17 JUNE 2010
CEGP Conducts 70th NSPC
JEO ANGELO CHICO ELAMPARO
he College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) conducted its 70th annual National Student PressConvention (NSPC), tackling critical issues such as campus press repression and culture of impunity
in the country.
Attended by roughly 120delegates from 42 collegepublications nationwide, thisyear’s NSPC was themed “TheCampus Press and the AutomatedElection System: Wield Our Pensto Protect the People’s Vote, Unitefor Genuine Social Change, Upholdthe People’s Agenda!”
Pub Staffers Trained
The convention held on April21-25 at Mambukal MountainResort, Brgy. Minoyan, Murcia,Negros Occidental includedactivities that trained thedelegates in their respectiveareas of writing and in new formsof journalism. The workshopsincluded: News Writing, OpinionWriting, Features Writing, NewMedia, Lampoon Writing, CitizenJournalism, Graphics and Layout,and Broadcast Media among manyothers.Prior to the convention proper,the CEGP also conducted awriter’s trip exposing the plights,struggles, and current state of themarginalized sectors in Visayas.
Critical Issues Tackled
In a caucus, majority of thestate universities’ publicationssuch as The Torch of PhilippineNormal University, The Catalyst of Polytechnic University of the Philippines, PhilippineCollegian of the University of thePhilippines (UP) Diliman andThe Perspective of UP Los Banosexposed the repression theirpublications and co-writers areexperiencing. As a response, CEGP
oficers condemned the illicit acts
of the aforementioned colleges’administration in subduing thecampus press and vowed to helpthe distressed publications inevery possible means.The convention also includedcomprehensive discussions onsome of the country’s pressingissues such as the prevailingculture of impunity in thePhilippines and the vulnerabilitiesof the 2010 national automatedelections. Among the speakersof the discussions were Sen.Loren Legarda, Cong. Liza Maza,Cong. Satur Ocampo and Cong.Raymond Palatino.As an answer, the CEGP and thedelegates strengthened theirmilitant positions as they openedthe 35th Biennial NationalStudent Press Congress andapproved resolutions that everypublication must uphold. TheCongress serves as one of CEGP’sways to reinforce collective actionamong its member publications.In commemoration of thevictims of the MaguindanaoMassacre, the worst election-related violence having the most number of murdered journalists,a candle lighting ceremony wasalso organized. The said activitywas also a pledge to seek justicefor the rest of the journaliststhat were killed during Arroyo’sregime.
Publications and AlumniRecognized
As part of the convention’sculminating activity, the recipientsof the annual Ernesto RodriguezJr. Award and the 6th Benjaline“Beng” Hernandez Award forthe best college publicationswere presented. UP Diliman’sPhilippine Collegian won 1st placefor the tabloid category—thesame category where the ManilaCollegian bagged 2nd place, whileThe Lorma Highlights of LormaColleges won 1st place for thebroadsheet category.Meanwhile, this year’s GawadMarcelo H. Del Pilar, the highest citation given to a CEGP alumni,were given to victims of humanrights violation. Rachelle MaePalang, former CEGP-VisayasPresident and former Editor in
Chief of Vital Signs, the oficial
student publication of VelezCollege, and James Balao, formerEditor in Chief of The Outcrop,
the oficial student publication
of UP Baguio, received the awardrespectively.
CHEd AllowsTFI in 339 HEIs
DEONAH ABIGAIL LUGO MIOLE
he National Union of Students (NUSP) andKabataan Party-list, along
with other student groups,vow to stage militant protestsin the opening of classes inJune against the decisionof Commission on Higher
Education (CHEd) allowing
339 Higher Education
Institutions (HEIs) to
implement Tuition Fee
Increase (TFI) for the coming
More than 380 schools,universities and colleges (SUCs)in the country have petitionedto increase tuition rates andthe majority of the petitionerswere approved. Among the339 permitted SUCs, 337 areprivate institutions, and 2 arepublic schools. CHEd has not yet
publicized the oficial list of HEIs
that will increase tuition rates.HEIs have petitioned to increasetuition fees in order to allot more funds to improve schoolfacilities and to raise teachers’salaries. However, variousstudent groups have raisedobjections on the purportedviolations of CHEd and theHEIs regarding proper tuitionconsultations.
Burdening Students with TFI
Despite having urged the HEIsto implement minimal raiseonly, CHEd still approved sevenamong the 339 to impose 11-20percent increase, another sevento implement 21-30 percent increase, and seven more toinstitutions to impose more than30 percent tuition rate increase.To defend the hike, CHEdExecutive Director Atty. JulitoVitriolo said that they haveapproved the 339 HEIs due totheir needs. He reiterated that 70 percent of the increase will goto the salary of teachers. Vitrioloalso stressed that the approvedHEIs went through and followeda consultation process.Moreover, CHEd Chairman Atty.Emmanuel Angeles said in aninterview that TFI is “inevitable,
Student Groups to Launch Protests in June
as school owners have to spendon the upgrade of classrooms andobsolescent equipment.”77 SUCs are expected toimplement TFI in the NationalCapital Region (NCR).
Questioning CHEd’s Role
Conversely, the National Unionof Students of the Philippines(NUSP) said that the tuition hikesare unjust since the HEIs andCHEd did not consult the studentsproperly about the tuitionincrease.NUSP also demands CHEd toname the 339 SUCs they haveallowed to impose TFI. Earlier thisyear, the organization challengedthe commission to implement a TFI moratorium or to stopexisting.“What’s the point of CHEd’sexistence if it cannot stop,regulate even, tuition and otherfee increases?
Kung di niyakayang pumanig sa interes namingkabataan at estudyante, anosiya kung ganoon
, Commissionon Expensive Education?” saidVanessa Faye Bolibol, NUSPSecretary General, in a pressrelease.According to the organization,tuition increase this year maylead to P855 per unit, from theP230.79 per unit in 2001, basedon their study.NUSP President Einstein Recedessaid that “only 8 out of 10 highschool graduates will be able toafford college education due toyearly tuition hikes.”Based on the data released bythe United Nations Educational,
Scientiic and Cultural Organiztion
(UNESCO) in 2008, 73% percent of the students are affected bythe annual TFI and are forcedto drop out of college due to theunattainable price of education.“This number continues to risegiven that CHEd has not doneanything to improve the stateof Philippine education.” saidRecedes.
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The standardbearers of theMakabayanorganizationpromisesto advancethe sudents’agenda winor lose.
Photocourtesy of Marie Kristel Gabawa.