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While almost everyone is glued on their seats to watch impeachments proceedings in the Senate, youth groups in the Davao are busy with their protest against the planned Davao Regional State University System (DRSUS) . The system is aimed at rationalizing higher education and reduce by at least 10 percent the number of state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the country.

Region 11 has the second lowest budget allocation for education but despite of this dilemma, a state university named University of Southeastern Philippines has made to the top 5 performing universities in the country and one of the universities in the Philippines recognized as one of the top performing school in Asia.

The students of this university have opposed the move saying that it would compromise the quality of education and limit the number of poor but deserving students from studying in the state university.

Why integrate a university that has already made name not just in the country but also internationally? Ironic it seems but what they have achieved will eventually vanish if the DRSUS will be implemented.

What’s worst about this bill is that it is not consulted to the major stockholders which are the students. Faculty, staffs, alumni and parents have no idea of this threat to their future. It was made in public just last December.

The right to information and the essence of democracy are slowly diminishing in a ground where it should exist. The right to quality education is not about merging SUCs and LUCs but by giving proper attention to the need of the students.

The issue of budget allocation for education has been an issue for several years. Government administration has caused major problems in the educational system not the universities and colleges itself.

Another worst thing about this house bill is that it will result to gradual face out of courses. Only Engineering and Education will be offered to this incoming university and if one wishes to take business or computer related courses one needs to go to Mati just to be able to avail of it or just go to private school with astonishing tuition fee. It would be unfair that the batch of future IT specialist, future economist and computer technician will be the last if the HB 5311 will be promulgated. Soon this university will only produce quality engineers of different fields and quality teachers of different levels.

Back to zero. Back to nothing. Established identity will vanish. All recognitions will be part of the past if HB 5311 will be passed.
Last January 25, students of Usep Obrero campus held a symposium as to their stand toward DRSUS. It is not only the issue of the students.

Academians, deans of different colleges expressed their refusal to the said house bill. It is a fight not just for today’s generation but also for the future students who want to enjoy cheaper but quality education within the city. The same event also encouraged students to be more aware and to take part in the decision-making for they will be the most affected by DRSUS if it will be implemented.

DRSUS is not the last resort to solve the problems in elevating education. Not in Region 11. Not in a university that had made its name on the ground of quality education. Students and incoming professionals of the country have the right to education. An education that is promised by the constitution.

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