/ 30 September 2022

PRESIDENTS and officials of various state universities and colleges called on the government to restore the budget cuts in the operating costs of SUCs for fiscal year 2023.

In a statement, at least 20 SUCs officials sought a bigger budget for the implementation of face-to-face classes.

“Cuts in operating costs will adversely impact the capacity of SUCs to safely implement face-to-face while Covid19 still lingers. SUCs have also been given limited fiscal space for capital outlay which they strive to augment with their own revenue-generating sources,” they said.

“This is also amidst the widespread damage wrought to several SUCs by typhoons and earthquakes from which they have not yet fully recovered. This necessitates more funding for learning spaces, acquisition of equipment, and restoration of damaged facilities, among others,” they added.

Based on the proposed national budget for 2023, SUCs were only allocated P93.08 billion, lower than this year’s P103.97 billion budget.

Due to this, 81 out of 116 SUCs will have a cut in their overall budget. In addition, 115 schools will decrease their operations budget, 83 in their capital outlay, and 17 in their personnel services.

The proposed budget for SUCs in 2023 includes cuts to the free higher education program totaling P1.8 billion.

The officials said an additional budget for learning institutions is needed to regain their public character and provide ample support for student services and faculty development.

“If our state universities and colleges are to be expected to do their duties, they must be funded accordingly,” they said.