SY-UPD supports D.R.O.P. Internship protest in CHK

Sanlakas Youth-UP Diliman supports D.R.O.P. Internship, a protest by students of the College of Human Kinetics in UP Diliman. The said campaign is being led by graduating Sports Science students against the unjust handling of SS 197 (Internship).

Below is the Primer lifted from their Facebook page.

I. Background

The Department of Sports Science (DeSS) of the College of Human Kinetics, UP Diliman has failed to deliver relevant, meaningful, and functional learning experiences to its students in its Internship (SS 197) currently enrolled for this semester.

According to its course description, SS 197 was designed to give students “field experience as member of the coaching/training staff in sports teams and research/support staff in health, fitness and sports medicine centers.” Based on this, the objective is clear – to provide students with opportunities to practice and apply our knowledge and skills acquired from the past SS courses – with clear guidance from the professor.

In actual practice, this is not what’s happening. We are aggrieved by the incompetence of the professor in handling this course. We are much prejudiced by the requirements that are irrelevant, inappropriate, and largely inconsistent. Lastly, we have suffered the entire semester because of the teacher’s lack of integrity and regard for our development.

Raise P100,000. One of the requirements stated at the beginning of the semester is for the class to collectively produce P100,000 by organizing any type of event related to the Sports Science discipline. In itself, it is already questionable. It has no connection to the course description yet it was clearly stated that the ultimate objective of this requirement was to raise money. This requirement entails education in sports management and marketing both of which are not in our curriculum. Regardless of this fact, the professor gave us very little supervision throughout the activity. What’s worse is that this requirement was suddenly withdrawn by the professor in the middle of the semester without further explanation. When prompted, the teacher justified that raising 100,000 was only optional and it was simply a test of our planning skills.

250 Hours. Accomplishing a minimum number of 250 hours of different activities was the staple requirement in our Internship. The most pertinent experience had been fitness testing of PE classes and observing the track and field team. However, part of these 250 hours to be accomplished was the intention to make the students solder wires and saw pieces of metal (which actually happened) for the teacher’s projects. How that is relevant to “field experience as member of the coaching/training staff in sports teams and research/support staff in health, fitness and sports medicine centers” is not established.

2 Research Papers on Chronojump Technology. For this semester, students are taking SS 200 – Thesis and SS 197 – Internship simultaneously in compliance with the curriculum. The professor in SS 197 required his students to make two research papers in thesis format with proposal and defense. We reasoned out that this is too tasking and in turn, detrimental for the students in the long run. But what we deem as very unreasonable is it limits the students to research studies which must utilize the Chronojump Technology. The use of Chronojump Technology was made arbitrarily and whimsically. The teacher failed to justify, upon several inquiries, as to why it was the ONLY technology we can use. This burden was incumbent on the professor to explain the reason to us which he failed to overcome.

Non-deployment of interns in relevant institutions outside UP. Companies in need of interns and the students’ suggestions to conduct sports/fitness programs in barangays, sports centers, etc. reportedly approached the professor. These companies and suggestions were turned down by him. He said that the risks are not calculated and there is no supervisor. While we feel that the discretion is with the teacher, this is academic freedom wrongly exercised. Given that he gave us irrelevant requirements already, we feel that by limiting the learning to the confines of the university aggravated the already bad handling of the course.

II. Position

We strongly believe that it is the responsibility of any academic institution to provide quality learning experiences to facilitate the growth and development of its students. In this connection, the academic institution should not be remiss in its duty to ensure that all their courses meet this requirement. For the country’s premier state university to fail in this duty is just unacceptable.

We expect nothing but the best in an internship course. For us, an internship should provide a venue for the students to put into practice the skills and knowledge that they have acquired inside the classroom. It should NOT be a venue to learn new & irrelevant skills like soldering, sawing pieces of metals, etc. It should encourage the students to use their critical thinking and decision making skills in various environments outside the college, such as sports teams, hospitals, community health, fitness, and sports medicine centers.

We condemn the reckless use of academic freedom by our teacher. The teacher gravely abused his discretion in an arbitrary and oppressive manner for this Internship class.

We promote academic excellence. In the pursuit of this principle, we refuse to be blind followers or assembly-line workers who will comply with the requirements of the class just for the sake of passing the course and graduating on time. In fact, we are protecting our interests and the interests of those who will take SS 197 by refusing to settle for anything less. We rightfully deserve and demand quality education, as Iskolar ng Bayan who are the future leaders for the advancement of Sports Performance, Exercise, Physical Fitness, and Health in the Philippines.

III. Action

We are highly disappointed with the delayed action and passivity of the DeSS in addressing our complaint. We first approached our teacher several times voicing these concerns. These were brushed aside as unimportant. Then, we sent our letter of concern on December 1, 2011 to the department, and which resulted to a dialogue with the DeSS Chairman and some students on December 8. The concerns were discussed and the Chairman agreed to talk to the professor. However, there was no feedback from the concerned teacher nor proactive action from the department. As a result, we were compelled to initiate the D.R.O.P. protest to the CHK Executive Committee on January 18. It was only then that the Department Chairman responded by holding a round table discussion on January 31, which proved to be a fruitless exercise as it failed to arrive upon concrete resolutions.

With this background, we have voiced our concern to the right authorities in our college but all fell on deaf ears. We are suffering due to this inaction and passivity of DeSS.

We, supported by our parents, demand quality education that we rightfully deserve as Iskolar ng Bayan. We will not allow our grades, possible receipt of Latin honors, graduation on April, and academic growth to be compromised due to the failure of the DeSS to provide a structured, relevant and student-centered Internship. We will not drop SS 197. On the contrary, we rightfully demand DROP in the following:

D – Do leave our grades blank and approve our graduation this April
R – Review the handling of SS 197 by the current teacher and make necessary measures to avoid the same problems
O – Offer SS 197 on Summer AY 2011-2012
P – Present a well-prepared syllabus of SS 197

We invite the students and faculty of the College of Human Kinetics, especially those under the Department of Sports Science to join our protest against the inadequate handling of SS 197 by the teacher. We urge the academic community of UP Diliman to conduct a thorough and critical review of the Sports Science degree program particularly SS 197. We call upon every Iskolar ng Bayan to know the issue, get involved and support our fight for quality education.

How you can help:

You can show your support by doing any of the ff:
1. Like and share our Facebook page
2. Send a copy of your organization/council’s logo (to be included in our tarpaulin & page)
3. Write a statement and address it to the Department of Sports Science in CHK
4. Join our photo campaign by posting a photo of yourself/ your group with your message
5. For BSS/CHK students & faculty, please participate in our signature campaign

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SY-UPD fields spokesperson, 2 others for USC posts

Under the banner of KAISA-Nagkakaisang Iskolar para sa Pamantasan at Sambayanan, the UP Diliman chapter of Sanlakas Youth fielded three candidates for positions in the upcoming University Student Council (USC) elections on March 1.

Sanlakas Youth Spokesperson Carl Reyes and member Carla Zipagan are vying for councilor posts. Both are incumbent councilors in their respective local student councils; CHE for Zipagan and AIT for Reyes. Meanwhile, SY-UPD Vice Chairperson Erika Erro is unopposed in the AIT representative to the USC position.

Carl Reyes, Carla Zipagan, and Erika Erro.

According to SY-UPD Chairperson Randy Cacho, “Consistent with our aim to reach the most number of students in our advocacies, Sanlakas Youth is participating in this year’s USC elections. We believe that the USC remains as the most respected student-run campaign and service center in Diliman, and it will surely be a good venue for SY to further the causes we believe in.”

Cacho also explained that their members are running under KAISA, “not just because we are one of their member-organizations” but also “due to the fact that they are a reliable partner in our campaigns like Six will Fix, Don’t Fly PAL, Climate Justice, among other advocacies.”

The SY-UPD Chairperson also clarified that “while we will be focusing in the campaign of Carl, Carla and Erika; our members will surely vote straight KAISA come March 1.”

PAL boycott campaign gains middle class support

MANILA, Philippines – This Christmas break, don’t fly airlines owned by the “Grinch.”

As thousands of riding public prepare for the Christmas season, various sectors have joined together in calling a boycott of Lucio Tan’s Philippine Airlines and Air Philippines in solidarity with the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA).

In a press conference, migrant groups, student councils and organizations, NGOs and international organizations have joined the bandwagon in supporting the “Don’t Fly PAL/AirPhil” campaign.

“Because of his greed, Lucio Tan has stolen Christmas of retrenched PAL workers. He acts like the true Grinch,” said Ricardo Reyes, president of Freedom from Debt Coalition.

Created by Dr. Seuss, the Grinch is a fictional character who first appeared as the main protagonist in the 1957 children’s book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Now, it is a term used to describe a person with a coarse and greedy attitude and opposed to Christmas time celebrations.

“It is almost Christmas time – our great Kapaskuhan, a time for families, friends, neighbors, and loved ones to gather, celebrate and share blessings with one another. But not for 2,600 of our kababayan PAL employees and their families who until now face the uncertainty of a prolonged deadlock due to Lucio Tan’s refusal to sit down with PALEA and address their just demands,” said Reyes.

“We are urging the riding public, particularly the students, government and private workers and OFWs to support the members of PALEA in their struggle against the mass lay-off, contractualization, and their fight to protect their job security. PALEA’s fight is also our fight. As riding customers, we can best support PALEA by hitting Lucio Tan where he hurts most – by not flying PAL and AirPhil, until he sits down with PALEA and address their just demands,” he said.

Agnes Matienzo of Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA): “In support of the 2,600 PALEA members who are unilaterally locked out and terminated by PAL, MFA continues to call on our fellow OFWs and partners/affiliates in over 16 countries in Asia not to fly PAL this Christmas unless Lucio Tan sits with PALEA and address their demands. PALEA members’ fight is our fight. As migrants’ advocate, we demand host countries to respect the right of our workers overseas to unionize and demand for just wages and job security. How do we expect destination countries to respect and protect the rights of our workers, if the rights of our local workers are blatantly violated? We shall never accept that the rights of our local workers are violated. The interest of 10 million OFWs and the interest of 2,600 PALEA members are one and the same. Boycott PAL and stop corporate greed!”

Shaina Santiago, Asian Institute of Tourism (AIT) representative to the UP Diliman Student Council, said that contractualization, as a labor policy, is a threat not only to the current labor force, but also to the students who are future workers.

Max De Mesa, chairperson of Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), said:“PAL workers are co-creators of the wealth of the company. Thus, not only should the quality of life of workers rightfully and proportionately improve as the company develops and grows – this is a collective aspect of the right to development. More important, they should be integral to the company itself. The owner’s and management’s decision to outsource as part of its overall contractualization plan is to deceptively cut-off its co-creators of corporate wealth under the false basis of ‘financial losses.’ This is corporate callousness. They have disjointed themselves from the same humanity as their workers so as to accrue profits primarily for themselves. The vaunted plan of separation benefits is no more than a ruse to distract from the truth of corporate greed and the deprivation of workers’ rights.”

Francis Lunag of the Urban Missionaries said that the contractualization of workers at PAL violates the dignity of human person. He said they will convince other priests, nuns, and even the bishops to not fly via the flag-carrier. “We will distribute flyers to our parishioners, put posters in front of our churches, and continue our support for the ‘Don’t Fly PAL/AirPhil’ campaign until this issue is resolved and benefits both parties.”

May-i Fabros of WomanHealth Philippines expressed empathy with the retrenched workers and encouraged Filipino women, especially those managing the household budget , not to consider PAL and Air Philippines on their travel arrangements.

National pride

FDC’s Reyes said that aside from corporate greed, union busting, human rights violations, labor code violations and compromised safety and service, another important reason why the Filipino people must boycott Lucio Tan’s airlines is what is at stake in the dispute.

“What is at stake here is our national pride, our identity with this institution called PAL. Despite the Government’s decision to privatize PAL, we all grew up knowing that it is our nation’s flag carrier, our symbol in the sky, our representative in global aviation. We take pride in the excellent ability of its pilots and ground crew to provide safe and comfortable air travel and to respond effectively during emergencies and unexpected mishaps. Now this national symbolism is heavily tainted by a bare-faced and shameless oppression of our very own Filipino workers,” said Reyes.

Snowballing support

Aside from FDC, MFA, PAHRA, Urban Missionaries and WomanHealth Philippines, other groups supporting the Boycott PAL/Airphil campaign are the following:

Migrant groups – Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) – Philippines, DIWATA-Philippine Women’s Network in Greece, Kanlungan Migrant Center, and Unity of Filipino Migrants in Greece;

Student groups – KAISA – UP Diliman, CRUSADA – Ateneo de Manila University, Alliance of Progressive Students – EARIST, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP), Kalayaan! Lihok Mag-aaram – UP Tacloban, Magkaisa-CSSP, UP Organization of Human Rights Advocates (OHRA), UP Alyansa, ARISE, Buklod-CSSP, PALS-NCPAG, START-AIT, UST Central Student Council, DLSU-CSB Student Council, UP Diliman AIT Student Council, UP Diliman CHE Student Council, Bukluran Student Alliance – PLM, Akbayan Youth, Sanlakas Youth, Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK), and Youth for Nationalism and Democracy (YND);

Civil Society Organizations – Integrated Rural Development Foundation (IRDF), Active Citizenship Foundation, Assalam Bangsamoro, Institute for Political and Electoral Reforms (IPER), Institute for Popular Democracy (IPD) and Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ);

International organizations – International Transport Workers Federation, Jubilee South-APMDD, and Coalition against the Trafficking of Women-Asia/Pacific (CATW-AP).