University of the Philippines System Vinzons Basement, UP Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines 1101 9818500 loc 4511

OFFICE OF THE STUDENT REGENT
February 7, 2014

REPORT OF THE STUDENT REGENT ON THE 1295TH BOR MEETING
On the Shift of the Academic Calendar President Pascual presented to the Board the proposed pilot shift in the academic calendar as approved by the members of the Presidential Advisory Council. This project supposedly aims to “internationalize” and “globalize” the education system by synchronizing the calendar with other Southeast Asian countries, in line with the ASEAN Integration in 2015. We voted against this policy for several reasons. First, as reported by our student leaders during the General Assembly of Student Councils, no comprehensive consultation was yet conducted among students. Second, it is not clear what problem the calendar shift is attempting to address. The OSR has not received any report about students complaining about the current academic calendar. Third, this new calendar policy reveals a skewed idea of “internationalization” and “global competitiveness.” Our iskolars ng bayan continue to endure poor conditions (ex. Lack of facilities, etc.) in the University. We believe there are more problems that the administration and the national government must prioritize. Internationalization and globalization are excuses and used as illusions to distract us from the real issue—that the ASEAN integration is a policy which aims to open up SEA nations like the Philippines as a source of cheap labour for multinational corporations in the region.

On the renaming of the UP Diliman CBA as the Cesar Virata School of Business The committee tasked by President Pascual to investigate on the issue presented their report. After deliberations on the report and revisiting the discussions during past BOR meetings, the Board finally decided to resolve this issue. Despite the opposition posed by the different sectors of UP Diliman and the resolution formed by the GASC, majority of the regents decided to retain the renaming

Only three members voted against the retention of the name, myself, the Staff Regent and Congressman Roman Romulo. Such a brazen act of disregard for the UP community’s stand is also a show of disrespect to the memory of our Martial Law martyrs—all in exchange for a P40Mdonation of Regent Magdaleno Albarracin.

On the PCARI Project A short presentation on the Philippine-California Advanced Research Institutes (PCARI) project was presented by Dr. William G. Padolina. This project shall be funded solely by the Philippine government: Php 1.763 billion for 2014 and alone and a total of Php 8 billion in the span of its five-year implementation. Through PCARI, Filipino researchers are sent to the United States to train and earn graduate and doctoral degrees at the University of California. At first glance, it would seem that this project is in no means harmful to the Filipino people. But further analysis of the issue would say otherwise, because despite the dismal state of the local science and technology department, the government will allot a huge amount of funds for this project, which could otherwise be directly invested here at home. From the very start of this project, it has been received criticism not only from the student sector but also from ranking officials of the CHED, Commissioner Nona Ricafort and Director Carmina Alonzo who resigned from their posts due to anomalies hounding the project. Although there is a joint ownership of the Philippines and the US in the results and products of the research studies, intellectual property rights and patents may still be purchased at a price. In this scenario, the US may end up having sole ownership of the IPR and the patents. Despite contracts and guidelines, there is also no assurance that the beneficiaries of this project will return and use their newly earned degrees for the benefit of the country. As your Student Regent, I am for the development of the country’s science and technology. Sharing resources and best practices often lead to remarkable research advances. Under this project, however, which has been marred with controversies and framed without any genuine regard for protecting the interests of the country, our universities’ researchers will only remain at the disadvantaged end of the bargain.

On the Diliman Draft Code of Student Conduct Since its inception in 2006, the Diliman Draft of Code of Student Conduct has been a contentious matter. Chancellor Caesar A. Saloma was asked to present the differences of the student code currently used by the University with the new proposal. (Board members were given advanced copies of the proposal).

Student leaders from Diliman have forwarded their concerns to the OSR since the start of the year, stating that several provisions of the said code are dangerous and potentially harmful to the democratic rights and welfare of the studentry. The said provisions are the following: Section IV.1.3.1 a. Creating and/or engaging in disorder, tumult, breach of peace, or serious disturbance such as, but not limited to, rumbles, within the University premises, resulting in harm to persons... d. Accepting a student who has not completed a one-semester residency in UP Diliman for membership in a registered student organization... e. Disrespect towards any person, which includes, but not limited to, insulting.... We were able to convince the Board that further discussions with Chancellor Saloma are needed regarding these contentious provisions. We have yet to set the schedule of the said dialogue.

On the Donation of SM Investments Corporation for the UP Professional Schools in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig The proposed memorandum of agreement between the University and the SM Investments Corporation for the development and construction of the UP Professional Schools Bonifacio Global City (UPPS BGC) building and facilities was presented to the Board. The OSR finds the said proposal alarming. SMIC will be allocating an amount not exceeding Php 400 million which in turn will let them avail of tax exemptions as provided under Section 25 of RA 9500. And the building of the UPPS BGC shall be officially named Henry Sy Sr. Hall. As your Student Regent, I am not against the expansion of our University to reach more students. However, we must also protect and uphold its public character. With the approval of the said MOA, it is with great disappointment that UP has again sold its dignity in exchange for funding and facilities which in the first place, should have been provided by the national government. We registered our dissenting opinion on this matter but we were outnumbered during the voting on the approval. For the students and the people,

KRISTA IRIS V. MELGAREJO Student Regent University of the Philippines System

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