After Ateneo, La Salle chapters, 1Sambayan to expand youth arm in other universities

Published August 26, 2021, 7:16 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Opposition coalition 1Sambayan plans to expand to other schools and areas with an aim to reach youth groups and urge them to take part in the group’s nation-building efforts.

1Sambayan (Photo courtesy of Neri Colmenares)

This came after two prestigious universities with a storied rivalry—De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University—launched their own 1Sambayan chapters.

“The schools should not just be future-oriented in the sense that we are just training the young who will one day transform society,” Fr. Albert Alejo, SJ, a 1Sambayan convenor who admittedly was not an Atenean but got into the Ateneo because he’s a Jesuit, said.

“Marami sa mga eskwelahan ang iniisip (A lot of schools are thinking that) we are training the young who will one day change society. Para ganun palagi pero ngayon hindi na pupwede ‘yan. Hindi na pupwede ang eskwelahan laging naghihintay nang balang araw para baguhin ang lipunan (It’s always like that but now, that cannot be. The schools cannot wait for the future to change society),” he added.

He said that “the future is now” and schools should do what needs to be done right now.

READ: Opposition coalition 1Sambayan launches university chapters

Alejo, in particular, is happy that 1Sambayan is expanding to other schools. He asked the coalition to invite the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and threw in a “challenge” to build a group at the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU).

President Duterte, whom 1Sambayan heavily criticizes, is an alumnus of AdDU. Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, lead convenor of 1Sambayan, is also a high school alumnus of AdDU, as well as various members of the Duterte administration.

The coalition’s plan to expand to other universities and colleges is a welcome development as political analysts said that launching a youth group in the country’s premier and exclusive universities make the coalition look “elitist,” a tag already associated with 1Sambayan because most of its convenors are from the business sector, academe, and the judiciary.

Rae Reposar, 1Sambayan youth convenor, revealed that the coalition’s chapter at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) is already being set up.

READ: Educators recognize youth’s crucial role in nation-building

“We’re not just expanding in schools. We’re expanding in different areas across the Philippines,” he emphasized.

Reposar challenged Ateneans and La Sallians to be more aware of their privileges, noting that those in lower socioeconomic classes can only afford to attend the said universities if they apply for scholarships.

“Pag sinasabing La Salle, Ateneo, elitista. But first, kailangan po nating i-acknowledge kasi ‘yung privilege natin na makapag-aral sa mga institusyong ito (When we say La Salle, Ateneo, elitist. But first, we have to acknowledge our privilege to study in these institutions),” he said.

“You’re growing and you’re benefitting from this inequality, may social responsibility ka (you have a social responsibility) to also deliver and make it easier for other people,” Reposar added.