The new protest in no longer about senselessly lying supine to the ground with no symbolic implication, it is now about posing for the camera while doing nothing to show one’s indignation over inaction and indifference.
Various youth organizations in Metro-Baguio took it to the streets last Monday but this time not armed with placards and the loud shouts of various calls and challenges. Instead, they enacted the emerging way of protesting against the lack of visible change in the ways the current administration deals with the problems of the people – Noynoying.
At around noon in Skyworld, Session Road, several members of the youth from Anakbayan, National Union Students of the Philippines and Kabataan Partylist set-up a human size picture frame where each one of them posed alternately to depict inactivity and indifference. Called Noynoying, this is becoming a trend among the people, especially the youth who are fed up with the performance of the Aquino administration in answering to the needs of its constituents. In the protest action last Monday, the several youth organizations lamented Aquino’s lack of action in stopping the commercialization of education. Tracy Anne Dumalo, regional secretariat of Anakbayan Cordillera cited the case of the 300% tuition fee increase proposal that will take effect in all State Universities and Colleges in the region.
“Habang sa pambansang antas ay patuloy ang pagbabalewala ni Noynoy karapatan ng mga kabataan na makapag-aral tulad ng tinuturo sa atin ng patulyo na pagbabawas ng budget para sa edukasyon at pagpaprioritize sa utang-panlabas, ang mga kabataan sa Kodilyera ay mararamdaman ang epekto nito simula sa susunod na pasukan kung saan magiging minimum na 100 na ang babayarin nila kada yunit. Tunay ngang inutil si Noynoy at ang administrasyon niya. Lahat sila nagno-Noynoying,” Dumalo stressed.
The youth organizations also touched on the issue of the continuing increases in the oil prices, resulting to the approval of the provisional fare increase this week in the National Capital Region and some other regions in the county. Last Wednesday, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) approved the fare increase from P8.00 to P8.50 which took effect in ten regions in the country, including NCR. In the Cordillera where the minimum jeepney fare was already P8.50, there was no increase that took effect.
Despite of this, the youth organizations still see the implications of the increase to the Cordillera youth. Cielo Marie Bayson of NUSP said, “With an increased transportation fare resulting from the unceasing increases in oil prices, it would be not hard to foresee the prices of basic commodities increasing as well, especially the agricultural products being transported from other parts of the region. Also, with the jeepney drivers getting the fare increase, we can also expect the bus operators to request for the same increase which will affect the citizens of the region.”
The youth closed the program with the continuously challenging the Aquino administration. “Proved to us that you are not Noynoying; that you are doing something to buffer the impact of the economic crisis to your constituents who are day after day threatened by the barest means of subsistence,” they said.