USC’s students, faculty, and GSO employees took to the streets outside the University of San Carlos-Talamban Campus yesterday to protest the administration’s decision to layoff GSO workers in response to the K+12 Basic Education Program.
The protesters were composed of members of the General Services Employees Union (GSEU), College Faculty Independent Union (CFIU), Student Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (STAND), and Anakbayan USC.
The protest began with the members of each party lining up and holding up their placards, as they called on speakers from the different parties to speak in front of the dozens of onlookers regarding the issue.
Seeking for students’ support, the speakers said that the replacement of the GSO workers with that of an agency is merely for the benefit of the administration and its funds, seeing as this would not benefit contractualized workers. They deemed the method as inconsiderate towards the employees and contrasted the Christian values that the University was meant to uphold.
The protesters questioned the administration’s response to the K-12 Basic Education Program, stating that this matter has nothing to do with the GSO workers yet they are the ones being laid-off.
“Uban kanamo mga tiguwang na, unya mag lisud na ug pag pangita ug trabaho, unsa nalang ang ikabuhi namo sa among mga pamilya.” shouted one of the protesters.
STAND and Anakbayan USC sent a press release to Today’s Carolinian yesterday, stating that they urge the reinstatement of the laid-off GSO employees and the junking of K-12 curriculum.
Kat Abugan, the spokeperson of Anakbayan USC, shared, “This is not the solution; the answer to the social ills of the Filipinos is National Industrialization. It will propel and increase our industrial capacity in production and provide more jobs for Filipinos. It will free us from our dependence to highly industrialized countries that continue to keep out economy solely reliant to a backward agriculture.”
Both parties also shared dissent against the 7.39% tuition increase.
“The students face the same dilemma and carry the common burden of keeping and maintaining the University status through the 7.39% Tuition Fee Increase,” Ken Ecarma, STAND member and SSC Vice-President, said. “K+12 means additional expenses for families struggling to survive on a low income amidst skyrocketing prices of basic commodities.”
Ken Ecarma added that STAND and Anakbayan were united with the GSO employees in standing against the K+12 Basic Education Program. He further clarified that the aforementioned groups are not allied with the Associated Labor Unions- Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP).
The protest ended with a candle lighting ceremony which signified the unwavering support for the GSO workers.