UP Tacloban reopens amid protests

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Hundreds of students of the Tacloban City campus of the University of the Philippines will hold a rally today to condemn the refusal of the university administration to roll back tuition rates after the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda.

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UP Tacloban student council leader Shawn Kemp Capucion noted that the students are also petitioning for the replacement of school equipment, provision of adequate student housing, and the repair of the facilities of the campus.

The campus will resume classes today, more than two months after the deadly typhoon crippled Tacloban and nearby towns.

Capucion said the students would also mourn the deaths of three students of the university who fell victim to the storm surge caused by Yolanda that left more than 6,000 dead and hundreds missing.

The three students are Marielle Orejola, a second year Biology student; Yazmin Naputo, a second year Psychology student; and Erica Antonino, a third year Political Science student.

“Erica was very shy. She always went with the flow. But, she was very intelligent and a college scholar,” said Capucion, a classmate of Antonino.

The daylong protest, Capucion said, is meant to ask the national government to give the students preferential attention so that conditions in the campus could immediately normalize even while reconstruction efforts in Tacloban are under way.

Meanwhile, students in Iloilo City and Manila will hold simultaneous rallies in solidarity with UP Tacloban campus students.

At 10:30 a.m. students will troop to Mendiola Bridge.

Super Typhoon Yolanda’s November 8 onslaught flattened houses and buildings in Tacloban and other parts of Eastern Visayas.

The UP Tacloban campus was not exempted from the destruction.

Capucion said the Library building now is roofless, including many of the classrooms.

He added that computers are no longer functioning.

Students are thankful though because not one of their professors was killed during the onslaught of the typhoon.

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