Students from the University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City in Mindanao stage a spontaneous walkout against the proposed budget cut on state universities and colleges in the country. They say the cut in budget would greatly affect the education of students and appeal for more government support instead. (Photos by Karlos Manlupig)
DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 28, 2010) - A militant youth organization called the League of Filipino Students in Southern Mindanao region protested the education budget cut proposed by President Benigno Aquino III in favor of putting the highest budgetary priority to debt servicing and the military.
This, as nationwide clamor against the budget cut on state colleges and universities, echoed a similar campaign by students overseas, particularly in the United Kingdom where there is also a clamor against the arbitrary reduction on government education subsidy.
“The budget cut smacks right into the face of Pnoy who falsely claimed that the 2011 national budget is a reform budget. The plan to slash state spending on state universities and colleges is a clear negligence of students' rights,” the group said.
“This is also contrary to the constitutional mandate that the Philippine government should place high premium on education in terms of national budget allocation and other sources,” it added.
The University of the Philippines-Mindanao and the University of Southeastern Philippines are among the state-owned schools in Davao that will suffer from the budget cut.
“At least 120 students joined the forum against budget cut in UP Mindanao, whose budget will be slashed by P1.39 billion-- the highest from among the 112 SUCs. A symbolic protest action followed as students rallied in front of the Oblation,” the LFS said.
“We also hail the militance of the students of the University of Southeastern Philippines Mintal who staged a spontaneous walkout that led to a dialogue and later, a support from with the Dean. As the fourth university out of 112 SUCs that has the biggest budget-cut, the students were outraged with the P44.39 million slash.”
USEP main campus in Obrero registered its firm stand in opposition to the budget-cut through a candle lighting protest supported by all college governors. Students appealed that “if Pnoy is really sincere in addressing the poor, disadvantaged and marginalized sector, he must make education as his top priority.”
“We have already warned Noynoy. For as long as the demands of the people are neglected, particularly on the right of the youth for free and quality education, we will intensify the struggle to resist and crush this rotten system,” the group said.
The youth group along with the Kilos Na Laban sa Budget Cut and Kabataan Partylist will lead thousands of students in a nationwide strike on Tuesday and Wednesday. (Karlos Manlupig)