Home News Cagayan Valley CHED on SUCs need for equipment, facilities: learn to plan, ask

CHED on SUCs need for equipment, facilities: learn to plan, ask

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- If schools need new equipment and facilities, they need only to include them in their budget plans and ask the government.

This is the advice of the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) to state universities and colleges (SUCs) on acquiring additional equipment and facilities to sustain their offered programs especially health courses.

In a press briefing in Nueva Vizcaya on Wednesday, May 9, UniFAST Executive Director lawyer said SUCs are part of the budget system where they can propose plans which can be included in the national expenditure program.

“Kung alam naman ng schools na kailangan nila ito, puwede ho nilang hingin yan sa national government. I-include ho nila sa proposal para magkaroon sila ng capital outlay kung kinakailangan or whatever thing they need. It takes planning. How we are in government right now [is that] everything is planned,” Sison said.

Sison said SUCs cannot procure necessary equipment if they have not included these in the government’s work and financial plan.

Last year, Sison said, President Rodrigo Duterte has allotted in the special General Appropriations Act (GAA) P8.3 billion for free tuition in SUCs. She said P300 million of the said fund was allotted for eight colleges of medicine of SUCs including the University of the Philippines and Cagayan State University (CSU).

The lawyer said the concern should now be how the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will “upgrade” SUCs into planning well and to ask for what they need.

Although SUCs have higher education development funds, Sison said this fund is not easily spent à la pork barrel.

“Yung fund ho na yan hindi lang basta-basta parang pork barrel po yan. Meron hong pinaggagamitan yan based dun sa KRAs [key result areas] namin kasi dun din ho i-jajudge ng COA [Commission on Audit] kung binibigay naming sa tama, kung nagagawa namin,” Sison said.

Sison said SUCs can find lots of funds or tap their own funds, saying that schools get large sums of money from CHED reimbursements.

“Ibig sabihin meron din ho silang mga kaperahan nila. Ang gusto lang nila [AY] hindi nila gamitin, [at sa halip ay] hihingi sa iba. Pero kung gagawin nila ‘yan, siguraduhin nilang hindi alam ng DBM yung kung anong kaperahan nila. Ang problema ho kasi alam din ng DBM na meron silang mga perang ganyan,” Sison said.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director Mary Anne Daraoay backed up Sison’s remarks, saying that SUCs can plan with the help of their respective governing boards.

“Each of the SUCs have their governing boards. There is a financial committee that looks after what is being requested and what should not be requested and then dito pa lang palnuhin na and they cannot offer any course unless it’s complete with everything,” Daraoay said.

Daraoay, a governing member of UniFAST, said NEDA also helps in policy formulation as ex-officio member of governing boards. These boards also partner with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in securing facilities for research.

As CHED regulates resources and equipment of SUCs, there are also funds not being used on various programs, Daraoay said.

“The truth on the matter is andami nang itinulong din ng DOST in terms of research equipment but this is not being used,” she said.

“So it falls under the responsibility now of the university because they are also accountable to whoever helped them…In terms of responsibility, the school should know what they need and when they need it. That’s part of their planning process,” Daraoay added.

Aside from having a regulatory role, Sison said the commission also has a developmental role wherein they have money for research programs for faculty development.

“Marami ho kaming pera so magiging strikto kami pero kung you need or you want to comply, kami rin ang nagbibigay ng mekanismo, equipment, mga ganon,” Sison said.

Meanwhile in the press briefing, SUCs can also ask CHED to cover student fees through a resolution by the student council asking permission to get funds from CHED. This will be the basis of the commission to reimburse fees.

Further, Sison said SUCs can tap their development fees to cover graduation fees because the development fee “has everything do with the students” as long as these are “reasonable” and agreeable with the Commission on Audit (COA). Northernforum.net

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