Tuition suicide

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Monday, March 18, 2013

IF MALACAÑANG admits it cannot do anything to change tuition policies of the University of the Philippines, President Noynoy Aquino should refrain from doing anything on more complex issues like Sabah. He might as well continue playing computer games with Josh. Haha!

Seriously, a Malacañang that was instrumental in removing from office a corrupt ombudsman and chief justice cannot do anything with a tuition policy that led to the suicide of a promising but poor 16-year-old?

PNoy’s people can do better than saying they are powerless in reforming school policies or the education system itself. This runs counter to their message of change.


Most poor students just drop out of school when their parents cannot anymore afford the ever increasing cost of education, but not this daughter of a part-time taxi driver who wanted to study at the University of the Philippines Manila.

School administrators heartlessly denied her a loan and forced her to take a leave of absence. The mother even kneeled and begged the school chancellor to give her daughter a chance, but to no avail.

Is the PNoy administration serious in upholding each Filipino’s right to education?

Pro-administration bureaucrats, in classic squid tactics, now keep on saying there are a lot of factors in suicide cases. They say the case should not be used in pushing for political causes.

Perhaps these officials will rather wait for other similar suicides to establish a trend first before addressing the situation.

As of the moment, student alliances here in Cebu are already bracing for another wave of tuition hikes in private schools. School administrations are going through the motions of consultations.

Student leaders should be wary of bogus consultations that only use the attendance lists as attachments to tuition increase applications.

If PNoy cannot do what he is supposed to do in dealing with tuition hikes, perhaps students can.


Nagahanons were happy with the groundbreaking of a bridge project in Langtad, using funds from Cong. Tommy Osmeña’s pork barrel. This I sensed when I spent some time at the city’s spacious plaza and the tennis court last Saturday.

But while the groundbreaking rites was attended by Congressman Osmeña, Liberal gubernatorial bet Junjun Davide, Cong. Eddie Gullas, and LP-NP coalition congressional candidate Samsam Gullas, nowhere during the event was Mayor Val Chiong.

Mayor Chiong was nevertheless thankful. He said he did not get an invitation but he has no objections to the project.

Chiong said that like Gullas he continues to support the candidacy of PJ Garcia.

Does this mean Tommy’s P400 million will not translate to votes for Junjun? Or are they cooking something for end game purposes? The way I see it, a bidding war is in the offing. Depende na ni karon kinsay taas og pisi.


A smiling Osmeña helping out Junjun shows confidence in his fight for political survival in Cebu City. But then, it could also be that Tommy is playing to the hilt his anti-Gwen positioning. With Gwen so demonized in Cebu City, his position makes him the lesser evil in the eyes of city Cebuanos.

On the other hand, spending P400 million in Eddiegul’s district deprives Cebu City’s south district of development projects.

On second thought, though, skywalks and flyovers without an overall plan are not for the good of Cebu City. Tommy can threaten businessmen with establishments that have no parking spaces in retaliation to their opposing the flyover projects. But what about the lack of parking spaces of the school owned by his manok in the city’s south congressional race?


Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 19, 2013.


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