ACCORDING to newly-seated University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB) Chancellor Corazon Abansi, red-tagging is a “form of crisis” that will trigger emergency response from the university.
Abansi said that the UPB has expanded the reach and scope of their crisis management committee (CMC) to include red-tagging as a crisis that endangers the safety of students along with natural disasters, occupational safety, and mental health issues.
CMCs are committees that respond to emergencies affecting UP constituents, composed of university staff, faculty, the student council, and the UP police.
The university has set up responses not only to natural disasters, but also to “man-made disasters [that] occur due to carelessness caused by human activities regardless of intent, health crises like pandemics, and special concerns over incidents that may directly harm UP employees, students, and other stakeholders,” which includes red-tagging as a special concern.
Only last month, red-tagging came to the fore when Peale Bondoc, a former major general, in an online lecture to UPB freshmen labeled many educators and student organizations terrorists and communist sympathizers. Students of the UPB regularly have to contend with red-tagging,
UPB’s student council has welcomed the change, with chairperson Iya Trinidad calling the development “long overdue,” stating that the CMC has been in contact with the student council to determine the appropriate guidelines for responding to red-tagging incidents.
“However, there are still things that need polishing and steps to concretize the plan,” she added.
UPB has committed to provide support for red-tagged students, including legal counsel, a place of refuge, and mental health counseling.