Imbes diploma, dismissal slips! 700k will be out of college due to P11.6B cut in CHED budget – Recto

Sen.Ralph Recto / photo file (ctto)

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Friday was alarmed over the P11.6-billion cut made in the budget of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for 2020.

He said hundreds of thousands of college students might be displaced with the reduction in the budget of the CHED.

Recto said in a statement, the CHED budget was cut 23 percent lower than last year, which only amounting to P40.784 billion, compared to its last year’s budget of P52.43 billion.
Recto pointed out that the chunk of the CHED budget, or about 80 percent of its annual budget, is set for the implementation of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education (UAQTE) also known as Republic Act 10931.

RA 10931 which gave students in state universities and colleges (SUCs) free tuition fees, among other programs or the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES)

The UAQTE budget for 2019 was given P42.5 billion to benefit 708,993 students, beneficiaries in five major assistance programs

However, the proposed UAQTE budget for 2020 is only P35.36 billion, or P7.12 billion less for this year, according to Recto.

He added that on top of this deduction, is the obliteration of P2.6 billion for the Tulong Dunong Program.
 “Hundreds of thousands of college students are in danger of ending their studies if the plan to slash the CHED’s 2020 budget by P11.6 billion for next year pushes through,” Recto said in a statement.
“Instead of diplomas, the government will be handing out dismissal slips. The budget cut for tertiary education is a ticket to a forced vacation for many public and private college students,” Recto said

“Okay lang sana kung hindi pa sila naka-enroll sa kolehiyo; kung papasok pa lang. Pero karamihan naka-enrol na, prodded by a government guarantee that if they study hard and maintain good grades, they can keep the scholarship,” he added.

Recto said, CHED needs to restore the budget cut, as the continued schooling of 175,260 students under the Student Financial Assistance Program, 1,932 medical scholars, and between 115,352 to 199,920 students who benefit from the TES would be in peril.

“There are no easy solutions to this problem of underfunding. Congress is not a mint that can just print money. But by raising this issue, I hope that both houses will find ways on how to maintain the funding status quo,” he added.

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