Senator Francis Tolentino is urging the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to be more proactive in helping state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) so that they can improve their performance and attract more students.
“Nakalimutan na ang SUCs sa BARMM. We should be more proactive in addressing their needs, even before they come to you for help,” Tolentino told CHED during the commission’s budget hearing.
There are five SUCs in BARMM which lack the sufficient support and have no plans to enable it to upgrade, according to CHED Commissioner Prospero E. De Vera III.
“Enrollment rate has gone down as students in BARMM would rather go to other regions.”
The legislator also noted that the enrollment rate at these SUCs has gone down as students in BARMM would rather go to other regions to obtain higher education.
“Bakit kailangan pa pumunta ng isang estudyante sa Zamboanga o Pagadian, para mag-aral kung mayroon namang state universities and colleges sa lugar nila? Katatag pa lamang nitong BARMM, dapat sabayan din natin sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay din ng magandang kalidad ng edukasyon sa mga lugar na sakop nito” the lawmaker added.
Representatives from the SUCs in BARMM expressed their desire for more support from the government to be reflected in their budgets.
In particular, the Sulu State University, had been receiving zero budget for its capital outlay for two years now and will get the same in 2020.
“With more government support, we can also entice more students to study in the SUCs within BARMM.”
They believe that with more government support, they can also entice more students to study in the SUCs within BARMM.
The senator assured them that President Rodrigo Duterte has already created a group which will focus on strengthening BARMM, including its higher education sector.