Hundreds of students from UPVTC protest against budget cut on tertiary education in 2013
TACLOBAN CITY—Hundreds of students from the University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College (UPVTC) have protested here as a local action against the proposed budget cut on tertiary public education in 2013.
Dick Guiller Delfin, UPVTC student council chairperson, said the continuous reduction of the government subsidy to the education sector is hurting state universities and colleges (SUCs) especially the UP System.
“The approved budget for UP alone in 2011 was cut by P1.6 billion and in the following year, it was cut by almost P200 million. We firmly opposes the decision of our government to continuously reduce our budget for 2013,” Delfin said in an interview with Leyte Samar Daily Express.
Delfin said the UP administration has proposed to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) P18.4 billion budget for 2013, which is 145% higher than the current approved budget and almost 8% higher than last year’s P17 billion budget proposal.
“A low budget has a debilitating effect on UP’s capacity to fulfill its mandate as the national university. The underprivileged students’ access to quality tertiary education would be compromised. The sustained development of academic facilities and programs would also be hampered,” Delfin said.
Delfin added that other SUCs in the region are set to stage protest actions to denounce the budget cut.
“From petitions for dialogs to open letters, we have exhausted all means of asking the Aquino administration for a budget which will allow our universities and colleges to function without resorting to fee increases,” he added
DBM, however, assured additional funding of P4.2 billion on top of the P26.1 billion annual budget of Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for SUCs after concerns were raised last year about the government’s insufficient support for public tertiary education.
The budget released for SUCs is part of the additional P13.4 billion that the government invested for the Disbursement Acceleration Plan (DAP). (REYAN L. ARINTO)
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