PUP PUBLICATIONS DEMAND CAMPUS PRESS FREEDOM, OTHER PRESS DEMANDS THROUGH MANIFESTO
Campus publications under the Alyansa ng Kabataang Mamamahayag ng PUP (AKM) on Tuesday, July 14, released a manifesto forwarding their demands for press freedom and students’ democratic rights within the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, as well as on people’s demands for health, welfare, and livelihood amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The “AKM Manifesto” was crafted in response to the continuous reports of publications within the PUP system being defunded, delayed funds, and deprived of office space, as well as for its continuous calls for genuine press freedom, students’ democratic rights, and people’s demands.
Part of the manifesto are their calls to ensure the protection of campus journalists against repression, to uphold campus press freedom by scrapping the rule on instating advisors in publications and on the Student Publications Office, and to oppose campus militarization by upholding the Ramos-Prudente Accord of 1989.
The said accord states that there should be no police and military presence within 50 meters outside of the PUP campus.
AKM further specified their call for press freedom through its “7 Press Demands” including calls for the immediate release of publication funds, oppose bureaucratic process, oppose mandatory collection of funds through the Student Information System (SIS) enrollment, allot funding for local (college-wide) publications, uphold financial autonomy, total collection transparency, and the recognition of existing publications and reviving those which previously shut down operations.
AKM also calls for conducting mass testing and contact tracing, providing quarantine facilities, proper procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for front liners, conducting fast and efficient distribution of social amelioration, and the junking of the recently signed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 that took effect last July 18, 2020.
In addition, the alliance is also asking the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to review its Implementing Rules and Regulations under the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, and to allocate funding for student institutions and campus publications.
AKM is currently calling for support from PUP-based student organizations, political groups, and councils through a signature drive to further raise its demands:
“We call on all student organizations, political parties, and councils to support the fight of the campus publications and use the opportunity to fight alongside them, heighten the discourse on pressing issues affecting the student body and other sectors inside the university, and assert students’ democratic rights and legitimate interests,” the alliance said in a statement.
AKM is the broadest and sole alliance of student publications and writing organizations in PUP.