To support the implementation of free tuition in state colleges and universities (SUCs), SUCs will have an across-the-board increase in Capital Outlay in the amount of P10 million under the Senate version of the proposed 2018 national budget.

“The committee provided an increase of P10 million in the budget for Capital Outlay of every SUC. This is to enable all SUCs to upgrade infrastructure and equipment in preparation for the implementation of the law on Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education,” said Senator Sonny Angara, vice-chair of the Senate committee on finance who is in charge of defending the budget of SUCs.

Under the Senate version of the proposed P3.767-trillion national budget for 2018, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has been allocated a budget of P12.067 billion for Capital Outlay (CO), P1.354 billion more than the budget allocated by the House of Representatives in the 2018 General Appropriations Bill (GAB). This budget includes the P10 million across-the-board increase in CO of 110 SUCs plus satellite campuses MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology and MSU-Tawi-tawi and 11 campuses within the UP System.

Angara added, “We want to make sure that SUCs will not only have enough budget to implement the free tuition, but also funds to implement priority infrastructure projects and equipment upgrades to boost their capacity to provide quality higher education. This is what we mean by truly increasing the government’ investment in pro-poor and pro-quality higher education.”

Angara is hopeful that the additional funds will be retained even after the period of amendment scheduled next month because no less than the Senate finance committee chair, Sen. Loren Legarda, has expressed her full support to it.

The proposed appropriations for SUCs in 2018 is P59.779 billion or 1.81% higher than the 2017 appropriations of P58.718 billion.

The bulk or 63.85% of SUCs’ budget will be used for Personal Services. MOOE accounts for 15.97% while CO will make up for 20.19% mainly to construct/rehabilitate its buildings and facilities and acquire necessary equipment outlay.

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