The Office of the Student Reagent(OSR) Issue

a re-post from chosetoknow site

Let us step aside from film and view-in to a University issue. I got this from a multiply site of the Univeristy Student Council. This is really appalling!

Read the condensed memo below.


Choose to Know.

Stop Misinformation.

(Condensed Version of the MANIFESTO OF PROTEST AND APPEAL: To the Memorandum of Student Regent Shahana Abdulwahid)

The new UP Charter requires that the rules and qualifications for the selection of the Student Regent must be approved by the students in a referendum. This is not, as some claim, a “threat” to the Office of the Student Regent. “A referendum is a means of assessing public reaction to the given issues submitted to the people for their consideration. It is consultative in character.” (Philippine Law Dictionary, 2005). For this reason, we welcome this statutory requirement as an opportunity for the students to participate in the decade-long debate surrounding the selection of the student regent.

The Codified Rules for Student Regent Selection (CRSRS) has faced consistent and rational opposition from a considerable number of student councils who raise the same proposals yearly for the consideration of the General Assembly of Student Councils (GASC). Hardly has this debate ever reached the students who are the real stake holders in the selection of their sole representative in the Board of Regents. This year, six student councils submitted proposals for inclusion in the ballot for the referendum, namely:

(1) the inclusion of a minimum academic requirement as qualification for nomination of the SR;

(2) the inclusion of an express enumeration of powers and responsibilities of the SR;

(3) the democratization of the voting structure taking into account the relative sizes of all units, without sacrificing the smaller units;

(4) the de-politicization of the SR selection process by deleting in the rules the Kasama sa UP, a political alliance composed of several student councils; and

(5) the rationalization of the selection process by extending the effectivity of the rules to at least 3 years, instead of the current system of annual amendment.

Unfortunately, upon the discretion of the SR, these proposals were excluded in the crafting of the ballot for the referendum which now basically asks us to say “yes” or “no” to the CRSRS. In this oversimplified form and with the campaign to defend the Student Regent from an illusory threat, the democratic space of the students has, in consequence, been narrowed. In effect, what the proponents of the CRSRS and the Defend the Student Regent campaign are telling us is that a “no” to the CRSRS is a “no” to the student regent. What is true however, is that a “no” vote is as valid an exercise of opinion as a “yes.” But we are being prevented to exercise this discretion because of the claim that if a majority of the students vote “no”, it would result in a vacancy in the Office of the Student Regent and a loss of student representation in the BOR. The law, jurisprudence and the legal opinion of the VP for legal affairs tell us otherwise. What it tells us is that in case a student regent is not selected, the incumbent student regent will hold office until a new one is appointed (Lecaroz v. Sandiganbayan 305 SCRA 396) and if the student regent can no longer hold office, the vacancy will be filled in the same manner as the predecessor (Section 2, par 2 R.A. 9500).

It does not even have to come to this. If the ballot includes the proposals, the students will be given more choices instead of being confined to two; if they do not approve the CRSRS, they can alternatively include various amendments. This would maximize the referendum which financially and logistically is not easy to conduct.

But the student regent insists that our main and urgent task is to have the CRSRS placed in a referendum effectively reducing the democratic participation of the studentry to that of a rubber stamp to the status quo. That is not what democratic student participation is for. In times when our national leadership is consistently oblivious to the true expression of our people’s aspirations, and when the powers-that-be continue to dominate and mute worthy dissent, there is all the more gripping reason for student leaders in the University of the Philippines, to want to know what the students specifically want in their SR. In this referendum, we dare to ask the students what they want of their SR.

Thus, we strongly urge the SR to include the proposals of several student councils in the ballot. We demand that she halt the growing misapprehension that a “no” to the CRSRS, is a “no” to the OSR.

More importantly, we urge the students of our university to join us in our call for genuine democratic participation.

Choose to KNOW!


Third Bagro, Chairperson*,
UP Diliman University Student Council (UPD USC)

Jan Robert Go, Chairperson*,
UP Manila University Student Council (UPM USC)

Nasvin Del Rosario, Chairperson*,
UP Visayas Cebu College Student Council (UPV CC SC)

Helena Garcia, Chairperson*,
UP Extension Program in Pampanga Student Council (UPEPP SC)

Rafael Usa, Jr., Chairperson,
UP Visayas Tacloban College Student Council (UPV TC SC)

Jobert Navallo, President,
UPD Law Student Government (UPD LSG)

Maria Christina Langit, Chairperson,
UPM College of Medicine Student Council (UPM Med SC)

Jamie Pring, Chairperson,
UPD College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Student Council (UPD CSSP SC)

Christopher Yu, Chairperson,
UPD College of Science Student Council (UPD CS SC)

Iris Siy, Chairperson*,
UPD College of Home Economics Student Council (UPD CHE SC)

Sean Su, Chairperson*,
UPD College of Architecture Student Council (UPD Archi SC)

Juan Antonio Maningat, Chairperson*,
UPD School of Statistics Student Council (UPD SSSC)

Bernica Marquez, Chairperson,
UPD College of Business Administration Student Council (UPD CBA SC)

Noel Ricardo Reyes, Chairperson,
UPD School of Economics Student Council (UPD SE SC)

John Almeda, Chairperson,
UPD Asian Institute of Tourism Student Council (UPD AIT SC)

Sheila Mae Sabalburo, Chairperson,
UPD National College of Public Administration and Governance Student Council (UPD NCPAG SC)

Kriska Tayag, Chairperson,
UPD College Music Student Council (UPD CM SC)

McRhonald Banderlipe, Chairperson*,
UPD School of Labor and Industrial Relations Student Council (UPD SOLAIR SC)

Sophia Monica V. San Luis, Law Representative*
UP Diliman University Student Council (UPD USC)

UPD Law Student Government (UP LSG)

UPM College of Medicine Student Council (UPM Med SC)

UPD College of Engineering Student Council (UPD ESC)

UPD College Music Student Council (UPD CM SC)

UPD College of Business Administration Student Council (UPD CBA SC)

UPD School of Economics Student Council (UPD SE SC)

UPD Asian Institute of Tourism Student Council (UPD AIT SC)

UPD National College of Public Administration and Governance Student Council (UPD NCPAG SC)

UPD College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Student Council (UPD CSSP SC)

1 Choose to Know is an alliance of concerned members of the University Student Council of Diliman, student councils from across the UP System, student leaders, students and political parties formed in order to ensure that the referendum will not be a wasteful exercise of sovereignty.

* Signed in their personal capacity as such

Gosh! I should have voted NO but with this clarity, it is evident that YES would be the right choice.