PASUC OFFICIAL ASSAILS P4-B CUT IN PROPOSED 2024 BUDGET FOR FREE COLLEGE EDUCATION
By Junex Doronio
SAYING THAT EDUCATION IS A RIGHT, not a privilege, several students and parents rallied behind the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUCs) as it decried on Monday the P4.16-billion funding shortage for free college education in SUCs under the government’s proposed P5.678-trillion budget for 2024.
Dr. Tirso Ronquillo, president of the PASUC, expressed dismay that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) only approved a budget of P21.69 billion for state colleges and universities for next year.
Ronquillo is also the president of Batangas State U.
He told the House appropriations panel that they initially proposed P25.85 billion.
“Our projection is based on our projected enrollment and existing tuition in each SUCs. We factored in increase in enrollment, rule of thumb,” the PAS official said.
But DBM Director Grace delos Santos retorted that the budget for free college education in SUCs under the proposed 2024 budget is based on the actual billing or expenses the SUCs spent for the said program in 2022.
On Saturday, September 16, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said the free access to state university education is “unsustainable”. (ai/mnm)