16 March 2013
The militant Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) mourned the death of UP
student Kristel Tejada and called for a stop to the controversial “no late
payment” policy. The Manila Collegian,
UP Manila school paper reported that Tejada
committed suicide allegedly due to financial constraints. Since last year, UP has been implementing the “no late
payment” and “forced LOA” policies that are being criticized by PM as anti-student
and anti-poor. Manila
“The no late payment and forced LOA policies kill. Tejeda’s suicide is both sad and enraging. UP is a public university being subsidized by the government for the education of the country’s future leaders. Over the years, it has been crafting and implementing policies that have made it difficult for poor but deserving students to enter the university, including the STFAP. Dati kung matalino ka, you deserve to be an ‘Iskolar ng Bayan,’ ngayon kailangan you have to have money, too. That is not a problem to those who can afford UP education, but how about poor students?” said Judy Ann Miranda, PM secretary-general and a former UP
“’Education is a right, not a privilege.’ The death of Tejda should not be in vain.. Rather, it should lead to reforms that would address discrimination against poor students in the premier public university because of inability to pay tuition fees. This is not for UP alone but so with the rest of state colleges and universities,” Miranda added.
PM-Kabataan is advocating a set of demands called “Apat na Dapat” as a challenge to candidates in the elections and an increase in the budget for education is among them.