Militant students slam education budget cuts

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011


PROGRESSIVE youth organizations slammed President Benigno Aquino III’s continuous disregard of the education sector in his recent State of the Nation Address and proposed budget for 2012.

Maica Quitain, Kabataan Party Cordillera spokesperson, said her group is not surprised the 2012 national budget will bring continued slashes for State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).

“PNoy completely turned a blind eye to the education sector by passing the biggest budget cut of almost P1 billion last year. He is blind and deaf to the education crisis, verifying that he lied to us during his campaign by saying that he will be a Pro-education president,” the group said in a statement.

Data gathered by Kabataan Party-list showed the proposed 2012 national budget for SUCs will have a P1.5 billion cut from current 2011 budget.

Furthermore, SUC administration will not expect facilities improvement because there will be no new budget for capital outlays similar to what happened in last year’s budget proposal.

Kabataan Party-list data also showed Cordillera SUCs are in the top 20 SUCs with the massive budget slashes in the country.

These include Abra State Institute of Science and Technology (ASIST) and Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSCP), which will experience budget decrease of 8.02 percent and 4.87 percent, respectively.

Anakbayan-Cordillera spokesperson Tracy Anne Dumalo said harassment and human rights violations under the Aquino regime persist.

“Aquino is the biggest liar our country has ever had. He lied to us when he said that extra judicial killings will be attended to but until now, not a single case was filed against the perpetrators. He lied to us that we will have a friendlier and humane Armed Force of the Philippines (AFP) but red tagging continues among progressive youth groups that caused the disappearance and death of youth leaders during the Arroyo regime,” she said.

Dumalo cited leadership trainings conducted by the AFP in schools has the same formula of accusing youth groups as communist fronts.

According to Anakbayan, AFP continues to imply their group and its leaders are recruiters of the underground movement and preventing the students from joining them just like what allegedly happened last week in an NSTP orientation among the Benguet State University students.

This prompted Anakbayan, Kabataan Partylist and other youth organizations to stage month long protest actions starting last week to fight for higher state subsidy and to call for the removal of the government’s counter insurgency program, Oplan Bayanihan.

“Like Tropical Storm Juaning, we intend to have wide range of protests actions that will surely inflict some wake up calls for our public officials especially PNoy,” said Ivan Emil Labayne, chairperson of College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines-Baguio-Benguet Chapter.

He added they are planning to launch a protest caravan next month and visit the House of Representatives and Malacañang to air their demands and concerns.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 02, 2011.

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