In his budget message for 2011, Aquino boasted of a spending based on “reform” and one that has “bias to the poor and vulnerable.” However, this claim is difficult to understand when the allocation for public health, an important social service, is being reduced.
Despite the rising cases of dengue and other infectious diseases, and the horror tales of long lines, lack of medicines, lack of beds and rooms, and shortage of doctors and nurses and in our public hospitals, the Aquino government is slashing the health budget for 2011.
Last August 26, student leaders from National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), League of Filipino Students (LFS), and College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) together with Kabataan Rep. Raymond Palatino met with new Commision on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Patricia Licuanan to
The plan to add two years to the basic education cycle, banner program of the Aquino administration, will surely be met by opposition from different student groups, parents, teachers and educators. The push for the implementation of the program despite widespread protests against it exposes the Aquino’s stubborn governance framework.
Not a few have spoken out against this plan. It should be remembered that this program was already proposed in 2004 as the “Bridge Program” under the Arroyo administration and was junked. The plan was withdrawn after it was met with protests by students, parents, teachers and educators.
Proponents of course, now try to deny this fact by claiming that Arroyo then withdrew the plan mainly because of political considerations. But they are only trying to fool themselves as this spin won’t be enough to erase the fact that this fantasy project of theirs has already been rejected by the broad public.
In the budget proposal submitted by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to Congress last August 25, the combined budget for 112 SUCs is cut by 1.7% from P23.8 billion in 2010 to only P23.4 billion this year.
Among those with the biggest budget cuts are University of the Philippines (-P1.39 billion or 20.11%), Philippine Normal University (-P91.35 million or 23.59%), Bicol University (-P88.81 million or 18.82%), University of Southeastern Philippines (-P44.39 million or 20.03%), Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (-P31.65 million or 15.91%).
Huge cuts are proposed in the budget for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) of all but 15 SUCs, some by more than 50%. The combined total operations budget for SUCs will be cut by P1.1 billion, or by 28.16%.
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