Labor group Federation of Free Workers (FFW) has called on the restoration of the capital outlay (CO) budget of State Universities and Colleges (SUC) to boost employment.
At the National Tripartite Conference organized by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), FFW noted that education should be a priority by reinstating the slashed budget “for the preparation of human resources.”
“The FFW highlights that reinstating these funds is critical for the preparation of human resources poised for the modernization of agriculture and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, encompassing digitalization, artificial intelligence, and robotics,” said FFW in a statement.
Earlier in September, Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Benjamin Diokno called for a review on education funds. He said the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (UAQTE) is “inefficient and wasteful.”
The UAQTE law was enacted by the Duterte administration, providing free tertiary education in state universities and colleges (SUCs).
The Finance chief is also proposing a national examination to qualify students who are entitled to free education.
“The core of my proposal to revisit the present free college education is how to optimally allocate resources funded largely by taxpayers for education,” Diokno said.
Since then, the labor group has been against Diokno’s plan to slash SUCs’ budget.
“Education is not an expenditure but an investment in our nation’s future,” said Vilma Garcia, union president of FFW at the De La Salle University Health and Science Institute.
Investing in education would help the economy, and this would assure workers that their taxes are being spent well, said Garcia in a statement.
“Ensuring that SUCs get the budget they deserve also ensures that teachers, who mold the minds of our youth, are well-compensated and enjoy the benefits they deserve,” said FFW.
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