Senator Edgardo J. Angara lauded the government’s move to raise the 2013 budget for state universities and colleges (SUCs) as he stressed the need to boost public tertiary education and to improve student welfare across the country.
“It is about time we increase the budget for SUCs in light of the fact that the Philippines has been one of the countries in the ASEAN that makes the lowest education investment in relation to our gross domestic product,” said Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) recently announced that SUCs may receive P37.1 billion next year, an increase of P11.3 billion from their 2012 budget.
Angara called on his colleagues at the Senate to join him in supporting the swift passage of the budget for SUCs, noting that the country is under pressure to institute the needed reforms for higher education.
Of the proposed P37.1 billion budget, DBM said P27.3 billion will be used for the implementation of the fourth tranche of the Salary Standardization Law III to raise the salaries of SUC teachers and staff.
“The increase in salary would help our SUCs attract the most qualified and skilled teachers in the country which in turn, could improve and strengthen our public tertiary education,” the senator said.
Angara, a former president of the University of the Philippines, pointed out that due to the lack of support from the government, the country’s top universities have disappeared from the list of the best universities in the world in 2011.
“I am optimistic that the budget hike for SUCs, if used properly, could enhance the declining quality of education in the Philippines. It could help our schools mold and produce the best and the brightest students who can lift our country in greater heights in the future,” he said. (30)