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LIST: Thomasian orgs, societies, councils, groups that back Leni-Kiko tandem

With the campaign season coming into a homestretch, 10 Thomasian societies, organizations, and councils expressed their support for the Leni-Kiko tandem.

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Photo courtesy of VP Leni Robredo Facebook

Presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo and her vice presidential running mate Sen. Kiko Pangilinan has amassed support from thousands of Thomasians in their bid for the May 2022 elections.

With the campaign season coming into a homestretch, 10 Thomasians societies, organizations, and councils expressed their support for the Leni-Kiko tandem as of Apr. 24.

Here is a list of various Thomasian organizations, societies, groups, and student councils that rally behind the tandem:

Thomasian Debaters Council – October 7, 2021

Just hours after Robredo announced her bid for the presidency, it was the official debate varsity of the University, the Thomasian Debaters Council (TDC)  that supported her. 

They said they believe in the “future of the Filipino people and wholeheartedly [support] those who give a glimpse of what the Filipino people deserve.”

TDC was also among the signatories of the Philippine Debate Union statement that slammed the non-participation of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte in debates.

UST Concilium Philosophiae – Mar. 18, 2022

The University’s Philosophy society backed Leni-Kiko after holding their constituency survey.

According to the group, both are “prime [examples] of selfless politics, a politics of, for, and by the people.”

They added: “[T]he members of the Concilium believe in the genuine endeavor and integrity of the Leni-Kiko campaign to forward lasting and effective change in the Philippines.”

UST Civil Law Student Council – Mar. 25, 2022

In a March 25 statement, more than 400 UST law students formally endorsed the bid of Robredo as her “track record, her experience, and her advocacies do not lie.”

“The facts are clear and the facts do not lie. She has gone above and beyond in order to ensure the best service to the Filipino people. And she can do it again,” their statement read.

They are joined by seven faculty members from their department in a separate statement by UST faculty members.

UST Faculty – Mar. 30, 2022

A growing number of Thomasian faculty members supported presidential aspirant Robredo with the latest count of 738 signatories on Mar. 30, previously at 641. The statement and signatories were posted on Apr. 11.

According to their joint statement, they “seek a leader” whom their students can “look up to and emulate.”

“Leni Robredo never stops to learn: from the past through experience; from the future through the youth,” the statement read.

UST Central Student Council – Apr. 2, 2022

The UST Central Student Council (CSC) joined forces with 5 fellow student governments for the endorsement of the political duo on Apr. 2.

CSC president Krizia Bricio described Robredo and Pangilinan as “compassionate, competent and committed,” as she declared their full support for the aspirants’ electoral race.

The UST CSC, Adamson University Student Government, Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral ng mga Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo de Manila, Far Eastern University Central Student Organization, University of the East-Manila University Student Council and University of the Philippines-Diliman University Student Council supported the Robredo-Pangilinan tandem in the Student Government Mock Polls 2022 Press Conference. 

EHSians For Leni-Kiko – Apr. 20, 2022

As of Apr. 20, more than 200 Education High School alumni and students support the tandem, noting that they believe that both carry their institution’s core values.

“Based on their upbringing, life experience, and overall track record, we know the LENI and KIKO [embody] these virtues in their everyday lives, and especially in Public Service,” their statement read.

UST Legal Management Society – Apr. 21, 2022

In their internal survey, 87.7-percent chose Robredo as their president while Pangilinan was their vice president with 74-percent.

According to their letter, they are banking on their concrete platforms and “established clean government track records of absolute honesty and integrity.”

UST Communication Arts Students Association – Apr. 21, 2022

Citing Robredo and Pangilinan’s track record, the UST Communication Arts Students Association (CASA) backed the tandem.

“For more than four decades, [CASA] has remained vocal and active in promulgating the rights and welfare of the student body. We believe that both Leni and Kiko best reflect the values of the CASA Community, and in turn, we share the same beliefs,” their letter of endorsement read.

It must also be noted that among the societies in the Faculty of Arts and Letters, UST CASA is the largest with a total population of 617 students.

Thomasian student leaders – Apr. 23, 2022

More than 3,000 Thomasian student-leaders from all affiliated campuses supported Robredo-Pangilinan’s bid in the 2022 elections for their “visionary” and “practical” leadership.

Thomasians from the UST-Manila campus, UST-Legazpi, UST Angelicum College, and Angelicum Iloilo comprise the signatories.

The statement cited the duo’s platform focus on “poverty alleviation, food and job security, environmental policies, pandemic response, economic delivery, and anti-corruption measures.”

UST Alumni – Apr. 25, 2022

The largest percentage of Thomasian Leni-Kiko supporters, of over 7,200 Thomasian alumni from 1960 to 2021, showed their support for Robredo and Pangilinan as they both have “demonstrated integrity throughout their entire political careers.”

The numbers doubled from an initial survey of 3,500 Thomasian alumni endorsing the tandem.

“They respect the electorate enough to show up, answer our questions, and explain their plans beyond generic talking points and empty rhetoric,” the statement read.

Stakes 

The Leni-Kiko duo are UST students’ top choices in the upcoming elections according to The Varsitarian’s survey conducted from Feb. 20 to Mar. 20 out of 4,401 respondents. Robredo garnered 3,973 votes (90.3-percent) while Pangilinan got 3,630 votes (82.5 percent).

In Pulse Asia’s latest survey held from Mar. 17 to 21, Robredo and Pangilinan each gained 9 and 4 percentage points respectively compared to their February 2022 numbers. Robredo placed second at 24-percent voter preference while Pangilinan placed third at 15-percent out of 2,400 respondents.

Robredo’s closest presidential rival Bongbong Marcos continued to dominate the said poll despite suffering a 4-point drop. Marcos’ running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte also led the vice presidential census.

Local Philippine elections shall be conducted on May 9.

Angela Gabrielle Magbitang Atejera
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Paolo Alejandrino
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UST crisis management committee green lights F2F bacc mass and graduation rites

The in-person graduation ceremonies shall be for the Classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 from the tertiary, post-baccalaureate, and graduate levels.

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(Photo by Gillian Robles/TomasinoWeb)

The University’s Crisis Management Committee approved the conduct of in-person graduation ceremonies, including Baccalaureate mass, a memorandum from the Office of the Secretary-General (OSG) said on Saturday, May 7.

The in-person graduation ceremonies shall be for the Classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 from the tertiary, post-baccalaureate, and graduate levels.

Only the Class of 2022 will have in-person rites for Senior High School graduates.

Two Baccalaureate masses for the said batches will be held in June. 

According to the OSG, this year’s mass will be “solemn and austere” to express solidarity with the “plight of many people who are still recovering from the ill effects of the pandemic, Thus the traditional fireworks display at the conclusion of the mass will be scrapped this year. 

The solemn investiture shall be conducted starting June 6 either on the Quadricentennial Pavilion or the Medicine Auditorium, schedules may vary per college or faculty. 

Only two companions are allowed to be with each graduating student.

Local graduation committees shall conduct respective orientations for the said batches.

The University, however, shall “strictly abide” by the regulations of the Inter-Agency Task Force, should there be changes in the alert level status in the National Capital Region. 

Ian Patrick Laqui
Reports Editor, Reports Writer | + posts

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UST among top universities in 2022 SDG impact rankings

Among the Philippine universities, the University placed second in Gender Equality (SDG 5), while ranking third in Good Health and Well-being (SDG 3) and fourth in Quality Education (SDG 4).

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(Photo courtesy of Aliah Danseco/TomasinoWeb)

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this article mentioned that the University “slipped from its third local standing last year.” We sincerely apologize for this mistake. 

The University ranked sixth among Philippine universities implementing the United Nations’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to the data published by the Times Higher Education’s (THE) Impact Rankings 2022 on April 29, UST placed 601-800 in the global rankings and maintained its third spot in the Philippines. 

The University also improved in its overall score. From 47.6-56.5 in 2021, it now received an overall score of 57.3-64.9 in 2022.

Among the Philippine universities, the University placed second in Gender Equality (SDG 5), while ranking third in Good Health and Well-being (SDG 3) and fourth in Quality Education (SDG 4).

Ateneo De Manila University remains the top implementer of SDGs in the country, placing 101-200 in the global rankings – the highest ranking received by any Philippine university, as per the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd).

Globally, Western Sydney University led the overall ranking this year, while Universiti Sains Malaysia led the Asian overall ranking.

The THE Impact Rankings measured 1,406 universities from 106 different countries and regions. THE carefully calibrated indicators to provide a comprehensive and balanced comparison across four broad areas: research, stewardship, outreach, and teaching. 

Justine Xyrah Rennzel Garcia
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Applicants call for transparency of USTAR results

The petition addressed to the concerns of the applicants regarding the screening, exception grades, program alignments, and grading process.

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(Photo by Rohm Bautista/TomasinoWeb)

More than a thousand applicants urged the Office for Admissions (OFAD) to disclose the procedure of the University of Santo Tomas Admission Rating (USTAR) through an online petition, as many applicants were “wondering” how they earned their scores.

The petition addressed the concerns of the applicants regarding the screening, exception grades, program alignments, and grading process. 

“The USTAR admission process is new and has many gaps; nevertheless, this should not prevent the university from disclosing the rigorous process to students, as it is their right to know,” the petition says. 

Petitioners appealed to the OFAD to address their concerns and called on the University to “integrate the values that have long been teaching to its students.” 

“If the institution is committed to its values, it should guarantee that our education serves the best interests of the students.” the petition says.

Conflicts on admission

Petitioners urged to preclude any presumed strand discrimination as a basis for getting accepted into the desired programs and display their alternative program scores for transparency.

There was also an allegation that no science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students from UST Senior High School (UST-SHS) were qualified for any healthcare courses and Health Allied students were more prioritized.

Daniela Teñoso, a grade 12 STEM student and auditor of UST-SHS Student Council, explained that “no one” from her strand was accepted from any medical-related courses as she asked all of their blocks. 

“We were also informed that STEM students would qualify to these programs through exemption grades, that’s why we were all devastated when the results came out,” she said in an interview with TomasinoWeb.

Teñoso said that she was still glad that other STEM students from different schools were accepted but speculated why “none” from her batch was given a slot in these programs despite their achievements. 

“It was such a hard slap in the face to realize that our two years of hard work had all been for vain because our strands were deemed unfit for our desired programs,” she said.

Communication problems

Petitioners claimed that the office was “unresponsive” to emails, and only a “few” were able to make phone calls while other concerns were left unaddressed. 

Kyle Kevlar, a grade 12 student and also the external public relations officer of the UST-SHS, said that sending emails was the only way to communicate with the office since face-to-face transactions were still restricted.

“As the External Public Relations Officer of the UST-SHS Student Council, I firsthand witnessed the disappointment and stress of the students who wish to apply to the university,” in an interview with TomasinoWeb.

He added that there was a delay or that many applicants were unable to get the reference numbers that are used in their USTAR applications.

Lance Alo, a grade 12 UST-SHS STEM student who took part in initiating the petition, stated that other applications were not processed due to missing requirements that were only notified at the last minute or not at all. 

“This made us realize that the problem is systemic, and addressing it at the individual level will only exhaust all of us hence, why we launched the petition,” he said in an interview.

The petition suggested having an information system to notify students of deficiencies in requirements and also having a help desk for clarification and questions about the results and application of the USTAR.

Seek for resolutions

Alo affirmed the importance of resolving the gaps or concerns in the USTAR as he said that it could “help to ease the anxieties and disappointments faced by the students” and be an example to other institutions by being pro-student. 

“It can also serve as an inspiration to students all around the country since making their voices heard and acting collectively can go a long way,” Alo said.

He said that alongside other petitioners and student leaders, they also appeal for a dialogue with the office to clarify things further.

“We are ready to explain, organize, and fight for our fellow students,” Alo said

Teñoso said that the issues were not only a concern of their strand but also applicants that were denied being admitted to programs that were “clearly” aligned with their strands.

“Everything was so disheartening, and I’m looking forward to hearing what the administration has to say.”

The UST Entrance Exam (USTET) was waived for the second straight year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Hence, the score for USTAR is derived from a developed set of algorithms to assess the academic performance and records of the applicants. 

OFAD released the USTAR results via its portal on March 31.

TomasinoWeb reached out to OFAD through email about this matter but the office has yet to respond.

Marjorie Lumapas
Reports Writer | + posts

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