Palace bats for 44% hike in budget of state colleges, universities to P37BBy Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang is pushing for a 44-percent hike in the allocation for state colleges and universities in 2013 in an effort to boost tertiary education in the country, according to Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad.
The proposed increase is more than four times the 10-percent hike that the Palace wanted for state colleges and universities when the 2012 budget was pending in Congress in 2012.
On Wednesday, Abad said they would propose P37.1 billion as budget for state colleges and universities in 2013, which would be P11.2 billion higher than this year’s P25.9 billion.
He said the bigger budget would strengthen the performance of state colleges and universities and improve student welfare through better infrastructure—all in line with the Aquino administration’s higher education road map.
“This way, the delivery of higher education will be more efficient and accessible,” he said. “Following the road map will also allow state colleges and universities to develop their students’ capabilities so they’re well prepared to join the work force.”
Of the proposed P37.1 billion, P27.3 billion will support personnel services, which went up by 21 percent for the implementation of the fourth tranche of the Salary Standardization Law III.
The law raises the salaries of teachers and staff and the proposed funds for personnel services in state colleges and universities would include allocations for unfilled positions.
Also, P6.4 billion will cover maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE), which is 114 percent higher than the previous year’s MOOE budget.
Abad said the increase in MOOE funds would help bolster institutional improvements, research initiatives, extension services, and the quality of instruction in state colleges and universities.
“Improvements in teaching quality and the establishment of quality assurance systems in state colleges and universities are attainable not just through better compensation for our teachers,” he added.
The budget chief explained that MOOE fund support would be based on set criteria to bolster the rationalization efforts in state colleges and universities.
This is to ensure that more programs and courses respond directly to growing industry demands, according to Abad.
Further, P3.36 billion of the total budget will be used for capital outlay (CO) to support the infrastructure needs of state-supported colleges and universities. Abad said the amount would be more than 16 times the outlay provided for in the 2012 budget.
Abad announced that they have proposed P10 billion as budget for the University of the Philippines, or P3.9 billion higher than the 2012 allocation.
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