Here are the preliminary shots of what the students dub as Jump High for Higher Education Budget ahead of the State of the Nation Address of President Noynoy Aquino this Monday, July 25.
Last year, the Aquino administration slashed more than PHP 1.3B ($30.24M) from the education budget further aggravating the crisis in the education sector. This year, the students are gearing up for a stronger campaign for higher state subsidy for the education sector.
Creative forms of protests have been resorted to by students to broaden support to their advocacy.
UP deserves increased budget appropriation
Statement of UP President Alfredo E. Pascual
21 July 2011
As the country’s national university, the University of the Philippines (UP) deserves to get sufficient funding from the national government. It must have the means to effectively play a leadership role in higher education and national development, and attain a competitive status in the regional and global arena. In my vision statement for UP, I already noted that “(n)ot enough funds are being appropriated annually to meet the rising cost of quality UP education, much less to sustain capital expenditures for upgrading the university facilities.”
The UP Charter of 2008 clearly states that “it is the policy of the State to strengthen the University of the Philippines as the national university” (Sec. 2) and that the national government is responsible “for the continued growth, operation and maintenance of the national university” (Sec. 28).
In this context, I issue this statement to fully support the call of concerned UP students, faculty, staff and alumni for greater subsidy for UP.
I also take this opportunity to express my solidarity with the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) in its “strong appeal for a sufficient budget increase for the qualitative functioning of public higher education.” I fully agree with the PASUC’s explanation that the stand for a budget increase for SUCs is “closely aligned with the call for national progress and development.”
On 26 November 2010, the UP Diliman University Council already issued a statement calling for greater subsidy for UP. It noted: “A low budget has a debilitating effect on UP’s capacity to fulfill its mandate as the national university. The underprivileged students’ access to quality tertiary education will be compromised. The sustained development of academic facilities and programs will also be hampered.”
This scenario is unacceptable. I therefore encourage our students, faculty, staff and alumni to make their voices heard in the call for increased budget appropriation for UP and other SUCs.
Creative protest. Last July 19, students of UP Diliman used planking to protest government inaction on the education crisis in the Philippines. Here’s a video from GMANews.tv (http://www.gmanews.tv/video/85077/saksi-planking-ginamit-na-uri-ng-student-protest-vs-pnoy)by