Akbayan Youth takes pride as National Youth Commission (NYC), a government youth institution, finally realized a concrete initiative that will further protect and advance students’ rights welfare. By establishing the online portal Students Rights and Welfare (STRAW) Action Desk (http://www.strawdesk.com/Site/index.php) students anywhere in the country can now easily file complaints directly to NYC.
The launching recently of the STRAW Action Desk is a manifestation that the long-time struggle of many students against the violation of their rights has been growing much more not being properly addressed. By creating a venue that will take necessary actions on the received complaints, students can now freely air their grievances of any student’s rights violation without unnecessary fear.
Dubbed as Break the Chain Campaign in 2008, Students’ Rights and Welfare (STRAW) has been a 5-year policy advocacy of Akbayan Youth together with other progressive organizations such as Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP), Movement for the Advancement of Student Power (MASP) and UP Alyansa.
After the first Students Rights and Welfare Bill was filed last 2007 by then Akbayan Representative and a staunch students rights advocate Risa Hontiveros, many students from higher academic institutions have already been educated. It is just unfortunate that amidst a continuous effort, the campaign lacks government backing at that time particularly from the youth government institutions.
Akbayan Youth recognizes the current leadership of NYC for initiating such project that will surely establish confidence amongst students to voice out their concerns.
While we laud NYC for such commendable pro-youth action, we remain steadfast in encouraging more students to maintain their vigilance in advancing the campus rights, the promotion of welfare and strategically, in the hope of effecting change towards campus democratization and education reform.
We believe that bigger changes always start with concrete initiatives.
For student empowerment and transformative politics, we remain.