Friday, March 19, 2010

Bayan Muna - PUP Chapter's Solidarity Message

BAYAN MUNA PARTYLIST (PUP Chapter) is one with the students of PUP and our friends in the fight to stop tuition fee increase. The students' walk-out today and continuing protests against the PUP administration's proposals to implement a more than 1,500% tuition hike from P12 to almost P300 per unit only show the students' resolve to stop any fee hike for the sake of future students of the university.

We are vehemently opposed to the administration's proposals to increase tuition in PUP precisely because any fee increase will make education a costlier commodity, and thus will deprive more youth of the chance to get quality education in the tertiary level. At present, education has become a privilege only for those who can afford it.

Majority of Filipino youth can no longer afford a college education. The PUP remains as one of the very few universities left in the country that offer relatively affordable tuition per unit, after the University of the Philippines System earlier increased tuition, its other fees and rebracketted its STFAP.

The administration's proposals to increase tuition in PUP, beginning with incoming freshmen, are clearly shameless, insensitive, unjustifiable and unacceptable, however which way we look at the issue. If they have no other proposal favorable to students, it would be for the best that they resign their posts so that new administrators may be able to take charge and offer alternative remedies.

We strongly stand and believe that education is a right and can be made accessible to all, regardless of socio-economic status. Quality education need not be costly for students, especially in state colleges and universities, if only the national government allocates sufficient budget for education.

BAYAN MUNA PARTYLIST has consistently fought for the youth and students' rights and welfare. To stop tuition hikes, our representatives in Congress filed resolutions and bills that respond to the youth and students' needs, such as House Bill 2440: An Act Imposing A Three Year Moratorium On Tuition And Other Fee Increases On All Educational Institutions.

We have called on the president, fellow legislators, and proper government agencies such as the CHEd and DepEd, to do what it takes to prevent tuition hikes and to make quality education accessible to more youth. And we have eventually reached a certain degree of success. Our House Bills have been deliberated in Congress yet some representatives kept stalling the bills' approval until the 14th Congress adjourned. Therefore we will continue the legislative actions for the youth when the next Congress opens after the polls, now with Representatives Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza to represent us in the Senate in the future.

Representative Teddy Casino said before in the Plenary, "... It is not enough to have a moratorium on fee increases in our SUCs. As important will be a substantial increase in their budgets. I expect that in the next budget hearings, the Executive will present a budget that increases the SUCs share by 30-50% of their existing budgets."

He also challenged Congress to "immediately act on pending measures that seek to regulate tertiary education and ensure its affordability in order to guarantee the youth's right to an accessible, if not free and quality education. The President should also certify these as urgent..."

We have every reason to continue the fight for our right to education here in PUP, in the streets and in the halls of Congress and the Senate.

Bayan Muna Partylist (PUP Chapter)

PUP Community Unite!
Stop Tuition and Other Fee Increases (TOFI)!
Moratorium on all TOFI Now!