Saturday, April 30, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

U.P. Cebu College Graduation Protest Statement

Last academic year we saw UP Cebu constituents rising up to the challenge of the Avila Administration and heed the call for a genuine autonomy of UP Cebu. We have seen the unified action of the iskolars, mga guro and mga kawani ng bayan to defend the democracy of UP Cebu and to put an end the autocratic rule of Dean Avila.

We have seen how Dean Avila imposed undemocratic policies that trampled our basic rights as students, teachers and workers of UP. Dean Avila initiated to close the High School, railroaded UP Cebu's autonomy and failed to involve the full participation of his constituents in designing Up Cebu's program for autonomy. Dean Avila refused to take action on the complaints filed against Mr. Sharif and Mr. Pineda. Desperate to remain in power, he filed libel cases to 8 faculty members and 2 staff that were the leading figures in calling for his ouster.

The monopoly of power and autocratic governance of Dean Avila should be put to a stop. The time is ripe for him to pay for the faults he has done to the university.

As we leave the university and become members of the working force, we will be facing soaring price of basic commodities, oil price hikes and the lack of employment opportunities. This will be now be our reality. In order to answer to this challenge we must remember the valuable lessons that UP taught us. We should use our education to forward the interest of our people and shed light to the systemic problems that besets the nation.

We are not simply UP graduates but we are scholars of the nation bounded to serve our country. The scholars of the nation should become the voice to those who are silenced and the strength to those who are weak. We must look back to UP Cebu and let us never fail to support the ongoing call for accountability, transparency and genuine autonomy. Let the UP community exhaust all means in bringing back democracy in UP Cebu. Tuloy pa rin ang laban!


(Editor's note: The above statement was sourced from the Facebook page of NKE UPVCC. The NKE is a student party and mass organization whose thrust is to defend students' rights and welfare and advances the youth's dream for a nationalist, scientific and mass-oriented education system. According to NKE UPVCC “Yesterday's graduation protest (April 27, 2011) exposed the true face of the AVILA administration. It maneuvers to silence and curtail the rights of every student, faculty, staff and worker. The turning off of the microphone showed the desperate move of this administration to stifle the growing and deafening call for its downfall. A move that further alienates the administration to its constituents. Thus, we must solidify our ranks and continue the struggle for a democratic UP CEBU.”)

Protests mar U.P. Cebu College graduation rites

"The protest began when Joemark Narsico, a BS biology graduate, went up on stage after the graduation ceremony to ventilate his sentiments."

"As soon as his hand touched the microphone, technicians turned down the volume."

“They (administration) suppressed us of our right to expression,” Narsico told reporters afterwards."

U.P. Diliman speech workshop set on May 2-6

MANILA, April 27 (PIA) -- With increasing awareness of the importance of public speaking in business, career advancement, and personality development, the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, will hold a speech communication workshop from May 2 to 6.

The Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts (DSCTA) will be the one to conduct this annual Extramural Program for children, teens, adults, and professionals.

The modules to be offered include Voice and Diction, Performance, Presentational Skills, and Speech for professionals and business people.

The 10-hour module will be held two hours daily.

Training organizers said professionals who can speak well and capture their audience can really set themselves apart, adding that, public speaking courses will make public speaking a positive experience incorporating both verbal and non-verbal techniques to deliver a message effectively and maintain audience’s interest.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Official Statement of the Nagkahiusang Kusog sa Estudyante University of the Philippines Cebu College

Official Statement of the Nagkahiusang Kusog sa Estudyante University of the Philippines Cebu College (courtesy of U.P. Kilos Na)
The last month of the academic year saw the UP Cebu constituents rising up to challenge the Avila administration for the abandonment of democracy in our beloved UP Cebu. Realizing his insolence has gone overboard, hundreds of the UP Cebu constituents marched outside their rooms and offices for a strike, a new and impressive record in the history of UP Cebu. This is the epic triumph of all Iskolar, Guro and Kawani ng Bayan who responded to the clarion call of the times, heeding the need to defend our most basic of civil liberties.

However, our success is not yet the end of our struggle. As the academic year drew to a close, the internal conflict within UP Cebu remains sharper than ever, manifesting in a crisis that directly affects our unity.

The month of April saw another level of the dictatorial and fascist dean’s way to undermine our united stance against his leadership. As a libel case is filed against the nine signatories of the formal complaint we have passed to the board of regents and to the university president and to another faculty member who has tried to expose and heighten the understanding of the public about the issue, we stand witness to another of Avila’s malicious and tyrannical schemes to protect his welfare and self-vested interests.

In all these, the Nagkahiusang Kusog sa Estudyante was a critical participant in the shaping of the different issues leading to this crisis. Thus, the organization remains solidly behind the ten UP Cebu constituents, facing a libel case filed by the abominable and despotic Avila. For in a time of conflict, where opposing ideas contend to determine the order of society, it is all the more crucial to stand for the voiceless and marginalized. This is why, in the age old existence of the university, UP has stood as a stronghold of activism.

Today, battles continue to be fought. The ferocity of these struggles reflects upon the outcome of the issues we continue to purge. As past events demonstrate, only the collective action of students can counter the regime’s systematic attempts to abandon the education sector at the behest of commercial and corporate interests. Let us summon, therefore, the spirit of collective indignation.

Let us amplify our fight against our dictator dean and his cohorts. Let us expose and end the patent character of cronyism in Avila’s administration, and instead insist that good governance and representation be present in the university.

On this historic platform, we will not be silent or passive.

History tells the story of a great struggle for democratic rights. That struggle is alive and well today, in each of the thousands of youths who will stand for justice, freedom, and ultimately, real and encompassing democracy.

Defend the UP Cebu ten!

UPHOLD the Democracy and Good Governance inside the University of the Philippines!
UPHOLD the Rights and Welfare of the UP Cebu Community!
UPHOLD the Students’ Right to Representation!

OPPOSE the vicious stances of the Dictator Dean!




Join the Mobilization on April 27.
Graduation Protest at UP Cebu.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Statement of Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas N. Gutierrez (April 18, 2011)

SENATE RECEIVES ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT: Senate Secretary Emma Lirio Reyes receives the articles of impeachment that will be used against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez from Representatives Niel Tupas, Rodolfo Fariñas, Erin Tañada and Rey Umali. (PRIB Photo by Alex Nuevaespaña)

Press Release

I have been attacked numerous times, though unjustly and without basis. Many of these attacks have been coming not only from my usual detractors but from no less than the President of the Republic himself.

Despite his repeated pronouncements, mostly before graduating students of various schools in Metro Manila, that he is “at war” against me, I have chosen to be silent mainly because I have deep respect to the institution that the President represents.

Despite the open call of the President to impeach me and his calling on the people, especially young students, to support the impeachment proceedings against me, I would not engage him in a word war before the public as this would only demean both of us, especially in this season of Lent.

Just the same, the case against me is now with the Senate. The Senate should be allowed to do its job without any interference or pressure. I have always expressed my willingness to take part in the legal processes because it is the only way the issues raised against me will be resolved.

I am willingly submitting myself before the Senate as an impeachment court not only because I am confident that I will be vindicated in the end but also because the Senate as an institution should be protected against any perceived pressure or partiality.

I have always believed in and strived for the preservation of institutions. Institutions must be preserved and protected and not demeaned and destroyed. Otherwise, we go back to tyranny and dictatorship where the rule of those in power reigns supreme over reason and the rule of law.

Despite all that he has said and done, I maintain my deep respect for the President. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Q.C. starts mass relocation of informal settlers

QUEZON CITY, April 22 (PIA) - The Quezon City government’s mass relocation program for informal settlers has started.

Informal settlers whose houses were destroyed during a violent demolition at 6th and 7th Streets in Barangay Mariana last year were the first to be relocated by the city within the National Housing Authority (NHA) housing project at Southville 8 at Barangay San Isidro in Rodriguez, Rizal.

The city government, on orders of Mayor Herbert Bautista, has contracted shuttle buses to transport the relocatees to their new homes.

To make sure that their basic needs are met, the Mayor also gave the assurance that the city government will shoulder payments for the sub-electric meters, which is estimated at P1,000 per family per connection.

As much as possible, the Mayor wanted the city’s informal settlers to be relocated together with their neighbors to the same site so that they will not feel displaced.

QC intends to resettle before the beginning of the new school year in June some 1,500 urban poor families occupying danger zones and high-risk areas.

Informal settlers encroaching on the sidewalks and road right-of-way at Barangays Santol, South Triangle and Central, including waterways along Barangays Damayang Lagi and Tatalon, are offered priority in the relocation program.

Even urban poor families whose houses were razed by fire early this week along BIR Road are also provided relocation slots at the NHA resettlement project.

Prior to the implementation of the city’s mass relocation program, the city’s socialized housing task force headed by secretary to the mayor Tadeo Palma, organized a series of dialogue with QC’s 142 barangays to ensure that the city’s clearing operations will be carried out peacefully.

There is a continuing effort from Mayor Bautista to adopt a meaningful development plan to provide more livable communities for QC residents, especially informal settlers living in danger areas such as sidewalks, roadways, waterways, under transmission lines, and on water pipelines.

To date, the city government has already invited members of the church to a consultative meeting to address concerns on QC’s socialized housing program.

“The problem of poverty and informal settlements in Quezon City is huge. But, we can help make this challenge manageable through the pathways of collaboration and teamwork among ourselves,” the Mayor said.

According to the urban poor affairs office, headed by Ramon Asprer, there are about 28,731 informal settler families living in identified danger areas in QC.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Diliman Video of the Week: ANG BERDUGO. (shortfilm for 3 ofw's sentenced to death @ China )

A shortfilm for 3 ofw's sentenced to death @ China.

"Hindi buhay ang kapalit ng katarungan"

*ginawa ang pelikulang ito dalawa at kalahating-oras bago ang inhatol na kamatayan sa tatlong ofw sa China. Napukaw ang aming damdamin sa mga balitang ipinakita sa telebisyon.


Direction & Concept: Maria Melissa Sevilla
Karen Opena
Patrick John Mea

Edits: Maria Melissa Sevilla

U.P. Aking Mahal

Speech of Dr. Eloisa May P. Hernandez, Ph.D. Philippine Studies graduate (Summer 2010), in the recognition day of the PhD in Phil Studies program of UP Diliman, GT-Toyota Asian Center Auditorium, U.P. Diliman April 17, 2011 as posted on Facebook by Dr. Cynthia Grace C. Gregorio, U.P. Diliman Vice-Chancellor for Community Affairs (courtesy of former Faculty Regent Judy M. Taguiwalo).

By Dr. Eloi Hernandez

This afternoon, I have come full circle. 24 years ago when I was in kinder I gave the valedictory address to the kinder graduates of the T. Alonzo Elementary School in Project 4. I did not go to that school, my mother’s sister was the kinder teacher and she hired me to deliver the valedictory address. I was given sorbetes for my services.

I thank the Asian Center and Tri-college Ph.D. Philippine programme for giving me the opportunity to deliver the speech in behalf of the graduating class this year, for real. I am not sure if I will receive sorbetes after my speech, but I am certain that this will be more memorable for me than the one I gave in kinder.

When I was informed that I will be giving the speech, I asked if there is a particular theme that I should work with and I was told there is none. For many days I contemplated on what I will say this afternoon. I thought I’d give an academic speech, talk about the economic, political, cultural and social problems of our nation and how these are related to the conditions of our Asian neighbors. I decided against it because, I thought this afternoon, what I want to share with you is about love. I decided to tell you about UP Aking Mahal. If there is one thing in my life that remains constant – it is my love for UP. I have spent more than half of my life in U.P. as an undergrad student, an MA student, a young instructor, a PhD student, a campus resident, and now as an associate professor. But we all know UP is not easy to love, UP can break your heart in so many ways. I know, because it has broken mine several times.

For instance, I applied as an instructor three times at the Department of Art Studies and three times, I was rejected. Pursuing my Ph.D. in Philippine Studies gave me a lot of heartaches. The years I spent working on it were some of the most trying times in my life. The 2 years I devoted to writing my dissertation were arguably the most difficult - so many long, lonely, sleepless nights coupled with physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional torment. Had I known it would be that difficult, I would not have embarked on the Ph.D. in the first place. But I persisted. I kept reminding myself – “para sa UP ito.” I did it not only for myself but for UP Aking Mahal. I could not have survived it without the fervent support and unconditional love of my partner Grace and our varsity kids, my mother Evelyn, Tita Chit, and nephews Chryso, Cocoy, Dale, my dear friend Dr. Aileen Salonga, my professors and staff of the tri-college Ph.D. Philippine Studies program, my department and college, and the expert guidance of my adviser Dr. Patrick Flores. I thought when I finished my Ph.D. everything would be better. I could not be more wrong. In fact, after my Ph.D., I was depressed and heartbroken as several trials tested my love for UP. I kept asking myself – why do I stay in UP? I thought long and hard, I agonized, I had lengthy heated discussions with my partner, friends, and colleagues trying to find the answer to my question. Ultimately, I arrived at a singular conclusion - I love UP. I love the students who fuel my passion for teaching and learning; the hours spent inside the classroom with them rejuvenate me. My fellow professors continue to inspire me to teach. I love the beautiful UP campus that has been my home for the past 6 years. I love the history of UP – its 100 years of excellence in the service of the nation. I love how UP gives an impoverished young man the chance to become a genius and how it transforms a young woman into an architecture board topnotcher and a beauty queen (she was my student by the way).

I realized that my love for UP is inevitably linked to my love for country. It is by choice that I stay in the country. It is also by choice that I teach in UP because it is here in UP, where I continue to hope, that in a seemingly small way, I, as a teacher contribute in making the Philippines a better place. Because it is here in UP where I have the distinct opportunity to teach the country’s best and the brightest minds and take part in shaping them into critical thinkers and leaders of this country. This is my service to UP and country. This is how I embody the spirit of the Oblation and the ideals of U.P. - service, leadership, and excellence. Undoubtedly, my many years in U.P. have awakened a deeper understanding and love for country. In particular, the Ph.D. Philippine studies program equipped me with a more critical understanding of the complex history, political landscape, and cultural terrain of the country. The knowledge I gained in this program made me a better teacher and a better Filipino. At this point, I would like to share something I wrote for my graduating students in 2006. Now, this message is not just for my students but also for you my fellow graduates and for myself, so that I will always be reminded of the reasons that make me stay in UP.

"To all new graduates – congratulations! Enjoy this day. This is important to your parents, family, and significant others. Be proud, you now join the ranks of great thinkers, movers, and leaders of our country. You are now part of the great UP tradition. The legacy left to us by the best and brightest of the past. Do not do anything to taint this legacy. Fellow Iskolar ng bayan, as you begin to embark on your quest to earn your millions and live comfortable lives, in your haste to go to foreign lands to earn big bucks and drive big cars, I beg you - do not forget the people who sent you to school. Do not forget the taxpayers who toil everyday to pay for your tuition. Do not forget the people who gave you the opportunity to be iskolar ng bayan. Mga iskolar ng bayan, huwag kalimutang pagsilbihan ang bayan.


(Editor's note: In sharing this speech with other U.P. graduates through Dr. Taguiwalo, Vice-Chancellor Gregorio commented thus on Dr. Hernandez's speech: "I want to share Eloi's graduation speech during the Tricollege graduation rites on Apr. 17,2011. She spoke in behalf of  of the graduates. It's the most earnest speech I've ever listened to, so sincere it strikes your heart right smack in the middle. It's a shame if it will just be one of those speeches filed away and eventually forgotten. This one is worth remembering and definitely worth sharing with others, whether new UP graduates or alumni who have long graduated from our beloved UP.")

Misplaced rejoinder lacks support by Flor Lacanilao

"In his "Strange phenomenon: A response to Lacanilao" (Inquirer, 04/11/2011), Dr. Ramon Guillermo disagreed with several points in my commentary, "Democratic governance impedes academic reform" (03/14/2011). I showed that the use of peer judgment has been a major cause of declining academic performance in the Philippines; but this has been reversed by the use of objective measures. Guillermo challenged my article concerning the use of valid publication and citation counts (objective measures), but he discussed only their misuse instead of the useful information they provide."

"The assessment tools are the ISI-indexed journals and the ISI indexes. These are internationally accepted indicators. They are widely used measures of research and S&T performance. His objections, however, centered on the misuse and abuse of data concerning publications in ISI-indexed journals. The usefulness of a tool -- like the kitchen knife or the gun -- can only be as good or as bad as the purpose or the person using it."

"Dr. Guillermo favored the prevalent practice of peer judgment and democratic governance, instead of ISI measures, citing historical and emotional events of nationalist struggle for democracy and academic freedom. He failed to show how these relate to peer judgment or enhanced academic growth, like improved research and teaching. On the other hand, using hard data, I showed that the introduction of ISI measures improved research output after decades of decline."

"CHE at 50: Communal Imaging of Its Becoming" by University Professor Emeritus Cecilia A. Florencio

"On Imagination, Commitment and Courage"

Keynote Speech delivered by University Professor Emeritus Cecilia A. Florencio
during the Recognition Rites of the UP College of Home Economics, April 15, 2011

Swiftly fly the years. To underscore this point, few can match the poignancy of “Sunrise, Sunset,” a song composed by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick for the much acclaimed musical production, “Fiddler on the Roof.” Here are the first two parts of the song.

Is this the little girl I carried?

Is this the little boy at play?

I don't remember growing older,

When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty?

When did he get to be so tall?

Wasn't it yesterday when they were small?

As fast as time flies, so, too, the changes it brings – changes so profuse and diverse as to be unsettling. In “Did You Know” or “Shift Happens – Globalization,” a video created by Karl Fisch and modified by Scott McLeod, we are told that the amount of new technical information is doubling every two years. This means that half of what college students learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study. This is but one of many mind-boggling developments with life-changing implications.

We cannot stem the tide of modernization and globalization. But neither should we see ourselves utterly helpless in the face of what may be perceived as harsh and unsparing prospects. Preparing for our future, endowed as it is with ambiguities and uncertainties, will demand, among others, imagination, commitment and courage.

Future proofing, in the sense of “anticipating future developments so that action can be taken to minimize possible negative consequences and to seize opportunities,” will require mental sensing. Imagination is more than forming mental images. It is “liberation from conventional thinking... the spark that provokes the will into action,” according to JoAnn Franklin Klinker (American educator). For Albert Einstein, imagination is more important than knowledge - knowledge is limited while imagination encircles the world.

Years ago you must have imagined a day like today. Today is a realization of that imaging of yourself – dressed in graduation attire, marching toward the stage, receiving a UP diploma and proudly showing it to one and all. I wonder if that imaging included thanking your family and thanking the Filipino people.

It will not come as a surprise to me if you have started to imagine yourself in the years to come – who, what and where you want to be, and be with.
May I ask, is your world of imagination limited to you and yourself, or, to you and those you love? If it is, would you be so kind as to provide some space for our country. Look at our Philippine flag, imagine our Pilipinas of tomorrow. And then imagine yourself striving mightily to make our country truly a “bayang magiliw” and a “lupang hinirang.”

Again, may I ask, is your world of imagination limited to you and yourself, or, to you and those you love? If it is, would you be so kind as to provide some space for our university. Look at the UP flag, imagine our Unibersidad ng Pilipinas of tomorrow. And imagine yourself, its loyal son or daughter, unselfishly and diligently using your “galing at talino sa paglilingkod nang may dangal sa kapwa at bayan.”

Courage is a word found in both our national anthem and university hymn. We have courage when -

• We walk into corruption but do not yield to it and luxuriate. We fight against it.

• We walk into mediocrity but do not allow ourselves to descend to it. We inspire others to ascend to higher levels.

• We walk into injustice but do not ignore it. We work earnestly to correct it and to restore human dignity.

• We walk into false claims of heroism but do not leave these unchallenged. We stand up and remain unbowed until truth prevails and persists.

What would you say is the strongest, most generous and proudest of all virtues? For Michel de Montaigne (French writer), it is true courage. For Shakespeare, “Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once.”

I will now move my point of reference from our country and university to the UP College of Home Economics. The story of Home Economics in this country is no different from many other countries. From its original holistic and integrative approach to address the needs of families and households, the discipline soon broke up into several specialized areas, for compelling reasons. Unfortunately, not enough safeguards were put in place to deliberately interconnect the sub-disciplines with each other and to build reciprocal caring relationships between the mother discipline and her seven offspring. The consequences of the weak links became marked as Home Economics extended its context to include institutional households and communities for the sake of relevance to the larger society, as it was perceived at the time.

After many years of marginal living, our discipline is in the cusp of regeneration – and woe to us if we do not reawaken. “Fate is made up of our choices, our acceptances and our refusals,” says Marjorie East (leader in home economics).

There is renewed interest in the discipline, and there are calls for a return to Home Economics in many countries with different socioeconomic standing. There are several reasons for this welcome development. One of them is the increasing realization of the importance of greater attention to the family and to everyday life, and the value of integrative and interdisciplinary approaches to the multidimensional problems and opportunities of living in “exponential times.”

The challenges we face are unmistakable. We should pursue advances in knowledge and practice in each sub-discipline in ways that clearly bear the distinctive elements of the mother discipline and its historical roots, and are animated by a communal sense of its future. We should cultivate a deeper sense of scholarship. We should prepare ourselves and our students for humane and transformative leadership. Let us not forget that Home Economics evolved from concerns about the use of scientific knowledge and the need for social reform.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of young people with degrees like yours. What distinguishes you from all the others is this – UP Na, CHE Pa! Let this be our watchword.

The UPCHE is a college that –

• aims to develop the whole person, not only the intellect;

• has a clear values orientation, as indicated by its educative goals and common courses in family life, ethics and societal development;

• draws from a range of disciplines – blending science, art, humanities, education and management;

• generates as well as applies and shares knowledge; and

• does not have to belabour its relevance to both daily living and national development, linking as it does the home, workplace and communities.

It is the only unit in this university that can lay claim to the study of the elements that sustain life (food, clothing and shelter) and the elements that give meaning to life (relationships within the family, among families, between families and the larger community), for the enhancement of the quality of life and living.

I pray that you do not turn your back on your discipline and college. I pray that you carry the name of the discipline of Home Economics with pride (and thereby gain self-respect), and that whenever you think of the UP College of Home Economics, you see Pride of Place (and thereby be filled with gratitude).

As you receive the CHE pin, receive our congratulations on your graduation and also your commission as advocates of Home Economics. Let the public know who we are, not what we are not. By means of our actions, spoken words and writings, let us make true believers of them.

In a few months, the UP College of Home Economics will reach its 50th year, and 2021 will mark the centennial of the discipline of Home Economics in the university. Surely we have a lot to be proud of and be thankful for. But, just as surely, we have a long road to traverse.

In this connection, let me share with you my adaptation of our university hymn, with modified lyrics expressing the sentiment of the college.

HE ba ay mahal? Kolehiyo’y hirang?

Ang aking samo, sana’y inyong dinggin,

Galang at tagumpay, higit makakamtan,

‘Pag pinagalab inyong damdamin,

‘Pagpinagalab inyong damdamin.

As we contemplate building communities for Filipino families out there, let us re-build our CHE community, with the use of bricks and not straws. At whatever point we are at present in terms of our affection for our mother discipline, it is high time for all of us to come home and re-bond with her and our siblings. She will be just too happy to welcome us back (“prodigals”), and to give each one a robe of wholeness, a ring of distinctiveness and a pair of sturdy sandals to use for our journey together towards a viable future.

GO. Be dutiful daughters and sons of our country, our university and our college. Serve them with imagination, commitment and courage.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

John Pelias Valedictory Speech U.P. Diliman 2011

Valedictory Address
John Gabriel P. Pelias, BS Mathematics

“Nasaan ang kabataang naglalaan ng kanilang magagandang sandali, mga pangarap, at kasiglahan sa ikabubuti ng kanilang bayan?” — Padre Florentino, sa katapusan ng El Filibusterismo ni Dr. Jose Rizal.

Your Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines, respected Secretaries of the President’s Cabinet, distinguished members of the Board of Regents, UP President Alfredo Pascual, Former Presidents of the University present here today, UP Diliman Chancellor Caesar Saloma, beloved sisters of the President Maria Elena Cruz, Aurora Corazon Abellada, and Victoria Eliza Dee, respected officials of the University, faculty and staff, friends, guests, mga minamahal naming mga magulang, mga kasama kong magsisipagtapos ngayong araw na ito, magandang hapon.

Ngayon ay araw ng pagtatapos, araw na dinadakila ng lahat nating mga estudyanteng nagtiis at nagsumikap sa loob ng tatlo, apat, lima o higit pang mga taon.  At paano nga namang hindi natin hihintayin ang araw na ito? Inihuhudyat ng araw na ito ang pagwawakas ng ating paghihirap sa loob ng kolehiyo at pagsisimula naman ng isang bagong kabanata sa ating buhay. Tapos na ang maliligayang araw ng beynte porsyentong diskuwento sa pasahe; simula na ng paghahanap ng trabahong pagmumulan ng ikabubuhay sa araw-araw.

Yaman din lamang at ang lahat ng gradweyt na natitipon dito ngayon ay hahakbang na patungo sa mundo sa labas ng Unibersidad, magandang tanungin natin sa ating mga sarili: Ano ang pinakamaipagmamalaki ko bilang gradweyt ng UP? Anong aspekto ng kultura ng UP ang maipagyayabang ko na wala sa iba?  Tiyak kanya-kanya tayo ng isasagot sa tanong na ito, ngunit sigurado rin naman akong marami ang sasagot ng katulad ng sa akin: Iba sa UP dahil sinanay ako hindi lamang bilang estudyante, kundi bilang ordinaryong mamamayan na rin ng Pilipinas. Sa pagpila pa lang sa pagbabayad ng tuition fee, ramdam na kung ano ang nangyayari sa tanggapan ng gobyerno.  Dahil iba-iba ang nagiging kaklase sa bawa’t subject, alam na kung paano makikitungo kahit papaano kapag nasa mas malaking mundo.

Higit sa lahat, sinanay tayo ng Unibersidad kung paano tumugon sa pagsubok. Napatunayan ko iyan noong gawin ko ang unang bersyon ng talumpating ito. Dahil sa isang munting aberya hindi ko agad nalaman na simula na pala ng pagpili ng magtatalumpati sa ngalan ng lahat ng mga gradweyt. Nalaman ko lang ang tungkol sa bagay na ito kung kailan araw na mismo ng pagpili. Mabuti na lang at natandaan ko pa ang Comm 3 ko, kaya nakabuo pa rin ako ng talumpati kahit maigsing panahon lang ang nakalaan sa akin. Isa iyan siguro sa magagandang aspekto ng kulturang UP: ang kakayahang umangkop kahit sa gipit na sitwasyon at tumugon sa mga pagsubok kahit kailan, kahit saan. Animo’y boy scout, tuwina’y “laging handa”. Kita ninyo’t kinakaya natin ang nagsasabay-sabay na mga requirements sa iba’t ibang mga subject. Kita ninyo’t nakakapagpasa tayo ng final paper kahit halos deadline na ng submission. Kita ninyo’t nairaraos natin ang long exam kahit isang gabing pag-aaral lang ang inilalaan natin.

Iyan nga ang tatak UP.  Hindi ang pagiging “master crammer/procrastinator” kundi ang pagiging laging handa sa mga pagsubok habang taglay ang talino’t husay sa pagsuong sa buhay-estudyante.

Pagkatapos ng araw na ito, sa paglisan nating mga gradweyt sa institusyong matagal na ring kumupkop at humubog sa atin, mapapabilang na rin tayo sa mga mamamayan, sa mga manggagawang nagtataguyod ng kani-kanilang sarili o pamilya. Oo, mararanasan natin kung paano maghanap ng trabaho, kahit sabi nga ng nakararami madali tayong makakakuha nito dahil gradweyt tayo ng UP. Gamit ang diploma, ang mahiwagang sandatang kaloob sa atin ng unibersidad bilang kanyang mga gradweyt, tayo’y kikita marahil ng sapat o higit pang salapi.  Marami sa atin ang yayaman. Mairaraos natin ang ating mga buhay.

Salamat sa diploma at edukasyon sa UP, mamumuhay tayong panatag, walang alalahanin, at nakaririwasa.  Ang galing, hindi ba?  Magkakabunga rin pala ang mga pagpupuyat at pagpila sa mga subject na hindi nakuha sa CRS.

Ngunit ito nga lang ba ang pagsubok na dapat nating harapin pagkatapos ng araw na ito, ang paghahanap at pagpapanatili ng trabahong magpapayaman sa ating mga sarili? Ito ba ang layunin kung bakit tayo sinanay nang husto sa unibersidad? Ito lang ba ang dahilan kung bakit sa UP tayo nagtatapos ng pag-aaral?

Higit pa sa pagsubok na bunga ng ating pag-aasam unang mariwasa’t panatag na pamumuhay ay ang paghamong laan sa atin ng bayan bilang mga naging mag-aaral ng unibersidad na sa kanya ipinangalan: Unibersidad ng Pilipinas at sa tawag sa atin “Iskolar ng Bayan”.

The bigger and more significant challenge to overcome is our responsibility to contribute to society as products of this nation’s premier state university, which may involve sacrificing our dreams of extravagant ways of life that ironically might have motivated us to work hard in our college education. The true challenge is to be able to use the critical thinking skills and knowledge we learned through UP education in solving the problems haunting the bigger world outside the university.

After this day, we become part of a larger society, a larger world and being UP graduates, that does not only mean living just our own everyday lives without regard for society’s quandaries. We cannot confine ourselves in our own boxes, departments, institutes, colleges and even in the University away from society. 

Ang layunin ng edukasyon sa UP ay hindi lamang ang pagkuha ng magandang trabaho, kundi ang paggamit nito sa hinaharap tungo sa ikasusulong ng lipunan, ng bayan, bilang kanyang mga iskolar. Kaya nga natin kinailangang kumuha ng GE subject na sa tingin natin noon ay hindi kailangan. Iyon ay upang tayo’y mahubog sa isang edukasyong nagkakanlong sa lahat ng kagalingan bukod sa ating mga larangan, sa layong mamulat tayo sa kasalukuyang kalagayan ng lipunan at magamit natin ito sa pagharap sa higit na matinding pagsubok kalakip ang paglilingkod sa bayang ginuguho ng korupsyon, pagkakawatak-watak, at problema sa ekonomiya. Sukat na lang bang iiwan natin ang bansang nagtaguyod ng ating edukasyon sa kolehiyo, para sa mas marangyang buhay marahil sa ibang lupain? Hinubog tayo hindi upang maging mahusay para lamang sa ating mga sarili, kundi para maglingkod sa bayan. Ito mismo ang dahilan kung bakit naiibang Unibersidad ang UP. Ito mismo ang dahilan kung bakit tayo sinanay na humarap sa mga krisis at pagsubok. At ito rin ang habambuhay kong tatanawing dahilan kung bakit ko ipagmamalaki na ako’y gradweyt ng UP.

Ako po’y nagpapasalamat sa aking lolo’t lolang tumayong mga magulang ko, sa kanilang walang humpay na pagkalinga sa akin mula pagkabata.

Salamat sa aking mahuhusay na mga propesor na sina Dr. Jose Maria Balmaceda, Dr. Marian Roque, Dr. Fidel Nemenzo, Dr. Noli Reyes, at Dating Pangulong Dr. Francisco Nemenzo, na sila namang tumayong aking mga pangalawang magulang at inspirasyon habang nasa unibersidad.

Salamat din sa iba pang naging mabubuting impluwensiya sa akin sa loob at labas ng aming dinadakilang Surian, tulad nina Dr. Josefina Almeda, Ginoong Jerwin Agpaoa, Dr. Augustus Mamaril, at Dr. Julius Basilla.

Salamat sa aking guro sa matematika noong ako’y nasa unang taon ng hayskul, si Bb. Dinah Lizza Gutierrez, na siyang aking naging unang inspirasyon upang lalong magpakahusay sa larangang aking napiling pagkadalubhasaan.

Salamat din sa aking mga naging guro sa elementarya at hayskul na silang unang humubog sa akin bago sumabak sa buhay-UP.

Salamat kay Atty. Kit Belmonte at sa kanyang mga kawani at sa pamilya Feliciano sa kanilang pagtulong sa pagsuporta sa aking pag-aaral sa Unibersidad, sa paraang legal at pinansyal.

Salamat din sa mga mapag-unawang mga kawani ng Unibersidad, na marahil ay aking nagambala nang ako’y kumukuha ng TCG, nagre-renew ng scholarship, o nag-aasikaso ng kung anupamang requirement ng Unibersidad.

At syempre, salamat lalo sa aking mga naging kaklase’t kaibigan magmula elementarya hanggang kolehiyo, na palaging nagpaalala sa akin na ako’y tao rin, na ang buhay ay di lamang nakaukol sa pag-aaral, na may mga mahahalagang aral na hindi napupulot sa mga silid ng gusali ng UP.

In the end, no authentically noble reason can justify our dreams of living glamorously in the face of utter poverty in our country. The least we can do in return to this country’s taxpayers who paid a huge part of our UP education is to dedicate even just some time of our lives in the service of the Filipino people. We remember the two eminent words we always find on the cover of our blue books: Honor and Excellence. UP education shouldn’t be just about academic excellence. It’s also about how one achieves them and how one applies them. Habang nasa loob ng Unibersidad, ang “laude”, “honor”, o “dangal” na akademiko ay maaring mangahulugang pagkamit ng uno nang walang pandaraya at may buong pagsisikap. Samantala sa ating paglabas sa unibersidad, ang “dangal” ay nangangahulugang paggamit ng mga unong ito sa paraang walang dinaraya at niyuyukurang pagkatao at tungo sa ikauunlad ng sambayanan.

Alam po ninyo ako po’y hindi ipinanganak na mayaman. Marami akong hinarap na pagsubok na pinansyal, bukod pa sa mga pagsubok na akademiko. Ako po’y nakapag-aral lamang dito sa unibersidad sa pamamagitan ng scholarship, paminsan-minsang pagtututor, at sa tulong ng ilang taong malapit sa akin.  Pinalipas ko na lang siguro ang problema sa pakikipaghalakhakan sa mga kaklase, panood ng telebisyon, pagtugtog ng piano, at pagsulat ng mga kwento.  Ngayong magtatapos na ako bilang summa cum laude, marami akong maaaring puntahang kompanya kung saan madali lamang ang yumaman.  Ngunit sa kabila ng hirap na dulot marahil ng aking estadong pinansyal, ito lamang po ang aking masasabi: itutuloy ko pa rin ang aking balak na magturo sa aming Surian.  (Kung tatanggapin. Sana naman!) Ito ang maliit na ambag ko at sana’y malaki ang maging bunga nito.

Sa pagpasok ng bagong pamunuan ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas-Diliman sa pangunguna ni Pangulong Pascual at Chanselor Saloma, tulad sa anumang pagpasok ng isang bagong administrasyon, ako’y tumatanaw sa isang maliwanag na hinaharap: isang hinaharap kung saan mas marami pang mga gradweyt ang tutugon sa hamon ng bayan sa kanyang mga iskolar.  Kayo, mga kapwa ko iskolar ng bayan, paano kayo tutugon?

Maraming salamat at mabuhay tayong mga bagong gradweyt ng Unibersidad!  Mabuhay ang ating mga magulang, mga guro at pamunuan ng ating mahal na Pamantasan!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Speech of President Aquino at the UP Diliman commencement exercises, April 17, 2011

To listen to the audio file, click on the "Play" button below:

Talumpati ni Benigno S. Aquino III

Pangulo ng Pilipinas

Noong pagtatapos ng mga mag-aaral ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, Diliman, 2011

(Inihayag sa UP Amphitheatre , Diliman, Quezon City noong ika-17 ng Abril 2011)

Tatay ko na nga po ang minsang nagsabi: Iisa lang talaga ang pamantasan sa Pilipinas—UP lang raw po, wala nang iba. [Applause]

Bata pa po kami ng aking mga kapatid, iyan na ang bukambibig ng aking ama. Heto nga po ang isang kuwento:

Tinanong ng tatay ko ang panganay naming si Ballsy: “Saan mo gustong mag-aral, iha?”nang siya’y papasok sa kolehiyo.

Ang sagot, “Dad, gusto kong sundan ang mga yapak mo. Gusto ko sa UP.”

Sagot ng tatay ko: “Maganda ‘yan.” At pagkatapos po, paglabas po ng aking ate sa kuwarto, kinausap agad ng aking tatay ang aking ina: “I-enroll mo na ‘yan sa Assumption.”

Sa totoo lang po ako po ay medyo mas bata pa noong mga panahon na iyon. Nanonood malamang ng cartoons, napalingon sa naguusap kong magulang at nagtaka: Ano kaya iyong dialogue na iyon?

Hindi ko naman po masisisi ang aking ama kung nagkaroon siya noon ng agam-agam. Natural lang naman pong mag-alala ang isang ama sa kanyang anak, lalo na’t matagal nang nakakabit sa UP ang imahen nito bilang pugad at kanlungan ng mga malayang isip. Hindi magiging UP ang pamantasang ito kung wala ang kultura ng aktibong pagmamasid at pagbabantay sa karapatan ng bayan. Ang tagumpay ng UP ay nagbubukal, hindi lamang sa mataas na kalidad ng edukasyon, kundi dahil sa kalayaang hawak ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan na magpahayag ng kanilang opinyon at pananaw sa kinabibilangan nilang lipunan.

Ilang beses na rin bang UP ang naglantad ng mga palpak na desisyon ng nakaraang administrasyon? Kung maaalala ninyo, hinimay ng UP Law Center noong 2005 ang kuwestyonableng kontrata ng Northrail project. Siniyasat at pinag-aralan nila ito, at dahil sa tulong nila, nabigyan tayo ng pagkakataon na muling pag-aralan ang kontrata ng Northrail. Iisa rin po ang pananaw natin pagdating sa pangongopya o paggamit sa anumang akda na walang pahintulot o wastong pagkilala sa tunay na may-ari nito. Hindi porket nasa taas ka, puwede mo nang baluktutin at angkinin ang gawa ng ibang tao.

Wala naman po siguro ditong magdududa na ang UP, pinaka-dalubhasa sa napakaraming larangan. Sa puntong ito, nais ko na rin pong magpasalamat sa iginawad na titulong Doctor of Laws sa akin ng UP. At aabutin pa po tayo ng siyam-siyam kung iisa-isahin natin ang matatagumpay ninyong alumni. Halimbawa na si Supreme Court Justice Meilou Sereno, at bagong Commission on Audit Chairperson Grace Tan na parehong mula sa College of Law, at si Heidi Mendoza na proud alumna naman ng NCPAG [National College of Public Adminstration and Governance]. Nariyan sila para ituwid ang baluktot, itama ang mali at tumulong upang maabot ang minimithi nating kinabukasan: Isang kinabukasan kung saan kung may pangarap ka, maaari kang magtrabaho tungo sa katuparan nito. Isang lipunan kung saan, nagbukas ka ng ilaw, may kuryente; nagbukas ka ng gripo, may aagos na tubig; nagbukas ka ng wallet, may laman itong salapi na pinagpaguran mo nang marangal, at hindi mo kinailangang magsanla ng prinsipyo para makamit.

Ngayong araw, kabilang na kayo, at ang summa cum laude ninyong si John Gabriel Pelias, sa hanay ng mga Isko na magkakaroon ng pagkakataong baguhin ang sistema mula sa loob. Kay John: Napatunayan mo nang kaya mong lampasan ang anumang pagsubok. Tiwala akong marami ka pang makakamit na tagumpay, lalo pa ngayong gumagawa na tayo ng paraan para baguhin ang situwasyong kinakaharap ng Pilipino.

Marami nang nagaganap, kaya minsan nadidismaya ako na hindi umaabot sa inyo ang magagandang balita. Huwag na po sana ninyong masamain kung gagamitin ko ang pagkakataong ito upang bawasan ang negatibismo.

Nagkalat na rin lang naman po ang mga puno ng acasia dito, simulan na natin ang good news sa ating kapaligiran. Nitong huli ko rin lang po naintindihan kung bakit sa pagkatagal-tagal ng Clean Air Act, siya pa ring sama ng kalagayan pagdating sa polusyon. ‘Yung mga science major po, malamang alam ito: ang dumi sa hangin, nasusukat sa total suspended particulates. Tama ho ba? Ang UN standard po, 90 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Pagpasok po natin, nasa 166 ang sukat natin dito sa Pilipinas. Bakit? Ganito pala ang nangyari. Kada makina sa emissions testing center, kayang magtest ng otsentang sasakyan lamang bawat araw. Pero LTO na rin ang nagsabi, umaabot sa tatlong daan hanggang anim na raan ang binibigyan ng certificate ng mga testing center kada araw. Sa madaling sabi, daan-daang certificate ang ina-under-the-table, kaya napakarami pa ring sasakyang nagbubuga ng maitim na usok ang lumalarga sa lansangan.

Ano ang ginawa natin? Sa tulong ng DENR at LTO, ipinasara natin ang mga testing center na kasabwat sa kalokohan. Kaya sa huli ngang balita, ang suspended particulates natin sa hangin nitong Pebrero, bumaba na sa 120 micrograms per cubic meter. Simple lang po ang solusiyon. Hindi natin hihintayin iyong punong tumubo, dahil matatagalan iyon. Pero iyon namang tiwali, isara na natin. Hindi po natin tinawag si Captain Planet para solusyonan ito. [Laughter]

‘Di po ba’t kapag may nakikitang binabakbak na mga daan, agad na naiisip ng tao ay pinagkakakitaan ito ng mga nasa ahensya ng gobyerno? Buti na lang, produkto rin ng Peyups si DPWH Secretary Babes Singson. Ang utos ninyong mga Boss sa kanya, ayusin mo naman ang sistema. Ang ginawa ni Babes, binuklat lahat ng kontrata, at ang mga maanumalya, ipinarebid niya. Ang resulta: 1.3 billion pesos na ang nailigtas mula sa tiyak na pagkakanakaw, na maaari pang umabot sa anim hangga’t pitong bilyong piso para sa buong taon. Itinututok na niya ito ngayon sa mga serbisyong pakikinabangan talaga ng amin pong mga Boss.

Sa edukasyon naman po, dahil alam nating sa elementarya nabubuo ang mga batayang kaisipan na humuhubog sa estudyante, pinalaki natin ang budget ng basic education, mula 175 billion noong nakaraang taon, paakyat sa 207.3 billion pesos ngayong 2011.

Dahil din sa marami nating kababayang naghihikahos, binuhusan natin ng pondo ang Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program. Noong isang taon po, isang milyong pamilya ang benepisyaryo nito. Ang panata natin, bago matapos itong taon na ito, aakyat ang bilang na iyan sa 2.3 million na pamilya. Ito po ang magandang balita: sa diperensya pong 1.3 million na pamilya na idadagdag para sa 2011, nasa 500,000 na ang naidagdag natin. Way ahead of schedule po tayo dito, dahil na rin sa pangunguna ni DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman, na isa ring proud alumna ng UP.

Lilinawin ko lang po na ang kundisyon naman ng CCT ay hindi “iboto mo si ganito sa susunod na eleksyon.” Ang mga kondisyon: papasukin sa eskuwela ang anak; magpacheck-up ang mga buntis na nanay; at pabakunahan ang mga sanggol. Wala namang talo dito, di po ba?

Naaalala ko tuloy ang batang nakilala ko sa Baseco. Talagang nakapinta sa mukha niya ang hinagpis. Papaano po ba naman, labing-anim na taon lang pala siya, dalawa na ang naging anak niya. Paano niya papakainin ang mga bata, paano paaaralin, gayong wala silang trabaho ng kanyang asawa?

Sino po ba ang nagkulang? Sino ang nagtulak sa kanila sa ganitong situwasyon? Paano nabagsak sa kanilang mga balikat ang ganitong pananagutan? At ang pinakamahalagang tanong: Ano ba ang aking magagawa?

Buo ang loob ko na maisabatas ang prinsipyo ng Responsible Parenthood. [Applause]

Mulat ako na may mga tutol dito. Subalit obligasyon ko bilang pinuno na lumapit sa lahat ng sektor, para kausapin at magpaliwanag sa kanila nang mahinahon—kahit pa ang sabi ng iba’y dapat i-excommunicate na ako. Kailangan po nating pakinggan maski na ang mga taong, sa pananaw ng marami, ay sarado na ang isipan. Pero sa huli, kailangan kong magdesisyon. Kailangan ko pa ring sundin ang aking kunsensiya. Kailangan kong gawin ang tama.

Kung sa paninindigan lang po, hindi nagkukulang ang Peyups. Kaya nga senador pa lang ako ay bumoto na ako para sa pag-amyenda ng UP Charter. Nagbigay ito sa inyo ng awtoridad na i-retain ang kita ninyo, kasama na ang kita mula sa lote ninyong nakatengga sa may Commonwealth. Kung dati, tinutubuan lang ng talahib, ngayon bukod sa nagdadagdag ng kita sa inyong pamantasan, ay nagbibigay pa ito ng trabaho sa napakaraming Pilipino. Pasalamatan ko po si Senador Angara, si Senador Escudero, at marami pang graduate ng UP na ipinaalala sa aking tulungan ang UP.

Mahirap po ang tungkuling magpasok ng reporma, dahil malalim pa sa mga ugat ng puno sa Sunken Garden ang pagkakabaon ng mga latak ng lumang sistema. Pero sino naman po ba ang hindi iinit ang ulo, kung ang mismong mga dapat nagtatanggol sa karaniwang tao, ay bumabantay-salakay lang sa mga ninakaw ng makapangyarihan? Alam na po ninyo siguro kung sino ang tinutukoy ko, kaya huwag na tayong magtagal pa sa isyung ito. Isang simpleng “OMG” ang kolektibong buntong-hininga natin dito.

Simple lang ho, di ba? Nakatutok tayo sa mandato nating maghatid ng hustisya sa lahat, at sasailalim ang lahat sa patas at tapat na proseso. Walang kampo-kampo, walang parti-partido sa harap ng nakapiring na hustisya. Ngayon, kung sa tingin ng iba ay sila lang ang pinagtutuunan natin ng pagod at panahon, baka naman napapraning lang sila. Sa tingin ko po, ang tanging humahabol sa kanila, ay ang kanilang kunsensya na sa wakas ay gumising na muli.

Aaminin ko po: hindi madaling humarap sa inyo, lalo na’t tila ba may tradisyon na ang Republika ng Diliman na magbigay ng mainit at masalimuot na pagsalubong sa mga dumadalaw na opisyal ng pamahalaan. Tanggap ko naman po iyan: Minsan talaga, iba ang ating pinanggagalingan. Pero sana naman po ay iisa ang nais nating patunguhan.

Heto po para sa akin ang proseso sa loob ng isang demokrasya: Mayroon akong sa tingin ko’y magandang ideya. Ang iba naman, mayroon ding ideya, na sa tingin nila’y maganda rin, ngunit salungat kaysa sa akin. Kaya naman ang lagi kong bukambibig: Halika rito, umupo tayo, mag-usap tayo, dahil pag nagkasundo na tayo, siguradong ang resulta ay lalong mas magandang ideya na sama-sama naman nating ipapatupad.

Magtapatan po tayo: May mga isyung umaantala sa paglago ng ating lipunan, at hindi ko naman po masisi ang lahat ng nag-aalburoto dahil dito. Pero sana naman po ay malinaw sa inyo: Anumang landas ang tahakin ng aking administrasyon, hindi naman sarili ang iniintindi namin. Mabigat po ang aming trabaho, pero ginagawa namin ito nang bukas ang puso at isip. Ginagawa namin ito nang hindi nagnanakaw. Wala kaming ibang iniintindi kundi kung paano mag-iwan ng isang Pilipinas na hindi na sinlaki ang problema ng dinatnan namin, ang mga balakid, sa tuluyang pag-unlad.

Ako naman po ay hindi dito nag-aral. Pero malinaw pa sa alaala ko ang mga sinabi sa akin ng aking ama: UP ang tumulong humubog sa kanyang mga prinsipyo, sa kung paano siya mag-isip, at sa kung paano siya nagkaroon ng lakas ng loob na manindigan. Nagdurusa ang Pilipino noong mga panahong iyon. Maaari naman siyang nanahimik na lang sa Boston. Pero ang sabi niya, and I quote, “I hear my motherland crying.” Hindi siya umuwi nang dahil sa paghahangad sa kapangyarihan; umuwi siya dahil gusto niyang maging bahagi ng solusyon.

Ang hirap tanggapin na ang isang tao na napakadalisay ng hangarin ay parang karne na ibinagsak sa tarmac at ibinalibag sa AVSECOM van. Mas lalong mahirap tanggapin, na sa kabila ng kanyang sakripisyo at ng marami pang tulad niya, ay kung walang mangyayaring pagbabago. Ang araw-araw pong nasa isip ko, mula nang paslangin ang aking ama: Kung hindi ako magiging bahagi ng solusyon, parang walang-kuwenta na rin siguro ang buhay ko.

Nandito na po tayo ngayon, maaaring dahil sa tadhana, pero higit sa lahat dahil sa ating mga naging desisyon sa buhay. Kayo naman, mga magtatapos ngayon, ay may pagkakataon nang magdesisyon sa kung saan natin nais tumungo bilang isang bansa. Maaari nating piliing magpamana ng isang lipunang maihahalintulad sa isang Jeep UP Ikot—umiikot lamang sa di-nagbabagong ruta habang ang mga pasahero nito ay walang ibang nararating kundi ang nakasanayang kanto ng pagdurusa. O maaari nating piliin na kumpunihin ang kinakalawang na mekanismo ng minana nating lipunan; magdesisyon tayong lumihis sa pabalik-balik na sistema ng pagtitiis, upang sama-sama tayong umarangkada tungo sa kaunlaran. Hinihikayat ko po ang lahat: Maging bahagi tayo ng solusyon. Samahan ninyo kami, nang mapabilis ang pagdating natin sa minimithing paroroonan.

Hiling ko lang po sa inyong mga Isko at Iska: Habang umaaksyon kami at humahakbang sa pagkukumpuni sa pamahalaan, maisabuhay din sana ninyo ang inyong mga obligasyon bilang mga Iskolar ng Bayan. Malaki po ang inaasahan mula sa inyo. Masuklian po sana nang husto ang ipinuhunan sa inyo ng taumbayan.

Ang tanong ngayon: kung nasa mataas na pusisyon na kayo, maalala kaya ninyo ang mga slogan na inihiyaw ninyo habang bumoboycott ng klase? Kung puwede mong ilusot sa kalaboso ang brod, sis, o ka-org mong nagkasala naman talaga, ilulusot mo kaya? Kung kumikita ka na ng limpak-limpak na salapi sa ibang bansa, maisip mo pa kayang umuwi? Manatili kayang bulwagan ng dangal ang inyong mga puso, lalo na kung may mga uma-under the table na sa inyo, at kung hinahabol na ninyo ang quota ng pinagtatrabahuhan ninyong mga kumpanya?

Tandaan na po sana natin, na tulad naming mga nasa gobyerno, nandito kayo dahil sa taumbayan—para sa taumbayan. Utang ng loob ninyo sa Pilipino ang karangalang mag-aral at magtapos sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas. Balang araw, haharap kayo sa napakaraming bulong at tukso. Sa araw na iyon, sana maalala ninyo ang hamon ng isang nakatatandang Atenistang nasa harapan ninyo. [Laughter] Patuloy po sana ninyong dalhin nang taas-noo ang pangalan ng inyong pamantasan: ang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas.

Sa mga Isko at Iska na kinupkop at hinubog ng UP: congratulations. Inaabangan na kayo ng inyong Bayan.

Salamat sa pakikinig, at magandang araw po sa inyong lahat.

(Sources: Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines and RTVMalacañang)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Diliman Videos of the Week: TABI PO short film Parts 1 and 2

Part 1

Part 2

This is the first and second half of a two-part short film made by a U.P. Diliman student and his team mates  created for film class during his junior year at UP Diliman College of Fine Arts.

In the Philippines, some believe that saying "Tabi po." (which roughly translates to "Excuse me.") while traversing any path believed to be inhabited by spirits lessens the chance that they will harm you. This film is about a certain hiker who didn't believe any of that.

UP Cebu dean, 2 others face charges | Sun.Star

UP Cebu dean, 2 others face charges | Sun.Star Is U.P. in full mendicancy mode?

"The premiere university, we’ve been told, is now on full mendicancy mode and will do anything to get more funds from the state—and a doctorate degree does seem a small price to pay for that."

"On the other hand, it’s not the first time UP has tried to confer academic awards to Presidents with such callow motives. We recall that Joseph Estrada, when he was in Malacñnang, was also offered such an honor—but Erap, even if he never finished college, wisely declined his honorary UP degree."

"The official Diliman UPDate Online site said the award will be given to Aquino “for providing leadership in rallying the people to stamp out corruption, campaigning for institutional reforms and creating an environment for agencies, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to act with dispatch on malfeasance in government, promote the rule of law, and respect people’s constitutional rights.” Law Dean Marvic Leonen, an Aquino booster who has joined the administration, could not have written a better citation."

Read the rest here: Is U.P. in full mendicancy mode?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ombudsman orders filing of plunder raps vs. Lorenzo, Bolante, several others

MANILA, April 15 (PNA) - The Office of the Ombudsman ordered on Friday the filing of plunder charges before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan against former Department of Agriculture Secretary Luis Ramon “Chito” Lorenzo, former DA Undersecretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante, former Quezon City Rep. Nanette Castelo-Daza and 33 other incumbent and former government officials and private individuals in connection with the P728-million fertilizer fund anomaly.

Charged with one count of plunder each were Lorenzo, Bolante and former DA Assistant Secretary Ibarra Poliquit; and private respondents Jaime Eonzon Paule, Marilyn Araos, Joselito Flordeliza, Marites Aytona, Jose Barredo and Leonicia Marco-Llarena.

Charged with one count each of malversation were DA Regional Executive Directors Gumersindo D. Lasam of Tuguegarao City, Cesar Rodriguez of San Fernando City, Dennis Araullo of the DA Central Office, Ricardo Oblena of Cebu City and several others.

With the exception of Araullo, they were likewise charged with one count each of violation of Section 3 (e) Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as “The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.” Araullo was charged with five counts of the said crime.

In a 134-page joint-resolution, the Ombudsman said “there exists probable cause” to file the charges against the respondents.

Likewise, former Congressmen Federico Sandoval (Navotas) and Oscar Gozos (Batangas), former Governors Carmencita Reyes (Marinduque) and Leonardo Verceles Jr. (Catanduanes), 19 other DA and local officers and three private individuals were charged with the same offense.

Charges of technical malversation were also filed against Daza, Sandoval, Gozos, Araullo, and 13 other DA officers.

On the other hand, the complaints against DA Assistant Secretary Belinda Gonzales; Emma Gonzales (office-in-charge, Cash and Disbursement Section); Catanduanes provincial accountant Sonia Villaluna and private respondents Deonilla Misola-Gregorio, Redentor Antolin, Linus Villanueva, Phydias Banez, Fernando Gallarte, and Frederico Quevedo were dismissed for insufficiency of evidence.

Maris Diokno is elected as the new Chairperson of the National Historical Commission

U.P. Diliman History Professor Ma. Serena Diokno is the new chairperson of the National Historical Commission, according to the Facebook page of  Ambeth Ocampo, its former chairperson. He wrote: "Last April 7, 2011 I swore in Dr. Maria Serena Diokno of U.P. Diliman as Board Member of the National Historical Commission. She was later elected as the new NHC Chair. After 12 years with the NHC (9 of which as Chair) I now have my life back and retire knowing that I leave the agency in good hands. I also hope that all the nice people out there will give Dr Diokno the same love and support they gave me these past 9 years." 

(Photo source: Facebook page of Ambeth Ocampo)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Electric Vehicles Hold Promise of Bluer Skies for Manila

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III today transferred 20 Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded electric tricycles (e-trikes) to the City of Mandaluyong, marking an important first step towards a sustainable, energy-efficient transport model for the country.

Emissions from the transport sector currently represent 30% of all pollution in the country, and approximately 80% of air pollution in Metro Manila. A sizeable proportion of vehicle emissions are attributable to inefficient public transport, particularly from tricycles, jeepneys and buses.

The 20 e-trikes are part of an ADB-funded project to introduce energy-efficient transportation alternatives in the Philippines. ADB is currently in discussions with the government and other development partners on a proposed project to significantly scale up the rollout of energy efficient e-trikes in Manila and other urban areas as early as 2012.

"Working together, we can give Manila cleaner air, bluer skies, and a more livable environment," said Kunio Senga, Director General of ADB's Southeast Asia Department. "The Philippines is assuming a leading role in Asia in supporting green transportation alternatives, and if e-trikes are followed by new fleets of electric buses and jeepneys, the effect could be transformative."

Over 3.5 million motorized tricycles are currently operating in the Philippines, producing more than 10 million tons of carbon dioxide and using close to $5 billion of imported fuel each year. Motorized tricycles - which are motorcycles with sidecars - are popularly used as low-cost public transport for short distances.

"Every 20,000 e-trikes that are introduced to Manila's streets will save the Philippines 100,000 liters of foreign fuel imports each day, saving the country about $35 million annually," said ADB's Principal Energy Specialist Sohail Hasnie. "This initiative not only benefits the environment, but it also supports the Philippines drive to become more energy independent."

Though the new e-trikes have higher up-front costs, older petrol tricycles are more than twice as expensive to operate and maintain in the long run. The cost savings will directly increase the incomes of e-trike operators.

The new ADB-supported e-trikes use lithium ion batteries, commonly used in laptop computers and mobile phones. The batteries can be recharged approximately 2,000 times, in contrast to lead acid batteries used in older e-trike models that need to be replaced every two years.

A recently concluded phase-one ADB pilot project demonstrated that the Philippines has the local manufacturing capacity and technical skills base to build and maintain a large e-trike fleet. Once thousands of e-trikes begin to be manufactured, many new jobs could be created.

Factoring in electricity required for charging the batteries, the e-trikes' carbon footprint will be less than one quarter of petroleum-fueled tricycles' carbon dioxide emissions.

As part of the pilot project, ADB will install four charging stations in Mandaluyong City, which will be able to charge the e-trike batteries to 50% capacity in less than 30 minutes. One of the charging stations will use solar energy.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

GMA news TV: SONA - UP academic record-breaker: 'I was not born a genius'

Roving clinic to service Q.C. residents in May

QUEZON CITY, April 8 (PIA) - A state-of-the-art mobile health unit will bring various medical and health services closer to residents of Quezon City starting next month.

The equipment, which is a donation from China, is fully-equiped with modern medical facilities like x-ray machine, laboratory equipment, and operating and consultation rooms.

The health unit will also provide other services such as blood chemistry, x-ray, health consultation, and minor operation procedures.

Quezon City General Hospital director Dr. Edgardo Salud said that this particular equipment from China was turned over to the Quezon City government by the Department of Health, and it will be fully operational in May this year.

The “mobile” clinic will go around the densely populated barangays in Quezon City to conduct health and medical check-up, consultation, examination, and minor procedures for the benefit of the residents in the city.

With back-up power supply, the health unit is expected to provide continuous medical and health service to the residents even when there are power interruptions in the city.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Book Review: My Maid Invests in the Stock Market ... And Why You Should, Too!

By Chanda Shahani

This morning I successfully bought about PhP 4000.00 of Jollibee and Manila Water Company shares via my online broker ( using this nifty little book by Bo Sanchez entitled, “My Maid Invests in the Stock Market … And Why You Should, Too!” as a guide. Like other small time traders who have long wanted a structured guide to trading under Philippine conditions, I have long felt that there has been no good local guide for individual traders that bridged the gap beyond brochures on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) and heavy books on high finance written by theoretician professors from the U.P. College of Business Administration.

Until now.

With Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) officials lamenting that in a nation with a population of 110 million, there are only 60,000 persons actively trading in this country while in Asian financial markets as diverse as Thailand, Hong Kong and India, even taxi drivers and barbers are financially literate and play the stock market everyday, one is compelled to ask, what went wrong here? Given that out of 132 stock brokerage firms in the Philippines, there are already eight that offer online services, some with a minimum opening balance from zero to PhP 5,000, why does the average Pinoy regard playing the stock market as a white collar version of gambling or jueteng? Given that approximately eight million overseas foreign workers (OFWs) are remitting billions of dollars every year to the Philippines, it's clearly a failure of communication on the part of our financial educators and authorities rather than a lack of capital per se that has let the Philippines stock market languish as one of the under performers in the region and consequently become a victim of “hot money,” where foreign speculators jump in and out of our stock market for fast profits.

Without revealing the innermost secrets of this book (and thus spoiling it for you), “My Maid Invests in the Stock Market … And Why You Should, Too!” makes the point to the reader that even a “maid” or somebody without too much income can put aside even two thousand pesos a month by undertaking simple budgeting and invest them in blue chip companies through online traders recommended by Bo Sanchez. Mr. Sanchez says that if this can be maintained for twenty years, anybody can become a millionaire. All it takes id discipline, he says.

The greatest merit of this book is that it says that in stock trading, technical trading or a reliance on fancy charts and graphs is unnecessary for the average investor and that it is better for them to rely on choosing solid blue chip companies while ignoring the wild swings in their prices. Rather, as U.P. College of Business Administration Professor Roy Banez once pointed out, the Philippine stock market index has consistently averaged about 10% in improved performance a year (the index only comprises the very best companies), despite the EDSA I, II, and III revolutions, the assassination of Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino in 1983 and assorted coup-d-etats in the interim.

However, the problem I have with this book is that it effectively says that a “maid” or even the reader should subscribe to Mr. Sanchez's newsletter and enroll with Citiseconline in order to let him pick the stocks for you, and for you to transact with Citiseconline (where they will of course get a fee). One cannot but help think that Mr. Sanchez and Citiseconline have some kind of commercial relationship in pushing fro this particular recommendation.

But despite all its flaws, this book is still an easy read as well as an introduction to stock market trading, with the author even recommending ten stock picks (I agreed with two of them, which is why I made my online purchase today). However, the reader should adopt a cafeteria-style approach and just pick the aspects that work for him. I personally think that if stock market investing education can be simplified, more people will suffer less from total information overload regarding this topic, and consequently more individuals will be willing to research individual companies (this information is free from the PSE website at ( make their own choices. My Maid Invests in the Stock Market … And Why You Should, Too! Is definitely a good beginning source book and deserves to be on the shelf of any aspiring small or large stock market investor.

My Maid Invests in the Stock Market … And Why You Should, Too!
National Book Store
PhP 175.00

(Chanda Shahani is  the editor of the Diliman Diary. He has a Master's in Entrepreneurship from the Asian Institute of Management and is a former business reporter for the Philippine STAR).

The Commencement Exercises in U.P.

By Krista Melgarejo

Chairperson, UP Mindanao University Student Council 2010-2011

In his article entitled “Parents and Activists”, Constantino used the term commencement instead of graduation, to refer to the moment when one has finished schooling. By definition, the term commencement is synonymous to beginning or start. In this context, we can say that when one finishes his/her formal schooling, he/she must now enter the world that he/she has prepared for four or so years. This is the period of transition wherein he/she now leaves the comforts of the academe in order to face head-on the social realities of his country.

For the past few days, rumors have been spreading like wild fire about an exchange of opinions between two parties regarding a petition urging the University Student Council and other concerned groups not to hold a graduation protest. I’ve already heard rumors about this petition about a month ago, but I was only able to confirm it last week when I finally received the petition.

The USC councilor referred to the blog obviously stated that it was her personal opinion and she was willing to talk to the concerned parties personally because she believed that this internal problem can be solved. But what I still do not get is why people keep demanding answers from the council without even attempting to send us a letter for the dialogue. Please, do let us know if you want to talk. The office of the USC is always open.

First, let us talk about the essence of a protest action or what we’d like to call as the “rally”. What is a rally? A rally, or what I would rather call as a mass action, is the highest form of parliamentary struggle. This is the venue wherein people like you and me and other oppressed sectors champion our rights and welfare. It is in this form that we have reinstated important student institutions and protected our basic rights from the bourgeois class, who continue to dominate the economic and political scene.

Second, what is the function of the “rally”? Basically, the rally is always a political activity, a venue to convince people to join the cause we’re fighting for. Activists don’t just do that because they were automatically programmed to do it. Constantino says, the youth (or activists, for that matter) are materialists, rather than idealists for the reason that the movement was out of a material basis. It is in the current social conditions that have driven the social movement onward and progressing throughout the years.

Third, rallies are far different from riots. Rallies have a specific objective (ie. Highlight a specific campaign or call) while riots are mere activities in order to create chaos. Rallies are forms of expression, a right that is provided in our 1987 Philippine Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights while riots do not. Thus, relatively, rallies are peaceful compared to riots.

Fourth, mass actions, like what has been stated before, are political activities. But such activities can take on various forms, and be used in different ways. Mass actions have not only been a venue in order to campaign against anti-people policies or anti-people personalities, but they have also been used to let people heed the call of a certain cause, like serving the people. Again, the office of the USC is always open. We are ready to clarify this issue with the parties concerned.

The commencement exercises in the University of the Philippines have been a tradition, usually with the call upon the graduates to serve the people. No, it is not upon the activists’ objective to ruin the graduation rites. Rather, such form of mass action takes the meaning of the term “commencement” to a higher level of analysis. A call upon the graduates to become a hero of the masses, to be somebody who’s willing to change the society, to be somebody who’s willing to take the masses’ cause to a higher level. As Antonio Tagamolila puts it, the youth can use their intellect to serve the masses or let it be used by the ruling classes. What path do we choose? It’s either change or go with the status quo.

Hypothetically speaking, if such were to happen again in UP Mindanao, I am in no place whatsoever to trample the right of any Filipino citizen to freedom of expression. That’s why I cannot promise you to stop anyone from doing so. You’re addressing the wrong body. Remember, my mandate as the USC Chairperson goes beyond that of the studentry, we also have our obligations to the Filipino society. I may be the student representative, but there are, what we call limitations. Think of it like this, when a student is found guilty for cheating in an exam beyond reasonable doubt, should the student representative still defend that student?

What about my right to a peaceful graduation? Don’t I deserve that? Now I pose these questions: Doesn’t the farmer deserve his right to claim the land he tills? Doesn’t the worker have the right to call for a higher wage? Doesn’t the youth have the right to free education? I’m not saying that just because their rights have continually been violated means that I have the right to ruin your graduation. The tradition of the graduation protest in UP has become a means to challenge the graduating class to defend the rights and forward the struggle of the society who have supported your schooling in the university. As former chief justice and now UP Board of Regents member Reynato Puno said during the commencement exercises in UP Manila last 2008, "To be from UP is to accept a sacred trust of leadership and service to the people." It’s not a mere return of investment to them. Rather, being part of this society, it’s your moral obligation to do so.

As Marx puts it, “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.” If serving the people was what the social conditions called for during the 1970’s, such call is all the more relevant today. As more and more members of our society continue to suffer the harshness of poverty and injustice, shall we continue to ignore their call?,


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Diliman Video of the Week: "Paglipad"

A film by Sonny Lim Jr.
Starring Kris Crismundo and Joey Amad
Assistant Director: Christel Jade De Jesus
Production Assistants: Cess Lapitan , Marc Lino Abila
Special thanks: Hussian Rosalejos Genilyn Abanilla Mr. Walter Labajo

This is a tragic short film about a young woman who runs away from home only to meet a homeless man who becomes her true love. Sadly, he ends her life so that she can be set free. But at the end, what lies in store for her?

Official Selection - Ika-22 gawad CCP for Alternative Film & Video

Finalist - 7th PWU Art Film Contest

Screenings: Siete Shorts - Lyceum of the Philippines University

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ombudsman elated with U.S. turnover of forfeited Ligot assets

The Office of the Ombudsman expressed satisfaction at the recent turnover to the Philippine government of the $132,000 check representing the proceeds of the forfeiture sale of the Buena Park, California property owned by former military comptroller Jacinto Ligot.

In a press statement released today, the Office of the Ombudsman said that Asst. Ombudsman (AO) Jose T. de Jesus Jr. said that the turnover was fruit of the prompt action initiated by Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas N. Gutierrez. “When it came to the knowledge of the Office that the property has been sold by the US government, Ombudsman Gutierrez immediately wrote the Department of Justice to request for the return of the proceeds,” AO de Jesus said.

On the basis of such request, then Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera coordinated with the US government for the return to the Philippines of the proceeds of the sale of the property. AO de Jesus said that the Ombudsman learned of the turnover of the proceeds through a letter sent by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on April 7, 2011.

“Justice Secretary de Lima informed the Ombudsman that it was US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas Jr. who turned over the check for $132,000, representing the full amount of the forfeiture sale as indicated in the Ombudsman’s request for assistance,” AO de Jesus said.

He explained that the Ombudsman had earlier requested the DOJ to assist in the return of all or some of the proceeds of the sale of the Buena Park property under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) between the Philippines and the US.

AO de Jesus further said that “We are happy that the efforts of the Ombudsman, under the watch of Ombudsman Gutierrez, in having this check delivered to the Philippine government have paid off.” The Buena Park property is among the alleged ill-gotten wealth covered by the forfeiture case against the Ligots, filed by the Ombudsman before the Sandiganbayan in 2005.


Friday, April 8, 2011

The Role of the Student Regent in Defining the University of the People

By Krissy Conti

There are many ways to define the University of the Philippines (UP), but it is most compelling to call it the “University of the People.” After all, we have staked a claim on “socially responsible and relevant education” for the better part of a century.

The university is in a prime position today to realize, if not reconstruct, the notion of service to the people. By sheer overuse over time, it may have become trite and confusing.

In the generic sense, “people” pertains to the public. It is more familiar to say that UP serves public interest via its legions of alumni serving in government, people’s organizations and yes, even private institutions which have social responsibility programs. Any outward form of public activity not tooled for private interest thus becomes public service. Here, the common values are altruism and selflessness.

Without proper grounding, this could become a dangerous declaration. Public service becomes an instrument of charity, rather than of responsibility; an undertaking after graduation, rather than during matriculation.

The people we seek to serve have been identified by our own studies, surveys and reports. Majority of the Filipino people are rural-based workers who do not enjoy economic equality (conservative data say 18% of families go hungry and 49% rate themselves poor).

UP knows that the service is urgent and already offers tailored co- and extra-curricular programs, such as barrio-based community work, legal aid to indigents, and return service obligations for medical students. These immersion activities and direct services underscore that public service entails physical closeness and self-effacing productivity to be most effective.

As the public epitome of the UP student, it is the task of the Student Regent to help every student imbibe this spirit of service in applying his holistic education. After all, the training in UP is precisely designed to equip every student with the values of integrity and excellence, not only in academic endeavors. The Student Regent must show how it is to learn, not simply study.

The Student Regent must be well-meaning in pursuing people’s interests, and in the course of the task not merely represent, but protect and advocate for the students. As the students’ spokesperson, together with other student leaders, he has the responsibility to campaign for pro-student policies that ensure quality and accessible education, principled participation in campus activities and university decision-making.

As the model “iskolar ng bayan”, the Student Regent has to be the most accessible policymaker in the university. He represents the ordinary people’s investment in a better future. He is the closest and most powerful advocate the marginalized – whether cultural, political, or social minorities – can have in this university. Besides, as a public official, the Student Regent is statutorily required to be accountable in his dealings with his direct and expanded constituencies, and especially so with taxpayer funds and government activities.

Ultimately, the Student Regent’s role is to dissolve the individualism of both the student sector and the student. It has always been the Student Regent’s historic task to secure consensus among all sectors for key issues such as sufficient budget for education and democratic governance. Collective action is our – at 55,000 students we are the largest sector in the university – most potent defense against grown-up world-weariness.

Even as many paths lead us out of this University, at one point in time we will find ourselves, older and wiser, yet coming together again as our petty personal problems merge and fuse with larger political crises. If there is anything the Student Regent must show us, it is that, in the words of one of our own, “only those who choose to fight on the battlefield live beyond irrelevance."

(The quote is from Chief Justice Puno's message to the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers at its founding Congress in September 2007)

Program of action

A) To maximize participation in the Board of Regents

1) Conduct periodic policy reviews and author necessary policy reforms
     a) on system academic policies such as on admissions, financial aid and loans,curriculum reforms, faculty diversity
     b) on the University's land use plan, for the site permanency of several campuses, arrangements for masjid in campuses, assessment of demolitions of UP communities
     c) on University tie-ups with private entities and other private-public partnerships, as well as land leases
     d) on academic policies which affect the overall atmosphere of learning in the University
     e) on more gender-responsive policies in the university

2) Establish effective relations with the constituencies and enhance the level of awareness system-wide on pressing University issues
     a) Conduct regular unit hops
     b) Designate an official OSR liaison per campus
     c) Convene the local organizations
     d) Conduct Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao Students' Conventions

3) Participate in sectoral regents' caucuses

B) To strengthen the institution

1) Release regular BOR reports and quarterly summing-up papers
2) Set up a website, web portal or other new media channels for faster information
dissemination and communications across the system
3) Review and reassess the flexibility of the Codified Rules of Student Regent
4) Follow up the prosecution of former student regent Hannah Serana
5) Highlight the history of the Office of the Student Regent via a regent's reunion,
an exhibit

C) To prepare the students for their role in the people's struggle

1) Open the OSR and its resources as a mechanism for students to campaign on
pertinent national issues and concerns, such as but not limited to
• Accountability for human rights violations
• Adequate government allocations in social services, especially education
• Accountability for corruption
• Accountability for worsening economic conditions
• Education for all Filipinos that is free and emancipating
• Science and technology geared towards national industrialization
• Mass-oriented culture
2) Encourage alternative, supplemental or complementary education inside and
outside the classroom
3) Expand capacity-building efforts with student leaders' trainings, discussions on
operating a student council, and the like
4) Link up with external sectors and organizations in advancing causes
     a) Convene the Multi-sectoral Assembly

(Krissy Conti is the newly-elected University of the Philippines Student Regent)

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