This year, the University will once again witness the two parties going head to head to get the coveted seats in the University Student Government for the next Academic Year.

With Alyansang Tapat sa Lasallista making a comeback in this year’s General Elections (GE), this will surely be another year of competitive politics as Santugon sa Tawag ng Panahon will try to win the majority once more. The GE candidates sits down with The LaSallian to share their platforms with the student body.


EXECUTIVE BOARD

President

LANCE DELA CRUZ (Tapat, III, AEF-BSA)


MARGA DELA CRUZ (Santugon, III, MKT)


The USG has had trouble with the execution of some of their initiatives, stating time and new processes being contributing factors to their inefficiency. How do you plan on delivering your initiatives properly?

LANCE DELA CRUZ (Tapat, III, AEF-BSA)

If the Council of Student Organizations, PROBE (Alliance of Professional Organizations of Business and Economics) organizations, [and] the [student media groups] can follow University processes and can successfully deliver their projects, why can’t the USG? As President, I would have a clear plan [for implementing] policies and projects [to] ensure that every initiative is research-based. We will ensure that every USG officer is [held] accountable for their actions because the success of the USG is dependent on the unity and collective effort of its leaders.

MARGA DELA CRUZ (Santugon, III, MKT)

SLIFE has had a lot of initiatives trying to teach students how to do these processes. Students don’t actually know how to process papers within the USG [despite it being] very essential. As [the head of] OPRES, [first, I’ll have to inform] students that these processes are guiding them [toward] fully understanding how to [accomplish papers]. Secondly, we also need to be critical about how these processes are being done because these need to be student-friendly.

How can you ensure that your team will be able to represent the student body while improving student participation and cooperation?

LANCE DELA CRUZ (Tapat, III, AEF-BSA)

If getting student sentiments is to know which policies to push for, we should execute [based] on who wins the election kasi that’s where we see the mandate of the students: by choosing the platform of their leaders. With [regard] to student participation, this can be improved by making them part of the conversation. How do we do this? Through focus group discussions. This way, when we push for initiatives, students would not only participate in the process, [but also] be supportive of the policy.

MARGA DELA CRUZ (Santugon, III, MKT)

I worked in the Office of the Vice President [for Internal Affairs] for two years and [gathering student sentiments] was one of our main barriers, [and was the reason] why we couldn’t pursue a lot of initiatives. That’s why we really [want] to focus on being data driven. We [want] to create a system [that not only utilizes conducting] surveys and [focus group discussions] but really [tries] to expand that so we actually can have data to backup the initiatives that [embody] what the students need.

OVPEA

RONIN LEVISTE (Santugon, II, DSM-MKT)


JOSEPH VINCENT FERNANDEZ, (Tapat, III, APC)


Recently, the University has taken stances on key national issues, sometimes by sending their own delegates to rallies. In line with this, are you also in favor of further promoting activism among students?

RONIN LEVISTE (Santugon, II, DSM-MKT)

Personally, I have engaged in several rallies and even spoken in some of them. I am in support of people [who are] able to share their thoughts in public, but I feel that rallying shouldn’t be the only way for us to share our thoughts on matters. I think that what’s more important is that we sustain [what] we feel even after the span of those events, and translate those feelings [and] thoughts into meaningful projects, whether inside the University or in our own communities.

JOSEPH VINCENT FERNANDEZ, (Tapat, III, APC)

I am for it. [Activism is] a right and duty as Lasallians, as students, [and] as citizens of this country. It is our duty to educate, not just [the] Lasallian community, but the whole country in general, and [the] best way is to really take stands on certain issues. Now is the best time to create [advocacy] organizations so they will spearhead any program or activity, even policy, rather, if they want to.

The USG previously announced Government Watch. If any, what should the student body expect from this? What are your current plans for this?

RONIN LEVISTE (Santugon, II, DSM-MKT)

Government Watch, as we know, faced a bit of backlash. I acknowledge that the student media organizations’ (SMGs) primary role is reporting community and national affairs and [that] we have to support them in that. We have to empower [SMGs] in being able to do their jobs. My proposal is to create multi-sectoral committees which [involve] the [SMGs], the USG, CSO representatives, political parties, and religious [organizations]. This committee [can] talk about problems including information dissemination of news. I feel like the potential of Government Watch is so big that we can create uniform stands as one La Salle so that whenever [we tackle] national issues [we’re] able to release [manifestos].

JOSEPH VINCENT FERNANDEZ, (Tapat, III, APC)

I honestly believe that [for] The LaSallian and [Ang Pahayagang] Plaridel, this is one of their key jobs. But I like the initiative of the previous administration to [raise] awareness to what is happening in our country. Maybe [through] close coordination with The LaSallian and Ang Pahayagang Plaridel, we could collaborate and create a bigger sphere of influence.

OVPIA

JOLSON CRUZ (Tapat, II, BSIT)


LOUISE ZARCAL (Santugon, II, AB-OCM)


Many candidates have been promising a smoother enlistment system that would be fair to students who are not on the Dean’s List. Regarding the recently introduced the pre-enlistment system, how else can the process be improved?

JOLSON CRUZ (Tapat, II, BSIT)

For me, it hasn’t been effective because merong mga students na nag-pre-enlist but weren’t able to secure [their needed] classes. It’s a representation of how it is ineffective and inefficient. As [Vice President for Internal Affairs], I believe there is still a big room for improvement [at] kailangan natin ng intensive research on how the pre-enlistment system should be implemented here in the University.

LOUISE ZARCAL (Santugon, II, AB-OCM)

The pre-enlistment system actually worked. [The] only problem is that the implementation needs polishing. The system helped the Academic Programming Officers gauge the number of classes needed. There was a huge turnout in the pre- enlistment system—above 80 percent. However, students still endured technical difficulties. That’s one thing I want to address if given the position. I want to work closely with the admin to create a better system for that and to improve the information dissemination [about] the system.

How do you plan to determine which projects and activities are appropriate for the current student body?

JOLSON CRUZ (Tapat, II, BSIT)

The USG was built on the vision of creating policies, advocacies, and services for the student body. As [Vice President for Internal Affairs], my office will push for projects and activities that are aligned [toward] the original framework of the USG. I believe that I will be pushing for projects that are more on sustainability, in a sense that mapapasa ‘yung project from this term to [the next] administration, regardless of what political party you come from.

LOUISE ZARCAL (Santugon, II, AB-OCM)

We want to be data driven and more consultative. The only way we can find out and gauge [if] projects are actually for the students is to actually immerse ourselves in [conversations] with them. Innovation isn’t self-sufficient and for us to develop these kinds of projects, we actually have to know what the students want.

OSEC

SAM MANALOTO (Santugon, II, AB-OCM)


EJ BAILLO (Tapat, IV, IE)


How do you plan to make students more involved with the projects being organized by the USG? Given that communication between the USG and the student body has been difficult, how will you improve upon the communication between the two?

SAM MANALOTO (Santugon, II, AB-OCM)

In the USG constitution, policies [are supposed] to [represent] students and [to] answer to their needs and wants. This is supposed to be the real foundation of all projects. We have to have a concrete action so we can see results. As for communication, hindi lang dapat ang USG ang nagkakaroon ng accessible information and accessible communication platforms. Dapat ang students, they have the opportunity to voice their opinions to the USG. Dapat ganoon ang communication lagi, dapat two-way, accessible, and efficient.

EJ BAILLO(Tapat, IV, IE)

I think it goes back talaga to the batch level and to the college level. I want [it] to be more streamlined, everything that is going on with the USG, every event [that] we are going to execute. Also, [to] make sure [that] for batch representatives, meron kaming meetings, especially [for] student services.

How are you planning to maintain and develop the performance and skills of your officers?

SAM MANALOTO (Santugon, II, AB-OCM)

As the Executive Secretary, I want USG members to continuously learn throughout their stay in the USG and I want to do this through a mentorship program. Because more than just learning processes needed to be a USG officer, it is also very important to learn leadership skills and proper decorum. We should know how to communicate to the students [and] we should be more proactive in resolving issues, and this is what I really want to bank on.

EJ BAILLO (Tapat, IV, IE)

My plan is to propose trainings, leadership workshops, [and] seminars for the incoming [ID] 119 [students]. They should already know what they are [signing up for when they join] the USG—how to execute activities, what the USG [is] going to do, what their role is in the University, and [that] this is not only for them. They can partake in everything [prepared in] seminars and trainings.

OTREAS

WON SUK CHO (Santugon, III, BSMSCS)


KEVIN WU (Tapat, III, FIN)


The Office of the Treasurer currently provides scholarship opportunities for students. Should you become Treasurer, how do you plan to expand on this program considering the ASP and LSP is only on a termly basis?

WON SUK CHO (Santugon, III, BSMSCS)

The [Achiever Scholar Program and Lasallian Scholar Program (LSP)] have been big projects in the past few years. [These are] very important because we should [address] students’ financial needs. We want to make this grand, especially for LSP [recipients], because we wouldn’t want to just [assisting peoples’] academic needs, but also [in providing students] external opportunities. With [data], we’ll see how much students actually need this. With new ideas, we can make a new program to [improve] their student life.

KEVIN WU (III, FIN)

Gusto ko sanauna, magkaroon ng scholarship fair in partnership with [the Office of Admissions and Scholarships (OAS)]. Nagconsult na ako with OAS regarding this and gusto ko sanayung scholarship fair na iyon is like a job fair sa Office of Counseling and Career Services na may willing per company na magbigay ng scholarship sa mga students of [DLSU]. Pangalawa, gusto ko pa i-expand yung Lasallian Scholar Program. Instead of [offering them for] a term, why not make it yearlong?”


How do you plan to address the complaints of student organizations who find the new procurement process difficult as it hinders their organization’s ability to host projects for the Lasallian community?

WON SUK CHO (Santugon, III, BSMSCS)

[I] believe that the procurement system [is] complex and time consuming, but it’s also there for a reason. We also have to see…we have to believe that it can be efficient. [I] believe we can do something and lobby to the administration to change something [about it] because if you give them facts and good enough data, [I] believe the administration [can] actually consider and we can meet eye-to-eye [with them] on how we can [change] the procurement process.

KEVIN WU (III, FIN)

[Executive Treasurer] Adi Briones proposed a project where the Procurement [Office], in partnership with the University Student Government and Council of Student Organizations, would set a P50,000 [minimum] where procurement would be needed. Below P50,000, organizations would process their own MOAs, so it would be faster. My project [will] include the Student Media Office and the Culture and Arts Office kasi there are a lot of students there who want to pursue projects.

COLLEGE PRESIDENTS

RVRCOB President

NATES DRIZ (Tapat, III, IBS)


CAMMY ANGELES (Santugon, II, MKT)

What needs to be improved in your college?

NATES DRIZ (Tapat, III, IBS)

One of my platforms is making Lasallian education accessible. What do I mean by this? I think the best [way to learn] is through experience. One of the things I want to fight for is [to give] an equal [chance] to expose students to [external] opportunities [through] partnerships with different organizations. One of my plans is to make the government budget benefit the students when it comes to printing subsidies, and providing thesis grants [and] practicum grants.

CAMMY ANGELES (Santugon, II, MKT)

What I want for RVRCOB is to [be] an inclusive college. I want there to be a united feeling because I know that [students taking certain degree programs] feel that they’re not really connected to other [programs] or batches. I want there to be an interconnectedness between batches, between [degree programs], so that we could all help one another.

CLA President

MILO UNCANIN (Santugon, III, AB-ISE)


PEPETON FELIPE (Tapat, III, AB-OCM)

How will you address the lack of awareness of students with University events?

MILO UNCANIN (Santugon, III, AB-ISE)

I think there is a lack of proper communication and I think it is high time to build a more sustainable relationship with the administration, which I believe naman nasimulan ngayon. We just need to strengthen [it] and improve on what [has been started] on.

PEPETON FELIPE (Tapat, III, AB-OCM)

I mean, the expected answer would be more [publicity materials]. But how do you measure the effectiveness or the reach? It doesn’t show you the specific number that you actually need. It’s not targeted and you don’t know how the algorithms work. What I really want to push for is during the [Executive Committee’s] free time, I want to them to talk to people. I want a more personal connection with the students.

GCOE President

MADELEINE TSAI (Santugon, II, CIV)


How will you improve student engagement within your college?

We will be very inquisitive and hands-on with students. We will ask them what they want. For example, a [civil engineering] student wants to go on a plant tour. We’re going to plan plant visits and partner up with organizations. As engineering students, we want to strive for innovation and excellence, [so] we’ll [host] conferences for them [and send them to] competitions. If you’re able to cater [to] the needs of the students, that will really engage them.

ANGELO CHUPECO (Tapat, IV, CHE)

What are the most pressing issues for your college at the moment? If there are, how do you plan to lobby for these improvements?

The most pressing issues are enlistment and the transition of the curriculum [for ID 118 students]. [Pre-enlistment] is a step in the right direction [but] the information we get from pre-enlistment is not necessarily translated into classes. We [also] need to see how effective the transition from K-12 into college is effective for [ID 118 students] so that we can use that data for [ID] 119 students and onwards, for the administration, and for future batch government units.

Are there improvements that need to be done in your college?

The most basic [improvement] is streamlining the efforts of all batches and the Engineering College Government (ECG) into something that is synergized. It is more of making sure that the processes integrate from the ECG level—from the college level to the batch level—and making sure that they do not coincide.

CCS President

NOKI TOPACIO (Tapat, II, CS)

How will you improve student engagement within your college?

There is a big issue regarding flowcharts because delayed students and shiftees have to adjust to the [ID] 118 curriculum. I want to lobby for transition classes, at least for those [under the curricula of IDs] 117 and below and [ID] 118. [With] transition classes, we can ensure that those students will not get further delayed. Another policy is accurate communication between the administration and the students. I believe that it is transparency that will allow for more progress in the college.

COS President

JULIA BRAGO (Tapat, II, BS-BIO)

What are the most pressing issues for your college at the moment? If there are, how do you plan to lobby for these improvements?

It mostly [revolves] around the new flowchart of the [ID 118 students] because there are a lot of revisions and some courses [have been] merged into one class. That is one of the issues that [is] constantly changing because the flowcharts recently [have] been revised. [The most pressing issue is mostly] just proper information on the new curriculum of the [ID] 118 students.

Are there improvements that need to be done in your college?

[My batch] is a really small batch [of] 40 students. And then the ID 118 naman, they are around 340. The shifting process really affected my batch because half of the batch that was in ID 117, they were redirected, so they were really restricted from shifting. This really affected their academic performance, so that is one thing I want to look into as well.

How will you improve student engagement and participation within your college?

By the end of my term, hopefully the [College of Science (COS)] students will be able to say na masarap maging COS student because the culture in COS is really [academics-oriented]. In order to address this for student engagement, I hope that instead of breaking the culture, the activities that will be implemented by the student government or the student organizations will be more flexible to the students’ schedule.

BAGCED President

ALEXIS SALAZAR (Tapat, II, EEDECED)

What are the most pressing issues in your college?

I wouldn’t call it an issue, but rather something to improve [on], [which is] the information dissemination [within the] college. There were a lot who kept on asking questions about events and pre-enlistment, specifically students who are not in the USG or other organizations. The information dissemination project would be a big help [to] students who would want to stay and even those who would want to shift out of [Br. Andrew Gonzalez] College of Education (BAGCED).

SOE President

LIZELLE CRUZ (Tapat, III, AEF-MKT)

What are the most pressing issues in your college?

In the [School of Economics (SOE)], professors train us to use critical thinking skills to solve economic issues. The problem is not everyone [applies] this outside of the classroom. The solution is to have programs that show Economics can be applied to any problem. If we show this to students, they will value what the [degree program] offers them. This is also in line with the [Economics] Department’s [goal to have] a research-driven SOE that is aware of national issues.

With reports from Nikki Lacuna, Alfonso Reyes, & Eliza Santos

EDITOR’S NOTE: As of press time, the parties have not fully bared to The LaSallian their complete slates. For the updated list and interviews, please visit the publication’s official web special for the 2019 General Elections, ge2019.thelasallian.com.

By Drew Beltran Acierto

By Deo Cruzada

By Gershon De La Cruz

By Anakin Loewes Garcia

By Andrea Punzalan

By Enrico Sebastian Salazar

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