At around 3PM today, the University of the Philippines confirmed that the entire UP system will not collect any fees this semester following a memorandum issued by UP President Danilo L. Concepcion on August 7.

The memorandum was issued in response to the passage of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, which was signed into law by President Rodrigo R. Duterte last August 3.

This overturned the memorandum issued by President Conception last August 1 that superseded the suspension of tuition collection imposed in UP Diliman by Chancellor Michael Tan, and by other chancellors in their respective UP units.

In a post on their verified Facebook account, the UP System clarified that the memorandum will implement the spirit of Sections 4 and 6 of RA 10931, providing all UP students with free tuition, except for those who:

  1. already hold an undergraduate or bachelor’s degree (second degree students),
  2. exceed the maximum residency requirement prescribed by the university,
  3. fail to meet admission and retention rules, and
  4. are students of the College of Law and the College of Medicine.

The exceptions to the memorandum can still apply for tuition discounts under the Socialized Tuition System or further subsidies provided by law or additional scholarships. The UP administration will also still accept payments of tuition and other school fees if the student voluntarily pays for them. ◼︎


DaniCon orders assessment, tuition payment

University of the Philippines (UP) President Danilo L. Concepcion shocked UP Diliman upon his issuance of Memorandum No. PDLC 17-21A, which ordered the continuation of the assessment process of the ongoing enlistment this August 1.

The memo, publicized through UP Diliman’s Computerized Registration System (CRS) at 10:30 AM, presented guidelines regarding the tuition and other fees assessment and collection for the 1st semester of this academic year, saying that:

“A student desiring to avail of the tuition subsidy or financial support has to submit a duly accomplished application form together with the required supporting documents.

Pending decision on his application, his enrollment shall be processed until assessment of all payable tuition and other fees. Decision on his application shall be released days before 25 August 2017. For graduate students and non-applicants for subsidy or financial support, their enrollment shall be processed and they may pay the assessed tuition and other fees immediately.

Deadline for payment of tuition and other fees shall be on 25 August 2017.”

This was done after a discussion between President Concepcion and all the UP Diliman College secretaries last July 31, wherein he gave the order to assess all fees that students would be paying for this semester. The assessments would then be used in unifying a figure to be forwarded to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

The memo caused a wave of reactions on social media, with various sectors of the campus releasing statements condemning the decision.

“With the CHEd Free Tuition 2017 currently in limbo and with President Rodrigo Duterte’s remote silence on the executive approval of the bill on free education, the assessment of our school fees poses an even larger threat to our right to our education because it automatically gives us a price that we have to pay to study in our university,” said the College Of Social Sciences and Philosophy Student Council (CSSPSC) on their official statement regarding the memo.

“Above all, we call on every Iskolar ng Bayan to exhaust all possible means in fighting for our right to quality, free and accessible education,” they said.

The League of College Councils also expressed their sentiments on the admin’s decision, calling for students to not proceed with assessment as of now, and inviting them to join a mob protest on August 2.

Dean Amihan Bonifacio-Ramolete, Ph.D. of the neighbouring College of Arts and Letters will order the shutdown of enlistment centers and offices tomorrow during protest hours (11:30 AM – 1:00 PM) in solidarity for the rally against tuition collection.

According to political organization Students for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP), the UP administration will already acquire PHP 370 million from the Free Tuition Policy fund, apart from the tuition it will be collecting from the students should they proceed with assessment and tuition collection.

“Uhaw ang pamunuan ni Danilo Concepcion para sa pagpapalaki ng kita. Sa kabila ng tumpok ng pondong inilaan para gawing libre ang matrikula ay puro pagpapalaki ng tubo at kita ang inaatupag nito,” argued STAND UP in their official statement on Facebook.

The memo issued by President Concepcion superseded the earlier memorandum given by UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan, which ordered that the registration process should push through until validation but assessment and tuition fee collection would be suspended pending clearer guidelines from the CHEd on the Free Tuition Policy.


Top Three USC Councilors from CSSP

VINZONS HALL, DILIMAN – Three CSSP Majors, Mary Micah Tolosa from the Department of Philosophy, Coun. Donn Esbert Bernal (S-CSSP) from Psychology, and Ben Galil Te from the Department of Sociology landed third to first Councilors in the recently concluded University Student Council Elections.


Councilor-Elect Mary Micah Tolosa as Sr. Web Correspondent of SINAG Publications


Councilor-Elect Mary Micah Tolosa ran for Councilor in the 2015 CSSPSC Elections under SALiGAN sa CSSP but failed to get a seat. She was then appointed to serve as Web Administrator and Member of the Executive Board of SINAG Publications, a position she has served in until she started campaigning for USC Councilor.

Coun. Donn Esbert Bernal (S-CSSP) likewise ran for his


Coun. Donn Bernal in his candidacy publicity photo from 2015 (Photo from SALiGAN sa CSSP)

incumbent seat in the 2015 CSSPSC Elections in which he was the sole SALiGAN Councilor elected. Shortly after his election, he was placed under preventive suspension but was later cleared of any involvement in a Fraternity Related Violence incident in which his fraternity, Upsilon Sigma Phi, was involved. He continues to serve in his capacity as Councilor.




Councilor-Elect Ben Te in a rally in 2015 (Photo from Ben Te’s Facebook Profile)

Councilor-Elect Ben Galil “BENTE” Te, however, did not previously run in any student council election. He serves as head of the League of Filipino Students and Student Christian Movement in UP Diliman. He is also an affiliate of CSSP-based Association of Political Science Majors as an honorary member.

All three councilors-elect will be serving for Academic Year 2016-2017. – AEM de Leon


SALiGAN gets 8 seats; BUKLOD retains Chair and 8 other seats

PALMA HALL, DILIMAN – SALiGAN sa CSSP won all its seats it contested for except for one while BUKLOD CSSP retains eight seats and the CSSPSC Chairmanship and an independent candidate earns the Philosophy Department’s seat in the Council.

In a surprise turn of events, BUKLOD CSSP has lost its clear majority in the Council for the upcoming academic year. On its face, BUKLOD has retained 10 of 19 seats in the Council but only has 9 of 18 voting members in the Council as the Chairperson does not have a vote unless a deadlock is reached.

The two next highest positions, College Representative to the USC and SC Vice-Chairperson were earned by SALiGAN sa CSSP after years of BUKLOD CSSP dominance. SALiGAN earned victory with all its four Councilor candidates winning seats while BUKLOD earned three.

BUKLOD, however, earned most of the Department Representatives including both Psychology seats, Political Science, Linguistics, History, and Geography.

The Philosophy Department seat was taken by John Carlo Katigbak, an Independent, while Anthropology and Sociology were taken by SALiGAN.

The Election Results are as follows
Councilor ALLY MARAON (S)
Councilor JEFF GALBAN (B)
Rep. KIM CHUA (B-Psych)
Rep. KIM GO-TIAN (B-Geog)
Rep. JAE DE VERA (S-Socio)
Rep. JOHN CARLO KATIGBAK (Independent-Philo)

The current CSSPSC composition will prove unique throughout the upcoming year as STRAW or Students’ Rights and Welfare Committee, will be in the hands of JV Bautista (S), and the other four committees: Secretariat and Logistics, Finance and Special Projects, Education and Popular Struggles, and Publications will go to other Councilors.

Likewise, during voting in the CSSPSC, the Chairperson shall not be allowed to vote unless a deadlock is reached. There being eight SALiGAN votes, nine BUKLOD votes and one Independent, any absence on either party may send the vote one way or the other.

There was, however, a mix of extreme emotions as students on one side were embracing each other in tears while those opposite were shouting in joy in the historic Palma Hall lobby. – AEM de Leon



This is to inform the public that SINAG Publications is in no way responsible for the false copies of SINAG being spread around AS today, the 20th of April 2016.

SINAG Publications condemns the use of our name and iconography in the spread of malicious information and allegations.

AEM de Leon for the Editorial Board


“CSSP definitely deserves nothing less from us” – Chair Lagbas

PALMA HALL, DILIMAN. – Incumbent College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Student Council Chairperson Aubrey Sheldian Lagbas (B) on Monday posted on her personal Facebook wall a statement as a reaction to statements made by Coun. Shaina Santos (B) alluding to politicizing within the Student Council.

The Facebook post includes within it a link to a Google Drive folder marked “CSSPSC AY 2015-2016 Transparency” containing folders with financial statements, minutes of GA meetings, attendance, statements, publications, and other downloadables. A student, Renz Reyes, from the Department of Political Science, commented on Chair Lagbas’ post 10:23 pm yesterday, asking where the minutes for the second semester could be accessed.

Upon examination of the Drive sub-folder marked Minutes of the Meeting and its other sub-folders, it is apparent that the narrative minutes available only date back to November. Those for the months from December to April were not initially present in the Drive folder. However, those from February and March were added earlier today.

In the paragraph preceding the link to the Drive folder, Chair Lagbas stated that “Most of the members were very busy and this time-consuming task was most of the time left in the hands of Aaron viernes and one or two of his members who were also department representatives.”

SINAG, through PASABOG: The CSSP Elections Debate held on Friday, 15 April 2016, asked incumbent Student Council members present as to why Coun. Aaron Viernes (B) in his capacity as Secretary-General was not suspended for dereliction of duty whilst Coun. Donn Bernal (S) was placed on preventive suspension previously. Coun. Clarisse Peralta (B) who was present as sole candidate for CSSPSC Chairperson, replied that Coun. Viernes was not suspended because no one filed a complaint against him.

Chair Lagbas’ full post is quoted below:

“Our council is not perfect. This year we, as a whole, had one simple goal and that is to deliver a balanced set of services, campaigns, and projects to the students. As much as we try to successfully carry out all our planned events and projects to the best of our capability, some of these don’t always turn out as we intend them to. Reasons for this range from personal to contextual conflicts. There have been a lot of instances that logistical and financial circumstances had us struggling through our events. On another note, people have also had their share of personal conflicts and misunderstandings. However, all these are normal considering the pressure we experience coupled with our differences in principles, beliefs, work styles, and personalities.

Last Friday, I wanted to keep silent on the issue raised by one of our incumbent councilors since it was supposedly directed to students running for council positions, but demoralizing posts and statements affecting the council and so many other people have led me at this point to where I have to say my piece as member and as Chairperson of the CSSP Student Council.

What bothers and disheartens me is how personal conflicts between members have been intensified to the point of affecting the integrity of our council as a whole. I’m disappointed and deeply saddened by the fact that this has been publicly manifested when we could’ve settled it as a council diplomatically in its proper context and venue. Even outside the formal meetings of the GA, I have made it a point to make the members feel that they can approach me with anything, and I also ask them how they are every once in a while.
First point: regarding the assignment of people to their respective committees.

There is a process for this, and the entire council is involved. In advance, the council members are asked to send in their intent to head a committee and whoever applies for committee headship present to the body on a scheduled date and then the whole council deliberates after they have presented. Once the committee heads have been finalized, they are convened to deliberate committee assignments for the rest of the council members. In the deliberations, we primarily consider their committee preferences and, most importantly, their other automatic functions in the council (This is primarily applicable for department representatives who are also busy with their respective departments).
Being assigned to a committee does not limit the work of that council member to that committee alone as each committee is linked to the other in a dynamic function that necessitates cooperation amongst all. Furthermore, if a council member wanted to change committee memberships, it may be opened to the body. If they are not fulfilled and feel like they’re not functioning in their committee then the GA is very open to discussing this.

Second point, which is linked to the first one, is with regard to dis-empowering people. As the chairperson of the council, I am going to say that THIS IS NOT TRUE. Everyone was given his or her own share of responsibilities in the council and was given a chance to take part and lead. As chairperson and member of the council, I see to it that if a council member is willing and capable, he or she should be and had always been given the chance. On another note, no matter what task is assigned, it is crucial to the success of every event, project, or campaign of the council. I think everyone would agree that no task is menial when it comes to student council work and every council member has to take on work loads of all shapes and sizes, whether they particularly like it or not. At the end of the day, EACH AND EVERY CONTRIBUTION COUNTS, and I NEVER looked at any particular type of work as less meaningful than others. Ultimately, what we work towards is not self-gratification or glorification but quality service to the students.

In the secretariat committee, for example, everyone regardless of political affiliation was assigned tasks, and I don’t think this can be denied. There are instances, however, that some committee members are assigned tasks their workloads and schedules could accommodate if they had other important concerns especially since most committee members are already department representatives. In behalf of the committee, I feel that it is important to mention that this is also one reason why the committee had a difficult time releasing our regular monthly GA narratives. Most of the members were very busy and this time-consuming task was most of the time left in the hands of Aaron viernes and one or two of his members who were also department representatives. A complete copy of our GA minutes however, have already been long uploaded in our website and can be accessed through this The minutes for the committee deliberations could also be found here.

Also, NO ONE was ever barred from speaking out in the council, and this is precisely one reason why most of our GAs last very long. As the presider, I make sure that everyone gets to say what they have to say, and I even make an effort to pry at them if I feel that they want to say more. Furthermore, in the many events of the council, EVERYONE CONTRIBUTED. As members, assistant committee heads, and committee heads, I don’t see how anyone would feel that some of us have not been accorded tasks. In fact, there have been moments where we were undermanned in the council.

Third and last point, I AM PROUD OF MY COUNCIL AND EVERYONE IN IT, especially after all we’ve gone through this year. It’s been incredibly hard. At this point I feel that we have been a council publicly recognized for the issues that have spurred out of this and not for our different campaigns, services and projects. This is immensely frustrating considering all our efforts and all that we’ve gone through.

EVERYONE in the council has worked so hard and put in his or her fair share of efforts in all that we’ve been doing. This issue reducing all that we’ve worked for the entire year, and IT SHOULD NOT. This is unfair to the council members, the CSSP VolCorps and everyone else who has actively participated and contributed to the council initiatives. Beyond this issue, I just want us to work well together and see through our remaining time as a council. We still have so much more to do and this issue should not divide us and prevent us from giving our last push as council members; CSSP definitely deserves nothing less from us.”

UPDATE: As of 11 AM today, the minutes for the months of February (11:00-11:01) and March (11:01-11:02) have been uploaded to the linked drive folder.

To this article, Chair Lagbas commented, “First of all, there have been some difficulty uploading some of the minutes real time but the minutes have long been readily available to the public since these are all uploaded in our transparenCSSP folder. As for our second semester minutes, they can also be accessed there na. This link has been recently publicized in the college GA (KAPPulungan+) and if anyone asks where they can access the minutes, we tell them to access these through the folder.” – AEM de Leon


CSSP SC Chair Aubrey Lagbas (B) together with Dean Grace H. Aguiling-Dalisay, PhD and CSSP-OSA Coordinator Jerwin F. Agpaoa, MA at the Oath Taking Ceremonies at the start of the CSSPSC term in 2015

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CSSP designated four Centers of Excellence

DILIMAN, QUEZON CITY – The College of Social Sciences and Philosophy has been designated four Centers of Excellence for 2016-2018 by the Commission on Higher Education on Wednesday, 23 December 2015.

The Department of Anthropology, Department of History, Department of Political Science and Department of Psychology have been designated by the Commission on Higher Education as Centers of Excellence in their respective fields effective 1 January 2016 until 31 December 2018 through CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) 38 Series of 2015.

The CMO is issued  pursuant to Republic Act 7722 or the Higher Education Act of 1994. The Commission designates Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development “per recommendations of the respective Technical Panels”.

The Department of Psychology, which offers both Bachelors’ Degrees in Science and the Arts in Psychology has previously been designated a Center of Excellence in 2013 and has been given the designation again for 2015-2018.

The Department of Political Science which is celebrating its hundredth year has also been designated as a Center of Excellence in 2013 and shall continue to enjoy the designation until 2018.

Absent from the list but could still have contributed to the designation is the Department of Linguistics which offers courses on Asian Languages. UP Diliman has also been given the Center of Excellence in Foreign Language Designation, offering both Asian and European Languages, the latter offered by the Department of European Languages of the College of Arts and Letters.

In total, UP Diliman received 24 Centers of Excellence in 23 different fields which include:

Political Science
Chemical Engineering
Geodetic Engineering
Foreign Language
Library and Information Science
Biology (both in Biology and Cell & Molecular Biology)
Environmental Science
Marine Science
Journalism, and
Social Work.

CMO 38 series of 2015 was signed on 23 December 2015 by CHED Chairperson Patricia B. Licuanan, PhD, who also serves as Chairperson of the UP Board of Regents in Ex-Officio capacity.

The Memorandum may be accessed here. – AEM de Leon