Solons hit Palace over budget cut of SUCs

Posted at 12/04/2010 11:52 PM | Updated as of 12/05/2010 4:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Militant lawmakers on Saturday assailed the supposed budget cut of state universities and colleges (SUCs), claiming that it reflects with the government’s anti-poor policies.

In a statement, Gabriela Party List Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan said making the SUCs "self-sufficient" is forcing them to commercialize education.

"What would be the difference now between private and public education? Worse, the SUC's are not in a position to raise funds," Ilagan said in a statement.

Ilagan said this is also distorting the mandate of SUCs which is to make education within the reach of the poor.

"This policy of PNoy is a manifestation of a privatization mindset. It is anti-poor," Ilagan said.

Kabataan Party List Rep. Raymond Palatino, for his part, said he hopes Malacañang begins to review the negative impact of the current higher education policy of the government.

"Our students are protesting not merely to beg for a few crumbs from the State. Instead, they want President Noynoy Aquino to reject the policy of reducing the role of government in providing higher education services to our youth," Palatino said.

Malacañang, earlier, clarified there was really no reduction in the budget for SUCs.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that in fact, the budget for state universities increased.

He said this was because P2.811 billion of the P23.845 billion allocation in the 2010 national budget was "never released" after it was vetoed by former President Gloria Arroyo.