Sunday, July 24, 2011

Priests, student activists list down PNoy’s successes, failures in time for SONA

SAN PABLO City, July 24, 2011—Some priests of Laguna and student activists in Southern Tagalog have separately listed down various accomplishments and failures of President Benigno Noynoy C. Aquino III during his first year in office.
Catholic priest Fr. Albert San Jose of Pakil town said that President Noynoy is on the right track because he prioritizes on discipline which is one of the number one needs of every Filipino but he is quite disturbed by the president’s indifference in promoting morality. He did not elaborate.
Fr. Jerry Oblepias, parish priest of Del Remedio Parish in San Pablo on his part, said in a text message that PNoy’s accomplishments included the silencing of “Wangwang” which were being abused in the past by both government and private commuters just to avoid being trapped during heavy traffic.
He also praised the president for setting the example of not putting his name and pictures on every government projects, road infrastructures during his one year old regime.
But Oblepias also listed down the various failures of the president, namely the Hacienda Luisita issue where land reform was still unimplemented. The problem of corruption is not yet rooted out and he failed to bring the people to moral ground and solve poverty.
Fr. Rudy Carabuena of Calumpang, Liliw Parish however, praised Aquino for the resignation of former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez recently and the probe of the alleged over-importation by National Food Authority (NFA) by the previous administration under former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
President Aquino himself had revealed that NFA incurred a debt of P171.6 billion in the over-importation of rice in 2004 and 2007.
Meanwhile a press report said that youth leaders in Southern Tagalog particularly expressed dismay on the Noynoy administration’s continued lack of support to improve the state of education in the country. The effects of the budget cut for State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) last December have but worsened the state of education in the province.
Students from the Cavite State University (CVSU) – Naic campus for example has faced tuition and other fee increase (TOFI) of more than 100% this semester. Due to the TOFI, enrollment dropped in the campus including its pioneer course of B.S. Fisheries which nearly got dissolved due to lack of enrollees.
“It is disheartening that the very essence of satellite campuses of SUCs in rural areas - which is to allow the poor to have access to quality education, is slowly becoming a myth. We see Aquino’s policies killing the future of the youth as the hope of the nation,” stressed Ruffa Solano, deputy-secretary general of the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) - Southern Tagalog.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Christian University in Dasmariñas only received around 300 enrollees this semester. School administrators may opt to close down the school due to this low number of enrollees. Solano said this is but an indicator that more and more parents could no longer afford to send their children to private schools. “But they have nowhere else to go since tuition fees in SUCs are almost at par with private schools,” she added.
Members of Kabataan Partylist at the high school level in CVSU-Rosario expressed opposition to Aquino’s K-12 program. The campus, which is close to the Economic Processing Zone Authority (EPZA), offers primarily technical and vocational skills to college students.
“Here students are blatantly exploited during internship and right after graduation they are automatically hired as welders and assembly men for EPZA. The K-12 program which offers vocational and technical skills to high school discourages tertiary education and ultimately hurries the youth into serving the foreign capitalists interest instead of serving the people for genuine national development,” said Anakbayan Timog –Katagalugan Spokesperson Neil John Macuha. (Fr. Romy Ponte)

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