UST holds the Paskuhan Mass and the Agape, the Thomasian Christmas Feast, on Wednesday, Dec. 13. (Photo by Jana Francesca D. Yao/ The Varsitarian)

THE GRAND Paskuhan concert and final exams are scheduled to proceed next week, even in the face of a transportation strike set to begin on Monday, Dec. 18, as confirmed by the Office of the Secretary General (OSG).

In a message to the Varsitarian, the OSG said the remaining Paskuhan festivities, including the grand concert set for Dec. 21, would proceed onsite “given all the provisions and logistical requirements already in place.”

Transport groups Manibela and Piston announced on Friday that they would stage another transport strike from Dec. 18 to Dec. 29. In response to a previous strike, classes and office operations at UST shifted to online modes from Dec. 14 to 15.

The OSG said the two-day transport strike earlier initiated by Piston “served as an integration period for the students.”

“With the extension of the transport strike beginning Dec. 18, 2023, coinciding with the last week of the First Term AY 2023-2024, the previously set onsite assessments shall push through as scheduled,” the OSG said.

University staff and students are encouraged to collaborate and strategize on reporting to the campus for the final week of the term, and the Office of the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs has engaged academic unit heads in the “reformulation of other alternative means to carry out previously planned assessment schedules,” the OSG said.

The OSG also recommended that students unable to participate in onsite classes and assessments be asked to submit an excuse letter, to be validated by the relevant academic staff or unit officials.

UST has instructed University support staff to organize alternative transportation arrangements to ensure their ability to provide support during the onsite days, the OSG said.

In-person classes at the University were suspended for four consecutive days from Nov. 20 to 23 due to an earlier transport strike.

Transport groups have been holding strikes to protest the government’s year-end consolidation deadline under the jeepney modernization program.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. had refused to extend the Dec. 31 deadline, which if not met, would result in the loss of jeepney operators’ franchises.


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