Friday, September 17, 2004

Senate Starts Public Hearing on the New UP Charter

The Committee on Education of the Senate led by Senator Juan Flavier have started yesterday its public hearing on the new UP Charter. As of 9:30 AM yesterday there were a total of 6 bills filed by individual Senators to revise the UP Charter. Almost all bills filed have similar features primarily on the the highest governing body (Board of Regents), utilization of UP assets (geared towards commercialization. Our version (UP Widem II) of the revised UP Charter was not yet filed in the Senate

The hearing started at around 9:30 AM with all the twelve members of the committee attending. Our set of speakers were the first to state their positions. Our speakers (in order of acknowedlement by the Committee Chair) Prof. Judy Taguiwalo of AUPAEU, Dr. Ed Villegas and Dr. Delen Dela Paz of AUPEAU, Manila, Mr. Noli Anoos, AUPWU, representative from from the Office of Student Regent and Mr. Ken Ramos from the UP Manila's University Student Council. After all our speakers have finished delivering their respective pieces, the UP Administration's set for spekers follows. The Administration's side (of course favoring all the bills filed) was headed by Vice President Mariz Diokno, representatives from the UP Diliman's University Student Council ad the Medical Student Council, and one other Professor from UP Diliman. The Vice Chancellor of UP Manila Prof. Roland Simbulan also spoke but have a vague position on the issue.

After all speakers for and against the filed bills have finished, each of the Senators present have commented, made some clarificatory questions and their views on the issues raised. In winding up, the chair ruled that considering that the previous committee on education of the 12th Congress had already came up with a report, such report will be adopted and be part of the materials that will be tackled by the Technical Working Group (TWG) that will consolidate all reported bills on the subject. He further ruled that no more public hearings will be called, instead all interested gruops shall be consulted by the TWG while in the process of consolidation.

N.B. Our version of the UP Charter will be filed by the Office of Senator Bong Revilla this week or at most next week.

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