|UP OFFICE OF STUDENT HOUSING
By CLAIRE MORALES TRUE
PASAY CITY – There is a bipartisan move in the Houe of Representatives to increase the budget for state univerities and colleges (SUCs) and it is gaining grounds.
This was learned from Vice President Jejomar C. Binay as he lauded the bipartisan move. It was Binay who earlier exposed the reduction of the budgets of SUCs like the University of the Philippines made by the administration of President Aquino.
“As a product of the nation’s premier university, the Vice President is happy that our SUCs are being given the proper attention they deserve in Congress. Education should always be a priority and he thanks those who crossed party lines to push for higher funding,” said Joey Salgado, media affairs chief of the Office of the Vice President.
In particular, Salgado said Binay hopes Congress will allot a bigger budget for the University of the Philippines’ (UP) capital outlay so that it will be able to provide adequate housing for students, especially those from the provinces.
“Most of the dormitories in UP Diliman are already senior citizens and need to be rehabilitated. The buildings are dilapidated and the plumbing has become worse,” he said.
“Molave Residence Hall, the oldest dorm, is already 75 years old and is now in a state of disrepair. I have been told has been identified as the dormitory in UP Diliman that needs the most urgent help right now,” he added.
Salgado said UP’s Office of Student Housing has had to resort to alumni support through its “Balik UP Dorm” project just so it could raise funds for repairs and buy new furniture and equipment.
UP is set to incur a P2.2-billion budget cut for its capital outlay.
“The Vice President is a firm believer that education is the greatest social equalizer. Quality free basic education and subsidized higher learning are the foundations of a nation to produce a work force that will support industries and companies that will, in turn, boost the economy,” Salgado said.
Binay, Salgado said, believes education will arm Filipinos with the proper skillset that will help them as they seek better employment opportunities.
“This is one way to ensure that not only a few are enjoying a good life while millions are hungry and even homeless. Increasing the budget of SUCs, which provide the quality education that the Filipino students need, will help in inclusive growth,” he said.