‘UNEQUAL FUNDING FOR STATE SCHOLARS NEEDS CORRECTING’
SENATE President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto rued Friday the unequal subsidy for State Universities and Colleges ( SUC) scholars. “Not all SUC students are funded equal,” Recto said even as he noted that the average subsidy is pegged at P80,000 per student a year.
“Each may have different requirements, such as equipment backlog or staffing deficit which must be erased; the investments for which would differ from school to school,” the senator said.
He asserted, however, that “what is clear is that the allocation should be rationalized and needs reworking based on updated and fair parameters.”
In a statement, Recto recommended that “as we increase funding for state colleges, solidarity dictates that a rising tide must raise all ships.”
Recto recalled that in his interpellation last year on the budget of the Commission on Higher Education ( CHED), he had cited last year’s annual per student cost.
“The rough calculation was on a per regional basis and I agree that data should be unbundled per school to have a clearer picture,” Recto said.
Voicing hope that his “rudimentary presentation triggers a healthy debate on the issue,” Recto affirmed his belief that “in the interest of transparency, a per student cost should be made part of an SUC’S budget submission and a national comparative table be included in the National Expenditure Program.”
However, he hastened to clarify that “this is not to pass judgment on whether certain schools deserve what they get, as there are metrics to be used other than a simple spreadsheet.”
At the same time, Recto noted that for 2021, the average per student cost in SUCS is P80,000, noting that this is “the yearly taxpayer burden per SUC student.” He said “this is roughly based on the SUCS P80- billion appropriation and CHED funds for public school scholarships of P25 billion, or a total of P105 billion for 1.3 million students.”
“But students in private colleges get taxpayer subsidy too,” the senator pointed out, adding that the rate was pegged at P60,000 each next year. “They are the 341,000 enrollees in private schools who benefit from the tuition subsidy that costs P20 billion.” The subsidy for private school students is managed by the CHED under the mandate of the Tertiary Education Subsidy in Republic Act 10931, or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Law.