September 8, 2010
Student leaders from University of the Philippines, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Philippine Normal University, Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institue of Science and Technology and national student leaders from National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), League of Filipino Students, College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines, Anakbayan and Kabataan Partylist held a rally in front of Congress today to oppose the proposed cuts in the budgets of state universities and colleges (SUCs) for 2011.
The students called on congressmen to reject the education budget cuts proposed by the Aquino government which they said were the “biggest in history” for state schools.
In the budget proposal submitted by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to Congress last August 25, the combined budget for 112 SUCs will be cut by 1.7% from P23.8 billion in 2010 to only P23.4 billion in 2011.
Huge cuts are proposed in the budget for maintenance and other operating budgets (MOOE) of all but 15 SUCs, some by more than 50%. The combined total operations budget for SUCs will be cut by P1.1 billion, or by 28.16%.
Among those with the biggest budget cuts are University of the Philippines (-P1.39 billion or 20.11%), Philippine Normal University (-P91.35 million or 23.59%), Bicol University (-P88.81 million or 18.82%), University of Southeastern Philippines (-P44.39 million or 20.03%), Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (-P31.65 million or 15.91%).
“We are outraged by the proposal to reduce public spending for education. Pres. Aquino is making history as the president who proposed the largest SUC budget cut,” said Einstein Recedes, NUSP National Chairperson.
He added that the plan to cut SUC budgets will push administrations to increase tuition and other fees and will deny access to education to more Filipinos.
The student leaders called on Congress to rechannel the budget of debt payments, military and corruption-prone items to education.
“What disgusts the students more is that the proposed 2011 National Budget shows the skewed prioritization of debt servicing over basic services. Student Councils nationwide are gearing up for massive protests against budget cuts to education. The youth’s future is ours to advance and defend as the government led by President Aquino has clearly made up its mind to leave us in the curb,” Recedes said.
The students called for a nationwide walkout on Sept 24 against the planned budget cuts. (Bulatlat.com)