Botong Isko: CMC parties bare campaign expenses

by Nicole-Anne Lagrimas

The College Mass Communication chapter of the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP CMC) reported a total fund of P10,900 for the two-week campaign.

Meanwhile, the UP CMC Interdependent Student-Centered Activism (UP CMC ISA) filed a budget of P30,000.

According to their most recent financial statements, both parties sourced their funds for this year’s campaign from alumni and member donations, and in the case of STAND UP, candidates’ fees. UP CMC ISA also relied on income-generating projects such as a rummage and a food sale.

“Tingin ko, naging sapat lang naman yung gastos para sa buong kampanya para dun sa pangangailangan,” said Justine Siscar, Chairperson of STAND UP CMC.

“Hindi rin siya lumalabis at ineensure na batay rin sa kakayahan nung mga members at candidates yung contributions na binibigay nila,” she added.

Member contributions for STAND UP CMC figure at P2,950 while alumni solicitations are at P5,500, which constitutes 50 percent of the party’s budget. Candidates’ fees are at P2,450.

Other expenses of the party, such as thematic posters and pins fall on the university-wide finances and are distributed among the local chapters, added Siscar.

On the other hand, UP CMC ISA’s budget came mainly from an individual donation worth P20,000, which consists of 67 percent of the party’s total funds. The remaining P10,000 came from their earnings in a food sale and a rummage sale.

The budget allotted for the campaign changes every year, said Dianne Olivan, UP CMC ISA’s campaign manager.

“What we do before [the elections] is we try to earn money by selling stuff, then that money, regardless of its amount, malaki man o maliit, will be used for the elections,” she added. They also resort to contributions from members to sustain finances.

Expenses of both parties mainly include operating expenses such as rent for the campaign house, food, groceries and printing and reproduction of publicity/propaganda materials.

Specifications on the type and size of campaign materials are stipulated in the University Student Electoral Code, as is a clean-up bond of P1,500 for university-wide parties and P500 for individual candidates to ensure that they promptly clear the campus of their campaign materials one week after the elections.

There is no provision on spending, however, which is something the two local parties seem to have differing views on.

“Mahalaga naman nagiging self-regulating yung mga partido para siguraduhin na hindi lumalabis yung gastos nila kaysa mayroon pa na mga provisions sa electoral code. Sa totoo lang kasi, you can only spend so much for a two-week campaign, lalo na for local slates,” said Siscar.

Meanwhile, Olivan said, “We believe that we are in need of such provision, to give an equal footing among the political parties.”

“Similarly, we are a small political party of 30 members, and we know that our opposite is a big one, and probably has more access to more resources. We need a certain provision that will limit our spending din para pantay ang starting point,” she added.

INQUIRY: 2014 CMC Student Council candidates

Who will lead the College of Mass Communication next year? Know more about these CMC Student Council (CMCSC) aspirants with their answers.

Compiled by Yvette Morales, Shara Cayetano, Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena and Alyssa Jose

CMCSCWho will lead the College of Mass Communication next year? Know more about these CMC Student Council (CMCSC) aspirants with their answers.

Envisioning the 50th founding anniversary of the College, local party Interdependent Student-Centered Activism (ISA) invites students to join their cause and create One Maskom who will spark social agenda and continue lasting legacies.

As the local arm of a university-wide party, STAND UP-CMC aims to bring the call to Unite to Fight within the college’s grasp and to call for media practitioners for societal change: ang midya ng pagbabago.


1. What is wrong with Philippine media today?

STAND UP – Beata Regina “BEATA” Carolino: It is profit-oriented more than service-oriented – which is supposed to be the primary aim or the primary goal and the character of media.

ISA – Mari Angelyn “MARI” Arambulo: First we start off with what I believe is the most pressing lately — I’ve seen it with the Vhong Navarro issue. It’s the issue of giving what the people wants or directing what should be reported. During the Martial Law, the trivial news, something like Vhong Navarro issue, the trivial, was used to cover up more pressing issues. But what was disturbing was that now, it is the people who want the Vhong Navarro issue.

2. Kung isa kang halaman, anong klaseng halaman ka? I-ugnay ito sa pagiging lider/ estudyante.

STAND UP – Beata Carolino: Ano siguro ako, damo. Kasi kahit apak-apakan, nandiyan pa rin para ipaglaban ang karapatan ng mga estudyante.

ISA – Mari Arambulo:  Kung halaman ako, I think I would be a root crop. Siguro a turnip, but I’m not sure. (Because it has roots) and the vision that we have for Maskom this year is really building on the roots. Growing deeper, but at the same time, we grow outwards din. Di ba ang root crop meron din siyang grass top? So we not only grow deeper, we also grow up together.

3. How do you define student representation?

STAND UP – Beata Carolino: I define student representation as yung pagiging mong boses ng mga estudyante at ‘yung pagkiling mo sa mga legitimate interests ng mga students and proper consultation and education of the student body about the pertinent issues.”

ISA – Mari Arambulo: Student representation can be delineated —  I guess, concretely — when making statements. When you’re making a statement regarding an issue na wala namang kokontra, like the big issues that we are all against: Maguindanao massacre, Mark Solis, Maricon Montajes. So in issues regarding these, we as a council can make institutional statements in behalf of our constituents, and then we do this: we can directly speak in their behalf because of the nature of the issue. But when making issues like STFAP, or other issues that you’re not sure on how the student body would feel, we would definitely go for representation. Representation through consultation, representation through gathering data.


1. What is wrong with Philippine media today?

STAND UP – Marie Pauline “PAU” Requesto: Nawawala na iyong orientation ng pagiging mass ng mass communication. Unang-una, yung news values natin, ano na nga ba ang ipinapatampok natin sa media ngayon. Sinesensationalize natin ang mga petty na bagay samantala ang mismong mga bagay na dapat talagang binibigyang-focus ng ating media ay hindi nabibigyang-pansin. Nawawala ang orientation niya na magsilibi sa greater interests of the people, sa nakararami.

ISA – Simone Martine Marie “SIMONE” Dimalibot: Philippine media also tends to over-sensationalize a certain issue when it seems to create a lot of buzz (like the Vhong Navarro issue). As future media practitioners, we are challenged to apply everything that we’ve learned in the university and use it to regain people’s trust in the media.

2. Kung isa kang halaman, anong klaseng halaman ka? I-ugnay ito sa pagiging lider/estudyante.

STAND UP – Pau Requesto: Coconut Tree, the tree of life. Hindi naman parang we have all the solutions to the students, hindi naman messianic ang ating tungkulin bilang lider-estudyante, pero nariyan tayo to be at the forefront of giving service to our constituents. Katulad ng coconut tree, marami siyang naseserve na function for humanity, and that’s the same thing with being a student leader. Narito tayo to give utmost capacities for the greater good not just of the student body but the masses.

ISA – Simone Dimalibot: Ako ay magiging bamboo. Ang halamang ito ay mukhang madaling masira dahil sa pisikal nitong anyo, ngunit ito ay nakikisabay sa hangin kahit ano pang lakas ng bagyo ang dumating. Bilang isang lider-estudyante, kailangang marunong kang makisabay sa kahit anong dami ng problemang iyong makakaharap at dahil dito, ikaw ay magiging isang lider na hindi matitinag.

3. How will you engage CMC students to be part of the council’s campaigns, especially those without organizations?

STAND UP – Pau Requesto: Ang ating programa sa council ay hindi lamang org-centric, ine-engage po natin lahat ng students, may org man o wala. Isa pa po, tayo ay magkakaroon ng malawakang student consultations, para talagang involved, talagang lumalapit ang ating konseho sa ating mga estudyante, regardless kung may org man or hindi.

ISA – Simone Dimalibot: This year, we offer projects that are very inclusive of everyone in the college. Our slate’s flagship project Push It aims to forward an issue voted upon by the whole student body through finding alternative means in addressing it. We also have AffGrade, a leveled-up version of the current Affiliates program which will allow Maskom students to head certain CMCSC projects alongside a council member.


What changes would you like to see in the USC Mass Media Committee?

STAND UP – John Benedict “BEN” Opinion: I want the Mass Media Awareness Committee to be more of a media literacy campaign not just held during November but a year-long campaign…Kailangan natin na i-up ang Mass Media Committee at ipagpatuloy ang pagtaguyod nito sa ating campaign for justice sa Maguindanao Massacre victims at pag-end ng culture of impunity.

ISA – Gabriel “GAB” Abeleda: The change that I want to see is simple: the Mass Media Committee should not just be known for mere information dissemination. The USC should be an avenue to forward issues that are central not just to the UP Community but our country as well. In line with this, the committee must actively engage students to be critical about the different issues of our media landscape . To do this, the committee should be able to spearhead projects and campaigns in order raise the level of media literacy among UP students.


What is the most important task of the CMCSC Secretary?

STAND UP – Jean Cheryl “CHE” Tagyamon: ‘Yun po yung maglabas regularly at agaran ang minutes kasi po para sa transparency and accountability, kailangan alam ng students yung nangyayari sa loob ng konseho para naman lahat tayo involved, at para lahat tayo may alam sa mga isyung pinag-uusapan at pati yung mga proyektong isinasagawa sa loob ng Maskom.

ISA – Edmer”EDMER” Maguan: I think the most important task of the CMCSC Secretary is to keep the council organized enough that the students know what’s happening in the council. And I think it can be manifested in what I believe is the three core roles of the CMCSC Secretary, which is first, taking down minutes of the meeting, second is logistics, and third is promotions.


How would you raise money for CMCSC’s projects?

STAND UP –  Maria Almira “ALMIRA” Abril: Maliban sa pagkakaroon natin ng every sem na nangongolekta tayo ng student fees, nandiyan naman yung mga maliliit na income-generating projects na balak natin ilagay in between each semester. At syempre nandyan yung year-long nating pagma-market ng events ng CMCSC mismo.

ISA – Ma. Ria Bernadette “RIA” Tagle: I will raise money by first, projecting the expenses for every project/service/program the council will do and plot them throughout the year. After knowing how much money I have to bring in for the year, that’s when I plan which IGPs I should do and when. Raising funds is really having a good mix of big and small IGPs, marketing, and a thorough knowledge of how the council works.


What should be the aim of Broadcast Communication?

STAND UP – Mary Christine “MC” Sacay: Gusto nating maging venue para mapatampok ang mga isyu ng ating lipunan. Yun naman po talaga ang aim ng Broadcast Communication, ipagbigay alam sa mga audience nito, ang masa, yung kondisyon ng lipunan, yun po ang gusto nating mangyari.

STAND UP – Kris Ciel “KAYE” Enriquez: The aim of broadcast communication as a field of study is to create productions and papers not only to fulfill the requirements in class but also to forward the voices and issues not only of the students but especially of the marginalized.

ISA – Raphael Louis “LOUIS” Hipos: I believe that the aim of Broadcast Communication is to deliver information to the masses accurately and efficiently, in such a manner that the audience’s minds are stimulated and they walk away with a new understanding of things.

ISA – Kenneth James Whelheem “JAMES” Gasara: For me, our audience are being more intelligent and we should acknowledge this fact.Yet we shouldn’t settle for this but we need to aim for a non-linear relationship with our audience. Meaning to say, instead of just transmitting a message, we should strive for our  audience to be empowered and encourage them to act.


What makes Communication Research relevant to society?

STAND UP – Gelina Rose “GEL” Bongon: Communication Research, unbeknownst to many, is a discipline that can encompass many subjects. One can apply CommRes, the study of comm-related behavior, to situations like the recent Yolanda lerler media situation. For example, we can find out the problems that arose in communicating the risk of the typhoon and the results of the study can help address these shortcomings. As is the nature of research, you identify a problem, you find the reason, and we formulate a conclusion, and in real life we act upon and address these problems.

STAND UP – Justine Alyssa “JUSTINE” Siscar: CommRes is able to answer questions about issues in the society in an organized and scientific manner. It does not only study patterns and test theories, but also give voices and advance advocacies. Because of this, Comm Res is an integral part in changing society.

ISA – John Dominic “DOMINIC” Rodriguez: For me, what makes Communication Research relevant to society is its ability to supply data on the communication aspect through different research methods that enables us to get more informed, evaluate ourselves and spark concrete change behind the numbers offered. Without research, one cannot fully become aware of things. This is the backbone of what makes us media practitioners. We are the ones behind the scenes.

 ISA – Ivy Dianne “DIANNE” Olivan: It is relevant to the society in a way that we can use CommRes to understand how people think, why they think that way in order to serve them better. CommRes has been used in different fields like advertising, entertainment, and law to fully understand people and find out ways we can fully cater to their needs.


What does a film student need to do in order to serve the country?

STAND UP – Josiah Gil “JOSIAH” Hiponia: Syempre as Film students, meron kami nung media na hindi nace-censor compared to other fields like BroadComm or Journ or CommRes, pwede kaming mag-insert ng things na may subtle meaning. So as Film students, we need to first be educated about the masses tapos gumawa ng films na may social relevance na hindi lang for art’s sake.

ISA – Edsel Brady “EDSEL” Uy: I believe that the utmost duty of a Film Rep, in order to serve the country, is to start by serving the department. Once this is achieved, this will pave the way for the betterment of the country. A Film Rep, whilst being a film enthusiast, must aid fellow film enthusiasts in their pursuit of filmmaking as well. All of this is to create a change for the better in the Film Institute, which will then lead to the improvement of Philippine cinema, and ultimately lead to the betterment of the country.

ISA – Patricia Denise “PATTY” Singson: We in ISA believe that each person has his/her own way of being activists. We recognize the power in different mediums as a way of service. That being said, as film students, what we can do is to use film as a channel to forward our personal advocacies. We can contribute to our country creatively through creating relevant, quality films.


What should be a Journalism student’s priority?

STAND UP – Dale “DALE” Calanog: A journalism student’s priority is to practice truth-telling not only for the purpose of giving awareness on pressing issues (sa college man or nationwide na scale) but to also get people involved.

STAND UP – Patricia Isabel “PATIS” Gloria: Dapat maging critical tayo sa balitang binabasa at sinusulat natin. Syempre kailangan rin nating pangalagaan yung ating constitutional freedom of information and expression.

ISA – Justine Anjanique “JUSTINE” Jordan: For me, it’s not really about what a Journalism student should be expected to prioritize because every Journalism student, or rather, every student, has their own reason for getting into a course. Given that, however, all students across all courses, I believe, should have a unifying goal, and that is to study not solely for the benefit of themselves, meaning to say that the effort they exert into their studies during their stay in the university should be, ideally, coupled with this knowledge that one is capable of doing great things for other people and with the drive to see this happen.

ISA – Matthew Samuel “MATTHEW” Reysio-Cruz: I think one of the main priorities of journalism students should be cultivating and exercising our curiosity. Being journalists, we have the opportunity of being able to tell amazing, inspiring and moving stories, and it is up to us to find these untold stories and bring out the aspects of them that truly make them exceptional. The first step to this is always to be curious . We must want to find these stories and want to know what makes them worth telling. Curiosity is a choice we must exercise daily, as students of Journalism.

(This article was earlier published in Botong Isko 2014, Tinig ng Plaridel’s special election primer. Read it here.) 


For full disclosure, candidates who are part of the Tinig ng Plaridel staff have been asked to file a leave of absence from their duties to the publication from Feb. 3 to 27. Carolino, Calanog, Gloria, Reysio-Cruz and Jordan have taken a temporary leave.

Thirst for a wider horizon: An assessment of CMCSC 2013-2014

Weeks of campaigns and debates all lead to one thing: a new line-up of students leaders expected to serve the college for another academic year. Before the seats become occupied by new faces, there is a need to assess the current council’s performance.

Weeks of campaigns and debates all lead to one thing: a new line-up of students leaders expected to serve the college for another academic year.

In March last year, 13 seats for the College of Mass Communication Council (CMCSC) were filled, dominated by local party Interdependent Student-Centered Activism (ISA) with eight seats. ISA standard bearers Anj Sebastian and Macky Manicad lead this year’s council as chairperson and vice chairperson. The incumbent treasurer, journalism representatives, and film representatives, meanwhile, come from the local arm of the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP (STAND UP).

CMCSC 2013-2014

But the results of the elections will always remain accelerators to the tale – the green light, but seldom the runway of change and improvements that need to be carried out. Before the seats become occupied by new faces, there is a need to assess the current council’s performance throughout the academic year.

Hits and misses

Aided by her party’s concept of alternative activism, chairperson Anj Sebastian envisioned One Maskom to unify CMC while strengthening its academic core.

The CMC Cup, a college-wide sports competition, was launched December 12 last year and involved students from the Journalism, Film, Broadcast Communication and Communication Research departments in a week-long sportsfest. The Mass Media Students’ Choice Awards, Sebastian’s flagship program, was developed into Gawad Daluyong, dubbed as a “student-initiated award-giving body in the field of media and communication.” Gawad Daluyong awaits its final execution in March.

Manicad’s aptly-named SuperBase aimed to establish a comprehensive database of basic profiles, projects and events of CMC student organizations for ease of publicity and promotion. This initiative, however, was only made during the Alternative Classroom Learning Experience (ACLE) season of the first semester and was not sustained and regularly updated, along with PrimeRead, which was pegged as a primer for the use of facilities and as aid for the annual org recognition in both the local and university levels.

Project FreEdom, spearheaded by Film Representatives Che Tagyamon and Robi Sarmiento, made the Council stand as bridge between students and detainee Maricon Montajes with the former’s continued support.

But there are other projects that were only left printed on campaign flyers. Proposals to streamline the coordination among council, college and org events, as well as to organize the room reservation system (Room-arampa and MASKOM–portable), both under the leadership of incumbent secretary Mari Arambulo, were not systematically implemented. Organizations followed the old rules on room reservations which still caused occasional overlapping schedules and delays. Arambulo clarified on Hot Off the Grill, however, that the administration still needs to familiarize themselves with Google Drive before the new online protocol can be used.

Treasurer Keisha Mayuga’s proposed CMC-walat initiative to publish regular budget updates and discussions on the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP) did not materialize either.

ObleVision, the moniker for a proposed monthly online news channel on the affairs of the university, proved to be just a vision that never materialized. This was a proposed project of incumbent CMC Representative to the University Student Council (USC) Carla Cucueco, who was earlier criticized for her poor attendance in official meetings of the USC. What was left was a banner project with the USC of a post-SONA analysis forum on the implications of the president’s address to governance, media, economics and the social sciences, dubbed as Kung Ako SONA si PNoy.

Several hits and misses also translate at the level of the department representatives. While some projects pushed through, proposals for workshops, a photojournalism contest, and a CMCSC newsletter remain inexistent as of this writing – barely a month away from the end of the school year.

Need for deeper engagement

Last year, the college saw a myriad of issues clamoring for attention and action. Janet Napoles and the P10-billion pork barrel scam shook national politics and sparked discussions on the lack of transparency and accountability in government. Typhoon Yolanda severely affected the lives and economies of Filipinos especially in Visayas, where the UP Tacloban and Palo campuses are.

There were also threats to UP’s honor and excellence amidst budget cuts, privatization and state neglect, as depicted by the death of  UP Manila student Kristel Tejada, the plagiarism case of UP Diliman graduate student Mark Joseph Solis, the recently-approved STFAP and Student Code revisions, and the shift in the academic calendar from June to August. Among the issues mentioned, the CMCSC failed to release any official statement to assert the stance of the student body. There were attempts to engage students in discussions about these issues by sharing posts through social media, but there were also no projects initiated to concretely address the given issues to the core.

The highlight of council efforts was felt during the Mass Media Awareness Month (MMAM) last November. Launched in 2011, the MMAM is the flagship project of UP CMC. This year, the event was headed by Arambulo and Tagyamon. MMAM kicked off with a series of talks on internet workshop, filmmaking, and broadcast journalism. The fourth year commemoration of Maguindanao Massacre, meanwhile, engaged the students not only in the act of remembering, but also in learning to fight impunity through roundtable discussions, an exhibit, human chain and Lugawan for Maguindanao.

Living up to the duties

With our college’s departments dubbed as Centers of Excellence, UP CMC needs a working council that will uphold the rights and welfare of its students while recognizing that problems within the college are almost always linked to bigger societal issues.

The current council is successful in initiating academic projects which can be avenues for discourses on practice within the field, but the council’s voice needs to resonate across a wider horizon of national, university and college issues—a feat that the next set of elected leaders must consider. Now is the best time to lay out these facts to point out to aspiring CMCSC candidates that the College means business and expects tangible results. CMC will be celebrating its 50th founding anniversary next year, adding to the already growing pressure on their shoulders.

What do we make of empty promises? Beyond witty taglines and well-rehearsed presentations, CMC students look forward to realistic projects and student leaders who are capable of translating from paper to action. – By Mariejo Mariss Ramos, Melissa Luz Lopez, Alyssa Joy Jose, Charmaine Ycasas, Dexter Cabalza, Pathricia Ann Roxas, Bryan Ezra Gonzales, Roleen Camille Delos Reyes and Alliah Czarielle Guerra

(This article was earlier published in Botong Isko 2014, Tinig ng Plaridel’s special election primer. Read it here.) 

CMCSC candidates debate on freshie council autonomy

Clashing responses on the autonomy of the Freshies, Shiftees and Transferees (FST) Council left students with more questions than answers at last night’s Hot Off the Grill, the official miting de avance of the College of Mass Communication.

By Shara Cayetano

Clashing responses on the autonomy of the Freshies, Shiftees and Transferees (FST) Council left students with more questions than answers at last night’s Hot Off the Grill, the official miting de avance of the College of Mass Communication (CMC).  

Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights in UP CMC (STAND UP CMC) chairperson candidate Beata Carolino said that the FST Council is autonomous and independent, and should remain so.

Sila yung talagang nakakaalam kung ano yung nangyayari sa environment (nila). Guided sila (ng student council) pero hindi ibig sabihin binibigyan sila ng mandate ng student council (They are the ones who know what is really happening in their environment. They are guided by the student council but that doesn’t mean they will be given mandates),” Carolino said.

ISA and STAND UP-CMC face off in Thursday's Hot Off. Photo by Ferb Martinez
ISA and STAND UP-CMC face off in Thursday’s Hot Off. Photo by Ferb Martinez

However, Interdependent Student-centered Activism (CMC ISA) chairperson candidate Mari Arambulo defended the incumbent council, saying that the FST Council’s non-autonomy doesn’t strip them of their freedom. She asserted that making the FST Council autonomous would create an overlap in roles, since the latter’s role is solely to help new CMC students make the transition into the MassComm community.

Nandoon ang SC para i-guide sila; mas may experience (ang SC). Kapag naging independent yan, kailangan ng sariling constitution (The student council is there to guide them, they have more experience),” said Arambulo.

The issue came up when some FST Council members complained about the policies imposed on them by the incumbent CMC student council (CMCSC).

STAND UP and ISA proposed varying plans for the FSTs next year, with ISA focusing on batch projects and STAND UP focusing on educational discussions.

Differing views on defining activism also prevailed in last night’s talks, already an age-old debate between the parties. CMC ISA is pushing for student-centered activism, believing that there are different forms of activism people can pursue. STAND UP, on the other hand, asserts that student mobilization is the most effective means of achieving change.

Both parties, however, said they put a premium on student consultations and for representation.

The campaign period officially ends on Wednesday, 5 pm. Elections are set on Thursday, February 27, from 8 am to 7 pm. 

(This article was earlier published in Botong Isko 2014, Tinig ng Plaridel’s special election primer. Read it here.) 


For full disclosure, candidates who are part of the Tinig ng Plaridel staff have been asked to file a leave of absence from their duties to the publication from Feb. 3 to 27. Carolino, Calanog, Gloria, Reysio-Cruz and Jordan have taken a temporary leave.