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115 SUCs get additional P3.7 B

MANILA, Philippines — The 115 state universities and colleges (SUCs) throughout the country will receive an additional funding of P3.7 billion next year.

The SUCs will get an average of P10 million each.

“The additional money will augment the state schools’ maintenance and operating funds,” Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, who chairs the House of Representatives committee on appropriations, said.

The augmentation increased the combined budgets of SUCs from P58.426 billion, as proposed by President Duterte, to P62.1 billion as approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Budget documents show that half of the additional P3.7 billion was allocated to the University of the Philippines, increasing its outlay to P16.4 billion, or almost a fourth of the total amount of taxpayers’ money allotted to all SUCs.

The Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), considered the poor man’s state university, was given P38 million more, bringing its budget for 2018 to P1.4 billion.

Aside from UP and PUP, SUCs that were allocated bigger amounts included the Mindanao State University with P215 million; MSU-Tawi-Tawi College of Technology and Oceanography, P30 million; Bukidnon State University, P40 million; Pampanga State Agricultural University, P45 million; Bulacan State University, P95 million; Bulacan Agricultural State College, P35 million and University of Northern Philippines, P70 million.

The Ilocos Sur Polytechnic State College received the smallest increase of P3.5 million.

Nograles said an additional P40 billion would be available for the free college education program in SUCs.

The Department of Education (DepEd) was allotted P553.3 billion, the second biggest allocation after that of the Department of Public Works and Highways, which was given P637.9 billion.

Leftist lawmakers decried the downgrading of the DepEd in terms of priority treatment.

They said the education department used to get the biggest slice of the national budget, as mandated under the Constitution.

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