House members tackle budget for free SUC tuition Print
Tuesday, 15 August 2017 17:19

By Dexter Yap

House members yesterday tackled important socio-economic issues and what the House of Representatives has been doing to address them, particularly: funding of the free tertiary education;

House Committee on Appropriations vice-chairman Rep. Celso Lobregat said funding for the implementation of Republic Act 10931, which grants free tuition and other fees for students in state universities and college (SUCs), as well as local universities and colleges and technical-vocational institutions, may come from the underspent, unused and underutilized budgets of agencies.

He said it will be easy for the appropriations committee to check during the hearings on the proposed 2018 national budget how much was obligated to the agencies and how much they have actually spent for their projects and programs, and operations.

“we will also determine who are those departments or agencies who underspent or under-utilized or unutilized their budgets. This will become our basis if is it necessary to cut their budget in 2018 based on their performance and based on their spending pattern. This will also become our basis to find out how we will be able to first and foremost support the free higher education which was newly signed by President Duterte,” Lobregat said.

As representatives of the people in the various districts, he said what they work on is ensuring that all areas they represent equally benefit from the budget.

“In the annual budget we are looking into the education programs and to make sure that the distribution of projects and programs are proper.All of that is identified, all that is itemized in the above- mentioned budget,”said Lobregat.

He hope that by August 24, the discussions on the 2018 budget will be finished so that the committee can approve it and thereafter refer it to the plenary for discussions. – Dexter Yap