LAWMAKERS and 36 state universities and colleges (SUC) are calling on the House of Representatives to restore the cuts in their total allocated budget for 2024.
The Makabayan bloc has recently filed House Resolution 1325 to restore cuts and augment the budget for SUCs.
The bloc said several higher education institutions are set to incur cuts in their overall budget: 10 SUCs have cuts to their personnel services, 39 SUCs have cuts to their operating budgets, and 36 SUCs have cuts to their capital outlay.
Despite a net increase for Personnel Services (PS) in the 2024 proposed budget for SUCs, there were still cuts for PS in 10 SUCs totaling P253,496,000, said Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel.
Also, despite the passage of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Law, Manuel said the Department of Budget and Management expects the country’s 116 SUCs to earn a total of P47,948,362,000 in combined internal income, including fees collected from students—P18,830,086,000 will be sourced from tuition collection while P7,186,759,000 will be from other income collected from students.
“What is needed is an overhaul of the current system of education: a repeal of all existing education policies related to labor export, deregulation, and commercialization, and the establishment of a nationalist, scientific, and mass-oriented system of education,” said the resolution.
In a joint statement, 36 SUC presidents all over the country said the Philippine higher education system has been in crisis for a long time.
“Going through the world’s worst and longest school closure has had a negative impact on the quality of learning for students at all levels and has forced changes in modalities that we have yet to fully recover from, even though the administration has lifted the state of national emergency imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is more important than ever for the government to recognize, respect, and protect the Filipino people’s right to education,” the joint statement said.
“Education is a fundamental right that should be accessible to all, regardless of socioeconomic status. It plays a vital role in empowering individuals and shaping a just society. However, the current state of our education system fails to adequately cater to the needs of our students due to inadequate financial support,” it added.
The SUCs said an additional budget is needed for learning institutions to regain their public character and provide ample support for student services and faculty development.
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