Manpower issues, non-compliance of SUCs delay fund release, says CHED chief
MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chairperson Prospero de Vera on Wednesday blamed the lack of manpower and the non-compliance of state universities and colleges in the delay of the release of funds under the free higher education law.
During the House deliberations on CHED’s budget, ACT-Teachers Rep. France Castro revealed she received reports that some SUCs waited for six to eight months before they got the funding for the free higher education law, which prompted some schools to lay off some personnel.
While De Vera admitted that there have been delays in the downloading of funds due to administrative and manpower issues, he said some SUCs did not comply with the requirements on time resulting in the delay.
“‘Yung mga SUC na nagrereklamo na hindi sila nabigyan, ang totoo, marami doon, non-compliant. The papers will not move if they don’t comply with requirements,” he said.
(The SUCs are complaining that they did not get any, the real thing here is, a lot of them are non-compliant.)
“We cannot download the money if they are not compliant,” he added.
He asked Castro to provide CHED a list of SUCs who complained of not receiving funds for six to eight months already. He said he has a list of SUCs who are non-compliant.
“We can give you a copy of the SUCs that until today are not compliant. We have documentation, kung nagkulang naman po kami aaminin namin. Pero kung hindi nagcocomply yung SUC, wala ho kaming magagawa, hindi mabibigay yung pera,” the CHED official said.
(If it was our mistake, we’ll admit it. But if the SUCs are not complying, we can’t do anything, funds will not be given.)
A big chunk of the 2021 budget of the Commission on Higher Education will go to the implementation of the free higher education law or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.
During the House deliberations on the CHED’s budget on Wednesday, agency chairperson Prospero de Vera said P44.2 billion of CHED’s proposed budget of P50.928 billion for 2021 will go to free higher education.
This is 13.49% higher than the allocation in 2020, which was at P38.9 billion.
However, De Vera admitted that there have been delays in the reimbursement of tuition fees and miscellaneous fees, due to administrative and manpower issues, which is even exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We ask for the indulgence of the education stakeholders, talagang bumagal ‘yung pag-reimburse ng tuition and miscellaneous and pagbigay ng Tertiary Education Scholarship dahil sa COVID,” the CHED official said.
“That is the biggest problem that we encounter, the administrative limitations and the manpower limitations,” he added.
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