The Election Interviews: Ugnayan

As Pisay scholars, making informed decisions regarding the candidates we elect is essential not only to ensure a better school year for everyone, but also to guide us in making better decisions for our Philippine political candidates in the future. That’s why this week, we’ll be interviewing your candidates for this year’s elections.

Ugnayan is another party running for your next Student Council. Find their GPOA here.

In one sentence, state your party’s General Plan of Action.

Ugnayan is a party that runs on transparency and coordination, to make dynamic relationships with the Pisay community as a whole and beyond.

What are the guiding principles of your party?

To bridge the gap between the admin and the students. To allow the students to partake in what they feel is best for the school, to give them a voice. And to allow and support the students to voice their opinions.

Why did you name your party Ugnayan?

Okay, so ito yung kwento. We had a meeting to talk about our plans for running, and at that point, the CCH was supposed to be part of the council pa. And the CCH of our party would’ve been Uriel Escobido. He pitched the name, Ugnayan, because we believed that Coordination is key. And Ugnayan sounded hella lit. And Ugnayan had a certain ring to it, that caught our attention.

If you could say anything to the student body, what would it be?

We’ll be talking a lot more. Kwento soon fam.

President: Trey Novales (2018)

Why did you select the position you are running for?

I decided that I wanted to fight for, yung platform namin, during the time na batch representative ako and the time I was drafting the constitution, it was pretty obvious that most of the talks and the processes we went through were hectic and very anti-progress, so I want to change that by making a bridge between the students and the admin. I’ve noticed in the past that most people voice out their concerns without having a project of having to actually fix what they want to fix, so I realized that I should run for Council.

I chose to run for President because Philippe recruited me for the position and, I was like, isn’t there any other position lower than that? And he was like, no, so I was like, you know, I think I can do it because with the right leaders, it could be okay naman.

Given your party’s General Plan of Action, how will you be able to work with candidates from the opposing party if necessary?

That would be okay, because when I’m there, I plan to eliminate the hierarchy between all the council members and make them have a voice equal to each other, because in that way, each council member is not fixated to their own position because that would mean the president would call all the shots when, in fact, I want the other council members to give their ideas to vote upon so there would be understanding and coordination with each other. As for my party members, they could probably do the same if they wanted to.

What are your weaknesses?

Oh, speech. (laughs) I’ve always had stage fright and when you see me in the Miting de Avance, I’m gonna be like shaking and pointing at the ceiling, I might be looking at the candidates asking them, “what do I say?” You’d probably know why, I’ve always been afraid of how people judge me because people don’t necessarily take me seriously. I want to be able to show my serious side and what I want. I just want you to know that I’m serious about making a change in school.

Pisay is a community that you just love and you want to take care of, and you can’t do that if you’re not able to do what you want for it.

How will you help students fulfill their roles as ‘Iskolar ng Bayan’?

I would like them to give them the voice they deserve because I’d want to allow them to propose what they want for the school. I want them to feel like they’re leaving a legacy for Pisay in itself, because Pisay is a community that you just love and you want to take care of, and you can’t do that if you’re not able to do what you want for it. I want to create a dynamic relationship between the admin and the students.

What sets you apart as a student leader?

For one, I don’t necessarily want to be in a position of power to help the people to achieve what they want. I want to inspire change and with me running for president, I think just by stating what we want as a party, I’ve been successful in doing what I want to do. But when I get in a position rin, that would allow me to directly influence the change that we need for the school.

Vice President: Brian Juat (2019)

Why did you select the position you are running for?

It was open at the time, and I believe I was capable enough to run for such a position. It also helped that after asking some of my friends who’s been in the SA/SC that the work isn’t position-based. It’s mostly a team effort so the position felt fitting.

Given your party’s General Plan of Action, how will you be able to work with candidates from the opposing party if necessary?

We’ll first, we’d have to conduct a meeting to refine a new gpoa or edit the existing one to suit the interest of everybody. It’s reassuring that I already know the other candidates so I don’t think any conflict would arise. All in all, all the candidates seem fit for the position they’re running for so there isn’t much to worry about.

If you were to choose one, which PISAY value (Patriotism, integrity, service, academic excellence, youth leadership) would you highlight in your position? Why?

Service. Service because it’s the very idea of the SC. I highlight it for the VP because I feel like you have a certain responsibility to the president to be his supporting man. In a way, you alongside the other members have to be the pedestals to the ultimate goal I just see the VP role as more of the central support.

I just see so much wasted potential wherein students have the capacity to create something unique like ISIP and they’re hindered by the “hassle” or they aren’t supported enough.

Share a unique vision of what Pisay could be.

I’d walk through Pisay some days and imagine how nice all the buildings would be a really good facilities. (I love architecture.) But in a realistic note, my dream right now is to let the students build the things they want to build. Be it projects, orgs, events. I just see so much wasted potential wherein students have the capacity to create something unique like ISIP and they’re hindered by the “hassle” or they aren’t supported enough. I want to lessen that hassle and completely remove it.

What sets you apart as a student leader?

I’m an out of the box and logical thinker. I don’t try and go around with my explanations and the same goes for my working approach. I like to tackle problems head on and I’m open [to the fact] that certain decisions have consequences and we’ll have to compromise. But ultimately, what’s important is we keep moving forward and we don’t stop.

Secretary: Jansen Serdoncillo (2020)

Why did you select the position you are running for?

It’s because I was the Assistant Secretary before, and since wala nang Assistant Secretary ngayon, I [chose] the Secretary position. And in a way, mas kilala talaga ng Assistant Secretary ang Secretary than anyone else in the SA.

Given your party’s General Plan of Action, how will you be able to work with candidates from the opposing party if necessary?

Some of the candidates from the other party are from the SA na rin before so [it] might be in a way easy na rin. Tapos if our GPOA contradicts or hindi talaga the same, we’ll just talk about it nalang.

What, to you, is the importance of your position?

Kasi being a Secretary, kailangan ng a lot of information, and if the members of the council need it, they could go to me and ask me. Tsaka ako rin yung bahala mag-create ng minutes ng meeting namin, and I’m mostly like the “katulong” talaga in the council. Ako yung alalay sa kanila.

If you could accomplish only one thing in your term, what would it be?

Yung sa feedback system it’s like yung forum, yung mga in the feedback system like the quarterly forums na talaga yun yung ma-push through and yun yung ma-contribute ko for council. The quarterly forum para mapag-usapan yung problems or so we can get suggestions from the students.

What sets you apart as a student leader?

My sacrifices do. Yun nga, the time and effort I exert on serving. Yun time, effort, and sacrifice nga.

Treasurer: Mikee Castro

Why did you select the position you are running for?

I selected to be Treasurer because I really wanted to maximize the funds to have better projects in the Student Council. I believe that the transparency of the money that goes around is really important so that the student body would also know what we’re doing to help the community better.

Given your party’s General Plan of Action, how will you be able to work with candidates from the opposing party if necessary?

I think both parties really want to serve the community so I guess compromise is needed for us to work together. I believe [that] we both have the same goals of serving and making it easier for student body this year, so I guess that we will be able to work together to set aside our differences and collaborate for a better Student Council.

Given your position, how will you be able to address the concerns of your fellow students?

As Treasurer, people think that all we do is handle funds, collect money, and allocate where the money goes, but as Treasurer, I believe [that] we are part of a bigger team that helps in projects. So as Treasurer, I should [not] only do the money part of the job, but also take part in helping with other projects like project planning and hands-on activities as an elected officer.

What past experience(s) has made you believe you will be effective in your position?

I’m going to be honest when I say I haven’t really ran for any huge batch councils or student councils. I’ve only been the Secretary and Treasurer in my past classes but I don’t think this will undermine my capacity to help lead the council. I believe that if you’re really passionate in what you do and you have a sole purpose to help and lead others, then I believe that you can make a difference.

It’s brave to take risks, that we shouldn’t stick to the status quo but to try out new things that will better improve the way of leading as a council.

What sets you apart as a student leader?

As a leader, I believe that it’s brave to take risks, that we shouldn’t stick to the status quo but to try out new things that will better improve the way of leading as a council. This doesn’t only imply to the projects that we’re going to hold this year but also how we want to improve the communication between the admin and the student body.

Auditor: Christine Okubo (2019)

Why did you select the position you are running for?
First of all, our original plan was I was gonna run for treasurer and another person who decided not to run anymore was supposed to run for auditor, but then that person quit and then I realized that I wanted to go for auditor already because I value the position more because I wanna be the one who makes accounts of the money be spent on events and activities and I wanna be involved more in the dispensation and spending of funds rather than just treasuring it.

Given your party’s general plan of action, how will you be able to work with candidates with the opposing party if necessary?

Our general plan of action can be summarized into two, transparency and coordination. So, first, transparency, it’s about fairness it’s about listening to everyone it’s about giving each other a voice and getting more feedback so I think that that itself will help each of us to listen to people from the opposite, if we’re seated in the position with people from the opposite party. Then second is coordination, it’s about creating and strengthening relationships between the student body and council, the student body and the management, and finally the SC and the management. I think, since we are all advocates of that, of those two concepts that summarize our general plan of action we’ll be able to work with people not from the same party.

What problems do you foresee your position handling and how will you overcome these?

For my position I think it’s the accurate and the sole account of all the expenditures throughout the year even the smallest ones, I want to keep track of and of course with school it’s gonna be difficult but I plan to overcome it by me thinking everyday why I ran for the position and what I wanna do for the school and just get it done.

Give an example of what was done in past councils that you would’ve done differently?

Me? I wanna give everyone who voiced out what they wanna happen what they think about this about this activity or event and do something about it in the next time.

What sets you apart as a student leader?

I think what sets me apart is how I socialize and try to get to know better every person that I meet, for every batch I try to make friends and the friends that I make I try to get to know them more and more so I know what they’ll think and what they wanna do and how I can support them so I think that’s what sets me apart, I don’t look at the student body as just one whole body I think of it as every individual person that I can be friends with that I can support that I can be around whenever they have problems or issues about everything.

Business Manager: Philippe Bungabong (2018)

Why did you select the position of SC Business Manager?

I’m running for business manager again because I liked my job last year, which was practically getting the best deals for the [formerly Student Alliance] Student Council. I had to get which offers were less expensive yet still be the most efficient and practical for the students. Aside from that, I was able to help in so many projects and I was able to distribute my skills accordingly to the projects of SC.

Given your party’s General Plan of Action, how will you be able to work with candidates from the opposing party if necessary?

It runs on a platform on transparency and coordination, so I don’t think it would be an issue for me working with the candidates of the opposing party because we are for uniting people.

If you were to choose one, which PISAY value (Patriotism, integrity, service, academic excellence, youth leadership) would you highlight in your position? Why?

For this school year, I would like to highlight youth leadership because as cliche as it might sound, I think that there is a leader in everyone and once leadership is ignited in everyone, it would bring about so much positive change to the community.

If you could accomplish only one thing in your term, what would it be?

If I could accomplish one thing, it would be the establishment of the social media platforms of the Student Council for Facebook and Twitter. I believe that in our age, information through social media is very important and that having a constant online presence for the Student Council would be very much appreciated by the student body. I think that’s what we need right now, to feel the presence of the Student Council.

I don’t go for empty promises and when I make plans, I act on them.

What sets you apart as a student leader?

What sets me apart is that I deliver what I promise. I don’t go for empty promises and when I make plans, I act on them. A promise is not something to be broken. With proper planning and preparation, we will be able to deliver what we promise.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Jia Parma’s story.