SUCs budget is P26.1 billion in 2012, increased by 10.1 percent

Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad said the Aquino administration has increased the aggregate budget for State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) by 10.1 percent to P26.1 billion in 2012, from P23.7 billion in 2011.
This amount is composed of P23.6 billion, inclusive of automatic appropriations, which are itemized per SUC; a standby fund of more than P2 billion under the Miscellaneous and Personnel Benefit Funds (MPBF) for unfilled positions in SUCs; as well as an additional P500 million under the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for SUC development.
“Clearly, the state subsidy for SUCs is higher next year. But more important than the increase, this proposed budget supports the development of SUCs as responsive to the government’s five priority areas for growth and employment, which are agriculture and fisheries, tourism, general infrastructure, semiconductor and electronics, and business process outsourcing (BPO),” Abad said.
“President Benigno S. Aquino III has directed CHED to work together with SUCs as well as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and with industry to align their curricula to these priority areas. There is an immense opportunity in these areas but they are lacking in qualified manpower,” he said.
He said the additional P500 million under CHED—P250 million each for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses and for Capital Outlay—will be provided for SUCs as additional funding for activities in line with the government’s priority areas for growth. “If this effort succeeds, the government intends to invest more in SUCs,” he said.
In the BPO industry, for instance, Abad said the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) is proposing to train 58,000 potential BPO applicants, of which, they can commit to employ 37,000. TESDA will train applicants from SUCs on BPO expansion areas. Government is asked to provide P500 million, of which P350 million is allocated to train students, while P150 million is earmarked to hire or train faculties.
“That’s the kind of partnership and support that the government is pursuing now in 2011, and for the remaining years of the Aquino administration. The same government-SUC-industry partnership is going to be entered into the five primary industries identified by the Aquino administration as drivers of employment and growth,” he said.
“This way, SUCs’ curricula can be made more relevant, more SUC students can find certain employment, and government funds are better put to use,” he added.