STUDENT council officers called on the government to declare a nationwide “academic ease” and craft safe back-to-school policies after a series of typhoons devastated various parts of the country.

At the same time, Central Student Council (CSC) interim president Robert Dominic Gonzales led calls to oust President Rodrigo Duterte ahead of a “National Day of Action” on Nov. 20.

In a joint statement, the CSC and college-based student councils said they stood “firm with the Filipino masses in collectively seeking accountability and transparency from the government.”

They called for the suspension of all synchronous and asynchronous activities until students and their families, especially in far-flung areas, were safe and equipped to handle remote learning, and until floods have subsided and telecommunications and electricity infrastructure were restored.

On Nov. 15, the University announced a week-long suspension of synchronous and asynchronous classes after the CSC called for an academic break from Nov. 16 to 21 out of consideration for students and faculty members affected by the recent typhoons.

The CSC slammed Duterte’s “persistent failures” in providing aid and assistance toward Filipinos affected by the typhoons and massive flooding, and called for him to either provide immediate action and assistance to Filipinos or resign, “with what little dignity he has left.”

“We demand those in power, especially President Duterte, to provide immediate action and adequate assistance to our fellow Filipinos who were burdened to suffer the most environmental consequences. This is a climate emergency,” they said.

A campaign dubbed “Tomasino Strike Back” circulated online, calling for Thomasians to join a youth strike on Nov. 20 in front of Ateneo de Manila University.

“We call on the Thomasian community to fight for the ouster of Duterte and join the National Day of Action on Nov. 20,” the online campaign, which was tweeted by Gonzales, stated.

On Nov. 17, Duterte placed Luzon under a state of calamity due to the damage brought by typhoons “Quinta,” “Rolly,” and “Ulysses.”

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, a total of 3,052,049 persons or 727,738 families from various regions in Luzon were affected by the onslaught of typhoon Ulysses as of Tuesday.

A total of 70,784 families or 283,656 people were assisted in various evacuation centers.

At least 73 people died and 24 were injured, while 19 others were missing, according to the latest situation report. with reports from Jade Veronique V. Yap


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