KAISA - Nagkakaisang Iskolar para sa Pamantasan at Sambayanan

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KAISA - Nagkakaisang Iskolar para sa Pamantasan at Sambayanan
Established 05 May 2005
Category Alliance
Founding Chairperson Emil Benjamin B. Tapnio
Incumbent Chairperson Ramon Jericho C. Santos
Faculty Adviser Prof. Maria Victoria Raquiza
Location Flag of the Philippines.pngQuezon City, Philippines
Website Official Website of KAISA UP
Facebook KAISA UP on Facebook
Twitter KAISA UP on Twitter
Contact mail@kaisaup.com

KAISA - Nagkakaisang Iskolar para sa Pamantasan at Sambayanan (United Scholars for the University and the Nation), better known as KAISA UP, is a progressive political party and dynamic student formation that envisions itself as an agent of social change through competent student leadership, proactive political action and effective social involvement. Through campaigns, services and various activities, KAISA aims to promote and protect the rights and welfare of the students, and to provide them fresh and relevant avenues for participation in the community.

KAISA believes in the timeless ideal of the UP student as scholar-activist. As scholars, UP students must fulfill their academic commitments and excel in their respective disciplines. As activists, UP students must use their academic excellence in a social context, by using their skills, talents and knowledge to advance democracy and bring about social change.

In addition, KAISA affirms both the pluralism of ideas in democratic discourse and the power of decisive action. KAISA wants neither to be bogged down by endless debate and academic speculation nor to be boxed by narrow ideologies and rigid paradigms. KAISA also affirms the idea of collective decision and concerted action. KAISA pursues a multisectoral approach to raise awareness and inculcate in its members heightened social consciousness and a deeper sense of social responsibility.

Formed on May 5, 2005, it is the newest university-wide party in UP Diliman and is the current minority party in the University Student Council (USC).


KAISA - Nagkakaisang Iskolar para sa Pamantasan at Sambayanan started out as a ragtag team of organizations and individuals on the quest for dreams and ideals higher than themselves. With their disgust in the current situation of student politics in the University of the Philippines, these students vowed to organize themselves into a political alliance of scholar-activists that is inclusive and empowering.

Formed in the summer of 2005 by students from activist organizations Sanlakas Youth (SY) and the Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan; fraternities Alpha Phi Beta and Upsilon Sigma Phi; and a number of college-based student organizations and parties. KAISA's establishment sounded “a call to principled leadership, to struggle for the holistic emancipation of students toward greater social consciousness and responsibility” within the University of the Philippines Diliman.

It was a daunting first year for KAISA. When the party was first established, other student groups brushed aside the new alliance as a mere barkadahan of fratmen and their cohorts. But rather than sulking on their tirades, members took them as challenges and stepping stones to prove that KAISA was more than just a loose group; it was a family of diverse members with a common vision – the emancipation of Philippine society from the clutches of poverty and oppression.

During that time, a political crisis was looming in the Philippines as a result of the Hello Garci Scandal, among other controversies under the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration. KAISA, as a member of the oppositionist coalition Laban ng Masa (Fight of the Masses), joined the call for the ouster of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the establishment of a “transitional revolutionary government”.

Inside UP Diliman, KAISA, along with several student organizations nationwide, campaigned against the 300 percent tuition increase in UP in 2007 and reaffirmed the call for greater state subsidy for the Philippines' national university. The tuition increase, however, was approved by the UP Board of Regents. Furthermore, KAISA slammed the Philippine military in the disappearance of missing UP students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan. The party also campaigned against the Draft Student Code of Conduct, which, in their view, is a hindrance to the students' right to an organization.

KAISA, as part of Youth Against Debt (YAD) network, has been an active advocate ”Six Will Fix” Campaign, pushing for legislation for the automatic appropriation of six percent of GNP for education – not just for the University, but for the whole education sector. “Six Will Fix” has been KAISA’s premiere advocacy since 2008, with the organization proudly spearheading the drafting of the bill. KAISA has also recently joined the Students for Environmental and Economic Democracy, a youth-based environmental alliance campaigning for climate justice.


KAISA UP, thoroughout its existence, has aligned itself with progressive organizations and coalitions, some of which are part of the Philippine left movement. KAISA UP members brand themselves as Iskolar-Aktibista (scholar activists) and its orientation is centered in these following principles:

  • Political Awareness and Political Involvement

We strive to actively engage society in a dynamic discourse, to educate the students on the issues and concerns that matter most to them, to encourage them to take action. Our struggle is to go beyond asking what must be done, to actually doing what can be done.

  • Academic Excellence with Social Relevance

Academic excellence, to be of service to the students and to society, must be socially relevant. We aim to use our education for the greater good of our fellow students, the University, the nation and society as a whole.

  • Inclusive Activism

We seek to balance free discourse on one hand, and decisive action on another, such that principles and positions are open to deliberation and reflection, and the practice of decisive action will not be constrained. We are activists because we espouse a proactive stance on relevant issues and concerns, but we are also inclusive because we seek not to include only our fellow proponents, but to appeal to the society at large, to rally others to our call.

  • Responsive Leadership toward Student Empowerment

It is imperative that student leaders prioritize the empowerment of their constituents, by promoting and safeguarding their rights, welfare, and interests. Attention toward issues of broader import should not be prejudiced against local concerns. We aim to help create an atmosphere conducive to learning, progress and political maturity.

  • Social Progress with Social Justice

As students of the University of the Philippines, we bear a social responsibility to our country and fellow members in society. Any collective thrust in order to be meaningful should be grounded in the continuing struggle for a free and just society, and it should speak on behalf of the weak, marginalized and oppressed.

University Student Council Campaign

For six years, KAISA UP has been the minority party in the USC. However, its most successful University Student Council campaign was in 2009, when Sanlakas Youth member and 2006 USC councilor Titus Tan won as USC chair via a landslide victory of 4905 votes-- the highest number of votes ever to be given to a USC Chairperson candidate. Along with Tan, ten other KAISA UP candidates won with three councilors and seven college representatives.

KAISA members in the USC for Academic Year 2011-2012 are the following:

  • USC Councilor and Students' Legal Aid and Action Center Head, Melvin Joseph Banzon (Juris Doctor, College of Law)
  • CSWCD Representative and Committee on the Environment Head, Markus San Gabriel (BS Community Development, College of Social Work and Community Development)
  • CHK Representative and Sports, Fitness, and Health Committee Head, Simon Stephenson Tiu (B Sports Science, College of Human Kinetics)
  • AIT Representative, Maria Shaina Santiago (BS Tourism, Asian Institute of Tourism)
  • CHE Representative, Timothy James Mateo (BS Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management, College of of Home Economics)
  • Eng'g Representative, Christian Rayson Ildesa (BS Civil Engineering, College of Engineering)

Member Organizations

  • Caucus Of Leaders For Nationalism And Service (COLUMNS-Arki)
  • KAISA Mass Organization (KAISA Mo!)
  • Leaders for Excellence, Action, and Development-College of Home Economics (LEAD-CHE)
  • MagKaisa College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (MKCSSP)
  • Phi Delta Alpha Sorority (PDA)
  • Practice of Administrative Leadership and Service-National College of Public Administration and Governance (PALS-NCPAG)
  • Student Action Towards Responsive Leadership in Tourism-Asian Institute of Tourism (START-AIT)
  • UP Association for Southeast Asian Studies (UP ASEAS)
  • UP Paralegal Society (UP ParalegalS)

National Networks

  • Freedom From Debt Coalition (FDC)
  • Students for Ecological and Economic Democracy (SEED)
  • Youth Against Debt - Freedom from Debt Coalition (YAD-FDC)
  • Alternative Budget Initiative Consortium - Social Watch Philippines

Affiliate Organizations

  • Kabataang Lakas para sa Bayan - Lihok Mag-aaram! (KALAYAAN-LM) UPV Tacloban
  • ISKOLAR Student Alliance - UP Manila


The incumbent chair of KAISA UP is Ramon Jericho Santos, a student from the College of Home Economics and former President of Leaders for Excellence, Action, and Development-College of Home Economics (LEAD-CHE).

Former Party Chairpersons

  • Titus C.K. Tan (2010-2011)
  • Laura May Antoinette Clemente (2009-2010)
  • Stephanie L. Tan (2008-2009)
  • Abdel Jamal R. Disangcopan (2007-2008)
  • Jayson Edward B. San Juan (2006-2007)
  • Emil Benjamin B. Tapnio (2005-2006)

External Links


  • Email: mail@kaisaup.com