The House of Representatives has approved the proposed P3.35-trillion budget for 2017 and restored the P1.87 billion allocation for state universities and colleges (SUCs).
House Bill 3408 was passed through a 243-5 vote, with one abstention coming from Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman.
The P1.87-billion Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) that was restored for SUCs was broken down to P318 million for 34 SUCs and P1.54 billion for 65 government hospitals.
“The Appropriations panel agreed to restore the [MOOE] budget because this could have adverse effect on the country’s quality of education and the delivery of public health care. We are of the belief that these SUCs and our government hospitals must be given utmost priority at all times,” Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, Chairman of the House Appropriations panel, said in a statement.
“Quality education and quality health care are key public services that have a direct impact on our nation’s future,” Nograles added.
The budget of the University of the Philippines-Manila for the modernization of its laboratories for the College of Dentistry, the repair and rehabilitation of the College of Nursing building and the acquisition of generators was hiked to P85 million.
The P233.741 million, on the other hand, was earmarked to the Philippine Normal University (P1.431 million), Ilocos Sur Polytechnic State College (P2.229 million), Pangasinan State University (P2.56 million), Cagayan State University (P9.684 million), Nueva Viscaya State University (P273,000), Central Luzon State University (11.462 million); Tarlac College of Agriculture (P1.062 million); Cavite State University (P9.563 million); Laguna State Polytechnic College ( P6.176 million); Southern Luzon Polytechnic College (P2.733 million); University of Rizal System (P1.523 million); Camarines Norte State College (P1.958 million); Sorsogon State College (P317,000); Carlos C. Hilado Memorial State College (P10.728 million); Iloilo Science and Technology University/Western Visayas College of Science and Technology (P28.890 million); Iloilo State University of Science and Technology/ Iloilo State College of Fisheries (P4. 836 million); University of Antique (P4.332 million); Bohol Island State University (P21.249 million); Cebu Technological University ( P40.631 million); Eastern Visayas State University (P2.402 million).