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Independent candidates surge CSC candidacy filing

SIX of the 12 students who filed their certificates of candidacy on Thursday for the Central Student Council (CSC) elections will be running independently this election season.

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SIX of the 12 students who filed their certificates of candidacy on Thursday for the Central Student Council (CSC) elections will be running independently this election season.

CSC Auditor Patricia Canoza and CSC Chief-of-Staff Zeth Renae Raquedan are independent candidates for the positions of Vice-President and Auditor, respectively.

Other independent candidates are Accountancy Student Council Assistant Secretary Anna Mariz Mangalili for President, junior Political Science student Maria Yvone Yap for Secretary, and freshmen twins Roi Sergio Rey for Treasurer, and Ranel Simon Rey for Public Relations Officer (PRO).

The other six CSC candidates are running under the banner of Lakas ng Diwang Tomasino (LakasDiwa), the only accredited party for this year’s elections.

LakasDiwa’s roster includes CSC Secretary Rosvielentine Rosales for President, Architecture Student Council Vice-President John Louis Tingzon for Vice-President, and Arts and Letters student Nazka Alecksia Tantay for Secretary.

Also in their lineup are junior Accountancy student Lene Benette Gabrielle for Treasurer, freshman Commerce student Veronica Raye Jalandoni for Auditor, and Fine Arts and Design Student Council PRO Justin Miguel Co for PRO.

Lakas Tomasino Coalition (LTC) and Alyansa ng Kristiyanong Lakas (AKLAS) were not given recognition by the UST Central Commission on Elections (COMELEC) after both political parties failed to submit accreditation requirements.

LTC filed a motion for reconsideration to the UST Central COMELEC, which was dismissed after “fail[ing] to see a valid justification as to LTC’s failure to submit the required documents on time.”

Although the six independent candidates claim that they are running for office on their own, they did not deny that they were previously affiliated with a political party.

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Canoza ran for Auditor last year under the banner of LTC. Now, she is running independently, albeit with the help of LTC Chairman Elmo Nicolas as her campaign manager.

“Kuya Elmo is my campaign manager because he ran for Vice-President under LTC last year, so I sought for his help,” Canoza said.

Raquedan, a former member of LTC denied any present association with the party. “I ran on my own choice,” he added.

Yap also ran last year for the position of Secretary of the Arts and Letters Student Council as part of the lineup of the Students’ Democratic Party, an affiliate of LTC at the Faculty of Arts and Letters. She lost to DEKADA bet Louisa Villegas.

Roi Sergio Rey said he was formerly affiliated with LakasDiwa, while his twin was never affiliated with any political party as he is only on his freshman year. Mangalili also denied any affiliation with any political party.

Eisaku Ivan Bernardino, one of LakasDiwa’s campaign managers said he knows that some of the independent candidates for the upcoming elections are actually members of political parties.

“Hindi lang naman ako ang may alam noon, may mga ibang Thomasians na alam din naman iyon,” Bernardino said. “Siguro they just want to serve and they really want to be a part of the Student Council, that’s why they took the opportunity of running as an independent candidate.”

TomasinoWeb asked the UST Central COMELEC to comment on the issue, but they have declined, saying that they will be releasing an official statement on the matter.

Photo by Adrian Castillo

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Counter military, police propaganda-based disinformation—veteran journalist

Rappler managing editor urged aspiring journalists Friday, Oct. 23, to fight propaganda-based disinformation caused by law enforcers.

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Photo grabbed from Rappler.com

Rappler managing editor urged aspiring journalists Friday, Oct. 23, to fight propaganda-based disinformation caused by law enforcers.

Glenda Gloria, a journalism alumna of the University, said that the military and the police do not seem to understand the role of the media as the fourth estate because of their “very utilitarian” view of information. 

“They use information as propaganda because they think it has to achieve something for the organization, whether that means further securing the country or defeating the enemies of the state,” Gloria said in a fact-checking webinar. 

According to her, the attempt of law enforcers to speed up their propaganda is due to the tremendous pressure to eliminate insurgency before President Duterte steps down in 2020. 

“The biggest factor behind the politicization of the armed forces is the commander-in-chief. Whatever the President wants will determine the political influence of the military,” she said. 

Gloria reminded aspiring journalists that no war has been won using propaganda as a primary tool and to “continue the fight against lies” that are being weaponized for the mass destruction of the country.

The webinar titled, “Propaganda, State Secrets and Other Issues in the Security Sector,” was hosted by MovePH, the civic engagement arm of Rappler. Vhey Tapia and Raheema Velasco 

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Flatten curve to revive economy, solon says

The government should remain in its goal of flattening the curve to revive the economy, a lawmaker advised Saturday, Oct. 24.

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Photo courtesy of the UST Central Student Council

The government should remain in its goal of flattening the curve to revive the economy, a lawmaker advised Saturday, Oct. 24.

“Klaro naman na hindi natin kailangan pumili between saving lives and livelihood. Hindi na tama na ang trade-off between the two…[b]ecause we can save both,” Marikina 2nd District Representative Stella Quimbo said. 

Quimbo, who is also an economist, stressed the importance of evidence-based policymaking and monitoring, as well as business continuity and job projection interventions. 

The solution and interventions included grants for technical assistance, subsidies for COVID-19 testing, and wage subsidies with retention clauses. 

“We can afford to rise, pero dapat balansehin so as not to fall into a debt crisis… [b]ecause as we all know napakadali po to become poor pero napakahirap mag-exit sa poverty. Importanteng importante ang datos,” Quimbo said.

Quimbo also laid out the framework for the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy of the Philippines (ARISE), which she is one of the principal authors. 

Under the ARISE, a comprehensive plan will be followed to address the pandemic-brought economic crisis with a proposed P1.3 trillion budget over three years.

In the bill still pending in the Senate, Quimbo specified transitional, financial, sectoral, and structural support that, according to her, were the basis of the framework for the “mini-version” of the Bayanihan 2 that is in effect until the end of this year.

‘Reform the economy’

IBON Foundation executive director Sonny Africa urged the government to “reform and shape” an economy that benefits everyone. 

According to Africa, the government’s current response is focused on a “very artificial poverty reduction” by granting cash transfers without addressing the structure that continues poverty.

“The government is very keen on infrastructure to promote economic growth, but the Philippines is so lacking in economic fundamentals as it uses infrastructure as a short-cut to growth,” he said.

Africa also criticized that while the government is focused on infrastructure development, decades of neoliberal health privatization eroded  the public health system, which worsened the mortality rate even pre-pandemic.

The webinar “EkonDisyon: Philippine Economic Recession and COVID-19” is a part of the MulaTalakayan organized by the University’s Central Student Council. 

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Tourism recovery to revamp economic sectors, officials urge

Tourism officials stressed the importance of a responsible and “new normal-ready” recovery in the tourism sector amid gradual easing of health protocols in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Photo courtesy of the UST Research Center for Social Sciences & Education

Tourism officials stressed the importance of a responsible and “new normal-ready” recovery in the tourism sector amid gradual easing of health protocols in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Officer Alfonsus Tesoro called for sustainable and strategic recovery efforts to support and revamp economic sectors.

“Tuloy-tuloy dapat ang pag-conduct ng tourism site assessment and planning kasama ang iba’t-ibang stakeholders from the national government agencies, provincial government offices, and the private sector,” Tesoro said in a webinar, Thursday, Oct. 23. 

According to Department of Tourism (DOT) Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes, a survey conducted in Eastern Visayas showed that 66 percent of the respondents admitted that health risks affected their decision to travel, while 80 percent are now eager to visit tourism sites within the region only. 

“This gives us an idea of what tourism activities we should prioritize when we reopen our [tourism] sites. A large majority expect health and safety protocols in place, there should be value for money, and that fun activities will still be offered even under the ‘new normal,’” she said.

Tiopes added that despite the steady reopening of the tourism sector, health protocols would still be strictly employed to ensure safety of tourists and residents. 

The webinar titled, “Philippine Tourism Development and COVID-19 Pandemic: Recovery through Sustainable Development,” was spearheaded by the University’s College of Tourism and Hospitality Management in partnership with the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines, Inc., and co-organized by the UST Research Center for Social Sciences and Education. Paolo Alejandrino 

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