No tambayan present for Christmas (corrected)

No tambayan present for Christmas
By Alexandra Francisco

The construction of tambayans will start on December, and not finish by that month as previously announced, according to college secretary Lourdes Portus.

The College of Mass Communication (CMC) secretary said the student organizations’ long-awaited permanent tambayans would start by the end of the year, built three to six months later at the grassy area facing the Media Center.

College dean Rolando Tolentino had declared last July that the construction, which included the refurbishment of the canteen, would be done by December, but Portus said the bidding process took time to accomplish.

“The bidding process must be completed before Dec. 31,” said CMC administrative officer Gina Villegas, adding that Sen. Edgardo Angara’s one million peso grant would expire if a contractor was not identified by then.

Despite being informed that bidding would close by November, CMC student council (CMC-SC) vice-chair Paula Lim said, “We feel positive because at least there’s progress, even if it’s at a slow pace.”

Journalism representative Kelvin Paulino also remains positive despite minor holdups on the construction of tambayans. “Let’s just be patient and continue knocking on the doors of the administration for a prompter action,” he said.

As of press time, Villegas said the Office of the Campus Architect (OCA) is rushing the plans and estimates for the project.

Meanwhile, student organizations were given the option to use four tables and six benches near the TV studio at the Media Center, which Portus said was not a “tambayan” but a “temporary area where they can meet.”

However, organization members said the meeting area, even if wi-fi enabled, was too far from the main buildings.

Journalism Club president John Antiquerra added the open place exposed students to the rain, mosquitoes and dog stench which was rabid near the targeted construction area.

While Edmalynne Remillano of the Union of the Journalists of the Philippines’s UP chapter said they did not use the area because UJP held most of its activities in the main building.

Meanwhile, Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP CMC chair Absolom Eligio said the tables and seats in skywalk—where the organizations temporarily hung-out—were often disarranged because of college events. He said the temporary tambayan beside the SC offices “looks like a storage room.”

CMC-SC chair Rupert Mangilit said these concerns would be brought up in the next council’s dialogue with the dean and the college secretary.

The previous tambayans were located in M207 and the rooms near the photocopying area were deconstructed in 2007 in favor of transforming them into classrooms. Since then, organizations had clamored for new places to hang-out in to conduct their meetings and other activities.

Initially, the administration thought of buying huts as tambayans but the plan was scrapped because the permanent structures were promised to the students by the end of the year, Mangilit said.

With reports from Katherine Elona, Ernica de Guzman and Katrina Alba.

(Editors note: some quotes from sources have been erroneously translated from Filipino. We have corrected the error as they appear in the print addition, and we extend our apologies.)