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Students against barred expression secure SC posts

During this year’s University elections, two students who agreed to activism were favored by students for their respective councils.



Dannish Samantha Santos/TomasinoWeb

During this year’s University elections, two students who agreed to activism were favored by students for their respective councils.

On May 16, Ma. Veronica Angela del Gallego from the Faculty of Pharmacy (FoP) won the vice-presidential post, bagging 51 percent more votes than her contender.

Del Gallego was in favor of the FoP supporting student activism as it can address the needs of their constituents more effectively. According to her, the students will benefit through a “marked resistance of old, unjust systems and an emergence of a free one.”

On Sept. 22, Carl Jeric Mataga, former Central Student Council (CSC) PRO candidate won as president of the College of Information and Computing Sciences (CICS) Student Council. He garnered 800 votes with 86 unanswered through a special election.

Similar to his campaign in the past CSC election, Mataga advocated for democratic rights, student welfare, and the safe resumption of face-to-face classes. For him, “by being pro-activism, it will empower his fellow students and the youth that have something to say about our issues today.”

Student leaders are no strangers to incidents of red-tagging. Some have been targeted for being members of unaffiliated organizations, resulting in their non-readmission for the next academic term.

On May 15, a former Senior High School Student Council head council was denied his good moral certificate due to being affiliated with a human rights organization and eventually barred from enrollment for the following academic year. (READ: Persecution, not activism, besets student leaders)

Mataga was also previously involved in a red-tagging incident. During the Tagisan 2021, he was instructed by the Office of Student affairs to change his protest Zoom background. (READ: CSC PRO, VP candidates call for anti-red tagging)

In an interview with TomasinoWeb, the two candidates shared that administrators should not fear student leaders who are vocal about the issues in and outside the corners of the University.

“We are, after all, an academic institution where our most important goal is that our students are educated in a healthy manner so that they may enter the workforce competent, compassionate, and committed,” Mataga said.

For Del Gallego, ‘red-tagging’ is an authoritarian strategy to hinder the disclosure of truth.

“They fear us because student leaders are capable of molding public opinion, especially since they are in a critical position to influence their constituents,” she said.

Mataga made it clear that he has no plans on remaining neutral in politics, whether it be in his student council or in the wider Filipino society.

He also denounced those who deny youth involvement on matters that concern them.

“While it is true that students and student leaders alike are meant to study because it is their role as the youth and students to do so, it is also true that we were first and foremost born as Filipino citizens,’’ Mataga said“It is our right and duty to practice our democratic rights for the betterment of our country.”

He further expressed that pro-activism would allow students to voice out their opinions on policies that would mainly affect them.

“It [is] important for student leaders to be pro-activism because the alternative is to be passive. Being passive would be fine in a world where the status quo is working well for all people, but that is not the case.”

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Del Gallego preferred to follow in the footsteps of previous Filipino leaders who “deliberately professed and operationalized their love for the country and their countrymen.” She emphasized how these legacies cannot simply remain as history lessons.

“I could give a list of youth leaders who are written in our history books and those we can learn from, but their time has ended. Now it is our time, [as] present-day student leaders, to be pro-people and encourage our constituents to do the same,” said Del Gallego.

These sentiments were not shared by Artlets’ Student Council (ABSC) presidential candidate Denzelle Jude Caro, who asserted during the miting de avance of the Faculty of Arts and Letters (AB) that the safer option is to defend student rights through “the right channels” such as legal systems.

“I think that the lives of individuals should be protected first and foremost because that is the source of their morality and their ability to access other principles that they deem important for them,” said Caro.

Caro, who was initially proclaimed as ABSC president on Sept. 18, drew flak due to his statements.

A day after, the AB Comelec retracted the proclamation after he failed to gain a majority of the votes.

As miscommunications between the administration and students often hinder resolutions regarding students’ concerns, they, as leaders, fill in those lapses by engaging in discussions with administrators to effectively address and provide solutions for their fellow students’ worries.

In regards to what measures helped to ease the communication gaps, Del Gallego shared that the petition regarding the implementation of the Respondus Lockdown Browser distributed by the FoP Student Council opened a discussion between students and administrators on whether “to reconsider or defer its use.”

“It was successful since the faculty members decided to defer its use until sufficient research and training has been done,” she said.

It is still early for Mataga to say what he has done after a week of being elected, but he shared that he met with administrators alongside other council presidents.

“While I was only at the tail-end of the issue that was being discussed, I encouraged the administrators to keep talking to us, to keep talking to the student leaders and keep hearing us out,” he said.

He wished that “a stronger grievance system will be established, more sentiments from professors will be gathered, and more projects that benefit the whole ICS community will be started.”

Both student leaders plan to raise more public and political discussions, hoping to steer away from the apolitical natures their councils used to have before their respective elections.

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Presidential elections and the Philippine stock market: An explainer

It is not a surprise for the Philippine stock market to move sideways after the partial and unofficial tally of the presidential election results shows Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. is leading over market-friendly Vice President Leni Robredo.



Photos by Larizza Lucas/TomasinoWeb and Wance Paleri/Unsplash

The Philippines’ next president will have to deal with an embattled nation attempting to pull itself out of the pandemic and grave economic crisis.

It is bleeding red in the Philippines, as presidential aspirant Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr. leads the unofficial tally day and the country’s stock exchange index dips to -2.90-percent weekly average as of Tuesday, May 17. 

However, this was not surprising according to top economists and market analysts. For a week now, the global trend is consistent with this drop due to the tightening of US federal monetary policy, among others.

Elections are considered to be one of the major market drivers and the stock market, an indicator of confidence in government. Market jitters during these times are pretty much normal, consistent with past Philippine elections

This year’s high-stake election is different. Usually, investors look at the economic policy directions of candidates, as well as their track record, to assess government competency and market outlook for the years to come.

High government confidence would mean businesses investing in one’s country, which decidedly increases local job opportunities. As of March 2022, the Philippine unemployment rate is at 8.8-percent or 2.875 million unemployed Filipinos.

Zooming out long-term, economic recovery especially at the tail-end of the global health crisis has been the key focus of the current administration, committing to at least bring back the country’s growth to pre-pandemic levels.

For Japan-based global investment firm Nomura Holdings, the lack of Marcos, Jr’s “concrete” economic policies may get foreign investors on the defense, cautious about the Philippine economic crisis that happened after his father bankrupted the Central Bank.

“Marcos Jr., in our view, will likely be regarded as less market-friendly than Robredo, particularly when it comes to experience at the national level and in articulating a strategy for the country to recover from the pandemic,” the January 2022 report said.

Using the five-point categorization, economists of Nomura Global Research assessed presidential candidates on continuity/good governance, infrastructure progress, fiscal discipline, national experience, and business friendliness. 

The Robredo-Pangilinan tandem scored highest with 26 out of 30, while Marcos and his teammate Sara Duterte tallied the lowest mark with 14 out of 30.

The study further added: “Political uncertainty will also likely grow, considering Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s large poll lead over VP Leni Robredo. This will likely weigh on local market sentiment and presents a challenging environment for the Philippines’ net portfolio investment flows.”

A separate report from Bloomberg showed investors favoring a Robredo presidency, with Marcos Jr. at the bottom of the survey along with Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

28 analysts and investors were asked to give ratings to the presidentiables from 1 to 5 who they think will be the best economic leader of the country. Robredo scored 106 while Marcos landed second to the last with 46.

As of press time, the unofficial and partial count of the elections shows the son and namesake of the late dictator Marcos Sr. leading the national polls at more than 58-percent of the total votes. Robredo is trailing behind at 28-percent.

Paolo Alejandrino
Blogs Writer | + posts


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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.



(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).



(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
Reports Writer | + posts


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