The University of the Philippines Los Baños College of Development Communication (UPLB CDC) has chided Senator Imee Marcos for calling the field of study “cute and archaic” in a Senate budget hearing on Tuesday.
“We wish to make three key points. First devcom has a long and established history, which is recognized by thought leaders around the world. Second, devcom is a vibrant academic program being offered by numerous local and international academic institutions. And third, driving positive social change through communication has always been at the heart of devcom,” UPLB CDC said in a statement dated October 14.
“For as long as there are social issues to be addressed, devcom will remain ever relevant,” it added.
In a separate statement, UPLB College of Development Communication Student Council (UPLB CDC-SC) reminded Marcos that DevCom is “a recognized field of study and practice that shapes agents of change who can help optimize potentials of communication media, models, and strategies to raise social awareness and consciousness.”
The student council also stressed the importance of press freedom in the time of pandemic.
“We would also like to emphasize that press freedom must be defended now more than ever. We must continue fighting for the people’s right to information, advance pro-people agenda and campaigns, and expose human rights violations,” it said.
During the hearing of the Senate Committee on Finance, Marcos asked the Philippine Information Agency’s (PIA) proposed development communication program.
“DevCom, even as a subject taught in universities, has been largely debunked. Hindi na sya uso. Wala na ngang course ‘yan sa iba’t-ibang eskwelahan (It’s already old-fashioned. There are no longer schools offering that course). Bakit tayo papasok sa DevCom unless we have a revolutionary idea na bagong-bago? (Why should we get into DevCom unless we have a revolutionary idea that is brand new?)” Marcos said.
“I would like to understand the nitty gritty of this Development Communication program because it’s so old-fashioned. It’s sort of cute and archaic,” the senator added.
The P231.9 million will be spent by the PIA for its development communication program out of its total proposed P317.6-million budget for 2021, based on the National Expenditure Program.
UPLB is the first academic institution in the world to offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree in DevCom.
At present, there are over 25 public and private universities in the Philippines with a bachelor’s degree program in DevCom.