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 link:tinyurl.com/CSSPSCTransparency1516. 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

News, SINAGUpdates

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


OFF THE RECORD: “On slots and fairness”

I usually start my editorials, even in the past, with a quote from some famous person (preferably Margaret Thatcher) but now I seem to be at a loss looking for quotes on fairness which would be apt. Most of the quotes are dramatic and sad, usually about love, saying that nothing on this world is fair. But why? Why must we settle for this unfair state of life when fairness and justice is within our grasp? Have we become so complacent, so lazy and inept that only few of us see that to settle for unfair is the most unfair thing we can do for ourselves and for others now and to come?

If you haven’t noticed, SINAG has published online a series of editorials and articles regarding the experience of our fellow Konsiyensya ng Bayan this registration against its usual practice of only web publishing breaking news. I have to admit, at first I believed it inappropriate to rile up already heated emotions regarding the registration season. However, seeing the reaction of some, saying that it is only proper that we accept that life is unfair and whatnot, I think it would not be improper to react.

I myself felt the burden of begging professors for slots in their classes for the first time this semester. It was partly my fault. Being delayed due to health reasons by around 9 units, I was not tagged as “Graduating” withstanding my need for courses usually reserved to graduating students, PI 100 which commanded a line of almost 50 students two hours before they open for enlistment, and of course, 12 units of MST’s including the ever elusive STS (the subject, not the System).

But beyond that, I noticed my fellow 2012s were also at a lack of units. Startling, scary, cringe-worthy even, that those who are most in need of these classes were not bestowed by chance with the subjects they most desperately need. It was simply unfair. Sadly, as I said earlier, we have “learned to live with it” instead of living to change it because life is generally accepted as unfair and UP is said to be a microcosm of Philippine Society – one in which unfairness looms over most of us.

Let me tell you the reason why there aren’t enough slots: THERE AREN’T ENOUGH PROFESSORS, NOT ENOUGH PLANTILLAS, NOT ENOUGH FUNDING. It’s not that we weren’t early enough in lining up, or that we weren’t “blessed” enough by CRS, or that we didn’t share that I ❤ CRS crap on Facebook.

It’s a problem seen across most, if not all SUC’s. UP is actually more privileged – academics actually want to apply and work in UP. Sadly, we couldn’t hire them because we don’t have enough positions or budgetary allocation to sustain the positions. The sad part is, it seems some of us have settled with it, thinking it’s an efficiency problem or a simple registration problem.

It is unfair to the students that we don’t get our subjects, to the professors that they need to overbook subjects and overload schedules, and most of all, to UP that its students and professors, deemed the best in this country, have to face this problem.

Should we sit still and accept this state of unfairness or should we do something about it? But if we do something, what should that something be? Here’s a hint: The solution entails “greater state subsidy.” – AEM de Leon

“Off The Record” is the title of AEM de Leon’s regular editorial column which shall publish weekly online and every printed issue.

Culture and the Arts

Enrol pa more!

Tinagurian ang UP bilang “Unibersidad ng Pila” at karaniwan na na makitang nakapila ang mga tao sa pagkuha ng mga serbisyo sa pamantasan. Hindi pa nga nagsisimula ang klase ay sinasabak na ang mga tao lalo na ang mga estudyante sa pilahan. Para sa akin, bilang estudyante, isa sa mga pinakamahirap na laban ng pilahan ay ang enrolment.

Hindi lahat ay mahal ni CRS para bigyan ng slots sa isang subject kaya naman walang choice kung hindi ang mag-volunteer bilang tribute at sumali sa hunger games kung saan ang kalaban mo ay kapwa mo rin estudyante para sa mga limitadong slots. Isa ako sa mga taong nagmahal at umasa sa kanya ngunit nasaktan lamang sa huli dahil kulang ang slots na binigay. Kahit na pinagpilitan ko sa kanya yung priority status ko ay pinaasa pa rin niya ako.

Ito rin ang enrolment kung saan marami akong nagawa sa unang pagkakataon. Kung kalian may priority status na ako, saka pa lang ako nakaranas na magmakaawa sa prof para ipasok ako sa subject niya. Nag-alinlangan pa nga siya pero naawa siguro kaya pumayag na rin. Ngayong enrolment pa lang din ako nakaranas mag-addmat ng subjects at pinagsisisihan ko na masyado akong nagmadali magpa-validate kasi sobrang hassle pala magpa-addmat. Sabi nga sa sikat na salawikain, “ang maglakad ng matulin, kung matinik ay malalim.” At sobrang lalim nga ng pagkatinik ko pero para sa isang subject, titiisin ko.

Ngayon din ay nakita ko yung dalawang mukha ng enrolment. May mukha na parang maiyak sa tuwa sa tuwing malalaman na mabibigyan siya ng slot para sa subject na matagal niyang pinagpilahan o kaya naman pinagpagurang habulin. Ngunit sa kabila nito, may mukha rin na parang maiyak sa sakit kapag malalaman na wala nang slots yung subject na gusto niya, o merong slots sana pero hindi swak sa time niya. Parang nararamdaman ko rin yung nararamdaman nila.

Sa ilang beses ko na mag-enrol sa UP, isa lang ang matitiyak ko, sobrang halaga ng mga slots sa subject para sa mga mag-aaral ng UP, parang pag-ibig, na sabi nga ni Balagtas, gagawin ang lahat makuha lamang ito.– JLR Pantino