Debate champion is MMSU-Batac team

The Mariano Marcos State University-Batac debating team emerged as champion after defeating Northern Christian College of Laoag in this year’s Ferdinand E. Marcos (FEM) Intercollegiate Debate Tournament held on September 16 at the Provincial Capitol Auditorium, Laoag City.

The final round focused on the motion “This house believes that all public utility vehicles (PUVs) should be under government control” debating on an Asian Parliamentary System.

With the recent launching of the Metro Ilocos Norte Council (MINC), the motion relates to the on-going efforts of Governor Imee R. Marcos concerning the transportation developments in the province.

On the government side, Agatha Quidilla, John Galat and Jazerie Sales of MMSU-Batac argued that government control of PUV entails benefits in transport and traffic management, better provision of services to the commuting public and accommodation of tourists.

NCC’s team composed of Stephen Valencia, Sheena Bartolome and Jet Lee Dafun posed that government control of PUVs is unnecessary as current regulations are already well-implemented and functional.

Governor Imee noted that transportation is a burning issue to every Ilocano especially to the youth who are considered to be the main passengers of PUVs.

With this, she said that “this is a significant debate” and “wide ranging policy and programmatic actions are guaranteed after.”

Now on its third year, tournament director Herdy La Yumul described how the FEM Debate Cup has evolved to become a community of brilliant Ilocano youth speakers.

This year, the election of officers of the first ever Ilocos Norte Debate Union was held during the participants’ socialization night on September 15.

Yumul said that with the debate union, “we no longer want to just compete against one another anymore but we are looking forward to the higher ends.”

Moreover, a new feature of the tournament has been highlighted during the three-day competition wherein nine student adjudicators were trained during the elimination rounds.

Julianne Bugaoisan of MMSU-Laoag was proclaimed as the best student adjudicator.

During the final round, Bugaiosan, SP02 Aurora Manuela, Atty. Val Pascua, Atty. Erme Labayog, Herdy Yumul, Janet Clark and Prof. Romeo Abucay composed the final adjudication panel.

Meanwhile, John Galat of MMSU-Batac was declared as the tournament’s best debater while Patrick Quitoriano of MMSU-Batac and Antonio Guerrero of Northwestern University tied for the best speaker title.

“As the most debate friendly governor in South East Asia, I would like to extend my gratitude to Governor Imee for giving the Ilocano youth the chance to contribute to the pressing issues of the province,” said Galat.

The debate tourney ended the week-long celebration of FEM’S 98th birthday anniversary. It was a fitting tribute to FEM legacy as a great debater during his time.

The FEM Intercollegiate Debate Tournament 2015 was joined by five colleges and universities in the province namely MMSU-Batac, MMSU-Laoag, Northwestern University, Northern Christian College and Data Center College of the Philippines.

Governor Imee described the verbal skirmish “as a very balance, well-placed and even competition by all the participating schools which fielded excellent speakers, great debaters and analytical minds.”—(John Michael Mugas, PGIN-CMO)