VIGAN CITY — Different groups in Ilocos led by the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), Kabataang Artista Para sa Tunay na Kalayaan (KARATULA), and Kabataan Partylist staged a short program on September 22 at Plaza Burgos, Vigan City to show their opposition to the massive education budget cuts and the intensified commercialization of education.
“The state of education in the time of Noynoy Aquino is a doomsday scenario for the youth. With Aquino’s budget proposal, cutting down the subsidy of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and nearly doubling the allocation for debt services as well as military expenses, just proves that Aquino is no different from Gloria Arroyo,” said Lee Biscarra, KARATULA’s Vice President for Luzon.
Biscara depicts the current educational system through the popular game, Plants vs. Zombies as she called upon the youth and students to join in the fight for their right to education. “Like in the game, let us act like peashooters that fight against the one who intends to destroy us and corrupt our future,” Biscarra challenged the youth.
In Ilocos, the budget of all the five SUCs will be slashed to total of P14.35 M or 8.70% only. The large part of the cut will come from the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenditures (MOOE), which is supposed to address the electrical expenses and other maintenance needs of the school.
“Like the past regime, Aquino acts like a zombie who mechanically adapts the past regime’s ill programs in education. By denying us our basic right, he is slowly corrupting the future of the youth,” Finela Mejia, Coordinator of NUSP for Northern Luzon added.
The group also conducted short discussions and a signature drive simultaneous with the program. The signature drive and discussion groups aim to gather the largest possible support from students, parents, faculty, school administrations, and other concerned sectors for the youth’s fight for quality and accessible education.
Mejia said they will continue to hold more similar activities. “We call on all the students to participate in this fight. Let us all act in great number and strength in our call and demand to bring back quality education to the youth,” she added.
Last September 24, students and youth held various activities as part of a nationally-coordinated protest action against the “commercialization and privatization of education”. # NUSP Release