VIGAN CITY (Feb. 14) — Student leaders kick off their campaign on Valentine’s Day as it marks the first day of campaign for the Student Council Elections (SCE) at the University of Northern Philippines (UNP).
Alliance of Concerned Students-Partido ng Demokratikong Mag-aaral (ACS-PDM) Standard Bearer and presently Vice President for Operations of UNP Student Council Jeric Pelayo said that this student council election is very timely as the students are fazed with various issues such as tuition and other fees increase, repressive policies and the closure of Tandem.
Pelayo recalled that during the past year, the UNP administration blatantly violated the rights of the students. “The UNP administration used its iron fist to impose exorbitant fees and repressive policies such as no id and uniform, no entry policy,” Pelayo said.
Pelayo added that the students’ voice was never heard because of the repressive measures done by the administration such as the closure of Tandem. “Tandem was very vocal in the issue of tuition and other fees increase, and that’s the reason why the publication was shut down,” he stressed.
According to ACS-PDM, tuition fee increase up to 33%, making the P75 per unit tuition fee to P100 per unit. Also, other fees such as library, medical, dental and other miscellaneous fees increased up to 100%.
This coming school year, according to Pelayo, the ACS-PDM will continue its struggle against illegal fees increase and repressive measures of the UNP administration.
“In an educational system that is characterized as commercialized, colonial and repressive, it is not new that these cases happen inside the UNP.” Pelayo noted, saying that, “we shall continue to be vigilant and fight for our right to education at all cost.”
The ACS-PDM has consistently succeeded the SC elections for the past eight (8) years. According to the party, they have been the forefront of the struggle of the students for their right to education and other democratic rights.
This year, ACS-PDM’s general line, “Sama-samang ipaglaban ang Karapatan sa Edukasyon sa gitna ng tumitinding panunupil sa demokratikong karapatan ng mga mag-aaral” will continue the calls for higher education budget and democratic rights of the students as well as other sectors inside the university.
“Despite the attempts to suppress the students, we have committed a lot of victories in struggle against tuition and other fees increase and repression and we have done this through genuine student leadership,” Pelayo said. # Rod Tajon for NORDIS