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By Dang Samson Garcia

SENATE President Juan Miguel Zubiri is pushing for a measure that will amend the charter of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines to strengthen and empower it.

Zubiri’s Senate Bill 2448 will allow the university to continue its mission to ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities.

Zubiri said that PUP is one of the country’s most distinguished polytechnic universities, having served thousands of students since its foundation in 1904.

“Today, it is the largest State University in the country in terms of population, with around 70,000 students,” Zubiri said in his explanatory note.

The Senate leader stressed that PUP is one of the top-performing schools in various academic fields, such as engineering, education, psychology, and accountancy. He added that it has consistently produced competent graduates who now compose the country’s league of workers and professionals.

“PUP is named the top school preferred by employers according to a 2023 survey by Jobstreet, one of the biggest employment platforms in the country,” he said.

According to this survey, PUP graduates are preferred by 23.39 percent of employers because they are effective team players in the workplace.

Zubiri added that the university has held the top spot on this survey for several years while it remained to have one of the lowest tuition fees across the country but providing access to quality and responsive education to students who wish to fulfill their dreams and improve their lives through education.

By Patricia Lanzagarita

THE Polytechnic University of the Philippines has allowed graduates to wear gender-neutral attire that reflect their gender identity and expression at this year’s commencement exercises.

The school approved Executive Order No. 20, Series of 2023 or the Diversity and Inclusion Policy of the university last August 24.

The EO was based on legal policies regarding gender identity and expression in education institutions such as Department of Education Order No. 32, Series of 2017 or the Gender-Responsive Basic Education Policy, which allows students in all levels to wear gender-neutral attire for End-of-School Year rites.

“[The university will] Respect the right of individuals to express their gender identity through their attire, even during official university functions. All dress code policies will be gender-neutral and will not restrict attire based on traditional gender norms,” the university said.

“Kaya sa darating na 2023 Year-End Commencement Exercises, masayang tanggapin ang diploma nang malaya – anuman ang iyong gender identity,” PUP said.

By Vergel Labesig

THE faculty union of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines assailed the lack of budget allocation for faculty and employees in eight new branches.

“More than P283 million for personnel services for the eight newly created branches was slashed from PUP’s budget proposal,” Professor Arlan Camba, Unyon ng mga Guro sa PUP president, said. “This clearly shows that education is not a priority under the administration,” he added.

The eight branches are PUP Alfonso, Cavite; PUP Oriental Mindoro; PUP Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro; PUP San Juan City; PUP Sta. Rosa, Laguna; PUP Cabiao, Nueva Ecija; PUP Leyte and PUP Caloocan City.

Aside from those in Leyte and Caloocan City, the six branches were former PUP campuses that acquired their funding from their respective local government units. The laws that created and turned the six campuses into PUP branches provide that their funding will now come from the PUP Main Campus.

Camba said that PUP has more than 70,000 students in the main campus and its 23 branches and campuses across the country.

“Totally disgusting is that the P2.8 billion total budget of the biggest State University in the country is just peanuts compared to the more than P6.9 billion combined confidential and intelligence funds of the Office of the President and the Office of the Vice-President,” he said.

The group called on Congress to ensure that PUP branches will have adequate funding for faculty and employees so that the State University can continue to deliver quality education to the Filipino youth.

By Arturo Belano

STUDENTS and professors from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines were victorious in the DLSU International Social Sciences Conference 2023.

Political science students Graciella Fae Ezekiel Moises and Mariane Lheyla Jane Telmo, along with Assistant Professor George Gamayo, were among those awarded for submitting outstanding papers.

They were recognized for their paper “CREATING SPACES: A Case Study on Linding Ko Kalombayan’s Anti-Child Marriage Advocacy Towards the Promotion of Youth Civic Engagement in Lanao Del Sur.”

The University said it delved into the contentious Anti-Child Marriage Advocacy led by Linding Ko Kalombayan, a Muslim, youth-led, and community-based organization in the Province of Lanao Del Sur.

Meanwhile, communications assistant professor George Vincent Gamayo presented his study “Building Church Resilience Through a Localized Disaster Preparedness Ministry: The Case of Quiapo Church in Manila, Philippines.”

PUP said the paper tackled a comprehensive exploration on the Quiapo Church’s forward-thinking approach to disaster preparedness through community mobilization.

Themed “Sustainable Development Goals and Social Sciences: Strengthening the Key A.R.E.A.S. of Integration,” the DISCON 2023 is known for its commitment to foster cross-disciplinary conversations.

The conference was jointly organized by the DLSU College of Liberal Arts, Social Development Research Center, and the Jesse M. Robredo Institute of Local Governance.

Accepted papers catered to any or many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including Quality Education, Gender Equality, Climate Action, and Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.