Duterte vetoes bill granting national status to PUP
The President cited the need to reassess the performance of the PUP and its satellite campuses for it to be granted national state university status.
Duterte vetoes bill granting national status to PUP
Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) - September 8, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has vetoed a bill that was supposed to grant the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) national university status.

The President cited the need to reassess the performance of the PUP and its satellite campuses for it to be granted national state university status.

He also pointed out that the reassessment of PUP is also in light of its current performance ranking among other state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the country.

The President returned Wednesday to Congress the consolidated Senate Bill 2124 and House Bill 9023, which provided for the PUP charter, without his signature.

“While I recognize the noble objective of the measure to promote, foster, nurture, and protect the right of all citizens to accessible quality education, I have serious reservations on the suitability of the means chosen to attain this end, namely, granting (PUP) the status of a national polytechnic university, with all the benefits and privileges such status entails,” Duterte wrote both Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, stressing that PUP is just one of many SUCs in the country.

Under the bill approved by Congress, PUP would be given the same status as the University of the Philippines (UP) and Mindanao State University (MSU).

National universities enjoy fiscal autonomy and are allowed to craft their own academic program.

“The comparative performance of its satellite campuses and extension programs needs to be similarly evaluated before granting the PUP system as a whole such a privileged status,” Duterte said of PUP’s 20 other branches.

The President said providing fiscal autonomy to PUP “departs from the adopted policy of granting only institutional autonomy to SUCs” and “would have a significant fiscal impact on the government.”

He said this situation can be avoided “only if the PUP budget would continue to be subject to the need for prioritization and the usual budgetary and monitoring processes.”

In October 2018, PUP was reported to be among the schools where the communists were allegedly recruiting members for a supposed plot to oust Duterte.

According to a 2016 study, PUP graduates were the top choice of employers in the Philippines because they tend to be hard-working and go the extra mile.

In the 2019 Quacquarelli Symonds University Rankings, which ranks the top performing universities in the world, UP was the top school in the country and 72nd in Asia while MSU landed in the 451-500 bracket. PUP did not garner a spot in the annual study.

There are at least 436 SUCs in the Philippines, including satellite campuses located in various parts of the country.

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