Friday, 23 September 2011

SUCs Strike against budget cuts, Malacanang issues budget "insufficient" accdg. SUCs

SUCs Strike against budget cuts,
Malacanang issues budget "insufficient" accdg. to SUCs

About 8.000 students from different State Colleges and Universities marched hand in hand to Mendiola last Friday fighting for greater state subsidy as well as against budget cuts.

Known as "The March for Education", the University of the Philippines, as well as member schools of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges marched from Diliman, Sta. Mesa, and others directly to Mendiola all against the policies laid by the government especially those of cutting its budget on education.

The protest even featured a mass planking of students in Mendola, that according to the organizers, a "record" as protesters converged and planked altogether as a form of protest. That, according to Raymond Palatino of the Kabataan Partylist, 20,000 students, teachers, and SUC officials took part in mass planking, walkouts and marches in nationwide protests.

"The nationwide strike embodies the outrage of our SUCs against the inaction of the Aquino administration to reverse the cuts and provide sufficient funding for our public universities," he said in a press statement Friday.

However, according to Malacanang, it has proposed a P5.54-billion budget for UP in 2012, higher than this year’s P1.39 billion but not enough as it goes far from the estimate P18 billion UP needed for its campuses according to student groups. The budget cut even likely to justify increase in tuition and other fees in SUCs same goes in Private schools who oppose yearly increases. The policy Malacanang made rather realizes its side effect as President Aquino in his budget statement last year stated that there were indeed cuts in SUC spending:

“We allocated P23.4 billion to 112 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in 2011. This is 1.7 percent lower than the P23.8 billion budget for 2010. We are gradually reducing the subsidy to SUCs to push them toward becoming self-sufficient and financially independent..”

Student groups meanwhile also said the budget “contains an overall cut of P569.8 million” for some 50 state schools. Some 220 SUCs will share the budget as enrollment increases in public tertiary schools amid rising tuition in private schools. Self sufficiency had limits, as it negates the essence of being a State-supported institution such as a university, that even other State supported entities such as hospitals also faced problems such as lack of medicine and supplies like those of Fabella Hospital in Sta.Cruz Manila according to Einstein Recedes in his speech.

Students who joined this week’s protest came from the University of the Philippines-Diliman, UP Manila, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, Rizal Technological University, Bulacan State University, Philippine Normal University as well as Private schools such as University of the East and University of Sto. Tomas.