Education gets biggest budget, Palace says

Posted at 06/09/14 9:20 PM

MANILA - A Palace official on Monday fended of accusations that the government has not poured enough resources to education.

This, amid reports that at least 30 students were prevented from enrolling at the Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST) in Manila after they protested the imposition of a development fee.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda did not immediately comment on the students’ situation at EARIST.

"We will ask CHED (Commission on Higher Education) for clarification," he said. "We are not familiar with the reasons kung bakit sila na-blacklist. We will ask for updates from CHED kung meron. We will ask CHED. I am in no position to answer that question.”

Lacierda, however, said students should look at the annual national budgets of the government.

"You have to be more specific. It’s not just a general statement that nothing has been done for the SUCs (state universities and colleges). Education has taken the biggest portion of the budget every year—year-in, year-out," he said.

At least 35 EARIST students have reportedly launched a hunger strike to protest the school's move to blacklist them.

The blacklisted students earlier slammed the EARIST administration for imposing a P1,000 ''development fee'' to its students.

They said the hunger strike will end once the school administration allows them to enroll.

The protesters also burned down an effigy of President Benigno Aquino III and EARIST officials. – with a report from Noel Alamar, dzMM