The Kabataan Partylist-Panay salutes the Iloilo youth and students for the successful July 19 State of the Youth Address (SOYA) protest action held simultaneously with hundreds other youth and students from major cities and regions nationwide.
In Iloilo, more than 2,000 students from the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV), West Visayas State University (WVSU), and West Visayas College of Sciences and Technology (WVCST) walked out of their classes and marched to the Iloilo Provincial Capitol. Some estimates by the local media even put the figure at 2,500.
Big protests from other regions: 1,800 marched to Mendiola in Manila, 500 walked out of their classes in Cotabato City, and 1,000 students picketed the CHED office in Davao City. Protest actions were also held in Baguio, Los Banos, Cebu City, La Union, Sorsogon, and Cagayan de Oro.
The July 19 protest in Iloilo is one of the largest student mobilizations in the region in recent years, a spectacle not seen since the Erap ouster rallies of the last decade.
Our collective action served to jumpstart our nationwide mass campaign to push for a significant increase in the budget for the State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and put an end to the commercialization of the education sector in time for the opening of the hearings for the proposed 2012 national budget.
The strong message we put across makes our lobbying efforts for greater state subsidy for education with legislators in Congress and other government agencies more easier as we put pressure on the Aquino administration to fulfill its constitutional mandate of providing accessible education at all levels.
We earned the support of 110 state schools under the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC). Our common struggle also gained the support from the University of the Philippines President Alfredo E. Pascual.
As the sole youth party, Kabataan Partylist will continue to forward our democratic rights and interests inside and outside Congress. We continue to push for a pro-youth legislative agenda in Congress while encouraging our fellow youth to actively participate in the country’s political life, take a stand on the standard issues of the day, and link up with other marginalized sectors for meaningful social change. KABATAAN, PAG-ASA NG BAYAN!