Victory at the Senate
The budget for the University of the Philippines, the country’s premiere state university, has been slashed by P1.39 billion ($31 million), the worst budget cut in terms of nominal value among all SUCs. Other state schools that received the biggest budget cuts are the Philippine Normal University and Bicol University. Their budgets have been reduced by P92 million ($2.09 million) and P88 million ($1.99 million), respectively.
The budget of the Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology was reduced by 66.27 percent, the Partido State University 56.83 percent, Central Bicol State University of Agriculture 57.96 percent, Nueva Vizcaya State University 53.65 percent, Aurora State College of Technology 51.84 percent, Ifugao State University 44.13 percent and the Isabela State University 44.56 percent. These SUCs received the worst percentage cuts in their budgets.
(Photo by Janess Ann J. Ellao / bulatlat.com)
“Malacañang, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), as well as Senators Franklin Drilon and Vicente Sotto, should apologize to the youth and the people for misinforming us about the budget cut on SUCs,” Palatino said.
Palatino, on the other hand, congratulated the youth for its collective action that has brought about an additional P146 million ($3.2million)( allotment for the MOOE of SUCs when the Senate passed the proposed bill on December 1. The amendment was proposed by Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano, who also joined the students in their indignation rally outside the Senate on December 1.
A students Vs. budget cut. (Photo by Janess Ann J. Ellao / bulatlat.com)
While the additional budget remains insufficient compared to the P1.1 billion ($22.3 million) original appropriation for MOOE, Palatino said, “The increase is a good start for it shows that the youth and the people have a strong purchase on the issue of budgetary increase.” He added that the Senate’s amendment should be lauded “as opposed to the House of Representatives which railroaded the so-called ‘reform’ budget that is filed with disconcerting provisions.”
Each SUCs would receive roughly P1.3 million ($28.9 thousand) for their MOOE. But the capital outlay, for buildings, facilities and equipment, remains “close to nil.” Palatino said, “We must do something about it.”
The bicameral budget deliberation is set on December 6. Palatino said, “The fight for education is definitely not over. The youth and the people will intensify the fight in the coming days until total victory is achieved.” (Bulatlat.com)