July 16, 2010
“PNOY: Positively Nothing On Youth interests”
As thousands of youths nationwide hit the streets today for what has been dubbed a ‘National Day of Action for Education’, Anakbayan national vice-chairperson Anton Dulce summed up the 16-day old administration of Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino with the four previously-mentioned letters.
The youth group Anakbayan, which includes in its ranks working youth and out-of-school youth, had earlier challenged Aquino to make education accessible for all Filipinos, as well as providing more employment and livelihood opportunities for the youth. Among the measures specifically mentioned by the group which they said were ‘doable’ in the first 100 days of the Administration are:
– A tuition freeze order covering all colleges and universities nationwide
– The reallocation of emergency funds for the education sector
– Initiation of the process to scrap the Value Added Tax, Oil Deregulation Law, and the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA)
– Explicit orders to Congress to fast-track the passage of the legislated P125 wage hike
– A review of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension (CARPER)
“If Noynoy’s presidency was a movie, it would be an opening-day flop. Unfortunately for us, it isn’t a movie, and it is the youth who suffers from such a bomb” said the group’s vice-chairperson.
Meanwhile, the youth leader added the recent spate of extra-judicial killings in its list of concerns addressed to the president. Among the victims was Mark Francisco, a public school teacher and a member of the ACT Teachers’ Partylist in Masbate province.
“We are alarmed that the military’s dirty war is spilling over into campuses. We demand that Noynoy make full use of his executive powers to put the leash around the neck of the rabid and out-of-control AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines)” said Dulce.
He warned that failure by the government to concretely address any of their concerns would push more youths into the streets across the nation in the coming weeks.
“Already, we’re looking into the possibility of calling for bigger nationwide rallies, especially on Aquino’s first-ever SONA (State of the Nation Address). He must come into terms that we, the youth, are more critical of the government and that we will not abide by that very uncritical ‘honeymoon period’” he said.
Anton Dulce, Anakbayan national vice-chairperson