WORDS | Czarina Joy Arevalo
REPORTS | John Joshua Azucena
“Paninindigan natin ‘yan,” UP President Alfredo E. Pascual vowed when asked if he is ready to face charges against him.
UP Los Baños and UP Diliman students, together with All UP Workers Alliance, stormed the 1320th Board of Regents (BOR) Meeting where PAEP was interrogated on Thursday, August 25 at Quezon Hall, UP Diliman.
The #BORProtest is a system-wide mobilization called for by the Rise for Education Alliance in the UP System. All UP Academic Employees Union (AUPAEU) Los Baños and Diliman Chapter, and All UP Workers Union Diliman joined the demonstration.
UPLB and UPD University Student Council (USC) Chairpersons Merwin Jacob Alinea and Bryle Leaño lead the negotiation with President Pascual. They raised the students’ concern on the Student Academic Information System (SAIS), which caused enrollment fiasco in UPLB; the eUP Project; and the Socialized Tuition System (STS). On the other hand, All UP Workers Alliance registered their calls on the unreleased Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) Incentives, and the junking of contractualization.
“Handa po ba kayong panagutan ang lahat ng ito, lalung-lalo na ‘yung mga anomalous at kaduda-duda ninyong mga gawain lalung-lalo na doon sa pagpapahirap sa mga Iskolar ng Bayan katulad na lamang ng eUP? Hindi po yan rhetorical question. It’s a yes or a no,” Chairperson Leaño asked President Pascual.
“Paninindigan natin ‘yan.” PAEP answered.
“Malinaw na magpapatuloy ang kontraktwalisasyon, STS, at eUP,” Chairperson Leaño reiterated PAEP’s answers.
In the fast talk, Chairperson Leaño asked President Pascual on his stand in the junking of STS, eUP and contractualization. “Wala sa powers ko ang pagtatanggal ng kontraktwalisasyon,” PAEP said. The President also pointed out that the BOR shall decide whether the STS be junked or not.
“Definitely, we will not junk eUP!” he then pointed out. However, PAEP added that a review on SAIS will be done.
PAEP vs UP students
Chairperson Alinea stressed the abandonment of the administration at a time when the students plead for support during the online enrollment. The supposed “online” enlistment, however, caused students to camp out in the UPLB campus where the SAIS website can be accessed.
Alinea expressed, “If I’m not mistaken, ‘di lang po ito concern ng UPLB. Sayang nga po na wala dito ang UP Baguio, UP Manila, at UP Cebu, pero we can attest that during our General Assembly of Student Councils, we are all calling to junk eUP since hindi po deserve ng mga students ang ganitong service na as a state university ay nagpoprovide ng accessible education for all.”
Moreover, Alinea raised the issue regarding the lack of faculty, infrastructures and facilities in UPLB, when instead the administration is prioritizing eUP.
“Hindi po talaga siya yung kailangan ng university natin, kasi during the implementation of eUP, nandiyan pa rin yung kakulangan ng facilities para sa mga estudyante, nandyan pa rin yung kulang na faculty and mababang sahod ng mga faculty natin,” he added.
In line with the discrediting of the eUP Team on the “System Error: An Investigative Study on the Implementation of eUP Project in the University of the Philippines” of Ronn Joshua C. Bautista and Khrixia Zhienelle A. Subingsubing, UP Diliman College of Mass Communication (CMC) students, Hazel Lobres from the college council demanded for a public apology from the administration.
“We would like you to issue a public apology because it was a direct attack to the CMC Department. Dinidiscredit mo po hindi lang yung mga estudyante namin kundi pati po yung mga professors,” Lobres stated.
“Kaya lang naman naglabas ng statement ang eUP ay dahil ginawang public ang thesis,” the UP President replied.
Daniel Lorenzo Mariano of College of Arts and Letters (CAL) SC also raised his dismay on the rise of profit-generating infrastructures, yet no plans for the school buildings. “Sobrang bilis ng pagpapatayo ng Town Center o TechnoHub pero atrasado pa rin ang FC [Faculty Center] namin,” he said. Mariano recounted the CAL FC fire last April 1, which took the building down.
PAEP vs UP workers
“Basic Labor Rights ang CNA Incentives pero ayaw ipatupad. Nakakahiya para sa premier university!” Dr. Ramon Guillermo from AUPAEU pointed out.
The All UP Workers Alliance urged the Pascual administration to release their CNA Annual Incentive as per provision of CNA. Dr. Guillermo said that only digested figures were being highlighted every meeting, and not the solution to the issue. He reiterated the violations of the Pascual administration on CNA and DBM Circular 2015-2 on CNA Incentive, and unfair labor practices. Moreover, the Ombudsman case against PAEP was already filed.
“Inutusan ng Ombudsman ang UP admin[istration] na bumalik sa negotiation table ngunit pinaikot-ikot lamang kami. Kahirapan ang dinaranas ng mga kawani, guro at mananaliksik at dagdag benepisyo at pagbibigay ng kaukulang incentive and tulay na sasagot dito,” All UP Workers Alliance said during the protest.
According to the Civil Service Commission, “Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) is a contract negotiated between an accredited employees’ organization as the negotiating unit and the employer/management on the terms and conditions of employment and its improvements that are not fixed by law.” In CNA, those who can enter are the accredited union and the employer/management.
Simultaneous with the BOR Protest in UP Diliman, mobilizations in UP Manila and UP Baguio also took place.
Raising their placards while registering their call to junk SAIS and eUP, delegates from UPLB marched from Vinzons Hall to Palma Hall, where they merged and marched with the All UP Workers Alliance and UPD students to Quezon Hall.
“Sistematiko ang kalapastanganan ng BOR at hindi ibinibigay ang kung anong para sa atin,” Student Regent Raoul Manuel said during the protest program in front of Quezon Hall. Kabataan Partylist Congresswoman Sarah Elago showed support in the BOR Protest.
The dialog with UP President ended with the singing of UP Naming Mahal. SR Manuel urged to continue the fight and mobilization even outside of the BOR. The August 25 mobilization concluded with the throwing of paintballs on the walls of Quezon Hall as a sign of protest. [P]