Sunday, 2 December 2007

In Stasis

I should have done this a long time ago.

As frequent visitors (yes, all three of them) and complete strangers would have noticed, I have stopped publishing any new posts on my blog for about three months now. Currently, I have no plans on updating my blog due to certain circumstances (pester me and I just might give the reasons).

Gratitude goes to those who have - by accident or some sheer stroking of the keyboard - stumbled upon A Boy's Life and have spent even just a couple of seconds scanning through its contents. Thanks to everybody who, for all intents and purposes, have cared to read my posts.

I do not know when I'll be able to publish anything new, but hey, it was fun while it lasted.

Until next time.

"I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it."
- Samantha Black Crow, American Gods

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Save More, Save Less

Shown to the left is a picture of the unfinished Save More building located at T. Claudio St. Morong, Rizal.

The construction of the building has come under fire from local market dealers for some time now. They fear that the commercial building will force them to shut down their stalls at the local market, as Save More’s products and other goods might be sold at lower prices.

Some local consumers, on the other hand, do not mind if the commercial building poses a threat to the livelihood of Morongueños. They point out that market prices are too high, and that competition from Save More may pressure market vendors to match prices, meaning consumers could get to save on expenses.

For some time, the building’s construction was delayed because the building’s contractors (if I can recall correctly) violated the zoning permit given by the municipal hall. Also, what seemed to be an extension of the building was being built, without a proper permit (refer to second picture).

I’ve also heard that Save More was a sister company of SM – owned by Henry Sy, though I still have to verify that.

Recently, construction workers have begun to increase and a makeshift road was made for construction equipments and trucks to enter, revealing the enormity of the building. With the people of Morong divided over the issue, there seems to be no stopping Save More from constructing a commercial building at the center of town.

Time will tell whether Save More is a blessing or a curse. If it turns out to be the latter, only then will Morongueños act. The townspeople don’t seem to be that progressive anymore, despite playing a big part in the revolt against the Spanish occupation, but that’s another story that’ll have to wait.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Bingo Bonanza

While looking for cellsites (or base stations) in Las Piñas as part of our Communications 5 project (don’t ask why; I’m glad I graduated already), our group decided to rest at a sari-sari store. I chanced upon some residents of the area playing bingo, and decided to take a shot of them. At first they were hesitant - they didn't like the idea of having their picture taken by some stranger. After more prodding, they eventually agreed.

The crowd had to make do with playing on the street – literally – as they had no table to play on, not to mention chairs. Still, that doesn’t seem to stop them from playing bingo and earning a few pesos.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

On Why Voice-Manila Cannot Be A Student-funded Publication

Third and last part

Throughout the years, the publication had endured the campus administration’s methods – be it censorship, withholding of information or unscrupulous power play, among others. All of this the Voice went through while tagged as “the school and student publication of TIP.” As such, the idea of the Voice becoming student-funded has been around for a long time. However, there are factors that prevent the aforementioned from happening, and they all involve the publication staff.
As mentioned in the first part of this series, the staff receives scholarships every semester on the basis of their performance and academic standing. As such, the promise of a scholarship is what drives some students to join the publication. In exchange for his service to the publication, a staff alleviates his/ his parent’s burden of having to pay for tuition every semester.

Upon being admitted in the publication as a trainee, I was told by a senior staff not to be critical in my writings, for it is foolish to “bite the hands that feed you,” referring to the scholarship that I would eventually receive from the administration (oh my, look at what I’m doing right now).
Thus, this is the situation: as long as the staff receives and hankers for the scholarship that TIP gives away, there would always be students who would join the publication yearning for the same thing, and may not even try to be critical writers to ensure that they continue to receive scholarships.

Fear is another factor that restricts the staff from pursuing independence. A campaign pushing for the Voice’ autonomy from the administration – which obviously would have to be lead by the publication (and maybe the student council, though I doubt that) – may be branded by the administration as “activism,” something the school’s higher-ups is not fond of, as evidenced by the recent harassments done to Voice-QC. As far as I know, the editorial board line-up there got shuffled, all thanks to the actions of ranking school officials and the lure of a scholarship. It happened because Voice-QC was publishing critical articles, among others. But that’s another story.

Such is the retaliation of the school administration. I don’t know if such actions have reached the school president. But if it has, I wonder why she even allowed it.

In my three-year stay in the publication, suffice it to say that I have met people who were afraid of being at the receiving end of the administration’s wrath, or at the very least, be placed on hot waters. Instead of wanting to write critical articles (even those bordering on national issues), they would rather choose to focus on “safe” topics.

That circumstance exists within the publication because even the members themselves are not consolidated.

This could be attributed to the fact that there is no clear line concerning the Voice and its members – especially the trainees – with regards to the publication’s nature. It is stuck being a school and student paper. Thus its members are left in a void as to which of the two (school/ administration and student) is more important. Anyone could join: provided that he passes the competitive examination and interview. Unlike truly progressive publications, where everyone is united under a similar set of ideologies, the Voice is a melting pot of conflicting beliefs.

Let me give you an example: a senior staff once asked me to explain myself to him, and convince him in the process, about my beliefs and actions inside and outside the publication office being the “right” thing to do. He told me even before I started talking that he believes the Voice should remain under the administration’s leash. Guess there wasn’t any point in my explanation from the get-go. It is ironic to think that the Voice’ chances at becoming a student-funded publication is held back by its own staff of students.

Because of this setup, the Voice is divided. A staff cannot expect full support from his colleagues when he comes under fire from the administration, as some of them need the scholarship, are afraid of retaliation and who harbor greatly different points of view.

Until the desire for change and progress comes from within the staff and students themselves, then the Voice will still be stuck in the void it made itself for the past two decades.

This is the last of a three-part article regarding Voice-Manila, the official school and student publication of the Technological Institute of the Philippines-Manila. I stand by the belief that for the Voice to be truly independent from the administration, it should start within itself.

First step: the staff should be under one goal, one solid ideology. You cannot expect the publication to function as it should if its members are of conflicting schools of thought. A clear policy should be made as to what the Voice stands for, and the staff should adhere to it.

Next, it should lead the campaign for its autonomy, educating the student population about their situation and clarifying that paying an additional student publication fee would be best for them. Of course, the collection of fees would have to be made clear and its process done effectively and efficiently during enrollment periods.

They should also stop accepting scholarships from the administration as soon as they get the campaign started, as it is a clear sign of compromise. Perhaps the publication could give honorarium to its staff, taken from the collected student publication fee. It might be much less than a scholarship, but that is one of the trade-offs, one of the prices for freedom.

A student publication is one that is independently managed and published by the studentry. One joins it because he wants to serve the studentry. The rest are just icing on the cake.

Now if only the student council could step up to the challenge, then maybe things could really start rolling.

Monday, 25 June 2007

On Why Voice-Manila Cannot Be A Student-funded Publication

Second part

Another reason as to why the Voice would have a hard time becoming a student-funded publication is the school administration. Ever since I could remember, the school is not receptive to the idea of having a student-funded publication for fear that it might eventually be critical of the school’s policies. Even the past issues included in the archives of the publication showed little sign of being critical to the school administration, much less to national issues.

It seems that the school administration is afraid of activism and critical thinking taking seed in the student population and as the publication has a large reader base within the campus, it has been a target of constant oppression and censorship.

To monitor the publication, the school administration delegates faculties from the Humanities and Social Sciences Department as advisers to edit articles and supervise the Voice staff. Those delegated are often on the side of the school administration. Thus, certain articles in the newspaper are subjected to censorship or worse, excluded from being published whenever the advisers think that it is critical of the school.

Furthermore, the advisers (an English adviser and a Filipino adviser) have a knack for overruling the decisions of the senior staff. There were times that the senior staff was able to hold their ground and stand for the decision, but most of the time they had to succumb to the whims of the advisers.

Such actions go beyond the duty of an adviser as providing only “technical guidance” as stated in the Campus Journalism Act of 1991 (which by the way is flawed).

When a student becomes a trainee of the publication, he undergoes a series of interviews with the advisers, the head of the Student Personnel Services, the head of Security and the Administrative Officer (the senior staff interviews the student prior to being accepted in the publication). During interviews with school officials, a trainee is often asked regarding his affiliations and inclinations. Such questions are meant to determine if the trainee is affiliated with leftist organizations, is a Leftist, or a sympathizer of the Left.

An upcoming issue’s galley also goes through the office of the Vice-President for Administration and Student Services (VPASS) for editing prior to being delivered to the printing press. Thus an issue’s content gets screened twice: first is through the advisers, and then the VPASS.

In a meeting with the VPASS a couple of months ago (I think it was in January or February), she told us to focus our articles on student achievers, moral values and alumni who have contributed something great as opposed to articles regarding national events and those critical of the national government. That was the time when the publication released an article regarding the Registrar’s Office, which was misinterpreted as defamatory by the said office.

Despite all this, there are still employees who are helpful and sympathetic to the publication. Still, as long as there are members of the top brass who do not want the publication to make a great leap forward, then the chances of the Voice becoming a student-funded newspaper is slim. Very slim.

Friday, 15 June 2007

On Why Voice-Manila Cannot Be A Student-funded Publication

First part

Before the main topic, an introduction is in order.

For starters, the Voice-Manila (hereafter referred to as Voice) is the official school and student publication of the Technological Institute of the Philippines-Manila (TIP-M). Its office is located at the second floor of Building 3 of the Casal campus. Currently, the publication staff numbers to about twenty. The publication’s senior staff is comprised of the editorial board (Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editor, Managing Editor) and the editorial staff (News Editor, Features and Literary Editor, Filipino Editor, Photography Editor and Circulations Manager, Chief Layout Artist). The position of Chief Layout Artist is vacant, as there is no eligible staff for promotion as I was writing this article. There are also two advisers, the English Adviser and Filipino Adviser.

The publication provides scholarships for its staff. There are two scholarships given: first is a 100% discount on tuition fees and the second is no fees except for Development Fee, Computer Fee, Industry Software Fee and ID. A staff only has to pass all of his enrolled subjects in order to avail of the scholarship, aside from performing well in the publication. The editorial board and editorial staff also receive monthly allowance.

The publication releases four regular issues, two in each semester, and a special issue which is commonly a literary folio. The Voice-Manila also holds a competitive examination annually in order to recruit new members.

Now for the main topic. This article will tackle why it seems impossible for the Voice to obtain its independence from the administration of TIP-M. This is a result of my three years of stay inside the publication, throughout which I was able to talk with various persons about the status of the publication, observe the students’ concern – or lack thereof – for the Voice, experience the censorship that the paper undergoes and the publication staff’s lack of fervor in pursuing autonomy, among others.

As a reminder, what follows is my opinion about the topic. I do not speak on behalf of the Voice. Also, I am no longer a member of the publication, as I have already graduated last March.

Now that the formalities have been settled, let’s get on with the topic, shall we?

According to past issues of the Voice, the publication was suspended in 1972 due to Martial Law. It was revived in October 1981 after a student referendum. Back then, the Voice was considered the publication of the student body. Come 1991, it suddenly became known as the school and student publication of TIP and continues to be so.

One of the reasons as to why the publication remains far from being independent is the students. They are resigned to the notion that the Voice is “pro-administration” and as such do not expect any hard-hitting or critical articles from it. This has also contributed to their indifference to the publication. They get the latest issue of the Voice, read and discuss a few articles in it, and wait for the next release. The students are content with being reactive for only a few weeks to the issues tackled by the publication.

I call those students “The Beautiful Ones,” mindful of nothing but their grades, happy inside their respective Ivory Tower. It is a shame that apathy has taken deep root within the students.

There are numerous times I had to explain to classmates and friends why the Voice cannot print articles critical of the school administration. As students, I believe it is their right to know the issues affecting them and the school. Sadly, the Voice can only play the part to a certain degree. To paraphrase a colleague and friend, “Malabong maging malaya ang dyaryo (Voice) dahil ayaw ng mga estudyante. Kailangang manggaling sa kanila ang pagkilos.”

Another reason is the Supreme Student Government (SSG). As the student council, it is their duty to represent the students in talks with the administration and serve as advocate of student rights. However, the council is plagued with indifferent student who mostly border on traditional student politics. Instead of being a true student council, the SSG often chooses to succumb to the school administration, fearful of retaliation if they do something that can be labeled as “activism.”

In the recent consultation regarding tuition and other fee increases (ToFI), the council was not able to play its part, questioning only the various fees collected by the school. They did not even ask the administration for any guarantees that the fees be used accordingly (concerning the 70-20-10 incremental fees set by CHED Memorandum Order No. 14, prior to its suspension). They also “agreed” to the increase in tuition and miscellaneous fees, although I was told that they did not sign any certificate of agreement. I have yet to confirm the report.

The SSG has the power to hold a student referendum. As such, they are vital to attaining the publication’s independence. However, as long as the officers elected into the council are cowardly student “leaders” (read: blind-eyed pro-administration dogs) with no concept of progress and change, the arena of student politics in TIP will remain as gibberish as it is.

Friday, 18 May 2007

A Bad Move

Last March, the Electronics and Communications Engineering Department of the Technological Institute of the Philippines-Manila (TIP) distributed an agreement letter to the graduating ECE students. If signed, a student agrees not to have his Transcript of Records (TOR) – a requirement for the board examinations – released lest he passes the department’s competitive examinations. This only goes to show the lengths the department would go to in order to reach or surpass the licensure examination’s national passing percentage.

Misleading agreement

The first paragraph of the agreement states, “The Electronics and Communications Engineering Department of the Technological Institute of the Philippines – Manila commits itself to produce high caliber graduates… the department also strives to be CHED’s center for excellence… most importantly, the department is committed to prepare its graduates for the profession they are entitled to belong.”

It is evident in the first paragraph that the department is presenting itself as wanting nothing but the best for its graduates, even borrowing a line from TIP’s Vision to ensure that the student signs the agreement.

The second paragraph states that in order to be included in the roster of professionals in his specialized field, a graduate must first pass a licensure examination prepared by the Professional Regulations Commission. The paragraph also stresses that competence is needed in order to pass the examination and that the ECE Department is “doing everything it could to help its students to receive their most deserved license.”

Yet it is a fact that over the past few years, the department had never surpassed the national passing percentage (I’ve yet to confirm if it did surpass the national passing percentage at all) for the ECE licensure examination which is marked at 36%. The November 2006 licensure exam produced a 14% passing rate while the April 2007 exam produced only five passers (reportedly a 10% performance), a dismal decrease from the April 2006 exams in which the department posted a 24% passing rate.

The third paragraph states that a competitive examination would be given by the department on August 18 and 25 and that the graduate would have to average at least 60% in order to pass the test. If not, his TOR will not be released for the mean time.

Furthermore, the fourth paragraph gives the graduate another chance: he will be given another set of exam on September 29. He should at least get a 70% average for his TOR to be released. If he still fails to pass the test, then he will be advised to take the April 2008 licensure exam.

Faulty logic

The agreement borders along the logic that if the graduate cannot pass the department’s competitive exams, what more the PRC licensure exams?

Such a short-term move does not directly answer the problems that are plaguing the department which, aside from poor licensure exam performance, include lack of competitive faculty, inadequate laboratory equipments and apathetic students.

What the department should do is to start screening students worthy of advancing to higher year levels early on. They should coordinate with the Humanities and Social Sciences and Math and Physics Departments regarding it, seeing as the two handles most of the lower year subjects. They could formulate the ways and means to properly screen the first and second-year ECE students.

Come third and fourth year, the task now falls on the department (as well as instructors of other departments teaching ECE students) to instill the necessary skills and knowledge for its students to not only pass the licensure exam, but to land a decent-paying job as well.

All throughout, the ECE Department Student Government and the Institute of Electronics Engineers of the Philippines-TIP Manila Student Chapter should hold seminars on technical and non-technical topics, as well as tutorials and hands-on classes. In addition, they should instill critical thinking to their fellow students through discussions regarding timely and relevant issues. They should also be in the forefront of issues concerning the department, fighting for the interest of the students.

See you again next year!

There are students who have already signed the agreement, seemingly naive to its consequences. As long as the department – and the school – remain unable to answer the real problems concerning students, incidents such as this would continue for years to come. The ECE Department seems hell-bent in attaining a commendable licensure exam performance – through whatever means necessary – as the graduates start gearing up for it.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007


This year, the municipality of Morong, Rizal began and finished the construction of a new building. The building – located at the center of town – sports a lively paint job, a breath of fresh air into the otherwise dull gallery of Morong’s public structures (except for the municipal hall).

The building would house the new SSS, GSIS, PhilHealth offices, as well a drugstore run by Morong Retailers and Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MORECO-MPC). The post office would also be transferred in the arcade from its old office at the other end of the block. Aside from that, there are also a couple of commercial spaces. The arcade also serves as a terminal to public AUVs bound for Crossing, Megamall and Robinson’s Galleria.

It could’ve been perfect, if not for one glaring feature: it’s named after Rizal’s incumbent governor, Casimiro M. Ynares, Jr.

Aside from the screaming “Ynares Arcade” inscribed on the building’s semicircular section (pardon my pathetic architectural terms), it also sports the governor’s crest of sorts: a red stick figure resembling the letter “Y”; green vertical rectangles on each side of the stick figure, forming the letter “M”; and a red letter “C” around the previous two figures. Arrange them and you get the governor’s initials. Aside from that, there are also green boxes with the letter “Y” emblazoned on it, located at the top of the building’s walls.

The arcade was not the only public structure that suffered the same fate. In fact, in the Ynares family’s 15 year rule over the province (Casimiro served from 1992-2001; his spouse Rebecca from 2001-2004; Casimiro sat again from 2004-present; and now his son is running for the gubernatorial seat), various public structures have been branded with their family name. Waiting sheds, multi-purpose gyms, public school buildings built during their term all sport the Ynares name – a recurring sight around Rizal. Even Antipolo’s Ynares Sports Complex was named after the incumbent governor.

During the Voters’ Awareness Forum spearheaded by Morong Parish Pastoral Council and Rotaract Club of Morong, a candidate running for the municipal council was asked as to why the arcade was named after the governor instead of a hometown hero. Unfortunately, the candidate was not an incumbent councilor, and so he was not able to answer the question.

Similarly, the city of Antipolo fell prey to the same situation. Many public structures (including sidewalks) were branded with the acronym “ACG.” It was purportedly meant to stand for “Antipolo City Government.” Incidentally, the city mayor’s name is Angelito C. Gatlabayan. So which one is true?

These politicians seem to always have to remind the people that such projects were made possible through their efforts. It’s as if public structures are the only legacy they could leave behind and imprint in the minds of their constituents, and so they brandish their name whenever a new project comes up. One might conclude that such actions are reminiscent of a mammal marking its territory: this province is mine, can’t you see my insignia?

Yet they also seem to have forgotten that such projects wouldn’t even be possible in the first place without taxes from the people. It is this reality that should be kept in check always. The people pay taxes so that the government can live on and serve them, not to bug them with structures bearing some trapo’s name.

For now, the Ynares Arcade stands as a fitting reminder of how much Rizal’s politics have degraded over the past years – if only for the crests.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

(No) Whispers of the Muse

I can't think.
It's gone. And I don't know where it went.
Just when I thought I finally got my blog going after a one-year hiatus.
I'm afraid there's no more - for now.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

A Clockwork Memorandum

On May 16, 2005, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) issued Memorandum Order No. 14 entitled “Guidelines and Procedures to be observed by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) Intending to Increase Tuition and Other Fees and to Introduce New Fees.”

It was intended to set allowable rates of tuition and other school fees, the manner by which such fees are imposed and collected and to impose guidelines on tuition and other fee increases (ToFI).


The memorandum, however, was not without its share of opposition.

Under Section 8 of CMO 14, “Increases of in tuition and other fees above the national inflation rate shall be subject to consultation with stakeholders and approval of the Commission on higher Education.”

The provision allowed HEIs to forego consultations if the proposed ToFI is below the national inflation rate set by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

For the academic year 2006-2007, the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) has been actively campaigning for the scrapping of CMO 14, mainly for the following:

1. It provided exemptions to consultations if the increase is within the declared national inflation rate and when the increase is applicable only to incoming freshmen;

2. It legitimized exorbitant fees and new fees to be collected by the school without proper guidelines on the nature of fees allowable to be collected;

3. It lessened student and multi-sectoral participation in the consultations and reiterated the long-criticized faulty consultation processes allowed by the CHED memo.

It was also discovered that CMO 14 violated Section 10 of RA 6728, which states, “In any proposed increase in the rate of tuition fee, there shall be appropriate consultation with… student governments or councils, alumni and faculty associations with respect to colleges.”

As a response, CHED released Memorandum Order No. 42, which amended CMO 14. Thus, Section 8 now reads, “The allowable increase… in all levels should not be more than the prevailing national inflation rate. Any increases… shall be subject to consultation with stakeholders…”

The move by CHED further validated the criticisms of NUSP against CMO 14 and their call for a refund of the illegal ToFI. However, NUSP only received the memo in January of this year, while CMO 42 was dated 27 September 2006.

Another amendment, this time in the form of CHED Memorandum Order No. 7, included the following: “The prevailing national inflation rate shall refer to the average annual headline inflation rate at the national level of the immediately preceding year prior to the Academic Year for which the intended increase shall take effect.”

See memos get suspended

During the opening plenary session of the 2nd National Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA) Congress at the Manila Hotel last February 19, CHED Chairman Carlito S. Puno announced the suspension of CMOs 14, 42 and 7, effective immediately. A week before, Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had a meeting with the (COCOPEA), during which she ordered the creation of a review team to evaluate CHED policies, procedures and practices. In place of the aforementioned CMOs, CHED Memorandum Order No. 13 would be observed, allowing school owners to increase tuition fee without any cap.

On the other hand, various groups condemned the questionable suspension of CMO 14, done in the middle of the consultation period. According to Kabataan Partylist president Raymond Palatino, private schools could use CMO 13 to wantonly increase miscellaneous fees, which the memorandum does not require for a consultation.

Kabataan Partylist and NUSP were also able to secure a copy of COCOPEA’s advisory to its members, dated February 20, containing the aforementioned reports.

Palatino said the advisory proves that PGMA “had a hand in the suspension of CMO 14 days after the end of the consultations for tuition and other fee increase proposals.”

He also said that Kabataan Partylist received reports from the student councils and organizations of University of the East, Trinity University of Asia and Philippine School for Business and the Arts that their school administrators are proposing a larger percentage rate for tuition and miscellaneous fee hikes, higher than the inflation rate.

Palatino further stated that the government “should implement a moratorium on tuition and other fee hikes to avoid a repeat of the collection of illegal tuition and miscellaneous fee increases last year.” He added that implementing an obsolete CMO 13 will only make matters worse.

Puno initially stood firm on his decision not to remove the tuition fee cap. The granting of COCOPEA’s request was due to NEDA’s issuance of 6.2% inflation rate and the positive growth in the Gross National Product (GNP).

He added that COCOPEA have been negotiating for the removal of the cap in increases for the last four years but he rejected it.

Puno allayed fears of skyrocketing tuition rates, stating that school owners are very much aware of the decrease in enrolment and implementing such increases is not feasible.

Run memo, run!

The new procedures regarding ToFI and new fees might not be around until February of next year, when consultations usually take place. For the meantime, students would have to survive the approved tuition fee increases in what could be a harsher, new school year.


CHED Memorandum Order No. 14, series of 2005

CHED Memorandum Order No. 42, series of 2006

CHED Memorandum Order No. 7, series of 2007

NUSP Campaign Memo, February 2007

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Kabataan, Pag-asa ng Bayan!*

Ang Kabataan Partylist ang pinakamalaki at pinakamalawak na partido ng kabataan at estudyante na lalahok ngayong halalan.

Nangunguna ang Kabataan Partylist sa pagsusulong ng karapatan at interes ng kabataan at estudyante sa edukasyon, trabaho, batayang-serbisyo, karapatang-tao at proteksyon at konserbasyon ng kalikasan.

Ngayong darating na halalan, walang ibang hangad ang Kabataan Partylist kundi mabigyan ng pagkakataong iluklok ang kauna-unahang kabataang representante sa Kongreso at pagtibayin ang makasaysayang papel ng kabataan sa makabuluhang pagbabago sa lipunan.

Ngayong darating na halalan:

Kabataan, tayo naman sa Kongreso!
Kabataan, iboto sa partylist!

*mula sa flyer ng Kabataan Party

Friday, 30 March 2007

More and Less

Below is the intended editorial for the March ’07 issue of the Voice. Unfortunately, it did not see the light of day, as the publication’s advisers decided to “kill” it. I am publishing it here, for fellow students to read. Kudos to him who advised me to post this, far from the censorship that governs the publication.

More and Less*

Last February 16, a consultation was held between the school administration, TIPTEO, TIPAA and SSG in order to discuss the proposed tuition and other fee increases (ToFI) for the next school year. Unfortunately, the students – the school’s most significant asset – seemed to be clueless about the effects of the consultation, much more the proposed fee increases.

The ToFI, according to the school administration, would help the campus in its bid for excellence, taking into consideration that for the past two years, TIP absorbed some of the costs of improving facilities. They also added that the school’s rates for teachers are no longer competitive, and that ToFI would result in a lump sum for the employees.

Students, on the other hand, might find themselves hard up to pay their tuition and miscellaneous fees next year. They could choose to transfer to state colleges and universities where the fees are cheaper compared to that of private schools.

In this manner, ToFI resembles a double-edged blade: it could improve the school’s facilities, among others, yet it could also diminish the number of students.

The Voice believes that the administration should make clear to the students as to where their money is being used. The various fees should be explained to them, preferably during freshmen orientations and department assemblies.

Posters could also be put up on bulletin boards disclosing the details of each fee, so that the students would no longer be clueless as to what such fees are intended for.

Furthermore, student leaders, particularly the Supreme Student Government (SSG), should regularly hold forums to tackle issues concerning the students. As the student council, it is their duty to lead in initiating actions regarding such issues.

The school has to endure in order to achieve its mission and vision. However, the student’s survival is also equally – if not more – important, for the school to even survive.

*I firmly believe that an educational institution exists for and because of the students. However, it is revolting that there are schools which do not seem to care for its students, only the money they get from them.

I will post an article regarding ToFI soon, for those unacquainted with it.