The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) and the Social Sciences Department once again worked together in presenting this school year’s National Situationer Update.
The first part of the NatSit was the live-streaming of the fifth and last State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III on 27 July. Viewing screens were installed at the Fernando Hall and Xavier Hall for Social Sciences classes and student leaders.
The second part was held on 14 August at the Arrupe Convention Hall. Here, Social Sciences faculty presented their alternative perspectives on the local and national situation of the country. Midel Tanay discussed some political features of the country such as the dominance of political dynasties in the national and local levels, and offered his own analysis of the possible realignment of political parties and presidential tandems for the 2016 elections. He challenged the students and groups to participate in pushing for more democratic elections and the passage of an anti-dynasty bill.
Kimberly Israel, on the other hand, reviewed the data on economy as presented in Aquino’s SONA. She urged the students to be critical about the background and implications of economic statistics and what it means to the people, especially the poor.
Special attention was given to Mindanao Situation, with Dr. Menandro Abanes as resource speaker. He informally surveyed the audience’s awareness and perception of Mindanao’s issues, and observed the majority’s source of information about the topic is the media, which can be limited and biased. He then urged the students to start caring about Mindanao concerns, among them the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
After the NatSit, an open forum followed, with Federico Jose Lagadameo, chair of the Philosophy Department, as facilitator. Several students asked questions and expressed their opinions and insights. One reactor shared her optimism about the important role of the youth in nation-building and encouraged her fellow students to continue attending venues that would increase their social awareness and to engage in programs and organizations that help address the country’s problems.
Ayra Ginica Tortoles, Social Sciences teacher, served as emcee of the program.