Kakulangan sa pondo ng libreng kolehiyo sa SUCs pupunan ng 2024 budget

TUTUTGUNAN ng 2024 General Appropriations Act (Republic Act No. 11975) ang pinangangambahang kakulangan sa pondo ng libreng kolehiyo sa mga State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), ayon kay Senador Win Gatchalian.

Nasa 2024 GAA ang isang special provision na ipinanukala ni Gatchalian, kung saan nakasaad na maaaring gamitin sa pondo ng libreng kolehiyo ang mga hindi nagalaw na balanse ng Higher Education Development Fund (HEDF). Gagamitin ang naturang pondo upang punan ang mga kakulangan sa pondo ng libreng kolehiyo sa mga SUCs at ang program of receipts and expenditures, na nakabatay naman sa bilang ng mga enrollees at ang matrikulang inaprubahan ng mga board of regents o trustees ng mga naturang SUCs.

Aabot sa P4.1 bilyon ang kakulangan sa pondo ng programang libreng kolehiyo. Ayon sa Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC), tinatayang aabot sa 1.8 milyong mga mag-aaral ang makikinabang sa libreng kolehiyo ngayong 2024.

Iminungkahi ni Gatchalian ang paggamit ng HEDF dahil batay sa datos ng Bureau of Treasury, umabot sa P10.167 bilyon ang accumulated net balance ng naturang pondo noong Mayo 22, 2022, sapat upang mapunan ang pinangangambahang kakulangan sa pondo ng mga SUCs para sa taong 2024. Ngunit magagamit ang HEDF para sa kakulangan sa pondo sa taong 2024 lamang.

Binigyang diin ni Gatchalian na kailangang tugunan ang pinangangambahang kakulangan sa pondo sa libreng kolehiyo para sa mga SUCs lalo na’t maaapektuhan rito ang kakayahan nilang magpatayo ng mga bagong silid-aralan, mga pasilidad, at mga laboratoryo, bagay na makakaapekto rin sa kalidad ng edukasyong hatid ng mga SUCs.

“Tiniyak natin na para sa taong ito, maiiwasan natin ang kakulangan ng pondo para sa libreng kolehiyo sa ating mga State Universities and Colleges. Mahalagang tiyakin natin ang sapat na pondo para sa ating mga SUCs, hindi lamang para sa libreng kolehiyo, kundi para maipagpatuloy din nila ang paghahatid ng dekalidad na edukasyon para sa ating mga mag-aaral,” ani Gatchalian.

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