UP Palengke Schools

Sa pagtatayo ng University of the Philippines Professional Schools (UPPS) sa Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, ay muli na namang itinutulak ang komersiyalisasyon ng edukasyon sa ating pamantasan. Hindi pa nareresolbahan ang pagpapahirap ng STFAP, budget cuts at kasabay na itinatayong UP Town Center, paparating na naman ang bagong magdudulot ng pasakit na papasanin nating mga estudyante.

Ang UPPS ay mag-aalok umano ng iba’t ibang post graduate programs sa law, business, engineering at statistics. Ito raw ay magandang hakbang upang mas mapalago pa ang kalidad ng ating mga propesyonal at maitaas din ang bandila ng post graduate program ng UP.

Problema sa Public-Private Partnership

Ang gastos para sa nasabing konstruksyon ay tinatayang P600 milyon. P30 milyon nito ay pinunan ng UP at P100 milyon ng gobyerno. Ang nalalabing P470 milyon ay magmumula sa mga donasyon ng mga pribadong korporasyon at mga pribadong sektor. Ang malahiganteng butal sa pondo ay magbibigay daan sa malawakaang pagsasamantala ng mga korporasyon sa Unibersidad. Ang mga propesyonal na mapapatapos at mga mabubuong pananaliksik sa loob ng isang nangungunang pamantasan ay tutugon sa interes ng mga kumpanya imbis na lutasin ang mga suliranin ng bayan.

Hindi kailanman magtutugma ang interes ng mga pribadong korporasyon at ang interes ng pamantasan. Ang interes ng mga korporasyon ay magkaroon ng malaking tubo samantalang ang interes ng pamantasan ay maglaan ng serbisyo sa publiko. Tulad na lamang ng TechnoHub na pinuno ng mga kainan, pasyalan at call centers sa halip na magsilbing research unit ng pamantasan. Sa huli, laging interes ng mga kumpanya ang namamayani at ang kaunlaran ng edukasyon ay naiipit.

Kursong Pangkalakal at Burges na Saklaw

Kapansin-pansin na mga kursong madaling ikalakal sa pandaigdigang merkado lamang ang iaalok ng bagong kampus. Dagdag pa, mapapansin ang kawalan ng tiyak na plano ng pamantasan para paunlarin ang mga kursong hindi gaanong pinapahalagahan sa lipunang may dominanteng burges na kulturang nakatali sa pagkita. Bilang “Professional Schools” ang moda ng bagong kampus, hindi talaga bibigyang halaga ang mga programang walang “market value” tulad ng Humanities, Social Sciences, atbp.

Kaagapay ng elitismo sa mga kurso ang limitadong saklaw ng UPPS. Dahil ang kampus ay nasa gitna ng isang business district, karamihan sa mga estudyanteng papasok ay mga tuwiran nang propesyonal na nagtatrabaho sa mga nakapalibot na pribadong korporasyon. Nakakaligtaan ang tungkulin ng Unibersidad na paglingkuran ang mas malawak na masa.

Kakulangan sa Maintenance and Other Operational Expenses

Kakarampot lamang ang alokasyon ng UP at gobyerno sa pagbuo ng UPPS, kaya naman inaasahang mangangapit-tuko na naman ang UP sa pangangalap ng pera para sa iba pang gastusin ng UPPS. Katulad halimabawa ng UP Diliman Science Complex na nanggaling mula sa mga alumni at mga pribadong sektor ang kalakhan ng pondo para mapatayo at walang programa upang malaanan ng sapat na pondo para sa Maintenance and Operational Expenses pagkatayo.

Sa patuloy na pagpasok ng pamantasan sa programa ng komersalisasyon, nasasapanganib ang kalidad ng edukasyon. Sa halip na kaunlaran at kahusayang pagsilbihan ang malawakang masa, ay nagmimistulang malaking palengke ng mga kapitalista ang mga lokal na propesyonal. Mabenta ang mga propesyonal na galing sa mga burges na pamantasan, nilalangaw naman ang galing sa mga hindi komersalisadong institusyon. Sa ganitong pamamaraan nababago ng kulturang burges ang mismong kalidad ng edukasyon at inilalayo ito sa interes ng karamihan.

Madaling nadidiktahan ng imperyalistang Estados Unidos ang ating ekonomiya at pulitika dahil sa mga ayuda at pautang. Gayundin sa kaso ng UPPS. Dahil nagmula sa mga pribadong korporasyon ang kalakhan ng pondo para mapatayo ito, madali nilang madidiktahan ang mga programa sa akademya at pananaliksik ng pamantasan.

Hinahamon namin ang aming mga kapwa Iskolar ng Bayan na maging kritikal at maging kabahagi ng sambayanan sa pagbasag ng atrasadong kulturang isinusubo sa atin.

Iskolar ng Bayan, ngayon ay lumalaban!

The President

What you have heard is true. I was there. And then I wasn’t. It was the monsoon. The rain poured. The houses in the streets were quiet, but not in slumber. They enjoyed the rain. It gave them comfort. The evening radio rattled obvious weather forecast. There was a street called Commonwealth. Common-street-wealth. My friends and I were sitting on one of its curbs. Something was going on across the street. We decided to go check it out. Woman stood first, Peasant and I followed. We had been talking about things that bother us, and had been wondering if they bother anyone else too. We went to find out. Woman was cold, wearing only an election campaign t-shirt with a fading face. Peasant walked barefoot and trembled. I felt fine, but curious, because despite the bleakness of the night, the President was entertaining. His colonial mansion: 18th century Spanish architecture, windows from Germany, Baroque landscaping. Tall, concrete walls stood before us. We hid in the shrubs. It was a ball; people were famous and happy. That very day, the President decided to hold a ball! He was known for his wit, you know, and his kind face. That very day, he was groomed to perfection. Chiseled with ambition and glazed with good news. In the hallway, the President welcomed his guests himself. He shook hands with Capital, who then bowed his coxcomb. Debt came after and flashed his silver teeth. Landlord definitely remembered to wear his philanthropic mittens! How exquisite were Dollar’s pearls, wherever did he get them? They glittered in the mist and were kept dry. They had brought their umbrella men who wore gray boots and khaki button-up shirts. They marched obediently. We climbed over the steel gate. We peeked through the window. I saw my neighbors Worker and Squatter serving along with fifteen others. They whispered to each other. There were discussions in the cocktail area. There was laughter, and then applause, and some tacit compliance. There was no music, no murals, just a portrait of a man and a flag. The parrot in the hall called “Maximum Tolerance!” The guests laughed. The President shut it up. He looked embarrassed but quickly regained his wit. His talk was sweet, candy-sweet, like an amusement park ad. The guests exchanged deliberate nods and smiles. They were indulging in the banquet of progress and economic growth, pigging out over the bounty on the table. Our tongues wetted. Our stomachs grumbled. Peasant and Woman looked at each other, and told me they wanted to eat. We clambered over the thicket of roses, whose thorns pricked our skin. We knocked on the door. One of the umbrella men answered. He listened. He shut the door behind us. We heard his heavy march fade in constant tempo into the hall. The parrot in the hall called “Maximum Tolerance!” The guests laughed. The president shut it up. Our hands hammered onto the door. It must have been dessert. Then some wine. And then a command. No more whispers. The parrot in the hall called “Maximum Tolerance!” The guests laughed no more.

(Based on Carolyn Forche’s The Colonel)

SC stallholders and students fight against rent increase and repressed protest

Released in the Inbox section of the 16 August 2012 issue of the Philippine Collegian.

One of the many efforts of privatization is to push the eyesore and superfluous things behind the façade.

For many years, the UP Shopping Center has been serving students and the community and supplying them with their daily and extra needs with a very good bargain. However, with the prodigious raise in each stall rental from P80 to P577 per square meter, it is clear that the SC is left with very slim chance of staying.

No one can deny that the UP Town Center will spark the zest of UP students as they roam about the campus during their free time. It is clear that most students will prefer the former than the old, cheap and “lokal” atmosphere of the Shopping Center. In fact, the UP Town Center project is clear to its ideals that it’s about time a “sosyal” and professional-friendly commercial building find its place in a national university campus. Like the usual malls, we do have the tendency to want to dine better, shop better and walk better. Luxury is the word. But some have already found luxury in SC, including me.

I can always recall the many times when I can buy almost all the supplies I need for one semester with just two hundred pesos, when I could get a book with half the usual cost, when I could eat the best tapsilog without having to ride a jeepney to Philcoa. Small things, but they mean so much to those who live on less than a hundred a day.

Unnecessary high price rent

In February, the UP Diliman Business Concessions Office (BCO) informed the UP Shopping Stallholder’s Association, Inc. (SCSAI) that the monthly rent for every stall will be raised from P80 to P577 for every square meter. Most stalls are about 25 square meters big. If the rent goes up to P577 per square meter, each stallholder would have to pay a P14,425 monthly rent, a 621% increase from the current average P2000 monthly rent. As an inevitable consequence, the stallholders would also have to drastically increase the prices of the items they sell. Or worse, some stalls would just have to close.

The SCSAI proposed last March an alternative, that is to raise the rent to P150/m2 instead of P577/m2. Five months later, the proposal is still being completely ignored. On April 17, the BCO sent a letter to every SC stallholder telling them to comply with the new contract pertaining to the Memorandum of Agreement on the supposed UP Town Center as replacement of the SC. The MOA includes the plan to relocate the “legitimate” stallholders, those who have submitted the required files (ITR, permits, etc.), to the new Town Center, wherein only those who really “deserve” a spot will be granted a discount on rent. The association is, of course, willing to submit all the files required to prove legitimacy but, with the spirit of militancy, will not sign the repressive contract (Philippine Collegian. 13 July 2012).

Protest Art and Culture of Repression

You may have noticed the newly painted white walls of SC. Fairly recently, UP Alay Sining closed a partnership with SCSAI to help them in the struggle in keeping the Shopping Center. The project is a mural painting campaign promoting SCSAI’s stand on the new policy and the community’s statement against commercialization of education.

UP Alay Sining, together with other student organizations, class sections and Fine Arts freshmen, initiated the project by putting up the primer paint. However, a representative from the UP administration stopped us just when the last stroke of white paint was to be made. The admin said that the SCSAI and the students need to have a permit approved before the painting could be continued, something the admin never required the SC stallholders before.

This is a clear manifestation of the culture of repression dominant in the society; when the people use their assumed freedom of expression to expose and oppose anti-people policies, the ruling clique kicks back with spiked shoes by repressing the freedom to protest.

The permit for the murals is now being processed and should be approved in fifteen days. We invite artists and students to join us in creating this monumental people’s art, in supporting the stallholders’ fight for a just monthly rent, and in continuing fight for accessible education and academic freedom. If the admin denies or delays the issuance of the permit, Alay Sining and other organizations shall still continue with the project. After all, the repressed have already given us the necessary permit.

Artista ng Bayan, ngayon ay lumalaban!

Iss Bautista

Alay Sining, 18 years of serving the people
visual arts | creative writing | music | theater

contact: 09052409504 or 09196827642
subscribe: facebook.com/alaysining | twitter.com/alaysining

Cutting through their web of lies

Who will you vote for, why, and for whom will you be voting?

This is the question at the core of the University Student Council (USC) Elections. It is the reason why candidates and political parties go from room to room, dorm to dorm, student to student, laying out their rack record, ideas, and plans. In UP, we expect the USC election campaign to be of honor and integrity–unlike our counterparts in the national political scene, who have mastered the art of “traditional politics,” we will not lie, cheat, steal, or bribe our way into office. Indeed, the very idea is unthinkable.

Or at least we thought so. Over the past few days, however, UP Diliman has been inundated with classic trapo strategies, which must be exposed and condemned.

Click here to continue reading.

Cultural Imperialism in the Philippines

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This lecture was delivered before a research class under the American Studies Program of the University of Utrecht, 23 November 1994. It is hereby reproduced and distributed by ALAY SINING, a national-democratic cultural organization based in the University of the Philippines – Diliman, and KARATULA, its national counterpart, seventeen years later in the midst of worsening crisis due to US imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism.

STATEMENT: Student Strike sa Nob. 25-26 at Dis. 1, 2010

Ang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas bilang PAMANTASAN NG BAYAN ay nagluluwal ng pinaka-matatalas, mahuhusay at makabayang mga iskolar at artista. Ito ang inaasahan ng sambayanan at malugod na tinutugunan ng mga iskolar ng bayan–noon.

Subalit ngayon, tila nakapagdadalawang isip humarap sa masang pilipino at sabihing kami ang mga iskolar ng bayan, ang mga tagapagtaguyod ng inyong mga interes bilang mga tagapakinabang ng buwis na inyong pinagpapawisan. Nakakapaniklop tuhod sabihing ni minsan ay hindi kami lumiban sa klase… ni minsan ay hindi kami lumiban sa klase upang magsalita at tumindig para sa sa ating mga lehitimong karapatan… dahil kami ay puspos ng takot, maaaring dahil hindi namin alam ang nagaganap o dahil wala kaming pakiaalam.

Bilang mga artista, nakakatwang isiping humaling na humaling naman tayo sa pagpapakita ng nagsusumidhi nating damdamin hinggil sa pag-ibig at sekswalidad gayong napakalaki ng pangangailang umalingawngaw ang nanlalamlam na tinig ng sambayan sa ating mga likhang sining. Ganito tayo pinakikitid ng sistema at kulturang popular na sa esensya ay laganap hindi dahil sa makisig nitong porma o nilalaman. Ito ay dahil sa napakahusay at sistematiko nitong komodipikasyon na may diin sa matinding pagpapahalaga sa sarili, kompetisyon at pakikipagsabayan sa merkado. Ganito na tayo hininubog ng sistema, ganito tayo hinuhubog ng pamantasan sa kasalukuyan. At palalalain pa ito ng sunod-sunod na pagmaniobra ng mga nasa kapangyarihan tulad ng ginagawa ngayon ni presidente Noynoy. Bago pa man magtapos ang nakaraang semestre, maigting na ang isyu hinggil sa pinakamalaking kaltas sa badyet na dadanasin ng UP sa buong kasaysayan nito. Ang 1.39B ay hindi kakarampot, ito ay napakalaking dagok sa pampublikong karakter ng ating pamantasan. Ang ganitong kaganapan ay bunsod ng neoliberal na globalisasyon. Sa sistemang ito, tinatalikuran na ng gobyerno ang kanyang responsibilidad sa pagbibigay ng sapat na badyet sa mga eskwelahan at binibigyang laya ang mga private entities na pasukin ang mga pampulikong unibersidad para mamuhunan at kalaunan ay kumita sa mga ito. Itinutulak nito ang tuluyang pribatisasyon ng edukasyon na tumatagos sa lahat ng aspeto maging sa ating sariling pagtingin sa sining na limitado na rin sa balangkas ng pandaigdigang pamantayan at negosyo. Kung kaya’t hindi na tinataguyod ang pagkuha ng mga kursong nag-aaral sa kasaysayan, lipunan at kultura dahil hindi ito sumasagot sa pangangailangan ng merkado. Hindi na ito prayoridad dahil hindi ito maaaring pagkakakitaan.

Kung gayon, malinaw na itinatakda ng kalagayan ang hamon sa ating henerasyon bilang mga iskolar ng bayan ang pagkakaroon ng matalas na pagsusuri at paninidigan. Napatunayan naman ng kasaysayan ang kahalagahan ng papel natin bilang mga artista upang manindigan at iguhit ang pinakamatuwid na linya gamit ang ating mga pluma at pinsel na tutulay hanggang sa labas ng ating mga silid aralan upang makilahok sa kolektibong paglaban sa pribatisasyon ng pamantasan at ng sining.

Umambag at makisangkot. Responsibilidad natin ito bilang mga iskolar ng bayan. At bilang mga artista ng bayan.

Isulong ang Pambansa, Siyentipiko at Makamasang edukasyon at kultura!
Tutulan ang 1.39B budget cut sa UP!
Manindigan at lumahok sa multi-sektoral na Strike ng pamantasan!
Ipaglaban ang UP bilang PAMANTASAN NG BAYAN!

Iaalay ang sining sa sambayanan!