Congress told: Give more to Education in 2009 Budget

September 24, 2008 at 6:48 am 1 comment

Youth group demands additional P 536. 72 million to schools recognized as centers of excellence, non-payment of illegitimate loans and an end of automatic debt payments. 

Youth Against Debt, Front-page in Malaya

Youth Against Debt, Front-page in Malaya

Students from various state colleges and universities led by the Youth Against Debt (YAD) staged a noise barrage in front of the House of Representatives (HoR) today to demand higher state subsidy to public tertiary education in the proposed P 1.45 trillion 2009 National Government Budget. The said activity coincided with Congress’ deliberation of the respective budgets of state colleges and universities (SUCs) based in the National Capital Region.

Complete with whistles and noise gadgets, the student protestors from the University of the Philippines (UP), Philippine Normal University (PNU) and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) demanded from Congress an additional budget for higher education amounting to P 536.72 million covering P 47.82 million in additional budget for capital outlay and P 488.89 million worth of tuition subsidy to students belonging to 31 SUCs recognized as centers of excellence and development.

The group asserted the mere fact that these schools are recognized for their excellent service in providing quality public college education despite diminishing state support is enough reason to reward them with additional monetary allotment to augment their need to increase expenditure in education infrastructure.

On the other hand, YAD explained the tuition subsidy is a strong political statement from Congress that public tertiary education must become more accessible to the increasing number of tertiary education students entering the said schools especially in a time of a grueling global economic crisis.

Youth Against Debt Congress activity, captured online by GMAnews.tv.

Youth Against Debt Congress activity, captured online by GMAnews.tv.

The group is also urging Congress not to appropriate funds to dubious loan agreements in the 2009 budget and instead use the said funds as an alternative source of financing to realize the additional budget for higher education. 

YAD has identified the Social Expenditure Management Program (SEMP2), the Secondary Education Development and Improvement Project (SEDIP) and the Philippine Marine Merchant Academy (PMMA) Modernization Project as illegitimate debts incurred in the name of education which should not be honored by the Filipino people.

SEMP 2 and SEDIP’s allocation in the 2009 budget amounted to $.56 million and$ 2.298 million respectively. Conversely, PMMA has specific allocations of $ .86 million and $ 1.221 million.  

Students have accused the said projects of corruption, bribery as well as overpricing, providing defective products and blatant creditor negligence and undue intervention. YAD members raised the issue during Congress’ budget hearing of NCR SUCs. 

Likewise, the youth group re-echoed the call of the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) for fiscal democracy in the entire budget process. YAD said any meaningful reform and progressive augmentation of social spending in the appropriations bill will be rendered meaningless unless the root issues of the problem are resolved. 

YAD said the challenge for Congress in the 2009 budget deliberations is build the necessary legislative political will to put an end to the religious payments of illegitimate debts by removing the automatic appropriations for debt service (Section 31-B) in the Revised Administrative Code of 1987. 

YAD is a close partner of the debt watchdog Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) and a member of the Alternative Budget Initiative (ABI). ###

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Entry filed under: "Six will Fix!" in the News. Tags: , , .

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What is the Six will Fix! campaign?

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The Six will Fix! campaign is a campaign spearheaded by the Youth Against Debt (YAD) calling for an automatic appropriation law for education pegged at 6% of the GNP as prescribed by the Delors Commission of the UNESCO.

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