Thomasian legislators and presidents of the different alumni associations graced the University to show their support in the youth’s initiative, “Youth Vision for a New Philippines towards the Year 2021” last September 1 at the UST Civil Law Lobby.
Masbate Second District Rep. Dr. Elisa Tingcungco-Kho (BS General Medicine, ‘76; Doctor of Medicine, ‘80) and Iligan City Lone District Rep. Frederick Siao (BSBA Maagement, ‘87), together with the presidents of the different alumni associations, headed by Atty. Jack Castañeda, vice president of the UST Alumni Association, Inc. (USTAAI) and president of the Civil Law Alumni Association, personally signed the youth’s initiative, declaring their cooperation and commitment to their vision.
“We’re very grateful to have one University (UST) to coach us and to teach us what to do, especially on [writing] legislation for the national interest,” Rep. Siao said in his speech during the event. “I am sure [that] we will be filing more relevant and more important legislation.”
“Youth Vision for a New Philippines towards the Year 2021” was part of the Aktiboto project, which was a voter-awareness campaign initiated by the UST Central Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the 2016 national elections last May.
The Vision is contained in a document that aims “to create the most caring, compassionate and egalitarian society that shall ensure the promotion of an economically, socially, [and] environmentally sustainable future for our present and forthcoming generation” with the help of Thomasian alumni, especially the legislators, through the laws that they will enact.
Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. said the vision of the document poses a huge challenge for the Thomasian community that should immediately be put into action.
“Dreaming for a brighter tomorrow, whether we are aware of it or not, is something that is constantly worked on and worked hard for,” Fr. Dagohoy said during the event. “Sa totoo lang, nalulula ako sa document, but it has the spirit of a real Thomasian.”
The youth’s cause aims to improve the following areas by 2021: energy, power and environment; business trade and economic competitiveness; tourism; science and technology; education; communication; culture and arts; political reform and governance; transportation and infrastructure; social justice; equality and human rights; national health; fitness and wellness; and national security and peace and order.
Sen. Jose Emmanuel Villanueva (BSC Economics, ‘96), together with other Thomasian legislators, namely: District Reps. Marlyn Alonte-Naguiat (BS Tourism, ‘94); Rose Marie Jimenez (BSC Accounting, ‘59); Jorge Banal (BSC Business Administration, ‘81); Rozzano Rufino Biazon (BS Medical Technology); Imelda Calixto-Rubiano (AB Behavioral Science, ‘82); Joaquin Chipeco, Jr. (AB, ‘61); Edgar Erice; Ferdinand Hernandez (AB Philosophy, ’87); Eric Martinez (BSC Business Administration, ‘95); Ramon Nolasco (BS Political Science, ‘68; Bachelor of Laws, ‘76); Rosenda Ann Ocampo (BS Architecture); Gavini Pancho (BSC Economics, ‘91); Deogracias Ramos, Jr. (AB); Jose Tejada (AB Economics, ‘78) and Lord Allan Jay Velasco (Bachelor of Laws, ‘05); and Party List Reps. Jose Atienza, Jr. (BS Architecture); Eugene Michael de Vera (Bachelor of Laws, ‘96); Abigail Faye Ferriol-Pascual (Bachelor of Laws, ’08); Delphine Gan-Lee (BFA Interior Design, ‘92); Benhur Lopez, Jr. (BS Medical Technology, ‘93); Antonio Tinio (AB); Sherwin Tugna (BSC Economics, ‘98); and Tomasito Villarin (AB Economics, ‘85), also pledged their cooperation and commitment to the Vision.
Meanwhile, Aktiboto program director RJ Naguit, together with 30 student leaders from the University’s faculties and colleges, also signed the document and pledged their commitment and cooperation to its cause.
To even strengthen the Vision, a nation-wide movement called as the “Thomasian Alliance of Legislators, Alumni and Students” (TALAS) was also launched during the event.
Office of Alumni Relations Director Asst. Prof. Ma. Cherry Tanodra, MAN, RN said the creation of TALAS “would ensure that the problems that the different sectors of the society are facing will be actively addressed.”
“The UST [OAR] is dedicated in serving as the connecting hand for the students, the alumni and the Thomasian legislators—in order to make sure that the alliance created by them will be fostered and that it will continue not only until the vision for a better Philippines by 2021 is turned into reality, but even beyond that,” she said in her message during the event.
The launching of TALAS and the ceremonial signing of the document for a better Philippines was organized by the USTAAI, Alumni Relations, Office for Student Affairs, UST Central Comelec, UST Central Student Council and the Office for Public Affairs. LORD BIEN G. LELAY