DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 27, 2007) – Members of the militant youth group Anakbayan led a picket rally Tuesday in Davao City in southern Philippines to protest the government’s failure to put a stop on continued tuition fee hikes in the country.
Students also joined the rally and picketed in front of the University of Mindanao (Bolton Campus) where they displayed streamers denouncing the unabated increase in tuition fees.
The protest also signaled the group’s commemoration of the Andres Bonifacio's Day celebrated on November 30. Bonifacio is one of the Philippines’ national heroes who led a revolt against Spain in 1896. “Nothing has significantly changed for the better since the 1896 Revolution led by Andres Bonifacio – the Filipinos are still poor and oppressed, the youth deprived of an affordable and quality education.”
“Statistics and surveys would show that more Filipinos are hungry, more youth dropping out of school or not ever stepping into formal education (8% of all six-year olds o 200,000 Filipino children will never ever step into school and 1 million cannot enter high school every year), more unemployed, more and more leaving the country (3,400 per day) to work abroad,” Karla Hyasmind Apat, Anakbayan regional spokesperson, said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.
“In the education sector in particular, the government's policy is to push for the rationalization and soon privatization of state universities and colleges in the country, while passing on into the private sector the responsibility of providing education to its citizen,” she said.
She said education in the country has now become very expensive that forced many students to stop schooling. She also assailed private universities and schools in Davao City for taking advantage of the students.
“Private universities and schools in Davao City continue to rake in millions of pesos as profits from the students, yet they continue to increase their tuition and other fees. Education is being driven into becoming a business enterprise. Ateneo for instance, earns millions of pesos a year from its space rentals alone, yet, it continues to increase its tuition and other fees,” Apat said. (Mindanao Examiner)