Students protest budget cuts inside Congress

MANILA, Philippines – Students were escorted out of the House of Representatives after protesting during the Commission on Higher Education’s budget presentation on Monday morning.
The four student leaders, including University of the Philippines Student Regent Krista Melgarejo, held out protest signs and called for an increase in the budgets of state universities and colleges (SUCs) during budget deliberations at the Andaya Hall.
The group disrupted the hearing just as CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan was explaining about how SUCs are becoming less dependent on the national government.
Melgarejo posted on Twitter, “CHED Chair Licuanan admits budget cuts and SUCs will be pushed to be financially autonomous, hence more [income-generating projects].”
Kabataan Representative Terry Ridon in a statement said that in addition to the lightning protest at Andaya, student groups are planning to have larger protests in September against budget cuts.
“Another spate of budget cuts in state schools is especially ironic at a time when public outrage against pork funds used in corruption is at its highest. May pondo sa korupsyon, pero wala sa edukasyon. Clearly, there is cause for greater public rage in the coming days,” Ridon said.
He said 79 out of the 110 SUCs will suffer hefty cuts next year due to lower allotment for maintenance and other operating expenses and capital outlay.
Among those that will have the largest cuts are the University of the Philippines, the Mindanao State University (MSU) and the MSU-Ilagan Institute of Technology.

- newsinfo.inquirer.net


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