Labor group hails congressional action on SUC budget cuts

THE Federation of Free Workers (FFW) commends the Philippine Congress for restoring and augmenting the budgets of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) for the year 2024. This decision is particularly impactful for Mindanao State University (MSU), recognized for its crucial role in Muslim and Christian integration in the country.

Local Union President Joel Tongco of the Macajalar Labor Union-FFW, based in Oro Port, Cagayan de Oro City said, “we  praise Congress for the increased budget allocation to MSU, a prominent educational institution in Mindanao.” 

“Ang MSU ay nagsisilbing para bagang tunawang-palayok ng kultura ng mga Muslim, Kristiyano, at Katutubong Tao, na naghihikayat ng iba’t ibang grupo ng mga estudyante, karaniwan mula sa mahihirap na komunidad sa buong Minsupala (MSU can be likened to a melting pot of Muslim, Christian, and Indigenous Peoples’ cultures, attracting diverse groups of students, typically from poor communities across Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan),” added Tongco who is also a kagawad of Brgy Macabalan, CDO. 

With a significant 94% increase in its budget, MSU will receive P12.4 billion in 2024, up from the P6.4 billion in 2023. This funding boost is especially meaningful following the recent security breach on its Marawi City campus where four persons were killed and several were wounded.

“FFW looks at the enhanced support for MSU as a vital step in fostering cultural harmony and understanding, further solidifying its role as a center for the integration of diverse religious and cultural groups in the Philippines,” opined FFW president Sonny Matula, who is also an alumnus of MSU. 

“The FFW views this development as a key element in the nation’s ongoing commitment to education and cultural unity, ensuring that MSU continues to be a beacon of learning and integration for all Filipinos,” FFW added.

Congress earlier received flak for cutting the proposed budget of SUCs while allowing the confidential and intelligence fund of an executive to balloon. 

“Education is the great equalizer. Providing accessible quality tertiary education to young people from marginalized groups would absolutely help in alleviating poverty in the rural areas and providing a stepping stone for peace in the country,” added Matula.

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