USEP “We have a name to protect and an image to project”

Posted: March 17, 2012 by arjaybylah in Uncategorized

By: Francis Manlulu

Education is a right, not just a privilege; that’s what we students believe in. But what’s happening now is not aligned to Pnoy’s promise of “daang matuwid”. Why ? Because of the creation of the House Bill 5311, or an act, which is to create the Davao Regional State University System, (DRSUS). This, in which, will integrate four state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the region, namely; University of Southeastern Philippines, Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology, Southern Philippines Agribusiness and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology and the Davao del Norte State College.

The proposed house bill aims to reduce the number of SCUs in the country so as to maximize the limited budget for SUCs. And this is a clear manifestation of a Budget Cut.

The bill actually compromises the budget for college education in the disadvantage of the Filipino youth’s rights and welfare obviously not as promised by our current government. The promise that which is to stabilize and focus on education in the Philippines.

As his statement “We are gradually reducing the subsidy to SUCs to push them toward becoming self-sufficient and financially independent, given their ability to raise their income and to utilize it for their programs and projects.” In my point of view, what is the sense of calling it a STATE UNIVERSITY if the subsidy for that instance is to be shouldered by the university itself?

For 2011, the Aquino administration allocated P22.03 billion for SUCs nationwide; decreasing the budget by over P 1.8 Billion. For 2012, the government allocated only P21.8 billion, which means another P 23 Million. Over 110 SCUs all over the Philippines share this measly budget (source:http://nusp.org/nusp-hb5311-drsus/). And as a result, other universities especially the University of Southeastern Philippines raised its tuition and miscellaneous fees to alleviate the burden caused by the budget cut.

I personally heard about the issue mid January 2012; it is a shocking news after the Christmas break. Many are confused and afraid about the situation; numerous questions are raised in order to understand fully what House Bill 5311 is. It is through the initiative of the Office of the Students Services and the Obrero Campus Student Council of the University of Southeastern Philippines to conduct a symposium and a rally in order to educate our fellow Usepians about the existent problem. There the battle started, armed with hope, faith, courage and knowledge the USeP fought to decimate House Bill 5311 or known as the DRSUS.

Several actions also are made in order to show the dismay of students from the future implementation of the said bill; one of which is the prayer rally in front of the OCSC Office, the creation of various facebook and twitter accounts in order to spread the information and to gather support, debate and exposition at DXDC621 RMN, meeting with Davao Cong. Teodoro “ka-teddy” Casiño and Hon. Lea Librado and our very own Dr. Alibin supporting NO TO DRSUS, silent protest of wearing black at the university and many more. Not knowing what lies ahead, still USeP firmly stands in its strong ground defying the merge. Every man is a rebel; we should fight for what we think is right.

Then came March 2, 2012 after few weeks of unity, debates, outcry and protest in all kinds of media, TV, Radio etc. against DRUS, a gratifying news welcomed the energetic day of the usepians: the Author of the bill Cong. Isidro Ungab and RDC officials have inhibited University of Southeastern Philippines from the merge leaving the 3 other schools for integration. Smiles are brought back to the faces of the usepians, salute to all people who took part in the fight whether in the front run or just in the shadows pushing frontward.

So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. The bottom line here is when there is unity; there is victory. All efforts have been paid off, and united voice has been heard.

At the end of the day, shouting is not enough in order for us to be heard, we need to stand. Stand firm in our ground, to where we wish to live and fight the opponent that strikes us and wishes us to go down. But nevertheless victory is inevitable to those in side of the right. Glasses are raised, balloons are flown in the air, hands are lifted and thumbs are up giving due recognition to all people who fought the battle for our beloved university.Its not that we don’t want change, it is because we are contented of ourselves and that we love the things we lack because this signifies improvement, you can never fill a cup if it’s already full. And most importantly we Usepians have a name to protect and an image to project.

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