the objectives of sharing previous experiences in the search process and sharing the current guidelines for the selection. The fora are also meant to elicit suggestions from the UP constituents on the process of the selection and on the issues the next U.P. President should address.

The first forum was held last July 15 in UPLB with 2004 Student Regent Marco de los Reyes as the resource person. Marco was the student representative in the BOR when the selection for the new U.P. President to replace then U.P. President Nemenzo was held in 2004.

The U.P. Manila forum will be on July 23, 2 to 5 pm at UPMASA, Philippine General Hospital (PGH). The U.P. Diliman forum will be on August 11, 2 to 5 pm at Claro M. Recto Hall, Faculty Center. The forum is open to the public.

(Photo source: Facebook page of Faculty Regent Judy M. Taguiwalo).

      U.P. Fighting Maroons: Another try for Glory


      By Katherine Verances Marfal

      Three years ago, University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons experienced their worst nightmare by having a winless season. Joe Lipa was relieved from duty in the following season and Aboy Castro took over the tactical choirs. In his two seasons, Castro compiled a dismal 6 wins and 22 loses. But, are they going to be forever distinguished as whipping boys? This year, Migs De Asis, Kevin Astroga and Arvhin Braganza are only key losses for them. Fighting Maroons will attempt again to end their 13-year final four drought with the strongest lineup in 5 years inarguably.


      On their final year, the triumvirate of Woody Co, Martin Reyes and Magie Sison are the men who will be expected to carry the load for them. Plus the help from other guys who made significant contributions last season like, Mikee Reyes, Alvin Padilla and Mark Lopez. Co and Sision definitely assumed the job in operating and protecting the paint. Mikee Reyes finally gets the starting job at the point while Martin Reyes will help the flow of the offense of the Maroons through his outside snipping ability.

      Padilla and Lopez are the men who are very eager to breakdown the defense and do some dirty works at will. However, the most interesting pieces in their campaign right now are their new recruits which will be very vital in their campaign and to the future of the team. One of them is former Jose Rizal University light bomber and scoring sensation Joshua Saret. He was remembered by most of his fans when he exploded with 89 points in a single game. Aside from that, Saret also proved that he is a versatile cager by posting 14 assists, 13 rebounds and 11 steals in that game. Another first year player who is on the watch is Filipino-American Michael Silungan. 6 foot 4 forward is being noted in one of their pre season matchups by scoring 35 points.

      For coach Aboy, he guaranteed a different outcome this year.

      His team is very different, more make up and more solid. He believes that they have already the tools to make it to the final four.

      Let us see if the UP Fighting Maroons can finally move up to the next level, which they have never accomplished in more than a decade.





      (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 also a Web Content Writer and teaches Pre-school at Philippine Normal University).

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