Our March To History
Statement of Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy- Alliance of Concerned Teachers (CONTEND-ACT) on the September 23 Nation-wide Protests Against Aquino’s Abandonment of Public Education and Social Services
September 30, 2011
We were hungry eyes with open hearts, we were youthful daring with historical wisdom. Once more, we were our struggle.
We salute the students, faculty members and employees of the University of the Philippines who, with thoughtful determination and remarkable decisiveness, raised the struggle for education to a level that can only inspire the future of collective action. That our efforts at stressing the importance of government subsidy to education have not and will not perish in the wilderness is a significant realization borne out of marching the historical 13-kilometer path from Diliman to Mendiola.
We salute the students, faculty members and staff of PUP, PNU, EARIST, TUP and other universities who were part of the 8,000 strong protest in Mendiola last September 23 as well as those in SUCs in different parts of the country who participated in collective actions to assert greater state subsidy to education, health and other social services.
Budget cuts to education and other social services are decreed by politicians whose positions of power are sealed by the logic of class rule that works to legitimize and perpetrate foreign interests. Client states like the Philippines follow the neoliberal “open door” development model through the imposition and implementation of Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) crafted by U.S.-dominated International Monetary Fund and World Bank (IMF-WB).
The neoliberal development model reinforces structural inequality in its bid to protect the concentration of land on a few powerful families so that the majority are deprived of ownership of an important means of production that can free them from poverty. The government’s refusal to redistribute land is a testament to the elite’s interest in maintaining a backward peasant-based economy where land reform is replaced by schemes such as the Cojuangco-Aquino’s Stock Distribution Option and the deceptive CARPER law.
Conditions for development are trimmed down to meager earnings from export processing zones (EPZs) where workers, mostly women, labor under extremely oppressive and exploitative conditions or from tourism where women again are commodified and productive agricultural lands are transformed into playgrounds for foreigners and the local elite. Export processing zones, tourism and the labor export policy of the Philippine government are manifestations of an anti-development policy and the state’s refusal to foster the growth of a national industrial economy that is beyond the command of foreign direct investments and multinational corporations. A national industrial economy coupled with genuine land reform will pave the way for the provision of decent jobs without the risks and pains of boundary-crossing and in the creation of a domestic market which will further create conditions for the expansion of our local economy.
The anti-development and pro-imperialist budget of President Noynoy Aquino is mirrored in its two consecutive budget plans (2011 and 2012). We reject Aquino’s “priority areas for development-business process outsourcing, tourism, agriculture and fisheries and infrastructure”. The Aquino regime presides over a system that hinders genuine agrarian reform that is necessary for the kind of economic development that is democratic in that it embraces the interest of the basic sectors upon whose shoulders rest the productivity and survival of this nation. We denounce its disregard of research and development for national industrialization. It is a regime that saddles the people with its suicidal subservience to foreign economic dictates and its defense of local big landlords and big business. Truly, the Aquino regime is inutile, anti-poor, and pro-imperialist!
Budget cuts to education are logical measures that would ensure the creation of a very small number of baccalaureates and a larger number of vocational graduates, creating a youth sector that fits into an export-oriented and import- dependent economy that is premised on the dire conditions of unemployment and exploited labor. It is a fate that the enlightened youth rejects.
Our fight against the budget cut is a fight that we wage for decent jobs for our youth. Our fight for greater state subsidy cuts all the way through the problem of a backward agrarian and preindustrial economy toward a nationalist and democratic bid for genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization. CONTEND, the anti-imperialist organization of faculty and researchers of the University of the Philippines, is determined to continue to contribute to the construction of a society that will enable the Filipino youth to reach their fullest potential. The Filipino youth can only have a genuine future in a Philippines that is truly democratic and sovereign.
We, the Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy call upon our students, fellow workers and colleagues to continue our historical struggle for national democracy.
DOWN WITH BUDGET CUTS! UP WITH THE STRUGGLE FOR NATIONAL DEMOCRACY!
DOWN WITH THE AQUINO REGIME’S ANTI-PEOPLE AND PRO-IMPERIALIST NATIONAL BUDGET!
ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE!
LET US ONCE MORE BE PART OF HISTORY. JOIN THE CARAVAN TO THE SENATE ON OCTOBER 4, 2011 FOR THE SENATE HEARING ON THE BUDGET OF UP AND OTHER SUCS. FOR UP DILIMAN – ASSEMBLY AND SHORT PROGRAM , 11 AM , AS STEPS. CARAVAN TO THE SENATE AT 1 PM. BRING YOURSELF, YOUR VEHICLE, IF ANY, AND YOUR PLACARDS!