MANILA, Sept. 15, 2011—The increase for the budget of the state universities and colleges (SUCs) has been garnering much support in the Lower House.
Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino, in a statement said that Representatives Teddy Casiño and Neri Colmenares (Bayan Muna), Emmy de Jesus and Luz Ilagan (Gabriela), Rafael Mariano (Anakpawis), Antonio Tinio (ACT Teachers), Bernadette Herrera-Dy (Bagong Henerasyon) Rufus B. Rodriguez (2nd district, Cagayan de Oro City), Karlo Alexei B. Nograles (1st district, Davao City), Juan Edgardo Angara (Aurora and Chairman of House Committee on Higher and Technical Education) and Josefina M. Joson (1st district, Nueva Ecija and Vice Chair of Committee on Appropriations) had joined their call for a higher subsidy for SUCs.
Even Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Patricia B. Licuanan had joined the bandwagon for pressing the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to increase the meager budget for State-run higher educational institutions (HEIs).
Palatino said that during the interpellation and plenary debates, Jocson had said that her committee will “concretely address the requested increases.”
Aside from the decreasing budget, Palatino also stressed the “reframing” of the existing education policies which serve as the “root cause” of SUC budget cut.
The young lawmaker said, the DBM ‘systematically’ reduces the budget allocation for the SUCs as per advice from the World Bank.
“Is it not ironic that both DBM and WB publicize social betterment as they aggressively push for budget cuts to SUCs? We have to understand that social progress and development will not be possible in the absence of a strong public tertiary education system. SUCs need sufficient funds to be able to qualitatively function,” the lawmaker said.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo, chief of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA), and Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, earlier, had expressed their full support in increasing the budget of SUCs.
On September 19 to 23, different students, youth, and academic organizations will stage a nationwide protest against budget cuts, not only in education but also for other social services. (Noel Sales Barcelona/CBCPNews)