A leader of the minority bloc in the House of Representatives on Friday vowed to restore the cuts in the proposed budgets for state universities and colleges (SUCs), specifically the University of the Philippines (UP) System and the UP-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH).
“I am categorically and strongly calling for the restoration of the budget cuts of SUCs and the University of the Philippines particularly the Philippine General Hospital, Madam Speaker,” said Camarines Sur Rep. Gabriel Bordado, an assistant minority leader, during the House’s budget deliberation in plenary session.
The 2023 general appropriations bill (GAB) which is based on the Executive’s National Expenditure Program (NEP) provides that SUCs would receive P93.08 billion which is P10.89 billion or 10.48 percent lower than this year’s P103.97 billion allocation.
Bordado also moved to restore cuts in the maintenance and other operating expenses of SUCs which suffered the most because of the lower budget for next year.
The proposed budget for the UP system was slashed by P2.5 billion and another P893 million from the proposed budget of the UP-PGH.
The UP System has a proposed budget of P23.10 billion for 2023 under the National Expenditure Program (NEP) that the Executive submitted to the House of Representatives last Monday, an amount which is lower than this year’s P25.6 billion budget.
The Education sector is allocated a total of P852.8 billion covering the Department of Education, state universities and colleges (SUCs), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Bordado’s move to restore the budgets of SUCS, the UP System and the UP-PGH was supported by budget sponsor Cebu Rep. Peter John Calderon.
“The 1987 Constitution mandates that the Education Sector should be given the highest budget priority and while we can say that the Department of Education has an increased budget but the budget for tertiary education has been suffering reductions,” Bordado said.