THE Commission on Higher Education (CHED) denied the allegations of Vice President Jejomar Binay that the government slashed the budget of state universities and colleges (SUCs).
In a statement, CHED Chairman Patricia Licuanan said the government has increased the budget of state schools from P22.03 billion in 2011 to P42.28 billion in 2015.
“Their [SUCs] budget has almost doubled in five years,” she pointed out.
According to Licuanan, SUCs’ budget in 2014 was P35.93 billion contrary to Binay’s claim of only P809 million in his “True State of the Nation Address.”
The CHED chief said the University of the Philippines (UP) and Mindanao State University (MSU) also received P9.37 billion and P1.97 billion, respectively, in the same year.
“While it is true that there was a slight decrease in the UP System budget of P156 million in 2014, the UP System received the biggest capital outlay allocation in 2013 of P1.45 billion,” Licuanan explained.
She added that UP’s 2015 budget is at its highest at P13.14 billion with a capital outlay of P4.6 billion.
But the MSU’s budget in 2014 dropped by P632.66 million from the previous year because its 2013 capital outlay reached an unprecedented P868.59 million, Licuanan said.
Licuanan also denied that CHED slashed the budgets of the Cavite State University and Isabela State University.
“In truth, the budgets of both institutions increased steadily from 2011 to 2015. In five years, Cavite State University’s budget grew by 83.48 percent from P192.69 million in 2011 to P353.55 in 2015, while Isabela State University’s budget increased by 55.09 percent from P369.29 million in 2011 to P572.75 in 2015,” she noted.
Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said his agency has proposed a P10.533-billion budget for CHED for 2016, a 200 percent increase from its current appropriations of P3.4 billion.
But Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (Pasuc) President Ricardo Rotoras said the budget allocation for the SUCs in the past years has been dwindling in real terms.
“Allocation for capital outlay (fund for the construction of additional classrooms and equipment) has been nil for the past 15 years, with the exception in 2013-2014. No funds for additional faculty and administrative personnel for the increasing number of students enrolling in the SUCs since the 80’s. The budget of SUCs now is on the same level as the budget in the early 80’s (in real terms) where the student population was still about 30 percent of what we have today,” Rotoras said in an interview.
Pasuc is the largest association of public higher education institutions composed of 102 state universities and colleges.