‘Butil’ honesty kiosks suffer losses because of dishonesty

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Honesty kiosks in the University have suffered heavy losses since last year from dishonesty among Thomasians. (Photo by Michael Angelo M. Reyes/ The Varsitarian)

“HONESTY kiosks” selling sweets and snacks in the University for charity have recorded heavy losses, ironically because of dishonesty among Thomasians.

The “Bonded University Towards Imbued Learning” (Butil) Honesty Kiosks, proceeds of which go to Butil scholars at public schools in UST’s partner communities, recorded a P4,000 deficit, or discrepancy between actual and expected sales, on its first week this Academic Year.

Coleen Fernandez, project head of the Butil Honesty Kiosk from Becarios de Santo Tomas, said sales were at “breakeven,” affecting Butil projects.

The unmanned stores bank on the honesty of customers, who are expected to place their payments in a coin bank as they dip their hands in the kiosks’ containers to get their goodies.

“We are getting proceeds which are only enough to cover the cost. The profits are small, if there are profits,” Fernandez told the Varsitarian.

Butil stopped operations in October last year when expected profits slipped to 6 percent and eventually zero, from the expected 25 percent. “We literally earned nothing for around four weeks,” said Nicole Pascua, project head of Butil Honesty Kiosk last year.

“Sometimes, after we have restocked, people get goodies without paying the exact amount, or don’t pay at all,” Pascua said.

She said the dishonesty was likely rooted in Thomasians’ lack of awareness of the project’s advocacy. 

Partnerships with different colleges helped the Butil Honesty Kiosk during its phases of financial struggles, Pascua said.

The beneficiaries of the project are the reason the store remains open despite “uncertainty on people’s honesty.”

“If there are people who are not honest in the honesty kiosk, there are honest people who keep the honesty kiosk alive, especially those colleges who want to open their own stores to help our advocacy,” Pascua said.

Becarios de Santo Tomas, an association Thomasian scholars, in partnership with the Office for Student Affairs, the Central Student Council, Students Organizations Coordinating Council, Simbahayan Community Development Office and college student councils launched the Butil Honesty Kiosk in 2014.

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