Mong Palatino

blogging about the philippine left and southeast asian politics since 2004

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@mongster is a manila-based activist, former philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of asia-pacific affairs.

Speech delivered on September 7, 2011 during the plenary budget deliberations

In lieu of an interpellation, this representation will be making an appeal to the leadership of the House, and to all Members of this Chamber to challenge the budget priorities of the Aquino government, as far as the funding of the education sector is concerned. Unfortunately, the government, through the Department of Budget Management, adopts the policy of gradually decreasing the subsidies for State Universities and Colleges.

If the Executive refuses to recognize the importance of substantially increasing the budget of our public higher education institutions, then Congress should make a stand today.

Instead of accepting a budget proposal which reduced the Personal Services and Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses of SUCs, Congress should restore the cuts at the minimum and allot more funds so that SUCs can hire more teachers, accept more students, and expand their research programs.

Instead of zero capital outlay, Congress should allot funds for the building of new facilities, upgrading of laboratories, and modernization of school infrastructures.

It was Congress which approved the creation of the country’s SUCs. It is the duty of Congress, therefore, to guarantee sufficient state funding for these institutions who play an important role for the national development agenda.

But the government seems to ignore that. By giving low funding priority for our SUCs, the government deprives young people of the chance to access higher education. Our SUCs, which are barely surviving, are expected to produce quality education and provide assistance to their local communities. Despite this expectation from our SUCs, the government refuses to invest heavily on higher education.

Concretely, Congress should return the budget for unfilled positions to the SUCs. In return, SUCs should be requested to ensure that such funds will not be used in anomalous expenses similar to what was discovered in the military. Additionally, Congress should infuse more funds to SUCs by reducing the funds of other questionable, if not unproductive expenses like the bloated budget for CCT, intelligence funds, and debt servicing.

More funds for SUCs mean enhanced capability to implement programs that are vital to the progress of the nation. Investment to higher education is good politics. Support the SUCs, support the future of the Filipino youth!

Transcript of press conference with Senator Koko Pimentel

Rep. Raymond Palatino: Nandito po ang Kabataan Partylist kasama ang PASUC (association of state universities in the country) at Anakbayan, si Mr. Vencer Crisostomo at nagpapasalamat tayo kay Sen. Koko for hosting this presscon to express our concern sa pagbawas muli ng budget ng state universities and colleges. Ngayong araw po na ito ang simula ng budget deliberations sa lower house, sa plenary. Tomorrow po pag-uusapan ang budget ng state universities and colleges at ang ating demand po ay itaas ang budget ng state universities. Ang hinihingi po ng ating mga state universities ay 45 billion. Ang binigay lamang po ay P 21.8 million and this allotment is almost P200 million lower compared to last year. Para sa atin, ang makatwirang demand ay at the minimum ibalik po yung kinaltas. Pangalawa, lagyan po ng capital outlay ang ating mga state universities. Tulad po last year, wala pong mga capital outlay ang ating mga state universities. Ito po ay napakahalaga para sa upgrading of laboratories, modernization of facilities, pagtatayo ng mga building. Last week sinabi ni Pres. Noynoy na ang kanyang love life ay parang Coke from regular to light to zero. Sa totoo lamang, ang mga state universities ang dapat gumamit ng metaphor na yun. Ang kanilang capital outlay dati regular. Nung panahon ni Pres. GMA ay light. Since 2011 and the proposed budget ni Pres. Noynoy, zero capital outlay. Ano po yung impact ng pagbawas ng budget sa state universities? May impact sa access in terms of higher tuition, then impact din sa quality kasi (ang mababang badyet ay may negatibong epekto) sa operations. Yung survey po kahapon na lumabas sa top 300 universities sa mundo, walang lumabas sa Pilipinas. Nakakalungkot po yung survey na yun pero hindi na po surprising kasi ito na yung direct consequence ng reduced subsidies for reduced higher education. Our appeal is to reverse and rethink the policy (of reducing subsidies for public higher education institutions). Ang problema sa kalidad ay may kinalaman sa underinvestment o weak spending of the government for public higher education. – September 6, 2011 Padilla Room, Senate.

One Response to “Support our State Universities and Colleges”

  1. […] Related article: 2011 speech on the budget of state schools […]

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