State college budgets got boost, says Abad
MANILA, Philippines—Contrary to public perceptions of low budgets for state colleges and universities (SUCs) in the wake of a student’s suicide due supposedly to limited tuition subsidies, the budgets of SUCs in fact received a 44-percent hike, Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said on Monday.
“The Aquino administration gave the sector a budget boost over its 2012 allocation, in line with (the) goal of improving the tertiary education system and expand the operational capacity of SUCs,” said Abad, adding that the 44-percent hike added up to a total budget of P37.1 billion.
The University of the Philippines System received the highest budget at P9.53 billion in new appropriations for this year, the budget chief said. UP freshman Kristel Tejada took her life earlier this month reportedly after UP Manila officials told her to file a leave of absence due to the nonpayment of her tuition.
“This year, the administration will pay particular focus on streamlining the curricula of SUCs through the Roadmap for Higher Education Reform,” Abad said, adding that the roadmap “will help college students fine-tune their skills so they’re primed for jobs in high-performing industries.”
Meanwhile, the Social Security System (SSS) said it expected more members to apply for its expanded educational assistance loan program this year, as the fund remained largely untapped.
In a statement, Ma. Luz C. Generoso, SSS assistant vice president, said the program had a P7-billion kitty but so far only about 12,000 students had taken advantage of it, accounting for at least P148 million in education loans taken out in 2012.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.