Iloilo students gear for nationwide campus strikes

SEPTEMBER 20, 2011



Iloilo students gear for nationwide campus strikes

Youth decry railroading of 2012 budget, deficient subsidy for state schools


Iloilo City – As students join striking drivers in Manila to mark the start of a weeklong nationwide campus strike, Iloilo students also gear for protests on Friday, September 23, 2011 for a higher budget for State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and social services.


“We consistently appealed for a higher budget for SUCs and social services in dialogues with government agencies and in the budget plenary hearings, but our calls have fallen on deaf ears with last Friday’s hasty approval of the proposed 2012 national budget without any amendments,” said Kabataan Partylist Panay Regional Coordinator Karlo Mikhail Mongaya.


The House of Representatives recently approved the General Appropriations Act of 2012, which the youth partylist has decried for its bloated funding for debt servicing, military spending, and defective programs like the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) at the expense of social services.


“Students, hand in hand with our school administrators, teachers, employees are therefore returning to the streets once more. If drivers are striking against incessant oil price hikes, we are also striking back against deficient subsidies for state schools and social services,” said Mongaya.


A press conference will be held on Thursday, September 22, 10AM at the West Visayas State University (WVSU) while a mobilization is set in the afternoon of the 23rd, Friday, with constituents from the WVSU, the Western Visayas State College of Science and Technology (WVCST), and the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) converging outside the Iloilo Provincial Capitol.


“Only P21.8 billion was allotted for 110 SUCs in the proposed 2012 national budget. This is a far cry from the P45B requested by the SUCs and P146 million lower than last year’s and will surely result in more austerity measures and higher fees,” said WVSU-University Student Council officer Krisma Porquia.


Fifty schools will have a P569.8M cut in their total budgets, 45 will have a P250.9M cut in their Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE), while 58 will have a P403.3M cut in Personal Services. All SUCs will have zero Capital Outlay, which is used for the construction of new facilities.


In Panay, the Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College’s proposed 2012 total budget is lower by P5.156M while the Aklan State University’s is P9.151M lower compared to this year’s budget. The WVCST’s Personal Services allocation is lower by P3.164M while WVSU’s MOOE is down by P3.761M.


“The P238 billion allotments for basic education cannot even address the massive shortages in teachers, classrooms, chairs, and textbooks. This is way below the minimum 6% GDP education spending mandated by the UNESCO. To say that the 2012 budget is social services-friendly is therefore deceptive,” said Porquia.


League of Filipino Students Panay Regional Spokesperson JC Alejandro said that the drop in the world ranking of Philippine universities is linked to the government’s abandonment of its responsibility to fund tertiary education by pushing SUCs to generate income through higher tuition and fee rates.


“Spending on SUCs and education is an investment to develop our country’s human resources. Congress and the Aquino government should rethink its misguided priorities and realign funds from foreign debt, CCTs, and military spending in favor of education and the social services,” said Alejandro.




Panay Regional Coordinator, Kabataan Partylist






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