Iloilo youth join Sona rally-A A +A
Monday, July 25, 2011
ILOILO students, out-of-school youth, and young workers joined Monday's protest actions against the present administration's anti-youth policies in time for President Benigno Aquino III's State of the Nation Address (Sona).
"The youth sector has revealed the real state of the youth in last week's July 19 2,500-strong student walkout and protest-march against the deteriorating state and increasing inaccessibility of education," said Karlo Mikhail Mongaya, Kabataan Partylist-Panay regional coordinator.
Mongaya said youth groups joined protest actions in time for the Sona to press government to address the demand against education budget cuts, for a significant increase in the education budget, and for an end to tuition and other fee increases.
The Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students, and the Sandigan Para sa Mag-aaral at Sambayanan mobilized their constituents from the University of the Philippines Visayas, Central Philippine University, West Visayas State University, and the West Visayas College of Science and Technology for the Sona protests.
"From the lessening accessibility of education to the lack of decent livelihood opportunities, Noynoy's rule has been a broken record of empty promises," said League of Filipino Students Panay Regional spokesperson JC Alejandro.
The LFS leader decried the sorry state of the youth and the nation under the present administration:
* Four out of every five high school graduates are unable to enter college this year.
* A quarter of the labor force is currently unemployed.
* The real value of price and fare hikes in the past year exceeds that of wage increases in the past decade.
"In last year's Sona, Noynoy said pwede na uli tayong mangarap. But instead of dreaming of a brighter future, we are now suffering from a nightmare," said Alejandro.
Eric Alip of Anakbayan-Panay, meanwhile, said the present ills of the youth and society are confounded by Aquino's programs, which only continue Arroyo's policies of cutting the education budget, allowing the unregulated increase of tuition and other fees, and perpetuation of a labor export policy, among many others. (PR)