• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Senate Committee on Education is eyeing to realign a portion of the budget allocated for confidential and intelligence funds (CIFs) of some government agencies, to state universities and colleges (SUCs).
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, disclosed on Thursday that the Senate will deliberate on the proposed 2024 budget of P5.768 trillion on the second week of November in the plenary.
Thirty out of 117 state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the Philippines are set to receive less funding for 2024.
Under the government’s proposed national budget for 2024, SUCs would be allotted a total of P100.8 billion, a reduction of 5.75 percent compared to their funding this year of P107 billion, or a decrease of P6.2-billion.
Gatchalian said he will look for funds to restore the budget of free higher education, which is P4 billion, for SUCs.
The guest speaker at the Education Summit on Thursday to mark the World Teachers Day celebration in Victorias City, Negros Occidental, he said that his fellow senators are also discussing realigning some of the CIFs to boost the budget of the country’s law enforcement agencies like the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
The PCG is currently at the forefront of guarding the West Philippine Sea, he added.
Gatchalian however also said that the needed budget should be specified, or in “line item.”
“The intelligence funds should be limited to intelligence gathering. We will also look if the activities of the different law enforcement agencies are legitimate,” he added.*