Make-Up Elections University

Head On: Cid Gernandiso on OTREAS’s shortcomings, initiatives for sustaining, and enhancing past projects as executive treasurer

Cid Gernandiso of Alyansang Tapat sa Lasallista bares with The LaSallian her background, plans, and goals if elected into the Office of the Executive Treasurer (OTREAS)—the USG’s financial affairs unit. 

The LaSallian: Can you tell us about your past leadership experiences and how these have helped you prepare to be executive treasurer?

Cid Gernandiso:  Being part of the USG for four years allowed me to open my eyes to students’ financial concerns. With this, I actually wanted to create a five-point agenda: lobbying against the tuition fee increase, on auto-dropping, reintroducing the START (Student Assistantship and Resource Training) Program, and looking for targeted external organizations to help with scholarships and grants. 

On the tuition fee increase, we’re still going through these prices and then the [impact of] inflation; and I think our education is the main concern. On the point I said about auto-dropping…we want to lobby [against] auto-dropping [because it is] anti-student…hindi naman tama [na] dahil walang pera ‘yung estudyante hindi na siya makakakuha ng education. This is our fundamental right.

Next, we want to reintroduce the START program. This START program allows students to work in various offices. The problem here is that the START Program already [exists] but it’s not really utilized. I want to talk about that. It can be expanded to other offices as well. We can also help the officers [with] bottleneck concerns, concerns sa emails in this way. It’s a win-win benefit. We get to help the office, we get them compensated, and we also get experience from it. [Regarding] the scholarships, even though there are existing scholarships and grants in DLSU there are still a lot of students in DLSU. 

The LaSallian: Do you believe that there are systematic problems within OTREAS that affect the student body? 

Gernandiso: Until now, nag-bobottleneck yung obtaining ng funds natin…and it will be always [at] our expense na student leaders. We have to shell out muna para lang to make our events or initiatives to push through. This is a very big problem kasi hindi tama na tayo’y nagbabayad when we know naman talaga ang organizations ay may pera [at] ayaw lang nila ilabas.

It’s also partly because of our lack of manpower. Right now, lahat sila [ay] nasa physical [classes], hindi din sila nagreresponde. I was part of OTREAS [for] two years back then. We think there needs to be better communication when it comes to releasing the funds.

The LaSallian: What do you believe are the current rooms for improvement for OTREAS? 

Gernandiso: Aside from the things that I’ve said a while ago, I believe it’s a matter of enhancing the current projects that are sustainable…we have to infer that even na wala na [ang current USG officers] nun, those students will still be able to sustain [those projects]. 

The LaSallian: There have been issues regarding OTREAS being biased toward the party of Santugon when handing financial assistance grants. What is your stance on this? 

Gernandiso: [Even though] these are allegations, we still are not promoting this. I’m very against it because scholarships and grants are meant to [be given to] people who need them the most…once I [am elected] dapat meron tayong mas concrete na rubrics para alam talaga natin sino yung mga estudyante na kailangan talaga ng scholarships

The LaSallian: Aside from your answers to the first question, what are your plans for financial aid assistance? 

Gernandiso: OTREAS already has existing plans. What we plan to do is rather than [create] new projects, we have projects that already are existing and build them up. Making them [more] sustainable. The problems of a student [do] not just end by the academic year so we have to infer that even [when we leave], those students will still be able to sustain themselves. 

The LaSallian: What are your priorities for budgeting if elected as executive treasurer for OTREAS? 

Gernandiso: Aside from the allocation of scholarships and grants, [we] need to assess the needs of each college. Hindi lang dapat na [kapag] pinakamalaki yung [isang] college, nandun na yung biggest budget…we need to assess the particular [needs]. [Students] might need certain software for their degrees or maybe they need to purchase laboratory equipment. Those are things that we need to look into. 

This interview was edited for length and clarity.

Maggy de Guzman

By Maggy de Guzman

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