/ 20 September 2020

A GROUP of lawmakers filed a resolution urging the House Committee on Appropriations for a higher subsidy for the education sector next year.

The minority bloc led by the Kabataan partylist filed the resolution, with 102 House members expressing intent to be co-authors.

“For years, our students and constituents have called for greater state funding for education, yet, we remain to see budget cuts annually. With this, we aim to provide what our state schools and financial aid programs need: a substantial increase – an additional budget that could match their actual funding requirement,” Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Jane Elago said.

The specific demands in the resolution include restoration of the cuts on the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses budget of 111 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), Student Financial Assistance Programs and the Subsidy for Medical Students in SUC.

Others include the immediate release and prevent delays on budget for Free Tuition and Other School Fees and Tertiary Education Subsidy as mandated in Republic Act 10931, and the extension of the eligibility of scholars for academic year 2021-2022 and adjust application requirements of student financial assistance programs.

The resolution also calls for the provision of communication and connectivity allowances for faculty and students, prioritization of funding for appropriate digital platforms and library subscriptions, and expedient rollout of free public Wi-Fi and other information and communications technology support programs.

The minority bloc also urges Congress to study other options and exhaust all means to help thousands of displaced students, faculty, and personnel of private education institutions that have closed due to the worsening economic crisis.

“Additionally, this resolution echoes the unity statement signed by public servants, university presidents and officials, students, teachers and members of different sectors reaffirms the need to support our SUCs, and protect the right to education at all levels during these difficult times and beyond,” the group said in the resolution.