MANILA, August 9, 2011—Do the operations of the Philippine Normal University (PNU), in Manila and its other branches in Luzon, the Visayas and in Mindanao, will remain “normal” after the Government has decided to slash off P12.8 million (US$3.001 million) in its 2012 budget?
Dubbed as the “Center for Excellence in Teachers’ Education”, the PNU students lamented the said budget cut, which they say is the prelude for the privatization of the institution that has given birth to top elementary, secondary and tertiary educators, since its inception in 1901.
John Clifford Sibayan, vice president for internal affairs of the PNU Student Government said in a statement that the P12.8-M decrement in their annual budget, so far, is one of the steepest declines in the history of the institution.
“This is equivalent to a 10% decrease, placing PNU in the eighth spot among the top SUCs that will experience a budget slash. PNU’s maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE), for example, will be decreased by P3.9 million. This puts PNU among the 45 schools that will experience shears in its MOOEs. Despite the supposed automatic increase in the fund allocation for Personal Services (PS), 58 universities will have lowered PS allotments, amounting to a total of P403.3 million. The government will not appropriate any amount for the capital outlay of SUCs,” Sibayan said.
The student leader had assailed the continued implementation of private-public partnerships in education that has made the cost of public tertiary education in the Philippines to soar.
“The history of budget cuts has seen how SUCs have been pushed to devise ways to augment their meager budget. These usually take on the form of tuition increases, merging of classes, imposition of miscellaneous and exorbitant fees, and collaboration with private entities and corporations,” he said.
Currently, the PNU is home to more than 10,000 education students and was conferred as the National Center for Teachers’ Education during its Centennial celebration in 2001. (Noel Sales Barcelona)