The Commission on Higher Education (ChEd) warned that fewer students would be able to avail of its scholarship programs because the budget allocated for the agency suffered huge slashes.
ChEd Chairman Prospero de Vera 3rd told the appropriations panel of the House of Representatives that the budget for the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act was slashed from P42.4 billion to P35.3 billion, a cut of 16.74 percent.
From P4.1 billion, the allocation for the Student Financial Assistance Program was reduced to P516 million, equivalent to 87.6 percent decrease.
Meanwhile, the allocation for the K to 12 program was lowered from P3.1 billion to P2.5 billion, or a cut of 21.48 percent.
From P3 billion, CHEd’s Tulong Dunong program got no allocation for 2020. Under the program, selected students are given P12,000 incentive per academic year to cover their educational expenses.
De Vera said because of the budget cuts, the number of scholars and faculty members who might benefit from their programs would also be slashed.
This year, ChEd was given a P52.4-billion budget. For 2020, the proposed budget for the agency is P40.7 billion.
Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said he would move for the allocation of a P10-billion
augmentation fund for ChEd to enable it to enhance the operations of higher education institutions and provide wider scholarship opportunities for deserving students.