Students run around the UP Academic Oval to call for a bigger budget allotment for education on 13 July 2011. The run is the first in a series of protests against the “education crisis.” BEA FABROS

By Dean Lozarie

Members of the University Student Council and their college-level counterparts jogged around the Academic Oval Tuesday to call for greater government support for education.

Around 50 students chanted and carried placards calling for an end to the “education crisis.”

“Bagong taon na naman ang dumating sa atin ngayon, bagong pagpasok natin sa unibersidad pero pareho pa rin yung mga issue na kinakaharap natin (It’s a new academic year but we’re still facing the same issues),” said College of Mass Communication Student Council Chairperson Norman Riego.

“Pagpapakita ito dun sa administrasyon na kahit patuloy ang problemang inihaharap niyo sa amin, eh di patuloy din kaming lalaban para sa aming mga karapatan (This will show the administration that if they continue to present us with problems, we will continue to fight for our rights),” Riego added.

The student councils of the College of Arts and Letters, College of Human Kinetics, School of Library and Information Studies, and College of Social Welfare and Community Development also joined the run organized by the UP system-wide alliance of student councils, Katipunan ng mga Sangguniang Mag-aaral sa UP (KASAMA sa UP).

The jog is the first in a series of protest actions planned in the hopes of encouraging the government to allot a bigger budget for education, said STAND UP Secretary General RG Tesa.

He added that student groups are beginning protest actions earlier this year, while the budget is still being laid out in the Department of Budget and Management.

Students run around the UP Academic Oval to call for a bigger budget for education. BEA FABROS

Tesa said last year’s strikes came too late as the budget deliberations were almost finished at the height of the protests.

“Tinatakdaan ng mga iskolar ng bayan na maaga nating sisimulan ang laban para sa mas mataas na subsidyo para sa edukasyon at maaga rin tayong magtatagumpay (The scholars of the nation have decided to start the fight for greater subsidy for education earlier, and we will also succeed early),” said the secretary-general.

Militant groups are also set to lead a campus-wide walkout on July 14, a nationwide boycott, which includes private universities, on July 19, and People’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) demonstrations during President Benigno Aquino III’s second SONA on July 25.

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