By BLAINE JENNER BILALAT
BONTOC, Mt. Province — The five-week running protest action against the administration in Mountain Province State Polythecnic College (MPSPC) has caught the attention of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC).
Two PASUC representatives came to Bontoc to meet with the stakeholders of the college in a series of meetings that began Monday, July 25.
Zacarias A. Baluscang Jr., college president of Apayao State College, and Venus Lammawin, college president of Camiguin Polytechnic College and former college president of Kalinga State College (KSC), came all the way to Bontoc from their respective schools to look into and assess the conditions in the college that has caused the student-teacher protest.
Lammawin presented a manifesto signed by PASUC officers and members that expressed their stand on the July 1 protest and the forced resignation of MPSPC President Nieves Dacyon. It was similar to that of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the MPSPC Board of Trustees (BOTs) resolution that condemned “in the strongest sense of the word, the use of force, threat and intimidation to compel Dacyon to resign, to the extent of destroying college properties and disrupting classes”.
Moreover, the PASUC manifesto also “…enjoins all government agencies to work together to settle and end the controversy”, and “enjoins all parties involved to sit down and discuss the matter peacefully in proper courts/fora…”
It also stated that “PASUC respectfully and earnestly requests that MPSPC be allowed to operate on their own, independent of external pressures”.
This, observers noted, referred to an allegation that the protest was “politically motivated”.
Lammawin explained the purpose of her visit to MPSPC was to mediate and negotiate between the two opposing parties for a settlement or resolution to be reached. She explained that the stand of the faculty, students, alumni, and community would be delivered personally to the PASUC and CHED-CAR Oversight Commissioner Hadja Luningning Misuarez-Umar, who is also the MPSPC BOT Chairperson.
In the separate forums conducted with faculty, community members, and students, Lammawin and Baluscang asked each of the parties if there still is a possibility for negotiations with Dacyon if ever the opportunity arises.
Lammawin commented that the situation of MPSPC was the most serious case she has ever encountered in her years as an academician. “Most school protests end up after a week. But in your case, this has lasted for over a month”, said Lammawin.
The two representatives also shared how they manage their respective colleges. “We always talk with students and explain to them the problems of the college so they could build solutions and suggest what management should do,” said Lammawin. “We also pay attention to the smallest problems, like malodorous CRs and broken light bulbs,” she added.
Independent responses to the PASUC manifesto were drafted and signed by faculty, community members, and students separately. The representatives received the copies for the PASUC and CHED Commissioner Umar.# nordis.net