Press Release
September 25, 2011

Cayetano to Palace: Increase budget for SUCs, invest in the country's future

Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano joined the call of students and other legislators to increase the proposed 2012 budget for state universities and colleges (SUCs).

"There are sufficient funds in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2012 to put at least P1 or P2 billion in the SUC budget," he said.

The senator pointed out that SUCs are not equipped with the capacity to be entirely self-sustaining as their ability to generate income is almost non-existent.

"We cannot compare our SUCs to foreign universities like Harvard and Stanford when it comes to self-sufficiency. SUCs do not have the ability to amass large amounts of money in trust funds and donations," said Cayetano.

He added that not all SUCs are like the University of the Philippines that has prime locations as assets they can utilize to generate income.

He also pointed out that since most SUCs are plagued with the need for more facilities, they cannot be expected to prioritize commerce over the need to build new buildings, dormitories and laboratories.

The minority leader further lamented the Aquino administration's apparent discrimination against the country's tertiary education.

"Focusing on basic education is good but it cannot be at the expense of tertiary education. The administration seems to think that if a person wants to go to college, it should be at their parents' expense. This cannot be done in a country where majority of the people are poor," he said.

Cayetano explained that the administration should seriously consider addressing this policy flaw in our education sector that robs students of the chance to go to college and eventually become major players in the country's work force.

He pointed out that college graduates are able to find work easier and will eventually be able to pay taxes to help the nation's development. "When you work, you can pay taxes. But if you don't have a college degree, your work options become limited and the tax you pay will be less too," he added.

"So whether you look at in from a human development or national development angle, the state will benefit if we invest more on tertiary education," he said.

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