June 25, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

113 SUCs thank Romualdez for ‘substantial support’ in 2024 budget

THE organization of the 113 state universities and colleges across the country has expressed gratitude to Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez for their P128.2 billion allocation for this year, which is P27.3 billion higher than the originally proposed budget. 

“I would like to express our deepest gratitude once again for your crucial role in securing additional funding support for SUCs in the 2024 General Appropriation Act,” Dr. Tirso Ronquillo, president of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC), said. 

In a two-page letter dated Jan. 10 sent to the Office of Speaker, the president of Batangas State University also thanked the leader of the House of Representatives for utilizing “unprogrammed funds” that will be needed for the payment of FHE (free higher education) deficiencies in school years 2022 and 2023. 

“Your dedication and efforts in enlisting the support of your esteemed fellow congressmen have been instrumental in ensuring that our students have the necessary assistance to succeed in college under the government’s free higher education program,” he said. 

“We stand united with the Honorable Speaker in his unwavering commitment to prudent allocation of government resources. Your legislative support shall empower the 113 SUCs to deliver meaningful services to the country and its people,” Ronquillo, in behalf of state-owned schools, declared. 

The Speaker assured PASUC of prioritizing the government’s budget for state-run educational institutions. “This has always been the marching order of our President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to make sure that our students are not left behind in this globalized era,” he said. 

Among the “beneficiaries” of the P27.3 billion budgetary increase, according to Ronquillo, are the 1.85 million students enrolled in SUCs nationwide, 72,000 faculty and staff and 50,000 job orders and contract of service workers. 

“Our sincerest thanks and appreciation for this substantial support,” he said, acknowledging that their respective colleges and universities now have “adequate resources to effectively perform its core mandates of instruction, research, community engagement and other public undertakings.”  

The allocation, sourced from “unprogrammed funds,” was also broken down as follows: 

— P20.1 billion as capital outlay for the “digital transformation” or “smart campus system for seven SUCs

— P7 billion for payment of FHE deficiencies in 2022 and 2023

— P5.3 billion for the construction, completion or rehabilitation of classrooms, dormitories for 40 SUCs

— P692 million under the maintenance operating and other expenses for the establishment and support of 22 SUCs with existing colleges of medicine 

— P232 million from the P2 million each across-the-board to all SUCs for “Capacity Development on Futures Thinking and Strategic Foresight”  

 — P273 million for the SUCs’ “Tulong Dunong program”

— P115 million for the increase in carrying capacity of nursing health programs of three SUCs

— P100 million under the MPBF (miscellaneous personnel benefits fund) for the implementation of the reclassification of faculty positions

— P30 million as “financial assistance to athletes and athletic programs” of 16 SUCs, while P102 million is allotted for PS (personnel services), P465 million for the yearly MOOE and P43 million for capital outlay.