In a concerted effort to forward youth issues and their demands to the Aquino administration, various youth organizations in from different campuses in Baguio-Benguet held the State of the Youth Address last July 19 at Malcolm Square. A build-up activity was conducted in the University of the Philippines Baguio where students were called upon to walk out of their classes to show their support in voicing out the youth issues and demands. It was in this event that the
At around 11:30 in the morning, students in UP Baguio started to assemble before doing a snake rally within the campus to call on other students to join in the walk-out. A short program followed after the snake rally where representatives from different youth organizations, staff members and the faculty showed their support for and explained the need for having a collective action such as the walk-out. Erlinda Palaganas, faculty of the Institute of Management, even expressed her dismay on the UP Baguio Student Council who did not overtly led the action.
The group of UP students walked out of the campus at around 01:00 in the afternoon. They passed through Governor Pack Road where they also urged the University of Cordillera students to join in the walkout, Session Road, Magsaysay Avenue, SLU main gate and then back to Peoples’ Park, Malcolm Square. The UP students sat by the road in front of SLU main gate while also calling on them to join the walkout.
In the Malcolm Square, a short program was held where representatives from different universities like University of Baguio, Saint Louis University, Benguet State University and Baguio Central University also showed solidarity with the event. Tracy Anne Dumalo of Anakbayan-Cordillera closed the program by reasserting the youth’s demands to Aquino for quality and free education, protection of human rights and decent employment. “Inaasahan namin sa kanyang State of the Nation Address sa July 25 na aaminin niya ang mga nagging pagkukulang sa mga batayang serbisyong kailangan ng mga kabataan at hanapan ng pangmatagalang solusyon ang mga problemang dinudulot nito sa mga kabataan at mamamayang Pilipino.”
Around 400 students from different Baguio-Benguet colleges joined in the event that is part of a nationally-coordinated action yesterday.