THE COMMISSION on Higher Education (Ched) is asking the national government to set aside a higher share of the national budget to fund quality education in state universities and colleges (SUCs).

“We are not used to spending that much on education that’s why it needs a total mind shift. We need to invest on this,” Ched Chairwoman Patricia Licuanan said in an assembly with student leaders and presidents of SUCs at the House of Representatives last Sept. 29.

Licuanan urged the government to invest particularly in research of public higher education institutions.

“Some of the public higher education institutions go into [research and development] in a very serious way. We have to invest on them so that we also do well in [international] rankings,” she said.

In accordance with the 1987 Constitution, the education sector was given the lion’s share of the 2016 national budget, with P436 billion. But Licuanan said Ched receives only residual funds.

“The Department of Education gets the larger proportion of the budget but higher education does not,” Licuanan told the Varsitarian in an interview.

“It is just a small proportion … which is understandable in terms of numbers, but higher education also needs quite a bit of investment,” she added.

Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago hit the government for giving insufficient funds to the education sector.

“The national budget reflects the priority of the government, but little is given to higher education because the government prioritizes debt service,” Elago said.

Ricardo Rotoras, president of the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges, said more government funds should be allotted to free and quality education.

“Free access to quality education is the paramount consideration. [We] have to develop the state higher education institutions to a level that can provide quality education,” Rotoras said.

The House Committee on Higher and Technical Education, led by Zamboanga Sibugay Rep. Ann Hofer, hosted the assembly.


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