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CHED chief: State schools' budget at all-time high

Commission on Higher Education Chair Patricia Licuanan said the budget of state universities and colleges doubled from P23.8 billion in 2010 to P46 billion in 2016. UN News Centre

MANILA, Philippines - Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chair Patricia Licuanan on Friday said that the budget of state universities and colleges (SUCs) is at an all-time high.

”The budget of state universities and colleges actually doubled from P23.8 billion in 2010 to an all-time high of P46 billion in 2016," Licuanan said.

Licuanan noted the P1.6 billion or 3.6-percent increase in the 2016 budget of SUCs compared to its current budget allocation.

She said that the education budget has grown tremendously under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III.

The CHED official denied reports that 59 SUCs will suffer budget cuts next year, stressing that said reports have been inaccurate.

"In response to reports that more than 50 SUCs received budget cuts for next year, it must be pointed out that in truth, only 10 SUCs will sustain net decreases in funding with Philippine Normal University (PNU) getting the largest reduction of 19 percent, University of the Philippines (UP) system 16 percent and the rest, single-digit decreases ranging from 0.59 to 7 percent,” Licuanan said during the 2016 budget hearing at the House of Representatives last Wednesday.

She added that decrease of PNU's budget from P690 million to P558 million is due to a one-time congressional insertion of P100 million this year.

Meanwhile, the P2.2-billion decrease in the UP system's budget is rooted from a one-time allotment for medical equipment of the UP-Philippine General Hospital which amounted to P3.1 billion.

Licuanan said that the budget of UP actually increased by almost P1 billion without the said one-time allocation in 2015.

On Thursday, various youth groups staged a protest to the proposed decrease in operating expenses of SUCs.

On the other hand, CHED reiterated that there was a disinformation on the budget of SUCs. The agency has been working with the Department of Budget and Management since 2010 in crafting an annual budget to ensure the quality of tertiary education, Licuanan said.

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